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Robots & Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial Intelligence News. What is artificial intelligence? The Three Breakthroughs That Have Finally Unleashed AI on the World. A few months ago I made the trek to the sylvan campus of the IBM research labs in Yorktown Heights, New York, to catch an early glimpse of the fast-arriving, long-overdue future of artificial intelligence.

The Three Breakthroughs That Have Finally Unleashed AI on the World

This was the home of Watson, the electronic genius that conquered Jeopardy! In 2011. The original Watson is still here—it’s about the size of a bedroom, with 10 upright, refrigerator-shaped machines forming the four walls. The tiny interior cavity gives technicians access to the jumble of wires and cables on the machines’ backs.

It is surprisingly warm inside, as if the cluster were alive. Today’s Watson is very different. Consumers can tap into that always-on intelligence directly, but also through third-party apps that harness the power of this AI cloud. As AIs develop, we might have to engineer ways to prevent consciousness in them—our most premium AI services will be advertised as consciousness-free. Medicine is only the beginning. Click to Open Overlay Gallery. Are the robots about to rise? Google's new director of engineering thinks so

It's hard to know where to start with Ray Kurzweil.

Are the robots about to rise? Google's new director of engineering thinks so…

With the fact that he takes 150 pills a day and is intravenously injected on a weekly basis with a dizzying list of vitamins, dietary supplements, and substances that sound about as scientifically effective as face cream: coenzyme Q10, phosphatidycholine, glutathione? With the fact that he believes that he has a good chance of living for ever? He just has to stay alive "long enough" to be around for when the great life-extending technologies kick in (he's 66 and he believes that "some of the baby-boomers will make it through"). Or with the fact that he's predicted that in 15 years' time, computers are going to trump people. That they will be smarter than we are. But then everyone's allowed their theories.

And now? But it's what came next that puts this into context. Google has bought almost every machine-learning and robotics company it can find, or at least, rates. And those are just the big deals. So far, so sci-fi. Well, yes. Intelligent Machines: The truth behind AI fiction. Image copyright Thinkstock Artificial intelligence (AI) is the science of making smart machines, and it has come a long way since the term was coined in the 1950s.

Intelligent Machines: The truth behind AI fiction

Nowadays, robots work alongside humans in hotels and factories, while driverless cars are being test driven on the roads. Behind the scenes, AI engines in the form of smart algorithms "work" on stock exchanges, offer up suggestions for books and films on Amazon and Netflix and even write the odd article. But AI does not have the greatest public image - often due to sci-fi films that display dystopian visions of robots taking over the world.

Over the next week, the BBC will be looking into all aspects of artificial intelligence - from how to build a thinking machine, to the ethics of doing so, to questions about whether an AI can ever be creative. For many, the only reference point they have for AI comes from films. Enthusiasts and Skeptics Debate Artificial Intelligence. Kurt Andersen wonders: If the Singularity is near, will it bring about global techno-Nirvana or civilizational ruin?

Enthusiasts and Skeptics Debate Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is suddenly everywhere. It’s still what the experts call “soft A.I.,” but it is proliferating like mad. We’re now accustomed to having conversations with computers: to refill a prescription, make a cable-TV-service appointment, cancel an airline reservation—or, when driving, to silently obey the instructions of the voice from the G.P.S. But until the other morning I’d never initiated an elective conversation with a talking computer. I asked the artificial-intelligence app on my iPhone how old I am. Siri appeared on my phone three years ago, a few months after the IBM supercomputer Watson beat a pair of Jeopardy! Machines performing unimaginably complicated calculations unimaginably fast—that’s what computers have always done. Those questions might seem like the stuff of late-night dorm-room bull sessions. Joy freaked out. First, the politics. Best Robot Science Fiction.