Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

Face and speech recognition is now child’s play for the most advanced AI machines. But understanding stories is much harder. That looks set to change.

Artificial-intelligence techniques are taking the world by storm. Last year, Google’s DeepMind research team unveiled a machine that had taught itself to play arcade video games. Earlier this year, a team of Chinese researchers demonstrated a face-recognition system that outperforms humans, and last week, the Chinese internet giant Baidu revealed a single speech-recognition system capable of transcribing both English and Mandarin Chinese.

Nick Bostrom: What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?
Artificial intelligence is getting smarter by leaps and bounds — within this century, research suggests, a computer AI could be as "smart" as a human being. And then, says Nick Bostrom, it will overtake us: "Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make." A philosopher and technologist, Bostrom asks us to think hard about the world we're building right now, driven by thinking machines. Will our smart machines help to preserve humanity and our values — or will they have values of their own?



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