For a sci-fi fan like me, fascinated by the nature of human intelligence and the possibility of building life-like robots, it’s always interesting to find a new angle on these questions. As a re-imagining of the original 1970s science fiction film set in a cowboy-themed, hyper-real adult theme park populated by robots that look and act like people, Westworld does not disappoint.
Sarah Hensley is preparing an astronaut named Valkyrie for a mission to Mars. It is 6 feet tall, weighs 300 pounds, and is equipped with an extended chest cavity that makes it look distinctly female. Hensley spends much of her time this semester analyzing the movements of one of Valkyrie’s arms.
When President Barack Obama agreed to guest-edit the November issue of WIRED, he selected MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito for an exchange of ideas about artificial intelligence (AI). Their recent interview at the White House is featured in the latest online issue of WIRED, published on Oct. 12.
The one-on-one conversation, moderated by WIRED Editor-in-Chief Scott Dadich, ran the gamut of topics at the intersection of societal needs, ethics, and technology — from cybersecurity to self-driving cars; from the roles of government, industry, and academia to the lack of diversity in tech; from “moonshot” motivations to innovation at the margins; and from neurodiversity to Star Trek. All this was covered in the context of AI and extended intelligence (EI), which uses machine learning to augment human capabilities.
While the future of artificial intelligence is probably going to be driven by Silicon Valley, the folks in Washington DC want their say about how it will work, too.
In two reports, the White House outlined its strategy for promoting artificial intelligence research and development in the US. While most of the bigger questions were punted to future legislators (“more research is needed” is a key phrase), the executive branch did draw some lines in the sand. And most importantly to the research community, the White House is not pushing for AI to be broadly regulated—instead, the use of the technology will be held to specific standards in the automotive, aviation, and finance industries.
How will artificial intelligence change the world of work? The Economistis holding a Facebook Live Q&A with their Deputy Editor on Tuesday, September 13, 4pm London time. You can watch, listen, and tune in on their Facebook page, here.
Researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) software that reliably interprets mammograms, assisting doctors with a quick and accurate prediction of breast cancer risk. The AI computer software intuitively translates patient charts into diagnostic information at 30 times human speed and with 99 percent accuracy.
Cooperation is one of the hallmarks of being human. We are extremely social compared to other species. On a regular basis, we all enter into helping others in small but important ways, whether it be letting someone out in traffic or giving a tip for good service.
We do this without any guarantee of payback. Donations are made at a small personal cost but with a bigger benefit to the recipient. This form of cooperation, or donation to others, is called indirect reciprocity and helps human society to thrive.
Scientists in Japan reportedly saved a woman’s life by applying artificial intelligence to help them diagnose a rare form of cancer. Faced with a 60-year-old woman whose cancer diagnosis was unresponsive to treatment, they supplied an AI system with huge amounts of clinical cancer case data, and it diagnosed the rare leukemia that had stumped the clinicians in just ten minutes.
Stories about racist Twitter accounts and crashing self-driving cars can make us think that artificial intelligence (AI) is a work in progress. But while these headline-grabbing mistakes reveal the frontiers of AI, versions of this technology are already invisibly embedded in many systems that we use everyday.
Frank Chen, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, the Silicon Valley venture capital and private equity firm, said, “It is absolutely non-controversial that deep learning is the most fundamental advance in AI research since the start [of A.I.] in 1956.”
Julie Wosk is the author of a provocative book that gives the history of female robots in movies, television, art, literature, and includes a chapter on robotics. My Fair Ladies: Female Robots, Androids, and Other Artificial Eves (Rutgers University Press) features the way men have used science and technology to create their idea of “The Perfect Woman” — women like the beautiful robots in The Stepford Wives that are always sexually available and love to cook and clean. The book also highlights today’s women in robotics who are challenging the old stereotypes by using their skills and expertise to develop personal robots for the future. Here is a short statement from the author and excerpt from her chapter, “Dancing With Robots and Women in Robotics Design.”