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) …
Hillary Clinton has warned that the US is "totally unprepared" for the economic and societal effects of artificial intelligence. Speaking to radio host Hugh Hewitt this week in an interview promoting her recent book, the former Secretary of State said the world was "racing headfirst into a new era of artificial intelligence" that would affect "how we live, how we think, [and] how we relate to each other." In a short segment near the end of the interview, Clinton told Hewitt: "A lot of really smart people, you know, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, a lot of really smart people are sounding an alarm that we're not hearing. And their alarm is artificial intelligence is not our friend." Clinton then mentioned two specific areas of impact: digital surveillance (when "everything we know and everything we say and everything we write is, you know, recorded somewhere") and job automation.
Google is deepening its push into artificial intelligence (AI) by opening a research centre in China, even though its search services remain blocked in the country. Google said the facility would be the first its kind in Asia and would aim to employ local talent. Silicon Valley is focusing heavily on the future applications for AI. China has also indicated strong support for AI development and for catching up with the US. Research into artificial intelligence has the potential to improve a range of technologies, from self-driving cars and automated factories to translation products and facial recognition software.
Chinese internet company LeEco Holdings Ltd unveils its internet electric battery driverless concept car'LeSEE' during a launch event in Beijing. Chinese manufacturers and internet giants are in hot pursuit of their US counterparts in the race to design driverless cars, but the route to market is still littered with potholes. China has begun preparing programs and cities for an autonomous driving revolution expected to generate $1 trillion in revenue globally, the South China Morning Post reported. Nearly 300 Chinese cities and regions, including Xinjiang and Nanjing, and have already introduced "smart-city" projects controlled by artificial intelligence technology to enhance daily life, SCMP said. Smart cities use cloud-based technology to integrate across several industries, including transportation, health care and public security, according to government-owned China Daily.
Artificial intelligence will play an important role in reshaping an array of major industries such as retail, manufacturing and healthcare. Leading senior executives told the 4th World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, eastern China, that rapid technological changes will transform companies and society. Robin Li, chief executive of Baidu, felt that in comparison with mobile internet technology, which revolutionised consumer services, artificial intelligence (AI) would have a far bigger influence on how companies ran their businesses. "For instance, Baidu is leveraging AI to help supermarkets better manage their supply of fresh food, by analysing and predicting which products are most popular," said Li, who runs China's largest search engine. He pointed out that such solutions had effectively reduced food waste and boosted profit growth at pilot stores.
Humans don't get to do much with Google in China, where the world's most popular search engine has been unavailable for more than five years. But artificial intelligence is another matter entirely, as Google announced Wednesday plans to open an AI research center in Beijing. While the various Google sites have been unavailable in mainland China ever since the company declined to continue censoring search results, the country's emergence as a global power means Google can't stay out of China entirely. In this case, the focus is on harnessing China's growing dominance of machine learning research, hence the new Google AI China Center. "Chinese authors contributed 43 percent of all content in the top 100 AI journals in 2015--and when the Association for the Advancement of AI discovered that their annual meeting overlapped with Chinese New Year this year, they rescheduled," Fei-Fei Li, Google's chief scientist for AI and machine learning, wrote in a blog post Wednesday explaining the move.
MIT Institute Professor John Deutch, who has been on the MIT faculty since 1970, has served as a department head, dean of the School of Science, and provost, and has published over 160 technical publications as well as numerous publications on technology, energy, international security, and public policy issues. He served in the U.S. government as director of central intelligence from 1995 to 1996, as deputy secretary of defense from 1994 to 1995, and in other posts in the departments of Defense and Energy. He is a member of the nonpartisan Aspen Strategy Group, which is composed of current and former policymakers, academics, journalists, and business leaders whose aim is to explore foreign policy and national security challenges facing the United States. The group has just released its annual report, and it includes a chapter co-written by Deutch and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, about how the U.S. should deal with the risk of losing important intellectual property rights regarding technological innovations, in the face of efforts by China to acquire such technology through underhanded means. MIT News asked Deutch to describe the potential risks and remedies for such actions that he and Rice outlined in their report.
"The science of AI has no borders, neither do its benefits," Fei-Fei Li, chief scientist at Google's AI business, said in a blog post Wednesday announcing the new center. But China's internet borders are fortified by the so-called Great Firewall, and most of Google's biggest products -- its search engine, YouTube and Gmail -- have been blocked by the country's vast censorship apparatus for years. Google (GOOGL) effectively left China in 2010, but the country's 730 million internet users make it too large a market to ignore. The company has made no secret of its desire to find ways to rebuild its presence there. Related: Google's man-versus-machine showdown blocked in China Its artificial intelligence unit DeepMind teamed up with Chinese authorities to hold a five-day festival in the country earlier this year.
Google has officially opened an artificial intelligence (AI) center in Beijing, the capital of China. The country is home to some of the most renowned thinkers in the field of AI, so it makes sense that one of the largest tech companies in the world would want to set up shop where much of the action is. In a blog post, Fei-Fei Li, Google's chief scientist for AI and machine learning, explained "Chinese authors contributed 43 percent of all content in the top 100 AI journals in 2015--and when the Association for the Advancement of AI discovered that their annual meeting overlapped with Chinese New Year this year, they rescheduled." This shows just how valuable China is to the AI community. Google's China team will be headed by Li, who came to Google after serving as the director of Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence Lab.
The fleet of laser-equipped robots patrolling parking lots and company campuses in San Francisco has met resistance from the city's homeless population, after one machine was deployed to prevent tent encampments from forming. According to the San Francisco Business Times, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals began using one of the robots in its parking lots and along the sidewalks around its premises in early November to prevent homeless people from settling there. But within a week, people attempting to set up a camp took offense at the robot and attacked it. SPCA President Jennifer Scarlett told the publication that the people "put a tarp over [the robot], knocked it over and put barbecue sauce on all the sensors." Scarlett added, "I can understand being scared about a new technology on the street, and we should be asking questions about it, but we should probably be a little bit angry that a nonprofit has to spend so much on security at the same time."
When Google abandoned the Chinese search market over government censorship in 2010, it seemed a remarkably principled act of self-sabotage. The company's decision to return to China today, by establishing a new AI research center in Beijing, is all about safeguarding its future. The center was announced at an event in Shanghai today by Fei-Fei Li, a prominent AI researcher and the chief scientist at Google Cloud. With the announcement, Google is acknowledging the growing importance of China for the future of AI. It is also setting the stage for a battle over who gets to deliver AI to the rest of the world.