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What Is Artificial Intelligence? Examples and News in 2019

Coined in 1955 by John McCarthy as 'the science and engineering of making intelligent machines,' artificial intelligence (or AI) is software that is able to use and analyze data, algorithms and programming to perform actions, anticipate problems and learn to adapt to a variety of circumstances with and without supervision.

Neural networks (often called artificial neural networks, or ANN) essentially mimic biological neural networks by 'modeling and processing nonlinear relationships between inputs and outputs in parallel.'Machine learning generally uses statistics and data to help improve machine functions, while deep learning computes multi-layer neural networks for more advanced learning.

The original seven aspects of AI, named by McCarthy and others at the Dartmouth Conference in 1955, include automatic computers, programming AI to use language, hypothetical neuron nets to be used to form concepts, measuring problem complexity, self-improvement, abstractions, and randomness and creativity.

And while AI is generally a blanket term for these different kinds of functions, there are several different kinds of AI that are programmed for different purposes - including weak and strong AI, specialized and general AI, and other software.

Weak AI is designed to be supervised programming that is a simulation of human thought and interaction - but is ultimately a set of programmed responses or supervised interactions that are merely human-like.

Siri and Alexa are a good example of weak AI, because, while they seemingly interact and think like humans when asked questions or to perform tasks, their responses are programmed and they are ultimately assessing which response is appropriate from their bank of responses.

For this reason, weak AI like Siri or Alexa don't necessarily understand the true meaning of their commands, merely that they comprehend key words or commands and their algorithms match them up with an action.

However, on a basic level, unsupervised learning goes into problems without any pre-programmed answers, and is able to use a mixture of logic and trial and error to learn the answers or categorize things.

In general, much of the cutting-edge, boundary-pushing AI developments of recent years have been general AI - which are focused on learning and using unsupervised programming to solve problems for a variety of tasks and circumstances.

AI has been used in business for various purposes including process automation (by transferring email and call data into record systems, helping resolve billing issues and updating records), cognitive insight (for predicting a buyer's preferences on sites, personalizing advertising and protecting against fraud) and cognitive engagement (used primarily in a customer service capacity to provide 24/7 service and even answers to employee questions regarding internal operations).

For the 2016 year, the global chatbot market was reportedly worth $190.8 million - and could potentially comprise about 25% of customer service interactions by 2020, according to Gartner (IT) .

As far back as the mid 1600s, French scientist and philosopher Rene Descartes hypothesized about two divisions - machines that could one day think and learna specific task, and those that could adapt to perform a variety of different tasks as humans do.

Although ELIZA didn't actually speak (and communicated via text instead), the technology was the first that was developed to relay messages in language (or natural language processing) as opposed to using computer code and programming.

AImoved from a largely cutting-edge technological development to useful applications in business by 1980, when Digital Equipment Corporation's XCONwas able to save the company around $40 million in 1986 through its learning system.

And just six years later, IBM's cognitive computing engine Watson beat Jeopardy's champion, winning the $1 million prize money - further indicating AI's capabilities in successfully navigating language-based problems.

The research paper Building High-Level Features Using Large Scale Unsupervised Learningwas published in 2012 by researchers at Google (GOOG) and Stanford, and explained advances in unsupervised learning through deep neural networks that allowed AI to learn to recognize different pictures of cats without labeling the pictures.

'There are plenty of great things you can do with AI that save lives, including in a military context, but to openly declare the goal is to develop autonomous weapons and have a partner like this sparks huge concern,' Toby Walsh,professor atUniversity of New South Walesand organizer of the boycott, told The Guardian earlier this year.

It just opens up Pandora's box of psychology and science,' McMullen told Forbes earlier this year.'It's been evident that when you are using a very lifelike robot as a conduit for the AI and for the conversation, people tend to talk to that in a different way than they would, say, something on a computer screen.

We're living in a culture where we have a surplus of human beings, we don't have any problems with the amount of human beings that we have in the world, but we're creating this culture and this climate where we're trying to encourage people to form relationships with commercial goods, basically,' Richardsontold Forbes in September.

The principle concern seems to revolve around how exports of AI may boost the industries in other countries like China, potentially to the detriment of the U.S. 'The number of cases where exports can be sufficiently controlled are very, very, very small, and the chance of making an error is quite large,' Jack Clark, head of policy at OpenAI, told The New York Times.

Scarlett Johansson Slams Fake AI-Generated Sex Videos: Internet Is 'Virtually Lawless'

Scarlett Johansson is speaking out about the danger of computer-generated 'deepfakes,' in which women's faces are inserted into explicit pornographic videos.

Her face has been grafted into dozens of graphic sex scenes by anonymous online 'creators,' who are using free artificial-intelligence software to create convincingly lifelike videos.

