Don’t Worry, Smart Machines Will Take Us With Them

Why human intelligence and AI will co-evolve.

When it comes to artificial intelligence, we may all be suffering from the fallacy of availability: thinking that creating intelligence is much easier than it is, because we see examples all around us. In a recent poll, machine intelligence experts predicted that computers would gain human-level ability around the year 2050, and superhuman ability less than 30 years after.1 But, like a tribe on a tropical island littered with World War II debris imagining that the manufacture of aluminum propellers or steel casings would be within their power, our confidence is probably inflated.

AI can be thought of as a search problem over an effectively infinite, high-dimensional landscape of possible programs. Nature solved this search problem by brute force, effectively performing a huge computation involving trillions of evolving agents of varying information processing capability in a complex environment (the Earth). It took billions of years to go from the first tiny DNA replicators toHomo Sapiens. What evolution accomplished required tremendous resources. While silicon-based technologies are increasingly capable of simulating a mammalian or even human brain, we have little idea of how to find the tiny subset of all possible programs running on this hardware that would exhibit intelligent behavior.

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Asking the Experts: Artificial Intelligence Leaders Answer AI’s Most Burning Questions (Part I)

What if you could get a few of the top minds in artificial intelligence and pick their brain?

Fun idea, right?

I’m lucky enough to explore the bigger AI questions over dinner with friends and with my colleagues at work, but those views don’t necessarily get shared – and there’s a lot of noise when it comes to this exciting technology.

So, I decided to tap my AI peers for their expert views on the top questions around AI to help provide a more balanced view from the AI community:

Adam Cheyer, Co-founder of Viv, formerly Co-founder of Siri
David Ackley, Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico
Dr. Dileep George, Co-founder of Vicarious

In part I of this two-part article, we’ll dive into some personal a-ha moments related to AI research, the surprises and discoveries around the technology as well as exploring the most unusual use cases when it comes to AI.

Here goes!

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Georgia Tech Uses Artificial Intelligence to Crowdsource Interactive Fiction

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new artificially intelligent system that crowdsources plots for interactive stories, which are popular in video games and let players choose different branching story options.

A new Georgia Tech artificial intelligence system develops interactive stories through crowdsourced data for more robust fiction. Here, the AI replicates a typical first date to the movies (user choices are in red), complete with loud theater talkers and the arm-over-shoulder movie move.

With potentially limitless crowdsourced plot points, the system could allow for more creative stories and an easier method for interactive narrative generation. Current AI models for games have a limited number of scenarios, no matter what a player chooses. They depend on a dataset already programmed into a model by experts.

Using the Georgia Tech approach, one might imagine a Star Wars game using online fan fiction to let the AI system generate countless paths for a player to take.

“Our open interactive narrative system learns genre models from crowdsourced example stories so that the player can perform different actions and still receive a coherent story experience,” says Mark Riedl, lead investigator and associate professor of interactive computing at Georgia Tech.

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The Air Force Wants You to Trust Robots–Should You?

A British fighter jet was returning to its base in Kuwait after a mission on the third day of the 2003 Iraq War when a U.S. anti-missile system spotted it, identified it as an enemy missile, and fired. The two men in the plane were both killed. A week and a half later, the same system—the vaunted Patriot—made the same mistake. This time, it was an American plane downed, and an American pilot killed.

The missile battery that targeted the two jets was almost entirely automated. There were people there watching over it, but they deferred to the machine’s analysis, and these friendly fire deaths were the result. A decade later, the issue underlying the problem hasn’t gone away. Indeed, it’s become more pressing as the military comes to rely more and more on automation, and spends huge sums of money researching and developing artificial intelligence. In the future that could include what it calls autonomous weapons systems, one of the most controversial fields of artificial intelligence.

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