BLUF

Rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence are likely to change the world for both good and ill.

Summary

Artificial Intelligence (AI) research is booming. 
AIs now include a system's ability to:
  • Adapt and improvise in a new environment.
  • Generalise its knowledge.
  • Apply knowledge to unfamiliar scenarios.
AI has intelligence characteristics include:
Types of AI
Recent AI developments.
Key AI terms
  • Machine learning: a computer system learns how to perform a task (such as predicting house prices) instead of being programmed.
  • Neural networks: loosely based on the connections between neurons in the brain. The network learns how to carry out a particular task. 
  • Supervised learning: vast amounts of existing data is annotated by online workers (e.g. 50,000 through Amazon Mechanical Turk) to highlight the features of interest and then apply to new data.
  • Unsupervised learning: algorithms try to identify patterns in data, looking for similarities that can be used to categorise that data. Google News uses this to group together stories.
  • Reinforcement learning: trial and error is used until the best outcome is achieved.
Implications of AI
  • Manual labour, checkout personnel and administrative/repetitive jobs are likely to be replaced.
  • Essay writing, truck driving, and surgery will probably be undertaken by AI in the long term.
  • According to Stephen Hawking, AI threatens our existence.
  • The massive energy consumption of machine learning is contributing to global warming.
  • Can reinforce gender and human racial biases. 
  • Abuse of facial recognition surveillance. 
  • Neural networks are creating fake news by mimicking an individual's voice and creating photo-realistic images.
  • Healthcare is likely to become even more effective as AI can help to develop and test new drugs by spotting genetic sequences.
  • Speaking computers will become commonplace.
  • Chinese firms, Alibaba etc., compete with Google, Apple and Microsoft.
  • Individuals can create their machine learning programs through training and infrastructure already available.