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 38 years old Finnish science fiction author, along with data scientist friend Samuel Halliday, got his hands on a simple wearable brain scanner and started wondering how he could use the technology to tell more engaging stories. So in 2012, they came up with a story that could be read wearing the wireless headset, and branch and change depending on whether the reader showed more affinity for life or death imagery. Think of it as a modern version of the text-only interactive games of the late 70's, or a Choose Your Own Adventure eBook, but where your brain's electrical activity determines the choices. The project has been open-sourced to encourage innovation, meaning with a $400 piece of hardware, some machine learning and writing skills, everyone can venture into the depths of the design space created by emerging brain-computer interface technologies. While there is a lot of fuss these days around whether we can make artificial intelligence (or AI) truly intelligent, giving'brains' to machines might not always be enough.
Tech these days is often accused of encouraging forms of addiction, but emerging "cyborg" technology may offer an answer for treating the opioid epidemic. Embedding microchips in the brains of addicts could help to, essentially, rewire them. He's among millions of people in America affected by what has become a national plague that kills hundreds each day. He hopes, though, that the computer chip in his brain can break him from addiction's hold. His dependence took hold after he dislocated his shoulder when he was 15.
"Taken together, [studies show] internet addiction is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control." But what about kids who aren't "addicted" per se? Addiction aside, a much broader concern that begs awareness is the risk that screen time is creating subtle damage even in children with "regular" exposure, considering that the average child clocks in more than seven hours a day (Rideout 2010). As a practitioner, I observe that many of the children I see suffer from sensory overload, lack of restorative sleep, and a hyperaroused nervous system, regardless of diagnosis--what I call electronic screen syndrome. These children are impulsive, moody, and can't pay attention--much like the description in the quote above describing damage seen in scans.
A Phoenix laboratory is trying to stop Alzheimer's disease by using artificial intelligence. Arizona has the fastest growing rate of Alzheimer's disease in the country. According to a 2018 report released by the Alzheimer's Association, in the next few years, the number of people living with the disease in Arizona is expected to increase by 43 percent. Sonora Quest Laboratories created the RestoreU Method, a program for people experiencing memory loss, cognitive impairment or dementia. The lab partnered with uMETHOD Health in North Carolina to identify and address underlying causes of cognitive decline tailored to each individual patient.
DeepMind has been trying to bridge the gap between AI and biology for quite some time now. All their endeavours revolve around solving the problem of intelligence in machines. The straightforward trivial tasks for humans can be very, very sophisticated and almost for devices. While human brains are hardcoded with millions of years of learning, the machines have many limitations when it comes to data. They can be fed with data that has been documented or prepared by humans, the magnitude of which is historically insignificant when compared to humans.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is more linked to dopamine-reinforced learning than you may think. That's a mouthful, so for now just think of Pavlov's dog study. DeepMind AI published a blog post on their discovery that the human brain and AI learning methods are closely linked when it comes to learning through reward. Their findings were also published in the journal Nature on Wednesday. It's been a well-known fact for a while now that we humans, and many animals, learn through reward.
It is not often that one witnesses a transformational advance in medicine. But the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the early detection of disease is exactly that. I was a co-author of the paper recently published in Nature showing that an AI system developed by Google was better at spotting breast tumours than doctors. Now, researchers in the US have reported that AI-supported laser scanners are faster than doctors at detecting brain tumours. These are very exciting developments that will, ultimately, have a big impact on the accuracy, logistics and speed of diagnosis.
In the 1990s John Koza, a professor at Stanford University carried out a series of experiments involving new ways to create electrical circuits. He designed a programme which created thousands of random circuit designs. These were measured against desired outcomes. Most were terrible and were eliminated. Those closest to a solution were combined and rerun.
Quick: what do you get when you combine an AI, a dozen electrodes and the human brain? Specifically, verbal memory that helps you remember a list of random words, a speech or maybe parts of a book you recently read. Plus it happens without any effort on your part or outside interference. Duh, you're probably thinking, I've heard this before. Yes, brain stimulation has been on a roll for the past few years.
With just their input cables, human neurons can perform difficult logic calculations previously only seen in entire neural networks. To restate: human neurons are far more powerful devices than originally thought. And if deep learning algorithms--the AI method loosely based on the brain that's taken our world by storm--take note, they can be too. Those are unconventional, fighting words. For 70 years, neurons were considered the basic computational unit of the brain.