Charles Silver of Algebraix recently shared his opinions on artificial intelligence's recently revamped popularity and growing plausibility. Silver writes, "Just a few months ago, the phrase 'artificial intelligence' suddenly started being tossed around presentations, blogs, headlines, seminars — even a Facebook earnings meeting — as if it were the most benign concept in the world. AI could actually win an Oscar, thanks to Scarlett Johansson’s riveting voice-only performance as Samantha, the AI-enabled OS in the new movie 'Her'. One reason for AI’s new respectability: Big steps have been made in solving the problems of artificial intelligence, especially in speech recognition and concept communication. Just think about how casually we now accept machines that can understand and talk, from Apple’s Siri to IBM’s 'Jeopardy'-winning Watson."
Silver continues, "The potentially dazzling breakthroughs in AI are in the Her-like world of intelligent agents and operating systems. This is where the cognitive in cognitive computing and the semantic in the Semantic Web – the web of meaning – will let AI deliver on its promise. Small AI agents and systems already vastly improve our lives, from blocking spam to flying planes, fighting computer viruses, powering ever-slicker phones, designing buildings, monitoring bridges, calibrating comets, and, soon, driving cars. But the gigantic, future-changing reward is just lying there, waiting for humans to make it happen. It’s the treasure-trove of knowledge buried in the galactic masses of Big Data. We can barely begin to imagine what’s in there. A cure for cancer? A way to (finally!) teleport ourselves? The worst tech worm ever? (It won’t all be good.) News from the next galaxy?"
Image: Courtesy Warner Bros.