You and AI (Artificial Intelligence)

This evening (Sunday 28th October 2018) I have the pleasure of getting to see “You and AI” as part of the Manchester Science Festival 2018. From the website:

” You can call me AI. Join the Royal Society as they put Artificial Intelligence under the microscope. Physicist, author and broadcaster Jim Al Khalili will be hosting the debate, which explores whether AI can increase our capacity to understand the mysteries of the universe and tackle some of our most pressing real-world challenges. Get your thinking caps on, as you’ll be invited to put your questions to a very special lineup of people in the know and discover just how far the boundaries of AI are being pushed.

We’re excited to confirm the panel lineup for the night will be:

  • Professor Jim Al Khalili, OBE FRS FInstP
  • Dr Ewa Luger, University of Edinburgh
  • Dame Wendy Hall DBE FRS FREng, University of Southampton
  • Professor Neil Lawrence, University of Sheffield and Amazon”

This event has been put together by the Royal Society as they look at Artificial Intelligence (AI). I am looking forward to this as I have an interest in technology (hence my website) and also enjoy hearing how other people think technology will develop/how humanity will use technology.

In recent weeks an AI created painting has been sold (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/technology-45827813/ai-painting-to-go-under-the-hammer) and Pepper, an AI bot, has given evidence in UK Parliament (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qc6koaHJVgw) :

AI could be a great opportunity to increase our ability to process knowledge, interact with technology and explore new methods to discover the world (and universe) around us.

However, in my opinion there is also discussion that needs to take place around the ethics of AI, the use of AI in weapons and the purpose/worth of human jobs if they can be done by AI (for example, is it worth humans learning skills that AI has already mastered?).

AI have defeated humans at both Chess and Go:

In the 1950’s Alan Turing created the “Turing Test“, which is a method to test a machines ability to display behaviour like a human. The machine would communicate with a human and see if the human could tell if it was/was not communicating with a machine. There have been reports of machines beating the Turing Test:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-duplex-beat-the-turing-test-are-we-doomed/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/08/super-computer-simulates-13-year-old-boy-passes-turing-test

My interest with AI started via science fiction, with authors like Isaac Asimov defining the laws of robotics and Iain BanksCulture universe populated by AI. Of course, in science fiction not all AI is good and most AI based science fiction sees the AI hurting humanity (e.g. Terminator, Alien, 2001, Eagle Eye) sometimes due to conflicting programming, other times due to bad plot holes.

Hopefully the Royal Society event will open more discussion up on AI and also bring some enlightenment.

For more information on Artificial Intelligence see:

Wikipedia; article on what AI is – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_intelligence

The Guardian; topics page on AI including discussions – https://www.theguardian.com/technology/artificialintelligenceai

 

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