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) …
Ever since I was a boy, I was fascinated by the idea of miniaturization. I read Isaac Asimov's Fantastic Voyage and then, when I finally got my hands on the movie, I probably watched it a dozen times. The premise was that a team of scientists were miniaturized to the point where they could be injected into a person and perform surgery from the inside. Another movie with a similar premise was InnerSpace, starring the incredibly well-matched team of Martin Short and Dennis Quaid. There was the whole Honey, I Shrunk the Kids series of movies and TV shows, and I ate them up as well.
From the author: "Loose Ends" is a literary supercut composed entirely of last lines from 137 science fiction and fantasy books. After gathering these lines, I found they fell into a number of patterns--some surprising, others obvious--in how writers end their stories. With these patterns in hand, I arranged them into a sequence of interconnected vignettes. In these ways "Loose Ends" doubles as narrative and archive, short story and data analysis. To read a version that reveals the names of the books, click here.
Recently, the Guardian, one of the UK's most popular outlets, released an op ed with a provocative title: "A robot wrote this entire article. Are you scared yet, human?". Overall, the essay held together unexpectedly well, despite some simple language and repetition, giving it an eerie self referential quality– an AI telling us why we shouldn't be afraid of AI. The essay wasn't created by a robot per se, but by a new piece of software called GPT-3, a text generation AI engine created by San Francisco based Open AI. Not only has the new release raised eyebrows (MIT's Technology Review called it "shockingly good") but it has re-surfaced a question that has been explored in popular fiction starting with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in the nineteenth century all the way up to modern sci fi classics like Blade Runner and more recently, HBO's Westworld, where robots that are indistinguishable from humans escape from their sheltered theme park world that they were created for, causing havoc.
Paul Epworth is behind some of the biggest pop records of the last 20 years, from Adele's Rolling in the Deep to Florence and the Machine's Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up). Along the way he's worked with Rihanna, Stormzy, Sir Paul McCartney, Coldplay and U2 - and he won an Oscar for co-writing the Bond theme Skyfall. But now, after years behind the scenes, the producer is releasing his first solo album. Voyager, a journey into deep space, fuses influences from classic sci-fi movies with his love of musical explorers like David Bowie, George Clinton, Wendy Carlos and Jean-Michel Jarre. "It's a sort of '70s space concept album, which is a bit of a cliché as a producer - to make something that ostentatious and overblown," he told BBC News. "But I've tried to frame it in a modern way, so I've got some great singers and rappers on it."
Mark Macias is the Founder of MACIAS PR, named 2017-2019 Strategic PR Firm of the Year and 2015-2017 Financial PR Firm of the Year. Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere, so you knew it was only a matter of time before a PR agency tried to package it for public relations. But can AI help get stories in the news or is it just a new agency spin to stand out from the crowd? A few years ago, the co-founder of a major retail startup (think competitor to Amazon and Walmart) asked me why PR doesn't use AI for media strategy. He told me how AI was helping his startup sell shoes and clothes, predicting which products would be best sellers.
The planet Arrakis is in for quite a shake-up. The first trailer for the upcoming sci-fi movie Dune, adapted from the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert, is an impressive and immense-feeling look at the first of two parts of the space epic. We get glimpses at the cast in action, including Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, the heir to House Atreides; the harsh deserts of Arrakis, where the invaluable spice Melange (a sci-fi super-drug) is found; some spaceships; and that most iconic of Dune imagery: a massive sandworm. Dune is directed by Denis Villeneuve, and you can feel his touch in this trailer with its similar feel to previous movies Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival. Dune is scheduled to release on Dec. 18.
"Artificial Gods," a collection of stories about artificial intelligence, has been published by New Star Press. It includes 14 tales by 12 Chinese science fiction writers, including some Galaxy Award winners such as "Where the Wind Starts" by Zhang Ran, "Gate of the Machines" by Jiang Bo and "Previous Dusk" by Luo Longxiang. All the stories are about the relationship between humans and AI and worries about a future with AI. In the stories, AI can be a powerful destroyer or an innocent creature. Artificial intelligence is a popular theme for science fiction.
In SB Divya's 2016 novella Runtime, nominated for the prestigious Nebula Award for science fiction, a gritty, under-equipped young tech genius competes with the most advanced cyborgs in a challenging multi-terrain marathon set in the distant future. As the protagonist battles the elements, pain and even betrayal equipped only in gear put together from other people's garbage, the gripping, fast-paced narrative brings up issues relevant to the present world: economic inequality, corporate monopoly, and social injustice. There are other thought-provoking, absorbing stories in Divya's 2019 collection Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse (Hachette, Rs 399), which is full of fantastical situations, genderless, ageless humans and brilliant machines – a must-read not just for fans of sci-fi but anyone who loves a good book. "Most of my ideas tend to be mashups of different elements in real life. The technological inspiration often comes from science and technology, because I love to read up on the latest research and developments. I draw the human and social elements from observations about my life or news items," says the 44-year-old US-based author, who worked for 20 years as an electrical engineer before becoming an author.
Katie Mack, an assistant professor of physics at North Carolina State University, is quickly becoming one of the internet's most popular science communicators. In her first book, The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking), she explores various scenarios for the end of the universe. "I noticed that when I gave public talks and talked about the end of the universe, that was something that people got really excited about," Mack says in Episode 430 of the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast. "It was something that I thought I could have a lot of fun with, and I did. I really enjoyed writing this book."
Scientists have demonstrated tiny boats that float upside down underneath a levitating layer of liquid in an amazing quirk of physics. Researchers in Paris were investigating the effect of vertical shaking, which can be used to suspend a layer of liquid in mid-air. Not only was the layer of liquid able to float on a suspended cushion of air, but small model boats floated on the bottom surface, thanks to intense air pressure. This counter-intuitive behaviour is a result of the constant vibrations, which change the forces acting on the floating object. This case of'reverse-buoyancy' might have a practical uses in transporting materials through fluids and separating pollutants from water.