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) …
Patrick Winston, a beloved professor and computer scientist at MIT, died on July 19 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. A professor at MIT for almost 50 years, Winston was director of MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory from 1972 to 1997 before it merged with the Laboratory for Computer Science to become MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). A devoted teacher and cherished colleague, Winston led CSAIL's Genesis Group, which focused on developing AI systems that have human-like intelligence, including the ability to tell, perceive, and comprehend stories. He believed that such work could help illuminate aspects of human intelligence that scientists don't yet understand. "My principal interest is in figuring out what's going on inside our heads, and I'm convinced that one of the defining features of human intelligence is that we can understand stories,'" said Winston, the Ford Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, in a 2011 interview for CSAIL.
An automated system developed by MIT researchers designs and 3-D prints complex robotic parts called actuators that are optimized according to an enormous number of specifications. In short, the system does automatically what is virtually impossible for humans to do by hand. In a paper published today in Science Advances, the researchers demonstrate the system by fabricating actuators -- devices that mechanically control robotic systems in response to electrical signals -- that show different black-and-white images at different angles. One actuator, for instance, portrays a Vincent van Gogh portrait when laid flat. Tilted an angle when it's activated, however, it portrays the famous Edvard Munch painting "The Scream."
In this episode, Lauren Klein interviews Michal Luria, a PhD candidate in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, about research that explores the boundaries of Human-Robot Interaction. Michal draws inspiration from the Medieval Times for her project to test how historical automata can inform modern robotics. She also discusses her work with cathartic objects to support emotional release. Michal Luria is a PhD candidate in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, advised by Professors Jodi Forlizzi and John Zimmerman. Prior to her PhD, Michal studied Interactive Communication at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel.
Home care is often singled out for being slow to embrace and implement technology, but as the demand for care services grows, providers are forced to think outside of the box when it comes curbing caregiver turnover. San Francisco-based home care startup Honor understands this all too well, according to CEO Seth Sternberg. The company is using insights gleaned from machine learning to examine and address turnover internally and with its network of home care partners. Honor, which has raised $115 million since launching in 2014, teams up with independently owned and operated agencies by taking over caregiver recruiting, onboarding and training, in addition to day-to-day logistics. Currently, the company operates in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.
As AI moves increasingly into actual commercial use, the leading nations are positioning themselves to standardize the field to their own advantage. This includes everything from minute technical standards to procedures for removing bias from algorithms. Countries and companies have a lot to gain from leaving a mark on the process. Beijing got out of the starting gate first: Last year, China published a detailed report focused on ethical norms and technical standards that are meant to allow companies to work together more easily. A few months later, Beijing hosted the first major international meeting on AI standards.
As the size of SSDs grows, the need to do more processing inside of drives is also growing. Compute in storage is being used to deal with latency and power issues associated with moving large amounts of data and extending drive life while increasing reliability. In the past, data was moved from a drive to a compute device for processing. In enterprise systems, the data had to be transferred across multiple interfaces and protocols. Not only does this take time and increase latency but it also burns power.
Upon hearing the phrase "Rise of the Machines," many people's first instinct would be to think of a sci-fi apocalyptic movie, using the common trope of AI taking over the world as we know it. It's an overwhelming idea, to say the least, but the truth of the matter is that we truly are in the age of machines! The question is, are we ready to tackle all the issues that come hand in hand with progress and innovation? As with any kind of technological advancement developing at exponential rates, we have to try to stay one step ahead of the game, which is becoming increasingly difficult. There is a lot that we stand to gain from the usage of Big Data and AI, but at what cost?