Tag Archives | Artificial Intelligence

Sentient Phones? “Massive” AI Research Sparked By Mobile Phone Wars

dwave“You can ask your cell phone what it’s thinking about now, and the answer is that it isn’t. But in 50 years it will be. And it won’t be a companion of yours, you might be a companion of it.”

He’s serious. The CTO of D-Wave Systems says “massive amounts of money” are now going into artificial intelligence research, because “Microsoft, Google, Apple and other companies all want to dominate the mobile space, and to do that you need compelling applications… All of that requires better AI.”

D-Wave Systems worked with Google on the “Google Goggles” mobile phone app for augmented reality, using their systems to “teach” a neural network how to recognize objects like automobiles, and then transferring those algorithms to the mobile app. And to do it they used subatomic “quantum computing” – a crucial stepping stone to human-level artificial intelligence.

“I’m very excited by the possibility of building very effective unsupervised learning systems and contributing in a meaningful way to the creation of better-than-human level intelligence in machines,” says D-Wave’s CTO, adding “The existence of vast machine sentience is almost guaranteed to occur.”

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When Will Computers Be Smarter Than Humans?

21 AI experts have predicted the date for four artificial intelligence milestones. Seven predict AIs will achieve Nobel prize-winning performance within 20 years, while five predict that will be accompanied by superhuman intelligence.

One also predicted that in 30 years, “virtually all the intellectual work that is done by trained human beings…can be done by computers for pennies an hour,” adding that AI “is likely to eliminate almost all of today’s decently paying jobs.”

The other milestones are passing a 3rd grade-level test, and passing a Turing test – and the experts estimate the probability that an AI passing a Turing test would result in an outcome that’s bad for humanity…with four estimating that probability was greater than 60%! (Regardless of whether the developer was private, military, or even open source…) Yet interestingly, the experts were skeptical of increased funding, citing misuse and close-mindedness.

“Since these experts are precisely those who would benefit most from increased funding, their skeptical views of the impact of hypothetical massive funding are very likely sincere.”

Artificial Intelligence already handles stock trading, fraud detection, and video games.… Read the rest

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The Science (Fiction) Of Embodied Cognition

John Pavlus writes on io9.com:

Science fiction has long played with the idea of projecting unified personalities/minds/”souls” into different bodies. The premise is baked into the plots of stories like Avatar and Caprica. But how would it work in the real world?

Avatar: Jake Sully In New Body

That’s what the science of “embodied cognition” is all about. The basic idea in this new(ish) research area (which overlaps with cognitive psychology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, robotics, and others) is this: Your mind is defined by your physical form. Not just in terms of “the mind is what the brain does”-we all are pretty down with that already. This takes it further to encompass the whole enchilada: your mind-your “I”-is a function of a cephalized, bipedal, plantigrade, bilaterally symmetrical body between 1.5 and 2 meters tall with two arms terminating in five-fingered hands with opposable thumbs, two lungs, a warm-blooded vascular system, mostly hairless skin, two front-focused eyes, etc.

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AI Researcher To Build…AI Researcher

Artificial Intelligence researcher Jurgen Schmidhuber says his main scientific ambition "is to build an optimal scientist, then retire!" The Cognitive Robotics professor has worked on problems including artificial ants and even robots that are taught how to tie shoelaces using reinforcement learning, but he believes algorithms can be written that allow the programming of curiosity itself. And he offers a fascinating metaphor for life after the development of AI."It's a bit like asking an ant of 10 million years ago: If humans were created tomorrow, what sort of implications do you think that would have for all the ant colonies?

Jürgen Schmidhuber at Singularity Summit 2009 - Compression Progress: The Algorithmic Principle Behind Curiosity and Creativity from Michael Anissimov on Vimeo.

"In hindsight we know that many ant colonies are still doing fine, but some of them (for example, those in my house) have goal conflicts with humans, and live dangerously." He's also created art using algorithmic information theory, and describes the simple algorithmic principle that underlies subjective beauty and creativity...
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A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter: Is This How Artificial Intelligence Begins?

