Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently one of the hottest buzzwords and with good reason. The idea of inanimate objects coming to life as intelligent beings has been around for a long time. The ancient Greeks had myths about robots and Chinese and Egyptian engineers built automatons.
The field of AI wasn’t formally founded until 1956, at a conference at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, where the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ was coined. MIT cognitive scientist Marvin Minsky and others who attended the conference were extremely optimistic about Al’s future.
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Minsky is quoted as saying in a book ‘AI: The Tumultuous Search for Artificial Intelligence’. We now live in the age of big data,’ an age in which we have the capacity to collect huge sums of information too cumbersome for a person to process. The application of artificial intelligence in this regard has already been quite fruitful in several industries such as technology, banking, marketing and entertainment.
These days, machines are even calling me! One could imagine interacting with an expert system in a fluid conversation or having a conversation in two different languages being translated in real time. We can also expect to see driverless cars on the road in the next twenty years (and that is conservative).
In the long term, the goal is general intelligence, that is a machine that surpasses human cognitive abilities in all tasks. It seems inconceivable that this would be accomplished in the next 50 years. We need to have a serious conversation about machine policy and ethics.