In 2011, she was one of the celebrities whose nude photos were stolen and posted online by a hacker, making her the symbol for a shocking new era of privacy breaches.

But the rise of deepfake videos, which have been used to harass and humiliate women in and out of the spotlight, has marked a new and discouraging challenge for women seeking to protect themselves on the Internet, she told The Washington Post in an interview.

Fake-Porn Videos Are Being Weaponised to Harass and Humiliate Women But she is also grimly candid about the difficulty of fighting back against the most damaging uses of an emerging technology, partly because it requires challenging the validity of the videos in multiple places around the world.

(Google in September added 'involuntary synthetic pornographic imagery' to its ban list, allowing anyone to request the search engine block results that falsely depict them as 'nude or in a sexually explicit situation.') The Internet is just another place where sex sells and vulnerable people are preyed upon.

But the truth is, there is no difference between someone hacking my account or someone hacking the person standing behind me on line at the grocery store's account.

"Everyone Potential Target": Artificial Intelligence Weaponises Fake Porn

The video showed the woman in a pink off-the-shoulder top, sitting on a bed, smiling a convincing smile.

Supercharged by powerful and widely available artificial-intelligence software developed by Google, these lifelike 'deepfake' videos have quickly multiplied across the internet, blurring the line between truth and lie.

Johansson has been superimposed into dozens of graphic sex scenes over the past year that have circulated across the web: One video, falsely described as real 'leaked' footage, has been watched on a major porn site more than 1.5 million times.

In September, Google added 'involuntary synthetic pornographic imagery' to its ban list, allowing anyone to request the search engine block results that falsely depict them as 'nude or in a sexually explicit situation.'

growing number of deepfakes target women far from the public eye, with anonymous users on deepfakes discussion boards and private chats calling them co-workers, classmates and friends.

The requester of the video with the woman's face atop the body with the pink off-the-shoulder top had included 491 photos of her face, many taken from her Facebook account, and told other members of the deepfake site that he was 'willing to pay for good work :-).'

The media critic Anita Sarkeesian, who has been assailed online for her feminist critiques of pop culture and video games, was inserted into a hardcore porn video this year that has been viewed more than 30,000 times on the adult-video site Pornhub.

On deepfake forums, anonymous posters said they were excited to confront her with the video in her Twitter and email accounts, and shared her contact information and suggestions on how they could ensure the video was easily accessible and impossible to remove.

A team led by Ian Goodfellow, now a research scientist at Google, introduced the idea in 2014 by comparing it to the duel between counterfeiters and the police, with both sides driven 'to improve their methods until the counterfeits are indistinguishable.'

The system automated the tedious and time-consuming drudgery of making a photorealistic face-swapping video: finding matching facial expressions, replacing them seamlessly and repeating the task 60 times a second.

Last year, an anonymous creator using the online name 'deepfakes' began using the software to create and publish face-swapped porn videos of actresses such as Gal Gadot onto the discussion-board giant Reddit, winning widespread attention and inspiring a wave of copycats.

While the deepfake process demands some technical know-how, an anonymous online community of creators has in recent months removed many of the hurdles for interested beginners, crafting how-to guides, offering tips and troubleshooting advice - and fulfilling fake-porn requests on their own.

To simplify the task, deepfake creators often compile vast bundles of facial images, called 'facesets,' and sex-scene videos of women they call 'donor bodies.'

Major online discussion boards such as 8chan and Voat, whose representatives didn't respond to requests for comment, operate their own deepfake forums, but the videos can also be found on stand-alone sites devoted to their spread.

The creator of one deepfakes site, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of judgment, said his 10-month-old site receives more than 20,000 unique viewers every day and relies on advertising to make a modest profit.

The only rules on the site, which hosts an active forum for personal requests, are that targets must be 18 or older and not depicted 'in a negative way,' including in scenes of graphic violence or rape.

One deepfake creator using the name 'Cerciusx,' who said he is a 26-year-old American and spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is afraid of public backlash, said he rejects personal requests because they can too easily spread across a school campus or workplace and scar a person's life.

Legal experts say deepfakes are often too untraceable to investigate and exist in a legal gray area: Built on public photos, they are effectively new creations, meaning they could be protected as free speech.

Defenders are pursuing untested legal maneuvers to crack down on what they're calling 'nonconsensual pornography,' using similar strategies employed against online harassment, cyberstalking and revenge porn.

Danielle Citron, a University of Maryland law professor who has studied ways to combat online abuse, says the country is in desperate need of a more comprehensive criminal statute that would cover what she calls 'invasions of sexual privacy and assassinations of character.'

You can soon buy a sex robot equipped with artificial intelligence for about $20,000

In her National Geographic series, "America Inside Out," Katie Couric learned about the world's first sex robot, Harmony.

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