Artificial Intelligence


Join Active Minds for an overview of the development of Artificial Intelligence, computer systems capable of performing tasks typically done by a human brain, such as optical recognition, complex decision making, voice recognition, learning, language translation, and more. We will review the evolution of this field as well as current and future applications and issues.

Key Lecture Points

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a long history of ups and downs with prognostications as early as the 1950s that AI would have all the capabilities of humans within a decade. That hasn’t happened, but the journey from 1950 to now has a long list of task-specific AI, producing impressive accomplishments - both hardware and software.
  • Significant recent increases in computing power, reduced cost of data storage, the internet, recent advances in task-specific artificial intelligence capabilities and the realization of the improved AI capabilities by government, business, and academic researchers have led to increased investment and research in AI.
  • A number of approaches are being investigated to produce artificial general intelligence including: human brain simulation, artificial learning, evolutionary learning, statistics, and knowledge focus.
  • AI capabilities include: natural language processing, learning, knowledge representation, machine perception, data mining, reasoning and problem solving, motion and manipulation, planning, and social skills.
  • AI uses search engines, optimization, statistics, regression and probability theory to solve problems in medicine, automobiles, military applications, and many other domains.
  • There are concerns that AI could result in new military weapons, invasion of privacy, economic upheaval with the loss of jobs, and even dominion over the human race.

Exploration Questions

  • How fast is AI accelerating?
  • Which countries will benefit the most from AI?
  • Will AI level the playing field between countries with cheap labor versus those with more expensive labor?

Reflective Questions

  • Do you think AI will ever be as smart as humans?
  • Will machines displace jobs to the point that capitalism is no longer viable?
  • Are you opposed to drones that can make the decision to kill humans?

More to Explore

Books For Further Reading

  • Rouhiainen, Lasse, Artificial Intelligence: 101 Things You Must Know Today About Our Future, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018. 288 pages. This book covers many fascinating and timely topics related to artificial intelligence, including self-driving cars, robots, chatbots, changing jobs, businesses, and entire industries.
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  • Reese, Byron, The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity, Simon and Schuster Inc., New York, NY, 2018. 336 pages. As we approach a great turning point in history when technology is poised to redefine what it means to be human, this book offers a fascinating insight into AI, robotics, and their extraordinary implications for our species.
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