Posts Tagged ‘artificial intelligence’

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Intelligent computer systems will replace the need for human-operated jobs
Thu May 14 2015, 13:43

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) will be responsible for the next industrial revolution, experts in the field have claimed, as intelligent computer systems replace certain human-operated jobs.

Four computer science experts talked about how advances in AI could lead to a “hollowing out” of middle-income jobs during a panel debate hosted by ClickSoftware about the future of technology.

“It’s really important that we take AI seriously. It will lead to the fourth industrial revolution and will change the world in ways we cannot predict now,” said AI architect and author George Zarkadakis.

His mention of the “fourth industrial revolution” refers to the computerisation of the manufacturing industry.

If the first industrial revolution was the mechanisation of production using water and steam power, followed by the second which introduced mass production with the help of electric power, then the third is what we are currently experiencing: the digital revolution and the use of electronics and IT to further automate production.

The fourth industrial revolution, which is sometimes referred to as Industry 4.0, is the vision of the ‘smart factory’, where cyber-physical systems monitor physical processes, create a virtual copy of the physical world and make decentralised decisions.

These cyber-physical systems communicate and cooperate with each other and humans in real time over the Internet of Things.

Dan O’Hara, Senior Lecturer in English, New College of the Humanities, explained that this fourth industrial revolution will not be the same kind of “hollowing out” of jobs that we saw during the last one.

“It [won’t be] manual labour replaced by automation, but it’ll be the hollowing out of middle-income jobs, medium-skilled jobs,” he said.

“The industries that will be affected the most from a replacement with automation are construction, accounts and transport. But the biggest [industry] of all, remembering this is respective to the US, is retail and sales.”

O’Hara added that many large organisations’ biggest expense is people, who already work alongside intelligent computer systems, and this area is most likely to be affected as companies look to reduce costs.

“Anything that’s working on an AI-based system is bound to be very vulnerable to the replacement by AI as it’s easily automated already,” he said.

However, while AI developments in the retail space could lead to the replacement of jobs, it is also rather promising at the same time.

Mark Bishop, professor of cognitive computing at Goldsmiths, highlighted that AI could save businesses money if it becomes smart enough to determine price variants in company spending, for example, scanning through years of an organisation’s invoice database and detecting the cheapest costs and thus saving on outgoings.

While some worry that AI will take over jobs, others have said that they will replace humans altogether.

John Lewis IT chief Paul Coby said earlier this year that the blending of AI and the IoT in the future could signal the end of civilisation as we know it.

Coby explained that the possibilities are already with us in terms of AI and that we ought to think about how “playing with the demons” could be detrimental to our future.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak added to previous comments from Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk with claims that “computers are going to take over from humans”.

Woz made his feelings on AI known during an interview with the Australian Financial Review, and agreed with Hawking and Musk that its potential to surpass humans is worrying.

“Computers are going to take over from humans, no question. Like people including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have predicted, I agree that the future is scary and very bad for people,” he said.

Source Link: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2408538/artificial-intelligence-will-create-the-next-industrial-revolution-experts-claim#

“Keep your nose to the ground and your eyes to the sky!”

  • Labs need to be monitored, says American institute
  • No framework in place to monitor projects
  • Free labs in New York, Boston and San Francisco for ‘DIY’ biology
  • Government ‘should assess’ DIY community
A system for keeping an eye on potentially dangerous ‘artificial life’ laboratories around the world is essential, say leading experts.

The Woodrow Wilson Centre, in Washington, US, warns that there is no way of monitoring labs tinkering with ‘synthetic biology’ to ensure that anything created is safe.

The field ‘synthetic biology’ came into being in 2010 when a scientist added synthetic DNA to a bacteria cell to create a ‘new’ life form. An Oxford ethicist warned that it opened the door to ‘the most powerful bioweapons imaginable’.

The Centre’s Synthetic Biology project has recommended a ‘score card’ to ensure laboratories adhere to guidelines laid down by a Presidential Commisision in 2010.

