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) …
Tesla privately admitted to a California regulator that CEO Elon Musk has been exaggerating plans to have fully-autonomous self-driving cars on the road by 2022. The acknowledgment was revealed in a summary of answers to questions put to the company by with the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. They were released by legal transparency group PlainSite, and first reported by The Verge. During an earnings call in January, Musk told investors he was'highly confident the car will be able to drive itself with reliability in excess of human this year,' reported The Verge. That call came five months after Musk told an AI conference in Shanghai that he was'confident' of producing a fully self-driving car by the end of 2020.
A team of Uber AI researchers has developed a set of algorithms, Go-Explore, that reportedly beats any Atari 2600 game with "superhuman" scores, including ones where AI previously had trouble besting its organic rivals. The key is a system that takes care to remember promising states and returns to those states before it sets out exploring. Go-Explore saw improvement by "orders of magnitude" in some games. It was the first to beat every level in Montezuma's Revenge, and got a "near-perfect" Pitfall score -- both of these are particularly challenging for reinforcement learning systems like this. DeepMind's Agent57 reached a similar benchmark, according to the team's Jeff Clune, but through "entirely different methods."
Two 40-year old robots returned to the big screen this year: handy mechanic droid R2-D2 of the Star Wars Rebel Alliance and the terrifying Terminator. The latter has been used by many headline writers as a metaphor for the perceived risk that automation will destroy human jobs. But in 2020, we will see that the real future of work lies with R2-D2, whose strength is his ability to work alongside humans and enhance their performance. Next year will be the year of augmentation technology. Our fears about automation come down to three factors: machines will execute tasks more efficiently; machine learning will enable artificial intelligence (AI) to make complex decisions more effectively; and technology companies will sell software and algorithms to replace slow and distractible people with fast and focused machines.
Over the past year, this column has celebrated female technologists of all disciplines and from across a wide range of industries. Nearly all of them have mentioned the growing importance of Artificial Intelligence or machine learning to their work. Importantly, those same women all reinforced the need to engage more females in positions relative to AI – both to aid in its unbiased application and to optimize its use in business and society. So, as we look ahead to the trends and technologies that will likely dominate this next year and decade, it makes sense to begin by unpacking how AI might continue its march forward and the opportunities it will create for female entrepreneurs, engineers, marketers, and others. From email marketing to financial services, women tech leaders expect AI and machine learning to continue augmenting businesses' abilities to improve scale, efficiency, and – in some cases – impact.
The entire written works of mankind in all languages from the beginning of recorded history is around 50 petabytes. One petabyte is about 20 million four drawer filing cabinets filled with text. Google processes about 20 petabytes per day so in three days they would have processed everything we have written – ever. Meanwhile, data centres now annually consume as much energy as Sweden. By 2025 they'll consume a fifth of all of Earth's power.
The Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures could prevent law enforcement from applying increasingly sophisticated surveillance and predictive policing technology, including "superhuman" methods employing artificial intelligence, according to a professor at the University of California-Davis School of Law. In an essay published in the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Elizabeth E. Joh argues that the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carpenter v United States established a precedent for using the Fourth Amendment to limit the use of emerging technology, ranging from drones that help patrol borders to predictive-analytic software that can determine when and where the next crime will occur. In that landmark case, decided this summer, the Court ruled law enforcement cannot access citizens' cellphone location records without a search warrant. Although the decision focused on whether information held by "third parties" such as cellphone providers was subject to privacy protections guaranteed under the Constitution, Joh said it also touched on the changing "nature of policing" specifically the technologically enhanced means law enforcement can now exploit to gather information in the cyber era. In the Carpenter case, justices were asked to rule on whether FBI agents sidestepped their constitutional obligations to show "probable cause" for obtaining a search warrant to retrieve the locational data of a suspected serial robber's cellphone to prove he was near the scene of stores in the Detroit area where thefts had occurred.
An article published by Hackernoon months ago was able to bring some sense to the hype about AI replacing all of our jobs. The article made the compelling argument that technological advances throughout the course of history have never resulted in massive unemployment rates. From the Industrial Revolution, to the Internet, technology actually has been responsible for creating new and better jobs for us. From steam machines liberating millions of children from working in the garment industry, to the service economy bringing about more humane jobs, innovation has been on the side of humanity all along. The article claims that the present AI revolution is not an exception.
AI has definitively beaten humans at another of our favorite games. A poker bot, designed by researchers from Facebook's AI lab and Carnegie Mellon University, has bested some of the world's top players in a series of games of six-person no-limit Texas Hold'em poker. Over 12 days and 10,000 hands, the AI system named Pluribus faced off against 12 pros in two different settings. In one, the AI played alongside five human players; in the other, five versions of the AI played with one human player (the computer programs were unable to collaborate in this scenario). Pluribus won an average of $5 per hand with hourly winnings of around $1,000 -- a "decisive margin of victory," according to the researchers.
Computer scientists have developed a card-playing bot, called Pluribus, capable of defeating some of the world's best players at six-person no-limit Texas hold'em poker, in what's considered an important breakthrough in artificial intelligence. Two years ago, a research team from Carnegie Mellon University developed a similar poker-playing system, called Libratus, which consistently defeated the world's best players at one-on-one Heads-Up, No-Limit Texas Hold'em poker. The creators of Libratus, Tuomas Sandholm and Noam Brown, have now upped the stakes, unveiling a new system capable of playing six-player no-limit Texas hold'em poker, a wildly popular version of the game. In a series of contests, Pluribus handedly defeated its professional human opponents, at a level the researchers described as "superhuman." When pitted against professional human opponents with real money involved, Pluribus managed to collect winnings at an astounding rate of $1,000 per hour.
Welcome to Engadget's newest series, Hitting the Books. With less than one in five Americans reading just for fun these days, we've done the hard work for you by scouring the internet for the most interesting, thought provoking books on science and technology we can find and delivering an easily digestible nugget of their stories. Modern tech culture has long been enamored with the mythos of the lone genius achieving superhuman status (a la The Matrix). Whether it's Jack Dorsey's self flagellating dietary restrictions, Peter Thiel's obsession with "young blood" transfusions, or Tim Ferris' outright maniacal 4-hour self improvement regimens, if you're a wealthy white guy in Silicon Valley and not trying to live forever, you're doing it wrong. But for all the Bond villain-esque grifters selling the promise of eternal youth in 12 easy steps, a dedicated cadre of technologists have spent years investigating how we might actually achieve Ray Kurtweil's predicted singularity.