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) …
South Korea planned to introduce a new counter to North Korea's burgeoning nuclear weapons program: drones. South Korean news wire agency Yonhap reported Tuesday that the nation planned to roll out a new weaponized drone unit next year. "The Army plans to set up a special organization to lead the development of dronebots, establish a standard platform and expand the dronebot program by function," an Army official told Yonhap, asking not be named because they weren't authorized to discuss the matter. "To begin with, we will launch a dronebot combat unit next year and use it as a'game changer' in warfare." The drones primary function will be for surveillance -- North Korea has launched a number of ballistic missile tests this year and many of them came without warning.
We are in the fourth industrial revolution, which is characterized by advances in robotics and self-driving car technology, the proliferation of smart home appliances, and more. At the forefront of all these is artificial intelligence (AI), which is the development of automated computer systems that could match or even surpass humans in intelligence. AI is regarded as the next big thing--so big that future technologies will be dependent on it. But then, do we really know what we are getting ourselves into? Here are ten scary facts about artificial intelligence.
Korea has topped the ranks in terms of direct government funding and tax support for business research and development (R&D) in the Asia Pacific region, accounting for 0.35 percent of the nation's GDP in 2015, up from 0.3 percent in 2005, according to the OECD Science, Technology, and Industry Scoreboard 2017. Australia came in second, with direct government funding and tax support for business R&D accounting for 0.2 percent of the nation's GDP in 2015, followed by Japan at 0.15 percent, China at 0.13 percent, and New Zealand at 0.08 percent. These are compared to 0.12 percent, 0.14 percent, 0.1 percent, and 0.09 percent in 2005, respectively. Korean and Japanese businesses were also APAC's top investors in ICT equipment and information services in 2015, allocating 54.26 percent and 25.8 percent of total business R&D expenditure, respectively. In both cases, the percentages are down from 54.49 percent and 32.02 percent in 2005, respectively.
Talks on lethal autonomous weapons systems began at the United Nations November 13, amid calls for an international ban on independent "killer robots" that could revolutionize warfare -- discussions are scheduled to last all week, under the banner of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. CCW Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems to meet next week https://t.co/cawvBkiuAR The summit in Geneva comes after over 100 major figures in technology and science co-signed a letter warning such weapons systems could lead to a "third revolution in warfare" in July. "Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. The deadly consequence of this is machines -- not people -- will determine who lives and dies," the letter read.
In late October, Saudi Arabia announced that Sophia, a humanoid developed by Hanson Robotics, is the first-ever robot citizen. Sophia recently spoke at the Future Investment Initiative, held in Riyadh, about its desire to live peacefully among humans. The comments belied Sophia's past remarks about wishing to "destroy humans." Prestigious as the title may be, Hanson Robotics has developed several humanoids in addition to Sophia. Here's what else makes up Sophia's robot family.
Over the past year or so, earbuds with translation tech have been popping up everywhere, signaling the evolution of an industry. Headphones are now capable of being more than just a means to deliver music -- if the tech is good enough, they can act as a bridge between disparate cultures, bringing people together to foster mutual understandings. The new Bluetooth-enabled Mars wireless earbuds, a collaborative project from Line Corporation and Naver Corporation (a leading internet provider in Korea and Line's parent company), aim to do just that. Boasting real-time ear-to-ear translation of 10 different languages, Mars is unique in that it is designed for each person to wear one earbud (as opposed to needing two pairs). The earbuds were named a CES 2018 Best of Innovation Honoree at CES Unveiled New York on Thursday, November 9. Scheduled for release in early 2018, Mars support Line's Clova artificial intelligence, a virtual assistant which takes cues from Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
In the computer game StarCraft, humans still have an edge over artificial intelligence. That was clear on Tuesday after professional StarCraft player Song Byung-gu defeated four different bots in the first contest to pit AI systems against pros in live bouts of the game. One of the bots, dubbed "CherryPi," was developed by Facebook's AI research lab. The other bots came from Australia, Norway, and Korea. The contest took place at Sejong University in Seoul, Korea, which has hosted annual StarCraft AI competitions since 2010.
Google has denied allegations from Lee Hae-jin, founder of Naver, South Korea's largest search engine, that it doesn't pay proper taxes in the country. Google, in a rare statement, strongly denied the allegation made by Lee at a National Assembly inspection meeting earlier this week, saying it is paying taxes properly in Korea and is "abiding by local tax laws and treaties". Lee -- who was defending Naver over user criticism for manipulating its news feed -- also alleged that Google hired little compared to the money they made in the country, and that it was skirting taxes by having servers abroad when traffic was comparatively high. Lee also said there is discrimination against local companies towards foreign companies that have not been formerly inspected. Google looked "relatively clean" on news abuse because it has a low web search share in Korea, Lee added.
If you wonder why we need a better way to predict hurricanes, just ask the people of Houston. Authorities knew Hurricane Harvey was heading to south Texas, but forecasters couldn't say precisely which areas would be hardest hit. So, most Houstonians stayed put. The consequences: more than 75 deaths, 30,000 people in shelters and tens of thousands who needed rescuing. And Harvey was just the start.
North Korea had plans to direct a cyber attack against power grids in the United States and successfully launched an attack directed at South Korea's Ministry of Defense, NBC News reported. While the campaign may have failed, the attempts of North Korean hackers to target utility companies presents a growing risk for American companies that are responsible for keeping the lights on for millions of homes across the country. Many power grids operate on a network separate from the public internet, insulating the systems that control the grid from attackers. North Korean hackers were able to successfully infiltrate South Korea's defense ministry and stole a large collection of military documents that purport to detail wartime contingency plans developed by South Korea and the U.S. A total of 235 gigabytes of military documents were reported to be stolen from South Korea's Defense Integrated Data Centre in a breach that took place in September 2016, and 80 percent of those stolen files have yet to be identified.