When one of your jobs is to compile Friday Futures, you come across some weird and wonderful things. Many are about space and black holes and universes about to explode. And many are about AI.
We know that AI is to computing what a Formula One car is to a bicycle (at least potentially) but when you read about what some Universities are working on with AI, the mind begins to bend.
As Matthew Griffin reports, one group has 3D printed a neural network, another has created a neural network out of DNA (which is pretty scary) and then this other group has made AI in a pane of glass.
This is at an early stage but this ‘most intelligent pane of glass in the known Universe’ can perform reasonably straightforward tasks (unimaginable just a few short years ago). Ultimately, it could act as a lock, recognising visitors’ faces, as well as managing the temperature of a building. And, of course, it doesn’t need any power source except for light itself.
Apart from the on-going arguments about the fact that we are training AI using our own knowledge and experience and then sitting back and letting computers optimise that experience (which is pretty scary), it also shows us a real glimpse of a future that is almost upon us.
A little while ago, we did an article in which we said that the reason that computers were originally designed like a typewriter with a screen on top was because otherwise our minds would melt. We are now at a point when our minds are bored with that now ancient concept and are ready for Stage 2.
Stage 2 is intelligence everywhere, optimising our environment, making us safe and comfortable, managing our lives, communications and, well, everything (apart from the small detail that we are now open to ever fiercer cyberattack).
All of which we have been discussing as a concept for as long as science fiction books and movies have been around. Now, though, we are on the brink of much of it becoming science fact.
The question is: how much of it are we comfortable with?
The other questions is: what is Stage 3?