Sunday, March 8, 2015

Can An Artificial Intelligence Program Beat Us At Everything?

Even though Prof. Stephen Hawking had warned us about it back in December 2014, will artificial intelligence systems be better than us at everything? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Though it has yet to dethrone those classic rock gods in terms of composing the best songs, an artificial intelligence program recently managed to make itself master at playing classic 1980s era Atari computer games.  Researchers working for Google in London say they have developed an artificial intelligence system that has taught itself how to win at 1980s era computer games. The computer program, which is inspired by how the human brain works learned how to play 49 classic Atari games, in half the time, it was better than a professional human player. 

Google’s DeepMind team said this was the first time a system had learned how to master a wide range of complex tasks. The study is published in the journal Nature. Dr. Dennis Hassabis, DeepMind’s vice president of engineering showed the BBC’s Pallab Ghosh how the artificial intelligence program had taught itself to excel at classic Breakout – a 1980s era Atari game. 

While the warning issued by Prof. Stephen Hawking on artificial intelligence systems’ ability to destroy mankind speech back in December 2014 still on their minds, Google’s DeepMind team wants ethical guidelines on artificial intelligence development be put in place to avoid such fears.  Despite the potential risks, the promise posed by true artificial intelligence systems that could accurately model how our brain works is just too good not to pursue further. 

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