The Future of Artificial Intelligence
by Chris Moy
Page 1 of 2
So what is Artificial Intelligence anyways?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is going to get some significant exposure with
the advent of Steven Spielberg’s new movie "AI" being released this summer. It
is about a 13 year old boy who in actuality is a superhuman computer. With this
amount of exposure to the AI field it is useful to explain what AI is, where AI
is today and what some of the dilemmas that face the future of AI.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be defined as the simulation of human
intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. This domain
predominantly been a field characterized by complex research in laboratory
environments and just only recently has been becoming a part of the landscape
technology in commercial applications.
There has been a lot of discussion concerning the philosophy of Artificial
Intelligence and it’s future role in our small and getting smaller world. With
the Internet and the PC becoming so commonplace people are now asking the
question "What next?"
Well, Artificial Intelligence about to become a real force in our
technological evolution. There has been so much development and change in the
last 10 years that it is hard to believe how far we have come but there is
to be another technical revolution going on…and it will be about AI.
Questions surrounding AI
There are a lot of questions however about AI that over time will need to be
addressed. Besides some of the challenging technical questions that are imposed
on this field there are also some ethical and moral dilemmas that cannot be
ignored. Some of the these questions include:
To what extent will intelligent machines be a part of our lives?
- Can machines be built to be self-aware?
- Are we even capable of modeling machines with such intelligence?
- If so, how would we control it?
- Who would really have the power?
- What makes us think that we could even consider building such a machine?
- What are the major technological hurdles?
The Holy Grail of AI
The holy grail of AI is to create machines that can truly mimic the human
brain in the way it thinks, responds and interacts. Whether or not this can
truly happen is really unclear and a subject of intense debate. But one thing
becoming very clear: The hardware is starting to catch up to us.
If you take all of today’s computers and sum them together you
will end up with the equivalent intellectual power of 1x1017x
which is what one human brain is capable of processing. Sounds
like us humans are in good shape from the perspective, right? Wrong. With
computer power increasing exponentially and doubling every 18 months or so
computers are catching up quickly. At the current rate, it will be
2021 when computers will have the equivalent processing power of all humans on
this planet combined!!
Can true AI ever be accomplished?
With all that processing power should we make plans for machines to replace
humans as the most powerful creature roaming the earth? Well, certainly not in
our lifetime and perhaps never. There are numerous reasons for this. The
argument against developing true machine intelligence is the argument of
evolution. Machines have not undergone the rigors of survival for millions of
years the way humans have. The way we interact, think, respond and adapt are
developmental phases that are critical our intellectual dominance. This process
hundreds of millions of years to evolve and the failures along the way are
critical to our ultimate intellectual capacity and will be a major hurdle in
efforts to develop a truly artificially intelligent machine.
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