Ginni Rometty, the chairman and CEO of IBM, spoke about the future of artificial intelligence at the World of Watson event, designed to showcase the “ecosystem” of innovation happening around Watson, IBM’s signature artificial-intelligence system.
“In the future, every decision that mankind makes is going to be informed by a cognitive system like Watson,” she said; “and our lives will be better for it.”
Business Insider calls it a “bold prediction.” But I think we can go one better:
In the future, mankind’s most important decisions will be made by informed, cognitive systems like Watson, and our lives will be better for it.Continue reading
Ever stop to think about humans’ state of affairs with artificial intelligence (A.I.)? It’s a lot like a girl who’s fallen in love with a charming, attractive man who is also a serial killer: She is aware that he is dangerous, maybe even lethal; but she forces herself to love him anyway, trusting that her faith in his inner goodness will win out in the end and not leave her in a shallow grave in little, hacked-up pieces.
Or, rather, that’s how our relationship with A.I. could be; in actual fact, we stay with A.I. because we need its help, but we expect it’s going to turn and hack us up any second now. Continue reading
I had the chance to see the new movie Ex Machina (pronounced: Ex Ma-Khi-na) in a sort of “boutique” theater, the ArcLight Theater in Bethesda. The ArcLight presents a more upscale theater-going experience, which turned out to be perfect for Ex Machina, as it’s an upscale telling of the “humans vs A.I.” theme that is usually represented (crudely) by the Terminator franchise, (genocidally) by Galactica or (lightly) by Star Trek.
And for “upscale,” how did it do? Masterfully. Overall, a five-star experience—if you’re okay with science fiction movies that don’t feature space ships and ‘splosions and ask you to use more than five brain cells at a time. (Oh, yeah, there’s a bit of sexual language and nudity, so leave the kids at home.)
Invasive technologies, by definition, tend to have the most initial resistance to their introduction to society. It can be hard to imagine a future world in which new and sometimes disturbing, often painfully-disruptive technologies come to be accepted, even common, parts of our lives.
Sarcology, recently updated and re-released, depicts a future world full of these invasive technologies, making it easy for the reader to question the likelihood and desirability of this future reality.
But given time, and often contrary to public perception, we have seen that even the most invasive of tech can overcome initial resistance and become accepted, even ubiquitous, in society.Continue reading
Robot. Sentience. They are two words that, when considered at the surface, don’t seem to be able to go together. After all, a robot is a mechanical creation, generally considered incapable of sentience, or full self-awareness. We specifically use the word “robot” to imply that the machine cannot have sentience; a robot is a clockwork thing.
When we try to suggest that a mechanical creation has sentience, we tend to immediately rename it. Cyborg. Android. Replicant. Synthezoid. We distance ourselves from the word “robot,” and seek to redefine the creation to stand for something beyond its mechanical parts.
Is it because we want to keep the concept of “robots” as simple things? Or is it because we see sentience as being beyond mechanical creations? Do we see sentience as requiring some special spark that robots are incapable of? Continue reading
Her, Spike Jonze’s new movie, is at once unique… and not. Which seems to be an odd thing to say regarding a movie about a man who falls in love with his computer. But the seemingly strange relationship is not nearly as original as it might seem. Continue reading
One of the favorite discussions amongst sci-fi fans, scientists, computer experts and roboticists is the idea that artificial intelligence, or AI, will someday become so smart that it will “kill all the humans” and take over the world. The trope has led to innumerable books, movies, papers, games and debates, and keeps everyone looking sideways at their computers whenever they do something unexpected. It has arguably become the largest source of mass paranoia in the industrialized world, now surpassing our distrust of government.
And it’s fun to talk about, whether we expect it to happen or not. Continue reading
Quantum physicist David Deutsch has penned an article for Aeon Magazine that examines the concept that artificial general intelligence (AGI) on a par with human intelligence is possible, given the assumption that any physical model—even the very movements and actions of atoms—can be emulated by mechanical means. Continue reading