When artificial intelligence systems start getting creative, they can create great things – and scary ones. Take, for instance, an AI program that let web users compose music along with a virtual Johann Sebastian Bach by entering notes into a program that generates Bach-like harmonies to match them.
Some people suggest these tasks should be automated, as machines do not get bored, tired or distracted over time. However, computer vision algorithms tasked to recognize faces could also make mistakes. As my research has found, together, machines and humans could do much better.
For most people today, robots and smart systems are servants that work in the background, vacuuming carpets or turning lights on and off. Or they’re machines that have taken over repetitive human jobs from assembly-line workers and bank tellers. But the technologies are getting good enough that machines will be able work alongside people as teammates – much as human-dog teams handle tasks like hun...[Read More]
The future won’t be made by either humans or machines alone – but by both, working together. Technologies modelled on how human brains work are already augmenting people’s abilities, and will only get more influential as society gets used to these increasingly capable machines. Technology optimists have envisioned a world with rising human productivity and quality of life as artificial intelligenc...[Read More]
In 1998, Google began humbly, formally incorporated in a Menlo Park garage, providing search results from a server housed in Lego bricks. It had a straightforward goal: make the poorly indexed World Wide Web accessible to humans. Its success was based on an algorithm that analyzed the linking structure of the internet itself to evaluate what web pages are most reputable and useful. But founders Se...[Read More]
Imagine you live in a smart city that knows your face and follows your every move – the places you go, the people you see, and all of the things you do along the way. Over time, autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) builds a profile that reports on how likely you are to commit a crime. When that risk is high, the police take pre-emptive action. Welcome to hyper-surveillance and the next generati...[Read More]
The premise of Philip K Dick’s famous novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, first published in March 1968, is that empathy defines our humanness. The novel and the movie directly inspired by it – Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner – describe androids that are indistinguishable from humans and can be exposed only through the Voight-Kampff empathy test, a kind of lie detector. In the novel – which is...[Read More]
Much of the push toward self-driving cars has been underwritten by the hope that they will save lives by getting involved in fewer crashes with fewer injuries and deaths than human-driven cars. But so far, most comparisons between human drivers and automated vehicles have been at best uneven, and at worst, unfair. The statistics measuring how many crashes occur are hard to argue with: More than 90...[Read More]
We all want to know how many jobs will be threatened by the rise of robots and technology. You might feel vulnerable if your job is one that could be affected. But thanks to a new report, 27% of the 160 million people in the United States labour force can breathe easier knowing their jobs are safer than they thought. That’s 43 million living, breathing and working people in America. By extension, ...[Read More]
Any child (or spouse) who has been scolded for their tone of voice – such as shouting or being sarcastic – knows that the way you speak to someone can be just as important as the words that you use. Voice artists and actors make great use of this – they are skilled at imparting meaning in the way that they speak, sometimes much more than the words alone would merit. But just how much information i...[Read More]
The technologies driving artificial intelligence are expanding exponentially, leading many technology experts and futurists to predict machines will soon be doing many of the jobs that humans do today. Some even predict humans could lose control over their future. While we agree about the seismic changes afoot, we don’t believe this is the right way to think about it. Approaching the challenge thi...[Read More]