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How advanced is the world in the development of artificial intelligence?
Question Date: 2013-04-01
Answer 1:

This is a big question, and a seriously interesting one!

I'll begin by quickly addressing how the human brain works. Our brain is a huge network of neurons that pass chemical and electrical signals from one place to another. If you wish, you can think of your brain as the internet. When you go on your computer to submit this question to UCSB's Science Line, you are using communication pathways to send and receive information. Your brain does the same thing!

"Artificial intelligence" is what happens when humans create a computer system capable of learning from mistakes, problem solving, and applying new knowledge to challenges. It is exactly the skill that makes humans so valuable, and how this happens is still being researched.

However, we have made some really impressive strides in creating Artificial Intelligence (AI). Most of this progress is directly related to how quickly technology manufacturing is advancing. In 2008, the fastest super computer in the world was built at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This computer is now being shut down because it costs too much money to operate, and newer technologies provide the same computing power (calculations per second) at a fraction of the power consumption. Source:


This is a great example of how fast the computer industry is moving, so it is not surprising that we have seen so much activity in the area of AI and robotics, since computers are getting faster, smaller, and more energy efficient.

Here is an article from a 2008 issue of Scientific American discussing the future of robotics:

rise of the robots
The headline here predicts that in 40 years robotic "intelligence" will rival human intelligence.

In this article, an IEEE researcher talks about the possibilities for the future of robotics. The author discusses how open access to data is helping to feed innovation and development in AI.

future of robotics and artificial intelligence

In order to address learning, we need to have a way for machines to pick traits and adaptations that will increase their knowledge or performance in some way, just as nature has helped to optimize all life on Earth. This is a new field of research, but there have already been big breakthroughs that help us understand how evolution and selection works. The amazing thing is that we can program computers to show us how this happens. From the MIT Technology review comes a great article about how evolutionary computing helps AI machines "learn" new things:
computer-scientists-reproduce-the- evolution-of-evolvability

Lastly, since I'm sure you're no longer interesting in reading articles, I found this cool video about a robot "seeing" and "learning" to recognize itself. Check it out here:

click here please

Thank you so much for your question! This is a huge topic that requires lots of creative thinking to make progress. If you are interested in AI, consider learning more about how computer code works! At this point, computers only know how to do things we tell them to. Learning to communicate with a machine is an essential part of advancing artificial intelligence.

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