If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
The iconic developer of all-text story games -- commonly referred to as "text adventures" -- like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the Zork series shut down in 1989, but not before releasing a library of titles that are some of the earliest to demonstrate the storytelling potential of video games. It's a rich history that's largely been squandered under the stewardship of Activision, which acquired Infocom in 1986. Now, though, there's hope for Infocom fans in the form of business news: Microsoft is lining up to acquire Activision Blizzard in a blockbuster deal worth almost $80 billion. Most of the attention has been rightly focused on the to-be-acquired publisher's popular franchises like Call of Duty and Overwatch, as well as what the deal means for an employer that's faced a growing number of toxic workplace accusations since last summer. But don't overlook the potential here for Microsoft to also preserve an important piece of gaming history.
With new threats disrupting business operations and an increasingly strict regulatory environment, security is no longer a risk mitigation activity or a growth inhibitor. Rather, information security is increasingly being viewed as strategic business enabler for the enterprise. That is evident in IDG's 2022 State of the CIO Survey, where IT leaders and line of business (LOB) executives were asked which technologies they expected to have the greatest effect on how their company functions over the next few years. While the respondents list the usual suspects – big data/analytics, AI/machine learning, and cloud infrastructure – in the top 3, 19% say identity and access management has the most potential to significantly impact business operations. In a distributed world, identity and access management (IAM) is instrumental in managing security in a cloud-based world, which makes its placement between cloud infrastructure and cloud databases (picked by 17% of respondents) appropriate.
Compared to computers, humans and most other vertebrates (including some invertebrates), can learn internal representations of things, such as objects, or concepts, unbelievably fast. Instead of requiring millions of labeled data points, a toddler will understand the concept of a chair with only a handful of examples. How? Do most organisms have a large set of hard-coded procedures encoded in their neural circuitry, that were created and accumulated overtime through evolutionary forces? Considering the evidence, this seems to be very unlikely. We know that organisms do have some hard-coded memories that influence their behaviors and actions, but the number of such procedures is limited.
Disparities in outcomes and access are deeply rooted problems that lend themselves to a population health approach -- but not to quick fixes. Almost two years after COVID-19 forced a telehealth revolution, patients have come to expect live video interaction offerings from their health plans and providers. Telehealth -- which once meant having a live video visit with a physician -- has become a commodity, with hundreds of options now available to patients, says Sebastian Seiguer, J.D., MBA, CEO of emocha Health, a medication adherence company in Baltimore that is a Johns Hopkins spin-off. Simultaneously, the very definition of "telehealth" is changing, as consumers and providers alike become comfortable using a variety of digital tools such as texting, online portals and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbots to give personalized healthcare advice and support. These new remote therapeutic monitoring codes provide reimbursement for the kind of support that can lead to greater adherence, Seiguer says.
Welcome to the future of insurance, as seen through the eyes of Scott, a customer in the year 2030. Upon hopping into the arriving car, Scott decides he wants to drive today and moves the car into "active" mode. Scott's personal assistant maps out a potential route and shares it with his mobility insurer, which immediately responds with an alternate route that has a much lower likelihood of accidents and auto damage as well as the calculated adjustment to his monthly premium. Scott's assistant notifies him that his mobility insurance premium will increase by 4 to 8 percent based on the route he selects and the volume and distribution of other cars on the road. It also alerts him that his life insurance policy, which is now priced on a "pay-as-you-live" basis, will increase by 2 percent for this quarter. The additional amounts are automatically debited from his bank account. When Scott pulls into his destination's parking lot, his car bumps into one of several parking signs.
The following is a partially redacted and lightly edited transcript of a chat conversation about AGI between Eliezer Yudkowsky and a set of invitees in early September 2021. By default, all other participants are anonymized as "Anonymous". I think this Nate Soares quote (excerpted from Nate's response to a report by Joe Carlsmith) is a useful context-setting preface regarding timelines, which weren't discussed as much in the transcript: The gap between AI systems then and AI systems now seems pretty plausibly greater than the remaining gap, even before accounting the recent dramatic increase in the rate of progress, and potential future increases in rate-of-progress as it starts to feel within-grasp. But basically all that has fallen. The gap between us and AGI is made mostly of intangibles. Sure, but on my model, "good" versions of those are a hair's breadth away from full AGI already. And the fact that I need to clarify that "bad" versions don't count, speaks to my point that the only barriers people can name right now are intangibles.) That's a very uncomfortable place to be! But I'm in the second-to-last epistemic state, where I wouldn't feel all that shocked to learn that some group has reached the brink. Maybe I won't get that call for 10 years! But it could also be 2, and I wouldn't get to be indignant with reality. I wouldn't get to say "but all the following things should have happened first, before I made that observation". I have made those observations. For one thing, I don't expect to need human-level compute to get human-level intelligence, and for another I think there's a decent chance that insight and innovation have a big role to play, especially on 50 year timescales. There has been a lot of AI progress recently.