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) …
Disease outbreaks like the coronavirus often unfold too quickly for scientists to find a cure. But in the future, artificial intelligence could help researchers do a better job. While it's probably too late for the fledgling technology to play a major role in the current epidemic, there's hope for the next outbreaks. AI is good at combing through mounds of data to find connections that make it easier to determine what kinds of treatments could work or which experiments to pursue next. The question is what Big Data will come up with when it only gets meager scraps of information on a newly emerged illness like Covid-19, which first emerged late last year in China and has sickened more than 75,000 people in about two months.
Computers using artificial intelligence are discovering medicines, designing better golf clubs and creating video games. Patent offices around the world are grappling with the question of who -- if anyone -- owns innovations developed using AI. The answer may upend what's eligible for protection and who profits as AI transforms entire industries. "There are machines right now that are doing far more on their own than to help an engineer or a scientist or an inventor do their jobs," said Andrei Iancu, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "We will get to a point where a court or legislature will say the human being is so disengaged, so many levels removed, that the actual human did not contribute to the inventive concept."
While most of our attention was drawn to political fireworks and a global pandemic this past week, the titans of technology kept plugging along in their efforts to build a better mousetrap (and make a lot of money doing it). Bloomberg Opinion writers caught up with events in the world of tech: what's new, what's not working, and the questions we need to answer before we get too far ahead of ourselves. Half of Twitter's Users Are Worthless, and That's Good -- Tim Culpan Casper Wasn't Prepared to Leave the Unicorn -- Joe Nocera Tesla Is a Stock-Picking Nightmare. This is the Theme of the Week edition of Bloomberg Opinion Today, a roundup of our top commentary published every Sunday. New subscribers to the newsletter can sign up here.
What happens when the road gets bumpier? Not too long ago, tech enthusiasts were telling us that by 2020, we'd see self-driving cars hit the mainstream, with some 10 million on the roads. That turned out to be a wild overestimation. The actual number of vehicles in testing is thousands of times smaller, and they're still driving mostly in controlled conditions. Companies have also scaled back their ambitions, aiming more for driver support than full autonomy, just as sober-minded transport experts told us to expect.
The European Union is considering new legally binding requirements for developers of artificial intelligence in an effort to ensure modern technology is developed and used in an ethical way. The EU's executive arm is set to propose the new rules apply to "high-risk sectors," such as healthcare and transport, and suggest the bloc updates safety and liability laws, according to a draft of a so-called "white paper" on artificial intelligence obtained by Bloomberg. The European Commission is due to unveil the paper in mid-February and the final version is likely to change. The paper is part of the EU's broader effort to catch up to the U.S. and China on advancements in AI, but in a way that promotes European values such as user privacy. While some critics have long argued that stringent data protection laws like the EU's could hinder innovation around AI, EU officials say harmonizing rules across the region will boost development.
Technology giants are increasingly designing their own semiconductors to optimize everything from artificial intelligence tasks to server performance and mobile battery life. Google has the Tensor Processing Unit, Apple Inc. has the A13 Bionic and Amazon.com What the titans all lack, however, is a factory to build the new chips they are dreaming up. Enter Samsung Electronics Co., which is planning a decade-long, $116 billion push for their business. The South Korean company is investing heavily in the next step in miniaturizing semiconductors, a process called extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV).
That's the verdict of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, whose 36-page paper published Wednesday says the region needs stronger rules governing the use of such technology by states, be it at national borders or in public spaces. "Given the novelty of the technology as well as the lack of experience and detailed studies on the impact of facial recognition technologies, multiple aspects are key to consider before deploying such a system in real life applications," the Vienna-based agency said. The body, which analyzes topics ranging from artificial intelligence to children's rights, put out its report as EU law enforcement authorities multiply facial recognition tests in Berlin, Nice and London and at airports in Amsterdam, Dublin and Paris. The technologies -- developed by private firms and customized for states or companies, have yet to show they are fail-safe. The EU's new Commission, whose mandate begins in December, has among its goals a plan to build a "Europe fit for the Digital Age."
We are living in an exciting time, where software and machine learning are rapidly changing the way we approach work. For some industries, artificial intelligence will destroy job opportunities, but for other industries, it will revolutionize productivity. How will photography and the retouching world fare as editing software begins using this exciting technology? Here at Fstoppers, we are constantly testing and exploring the latest and greatest photo-editing software for photographers. Last week, Skylum released a new software suite called Luminar 4, which helps photographers automate their post-production workflow.
Of all the emerging technologies that will change our daily lives, none has more transformative potential than artificial intelligence. And AI -- the use of computers to solve problems that would normally require natural, or human, intelligence -- will also have a profound effect on the global balance of economic and military power. It will change how societies are governed and people are ruled. Debates about whether China or the U.S. will dominate the 21st century are thus necessarily debates about who will lead in AI innovation, and whether democratic or authoritarian systems are better suited to that challenge. A new report from the bipartisan National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence contains reason for cautious optimism on that latter question, even as it reminds us that an authoritarian China will be a formidable competitor indeed.
Experimental self-driving car, based on modified Ford automobile, with Lidar and other sensors ... [ ] visible, in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, California, June 10, 2019. Testing self-driving vehicles on public roads remains a scary prospect for citizens of communities where that's happening but a six-month old consortium of major automakers and ride-share companies has taken a step towards removing some of that fear, by addressing the human element. An operator sits in the driver's seat of a Toyota Motor Corp. Prius hybrid car, operated by ... [ ] Yandex.Taxi, part of Yandex.NV, during a self-driving taxi trial on open roads in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. Yandex, Russia's largest search engine that successfully expanded to online taxi and swallowed Uber Technologies Inc. operations in the country, started testing self-driving cars in 2017. The humans are what's known as in-vehicle fallback test drivers.