The future of computers and artificial intelligence.
As seen in: Virus, Mass Effect, Halo, a million and one others…
“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that…”
“…Skynet becomes self aware.”
“Oh God I’m so depressed…”
“Hey be careful there’s two of us in here now remember!”
For bonus geek points, match the above quotes to the famous A.Is (Answers at the end of the article).
What is AI anyway?
Man… how do you define A.I? To begin with how do we define actual intelligence? Tough call really, but the idea most people settle for is that an AI should have the ability to do several things that life forms are able to do. They should be able to learn, they should be able to interact, and they should be able to expand beyond the confines of their creation. What is intelligence if not the ability to learn, adapt, and thrive?
What we’re leaving out here of course is sentience; the ability to recognize ones own existence. It’s very likely that the first A.Is might have no concept of their own existence at all, and possibly behave more like animals (and posses a similar level of intelligence). The other thing we need to look at is Artificial Life, this is essentially a very complex AI that behaves as a living creature, and in theory can fulfill all of the scientific prerequisites of life: Movement (from one computer to another, or a robotic frame), Reproduction (sharing code to create a new AI with characteristics of its parents), Sensitivity (the ability to be aware of surroundings), Nutrition (could electrical consumption count?), Excretion (harder one, but exhaust from a robotic body?), Respiration, (Combustion?), and Growth (As it learns it will take up more space on a disk drive right?).
AI in reality
But I’m getting ahead of myself and jumping into the world of philosophy. Lets have a look at a video shall we? This video explains a few of the most important concepts of future computing including the collapse of Moore’s law, and Quantum computing (Which we will cover later):
Now, Kaku was talking about how our current robots have the intelligence of a retarded cockroach. This is illustrated in the next video that I’m going to show you, which comes from the TED conference, and is delivered by Hod Lipson. In this video he demonstrates how he has built several robots, and rather than programming them how to move, or even in one case how they should be built, he has let the Robots figure it out for themselves.