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) …
Today, we are no longer confined to what nature or natural intelligence must offer. From the steam engine to electricity and digital transformations to artificial intelligence, molecular manufacturing and bioengineering, each new transformative innovation has brought us a new (man-made) way of doing things in ways that nature did not provide for. As new ways of manufacturing and production are emerging, they are taking away an ever-increasing number of tasks and roles previously performed by a human labor force. Furthermore, the automation, self-improvement, self-replication and distributed nature of the manufacturing processes are producing products and goods at a minimal cost. As a result, each of these existing and emerging technologies, individually and collectively, will likely one day eliminate the need for human labor for production of goods and services--shaking the very fundamentals of economics as we know today.
Marx argued that under capitalism, everyone must work to live. We have some freedom to chose what type of work we do. But few of us have the choice not to work at all. Most of us need to find some particular task(s) we can do in exchange for a wage. And we cannot just walk away if we do not like it.
In 2015, all 193 member countries of the United Nations ratified the 2030 "Sustainable Development Goals" (SDG): a call to action to "end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity." The 17 goals – shown in the chart below – are measured against 169 targets, set on a purposefully aggressive timeline. The first of these targets, for example, is: "by 2030, [to] eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day". The UN emphasizes that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) will be critical in the pursuit of these ambitious targets. Rapid advances in technologies which have only really emerged in the past decade – such as the internet of things (IoT), blockchain, and advanced network connectivity – have exciting SDG applications.
Welcome to Source Notes, a new Future Tense column in which Stephen Harrison explores Wikipedia, digital knowledge, and the search for a fact-based world. When I'm getting ready in the mornings, I often ask my Amazon Echo for the weather forecast or a flash news briefing. Lately, though, I've been experimenting with something else: "Computer, give me a quote." The Daily Quotes skill for Echo and other Alexa devices promises "quotes from celebrities and prominent figures to bring you a daily dose of fun and motivation." Rather than offering specific advice, the quotes usually speak to general inspirational themes like dreaming big and the value of persistence.
Killer robots should be banned to prevent them wiping out humanity, the world's largest gathering of scientists was told yesterday. While full-blown android soldiers remain the stuff of science fiction, advances in artificial intelligence mean machines with the power to select and attack targets without human input could soon be developed. Such robots represent the'third revolution' in warfare after gunpowder and nuclear weapons, scientists and campaigners told the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting in Washington DC. Scientists have said that'killer robots' should be banned to prevent them wiping out humanity Mary Wareham, from the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, said: 'Bold leadership is needed for a treaty. Backers include UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has called autonomous weapons'politically unacceptable and morally repugnant'.
Human extinction may be the stuff of nightmares but there are many ways in which it could happen. Popular culture tends to focus on only the most spectacular possibilities: think of the hurtling asteroid of the film Armageddon or the alien invasion of Independence Day. While a dramatic end to humanity is possible, focusing on such scenarios may mean ignoring the most serious threats we face in today's world. And it could be that we are able to do something about these. In 1815 an eruption of Mount Tambora, in Indonesia, killed more than 70,000 people, while hurling volcanic ash into the upper atmosphere.
Killer robots are a'grave threat to humanity' and should be banned, the world's largest gathering of scientists was told. As yet, robot soldiers and security guards armed with lethal weapons are largely science fiction concepts. But advances in artificial intelligence mean it is only a matter of time before robots with the power to select and attack targets without human input become widespread. Killer robots, similar to the Terminator played by Arnold Schwarzenegger (pictured), are a'grave threat to humanity' and should be banned, the world's largest gathering of scientists was told (stock image) Scientists and human rights campaigners told the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington DC lethal droids able to select targets without human help represent the'third revolution' in warfare after gun powder and nuclear weapons. Just as international agreements greatly restricted the use of landmines, similar international agreements should be used to prevent robotic killers becoming established.
Vatican City-Pope Francis debated the potential threats artificial intelligence poses to humanity with the head of Microsoft on Wednesday, ahead of a robotics summit at the Vatican, it said. "In the wrong hands, every instrument can become a weapon if the organisational power of humanity cannot keep up with the technology itself," Microsoft head Brad Smith said in an interview ahead of the papal meeting. With Francis he discussed "artificial intelligence at the service of the common good and activities aimed at bridging the digital divide that still persists at the global level," the Vatican said. The pontiff had urged world leaders gathered in Davos last year to ensure that AI "contribute(s) to the service of humanity and to the protection of our common home, rather than to the contrary". Smith told the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano newspaper that "in order to ensure people have confidence in technology, we must think beyond the technology itself".
The swipe is about as casual a gesture as it gets. On Tinder, Bumble and every copycat dating app, choices are made in the blink of an eye. You're not making definitive decisions about this stream full of faces; it's more a question "could this person be hot if we match, if they have something interesting to say, if they're not a creep and we're a few drinks in?" You feel so far removed from the process of dating at this stage, let alone a relationship, that swiping is simply a game. When you swipe, the future of the human race is quite literally at your fingertips.
Last night, LG gave their Keynote Address of CES 2019, presented by LG's President and Chief Technology Officer, IP Park. The focus of the Keynote was on AI and how it can be put to use making your life better by taking over the time-consuming day to day task. Other speakers were invited onstage during the address to flesh out the theme of the Keynote. Peter Diamandis, MD, Founder and Executive Chairman of XPRIZE Foundation, was the first guest to speak and he spoke about how with all the horrible things in the news, there has never been a better time to be alive in human history. Conflicts are down, life expectancy is way up, and extreme poverty is rapidly declining.