Very weird. I agree with the author of this article, does sound like it came from the mind of William S. Burroughs. Scott Timberg writes on io9.com

Evil CubeA devious device looking suspiciously like the pain box from Dune — or a minimalist sculpture from the ’60s — is now selling on eBay. In fact, that’s all it does. This robot sells itself on eBay every week.

Called “A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter (2009),” by the artist Caleb Larsen, the imposing cube has a mind of its own, literally:

Hooked up to the internet, it will put itself up for sale every seven days. Right now — the auction lasts until Thursday — you can land it for just north of four grand. But a week later, the cube will offer itself up for sale again.

It seems to be for real: That is, this thing comes with a legal contract binding the collector to facilitating the sale, and apparently this robot artwork is supposed to change hands every week — forever.

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Robot Surgeons and Joystick Heart Surgeries

Video in this article shows the "Heartlander," a miniature mobile robot that delivers therapy to the surface of a beating heart...using a joystick! Like the Star Wars 2-1B series medical droid, real medical robots can now provide surgery that's minimally invasive -- or even performed remotely -- while offering greater precision, decreased blood loss, and smaller incisions with quicker healing time and less pain. Other examples include the ViRob, a tiny "millibot" 1 millimeter in diameter and 5 millimeters long that can travel inside the human body to collect tissue samples, deliver medicine...
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Could Machines Feel Joy?

Ben Goertzel, the CEO of artificial intelligence company Novamente, asks whether machines will ever really feel, in the same sense that humans do?

“This is a separate question from whether machines can be intelligent, or whether they can act like they feel. The question is whether machines if suitably constructed and programmed can have awareness, passion, subjective experience … consciousness?” Goertzel led a machine consciousness workshop in Hong Kong, and summarizes current theories about artificial intelligence, and notes that Tufts professor Daniel Dennett believes it’s absolutely possible – if the machines are programmed correctly!

This article also appears in the latest issue of H+ magazine.

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Researcher Breeds Evolving Swarm Intelligence

Swiss researchers simulated evolution with multiple generations of food-seeking robots in a new study of artificial swarm intellgence, and "Under some conditions, sophisticated communication evolved," says one researcher. And in a more recent study, the swarms of bots didn't just evolve cooperative strategies they also evolved the ability to deceive. ("Forget zombies," joked one commenter. "This is the real threat.") "The study of artificial swarm intelligence provides insight into the nature of intelligence in general, and offers an interesting perspective on the nature of Darwinian selection, competition, and cooperation." And there's also some cool video of the bots in action:
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A.I. Researcher Offers 11 Singularity Survival Tips

A.I. researcher Ben Goertzel reports back from the 2009 Singularity Summit in New York. Stephen Wolfram discussed Wolfram|Alpha, an IBM researcher described brain emulation, and Intel CTO Justin Rattner spoke “on his firm’s potential role in the Singularity.”

But in this follow-up article, Ben Goertzel describes what he learned in a day-long workshop/discussion group on averting catastrophic outcomes after a humanity-altering technological breakthrough.

For example, his list of “11 ways to avoid a bad Singularity” suggests that humanity should simply refrain from building any artificial intelligences that are autonomous…

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PayPal founder discusses killer robots, artificial brains

This weekend Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, gave a talk listing seven world-ending scenarios — including global warming, hyperintelligent computers, and even malicious robots — and then provided the audience with his own greatest fear: that a technological Singularity won’t happen fast enough.

But the highlight of the “Singularity Summit” conference was probably a question directed to the neuroengineering director at Tecnalia (Europe’s third largest private research organization). “An audience member asked if Randal would give the emulated brains a choice about whether or not they wanted to participate in the experiments they had been created for!”

Itamar Arel from the University of Tennessee (and co-founder of the Artificial General Intelligence Roadmap initiative) described a two-pronged approach to bring about A.I. in years instead of decades.

And of course, Ray Kurzweil spoke — twice.

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