Virtual Intelligence v. Artificial Intelligence

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automated carby Angela Guess

James Crowder recently wrote in TechCrunch, “Imagine yourself a passenger in a futuristic self-driving car. Instead of programming its navigation system, the car interacts with you in a near-human way to understand your desired destination. The car has learned your preferences for music, temperature and lighting; these are adjusted without the need to twist a knob. Two distinct paths of technological evolution are advancing technology to create this future (and more): virtual intelligence (VI) is planned, controlled and predictable; in sharp contrast, artificial intelligence (AI) is none of these. Real AI should think and reason like a living organism. It should evolve and adapt with its environment. Advancement of AI technology relies on both recognizing the distinction between AI and VI, and understanding the ways that AI will be integrated into the lives of its users.”

Crowder continues, “Our daily interactions increasingly take place in virtual environments. We rely on enhanced digital interactions and shared information through the use of avatars, social platforms and interactive videos, games, meetings and training. These virtual worlds enable learning, business and expanded social relationships. However, these virtual environments are completely dependent on human input and management. Humans set the parameters and establish the controls for each virtual environment. The intelligent software and computing technology that helps facilitate our online interactions and mimics real life is known as VI. Such technology is useful in solving real-world problems, but it is not ‘self-aware’ and is limited in its capabilities and operation. Ultimately, VI stops short of learning or abstract thought.”

Read more here.

Photo credit: Flickr/ brizzle born and bred

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