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Progress in Artificial Intelligence

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Progress in artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence applications have been used in a wide range of fields including medical diagnosis, stock trading, robot control, law, scientific discovery and toys.

However, many AI applications are not perceived as AI: 'A lot of cutting edge AI has filtered into general applications, often without being called AI because once something becomes useful enough and common enough it's not labeled AI anymore.'[1][2]

Researcher Andrew Ng has suggested, as a 'highly imperfect rule of thumb', that 'almost anything a typical human can do with less than one second of mental thought, we can probably now or in the near future automate using AI.'[20]

An expert poll around 2016, conducted by Katja Grace of the Future of Humanity Institute and associates, gave median estimates of 3 years for championship Angry Birds, 4 years for the World Series of Poker, and 6 years for StarCraft.

On more subjective tasks, the poll gave 6 years for folding laundry as well as an average human worker, 7–10 years for expertly answering 'easily Googleable' questions, 8 years for average speech transcription, 9 years for average telephone banking, and 11 years for expert songwriting, but over 30 years for writing a New York Times bestseller or winning the Putnam math competition.[53][54][55]

Respondents asked to estimate 'when unaided machines can accomplish every task better and more cheaply than human workers' gave an aggregated median answer of 45 years and a 10% chance of it occurring within 9 years.

That is, when for any occupation, machines could be built to carry out the task better and more cheaply than human workers' estimated a median of 122 years and a 10% probability of 20 years.

Progress in AI isn’t as Impressive as You Might Think

With so much excitement about progress in artificial intelligence, you may wonder why intelligent machines aren’t already running our lives.

“But it’s also clear we are a long way from artificial general intelligence.” Brynjolfsson points to remarkable advances in image classification and voice recognition.

The report uses several metrics to measure the current AI boom, including growth in job postings related to AI, the rise of AI-focused startups, and the number of contributors to major open-source AI projects.

If machines aren’t nearly as intelligent as we’d often like to believe, it’s natural to wonder what that might mean for the tech industry that’s betting so heavily on AI today.

“The question that this report raises for me is whether this bubble will burst, [like] the dot-com boom of 1996-2001, or gently deflate, and when this happens, what will be left behind?” Regardless of when artificial general intelligence might or might not arrive, that seems like a good question to ask.

Open Progress: Essay competition winnerDo the benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the risks?

This essay is the winner of The Economist’s Open Future essay competition in the category of Open Progress, responding to the question: “Do the benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the risks?” The winner is Frank L.

Ruta, 24 years old, from America.  *    *    *  Towards the end of the second world war, a group of scientists in America working to develop an atomic bomb for the Manhattan Project warned that using the weapon would inevitably lead to a geopolitical landscape characterised by a nuclear arms race.

potentially even more transformative technology is currently being developed: a technology which could easily be distributed to rogue nations and terrorist groups without the need for expensive, specialised equipment.

More than 8,000 researchers, engineers, executives, and investors have signed an open letter recommending a direction for responsible AI research that recognises social impact and seeks to build robust technology that aligns with human values.

Narrow AI is responsible for many useful tools that have already become mainstream: speech and image recognition, search engines, spam filters, product and movie recommendations.

Narrow AI also has the potential to enable promising technologies like driverless cars, tools for rapid scientific discovery and digital assistants for medical image analysis.

AI can automate labour-intensive cyberattacks, coordinate fleets of drones, allow for mass surveillance through facial recognition and social data mining, or generate realistic fake videos for political propaganda.

Some speculate that an AGI could appear within the next few decades in a so-called hard take-off, where its capabilities increase very rapidly as the program undergoes a process of recursive self-improvement.

At the same time, others believe that intelligent agents have intrinsic limitations to augmenting their predictive capabilities autonomously and doomsday scenarios are unlikely, if not provably impossible.

Containment strategies range from filtering training data for sensitive information to significantly handicapping the development process by, for example, limiting output to simple yes/no questions and answers.

It is conceivable that the economy would be restructured in such a way that humans are free to pursue their creative passions while AGI drives productivity.  As with past technologies, there will also be useful applications that we cannot even foresee.

Rather than ignoring researchers’ concerns until the technology is mature, as with nuclear weapons, governments should open dialogue with AI researchers to design regulations that balance practicality with security.

With the right policies, we can work towards a future where AGI systems are friendly and military AI applications are out of the hands of malicious agents, while the underlying technology continues to be a driver of productivity and innovation.  ____________ Frank L.

Seven Artificial Intelligence Advances Expected This Year

Scrapping the driver requirement means these cars will be logging more miles (potentially by orders of magnitude) than they ever have before.That means the AI will get smarter and driverless will get safer and better at an even more rapid pace.

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