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) …
Self-driving cars have it rough. They have to detect the world around them in fine detail, learn to recognize signals, and avoid running over pets. But hey, at least they'll spend most of their time dealing with other robot cars, not people. That means interacting with people--lots of people--and dogs and trash and pigeons. Unlike a road, a sidewalk is nearly devoid of structure.
"Well, if droids could think, there'd be none of us here, would there?" - Obi-Wan Kenobi Fully autonomous robots with humanlike capabilities might yet be some way away, still the realm largely of science fiction, but lawmakers, legal experts and manufacturers are already engaged in debates about the ethical challenges involved in their production and use, and their legal status, their "legal personality": ultimately, whether it's these machines or human beings who should bear responsibility for their actions. There are questions about whether and how much self-learning machines should be taking independent decisions about moral equivalence involving ethical choices which have traditionally been the preserve of humans. At the extreme, for example, can it be right for a machine to decide to kill an enemy combatant that it has identified without resort to human agency? Or is the robot morally no different from a "brainless" weapon? Is there an inherent difference morally between a "sexbot" and a standard, brainless sex toy?
Advances in artificial intelligence and automation could replace as many as half the nation's financial services workers over the next decade, industry experts say, but it's going to take a big investment to make that happen. James D'Arezzo, CEO of Glendale, Calif.-based Condusiv Technologies, says that's where things are headed. And the process will be complicated. "Unless banks deal with the performance issues that AI will cause for ultra-large databases, they will not be able to take the money gained by eliminating positions and spend it on the new services and products they will need in order to stay competitive," he said. Intensive hardware upgrades are often cited as an answer to the problem, but D'Arezzo said that's prohibitively expensive.
File photo: Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos laughs as he talks to the media while touring the new Amazon Spheres during the grand opening at Amazon's Seattle headquarters in Seattle, Washington, U.S., January 29, 2018. If a "top-secret" Amazon plan comes to fruition, the online retail giant's next big thing might be home robots. Citing unnamed sources familiar with the company's plans, Bloomberg reports that Amazon is getting serious about building a domestic robot. Think Alexa, but with the ability to move around your home autonomously. The project, codenamed "Vesta" after the Roman goddess of the hearth, home, and family, reportedly kicked off years ago, but has been gaining steam of late.
Ten years ago, Amazon introduced the Kindle and established the appeal of reading on a digital device. Four years ago, Jeff Bezos and company rolled out the Echo, prompting millions of people to start talking to a computer. Inc. is working on another big bet: robots for the home. The retail and cloud computing giant has embarked on an ambitious, top-secret plan to build a domestic robot, according to sources familiar with the plans. Code-named "Vesta" after the Roman goddess of the hearth, home and family, the project is overseen by Gregg Zehr, who runs Amazon's Lab126 hardware research and development division based in Sunnyvale, California.
'Robots are Coming For Our Jobs,' yelled the Huffington Post. 'Robots will destroy our jobs – and we're not ready for it,' The Guardian calmly announced. And according to the Daily Mail, 'Robots taking human jobs is causing a "hellish dystopia"'. These headlines may seem over the top, but, like the scariest nightmares, they're rooted in reality. From factory line jobs to professions like accounting and medicine, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies mean that more and more tasks can now be automated and completed by machines or algorithms.
Cloud Robotics is a term that was popularized by James Kuffner after he brought together researchers from different relevant fields (robotics, machine learning, and computer vision) to assist in coming up with the initial Cloud Robotics concept. Cloud robotics, as the name suggests is bringing together cloud computing and robotics. In essence, taking all the benefits of cloud computing and finding ways to apply them to robot software and robotics. The past couple of years have established cloud computing as the technology of now and the future. In 2017, spending on cloud services was $153.5bn, and this is expected to rise by 21.1% in 2018 to $184.4bn.
Amazon's next major consumer product could be far more ambitious than Echo speakers and Fire tablets, according to a new Bloomberg report: The company is said to be working on a domestic robot codenamed "Vesta" after the Roman goddess of family, hearth, and home. Vesta is said to be several years into development, with a release targeted for sometime next year. According to the report, while Vesta's exact purpose is not yet fully known, signs point to it acting as a mobile AI assistant, providing aid by accompanying users to places in their homes that don't have Alexa devices. Vesta prototypes can apparently navigate through homes using autonomous car technologies such as cameras and computer vision, though the robots' sizes and locomotion systems are not specified. Amazon's Lab126 consumer hardware R&D division has hired robotics industry mechanical engineers to aid in the project and is still hiring sensor engineers and robotics software engineers.
A two-armed robot in a Chiba factory carefully stacks rice balls in a box, which a worker carries off for shipment to convenience stores. At another food-packaging plant, a robot shakes pepper and powdered cheese over pasta that a person has just arranged in a container. In a country known for bringing large-scale industrial robots to the factory floor, such relatively dainty machines have until recently been dismissed as niche and low-margin. But as the workforce ages in Japan and elsewhere, collaborative robots -- or "cobots" -- are seen as a key way to help keep all types of assembly lines moving without replacing humans. Japan's Fanuc Corp. and Yaskawa Electric Corp., two of the world's largest robot manufacturers, didn't see the shift coming.
Developments in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) are happening faster today than ever before. However, the nature of progress in A.I. is such that massive technological breakthroughs might go unnoticed while smaller improvements get a lot of media attention. Take the case of face recognition technology. The ability of A.I. to recognize faces might seem like a very big deal, but isn't that groundbreaking when you consider the nature of applied A.I. On the other hand, suppose an A.I. is asked to choose between a genre of music, such as R&B or rock. While it may seem like a simple choice, the mathematical algorithm that must be solved before the A.I makes a decision could take hours and days.