Billionaire entrepreneur Dr Craig Venter-a controversial figure known as 'Darth Venter' to his colleagues- created a life form two years ago Billionaire entrepreneur Dr Craig Venter-a controversial figure known as ‘Darth Venter’ to his colleagues- created a life form two years ago

President Obama was presented with a report from the Commission’s 13 scientists in 2010, after billionaire entrepreneur Craig Venter created the world’s first artificial life form.

Since then, the field has changed. Worryingly, enthusiasts calling themselves ‘biohackers’ – and calling the field DIYBio – have begun experimenting with their own ‘synthetic biology’ projects, such as MIT graduate Kay Aull’s reprogramming of E Coli’s genome.

Free ‘Genspace’ biology labs have opened in New York, Boston and San Francisco, where scientists are provided with equipment to run their own experiments without regulation.

‘As the field progresses, the government should continue to assess specific security and safety risks of synthetic biology research in settings including the ‘do-it-yourself’ community,’ the report advised.

Valerie Bonham, executive director of the Commission, said, ‘In the report, the members emphasized the need for transparency, dialogue, and accountability around synthetic biology.’

Craig Venter, President of the Celera Genomics Corporation, announces the completion of the initial sequencing of the human genome in the East Room of the White HouseCraig Venter, President of the Celera Genomics Corporation, announces the completion of the initial sequencing of the human genome in the East Room of the White House

President Obama requested the Commission’s report almost two years ago in response to the first ‘artificial life form’

Billionaire entrepreneur Craig Venter only created ‘artificial life’ for the first time in 2010, christening his life form ‘Synthia’.

Professor Julian Savulescu, an Oxford University ethicist, said of Venter’s discovery: ‘Venter is creaking open the most profound door in humanity’s history, potentially peeking into its destiny.This could be used in the future to make the most powerful bioweapons imaginable. The challenge is to eat the fruit without the worm.’

Viruses and bacteria have a chemical relationship with their human hosts - feeding us chemicals. An engineered virus could, in theory, feed us chemicals that influence our behaviour, warns Hessel

Could ‘artificial life’ pose a threat to humanity?

‘The Commission’s report was a landmark document and lays out a framework, but, like many reports of this type, no mechanisms were put in place to track progress,’ David Rejeski, director of the Wilson Centre’s Synthetic Biology Project, said.

‘Our goal is ensure that this report — and others like it – can drive change.’

The centre recommends a web-based ‘score card’ to highlight rogue synthetic biology projects.

‘The Scorecard, unveiled today, monitors the progress made toward implementing the recommendations in the report from the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.’

The report contains 18 recommendations covering a range of topics from risk assessment to ethics education and public engagement.’

In the Terminator films, it was the moment when a computer became ‘self aware’ that sparked a nightmarish war between man and machine.

So it’s slightly worrying to learn that robots are already talking behind our backs – using a language they’ve invented themselves.

‘When they need a new word, they invent one,’ said Hazel Wiles, who heads the ongoing Lingodroid project at the University of Queensland, speaking to Discover magazine this month.

Wiles hopes that the robot ‘language’ could eventually lead to robot care givers for the elderly – or even robot butlers.

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Learning all the time: The Lingodroids project at the University of Queensland has developed robots that can create and speak their own language

Learning all the time: The Lingodroids project at the University of Queensland has developed robots that can create and speak their own language

The robot language has now evolved to a point where they can arrange to meet each other in different places, and even hold polite conversations.

Previous efforts to encourage robots to ‘communicate’ have included ROILA – Robot Interaction Language – a simple spoken language allowing humans to speak to robots.The Lingodroid project is the first attempt to allow robots to ‘teach themselves’ to speak.

Their ‘words’ are electronic noises, created using a random number of syllables, which are then assigned to locations.

Thankfully, rather than turn on their human masters, the robots seem to be teaching us that language is very difficult to master.

Place names created so far have included ‘kuzo’, ‘jaro’ and ‘fexo’. Each location was around a few metres in size.

To test and develop their language skills the Lingodroids play ‘word’ games in which they arrange to meet in other places, and it has worked successfully in simulations and in a real office.

The robots are creating their own ‘words’ because human languages are so complex and nuanced that the robots found it hard to decipher.

We don’t realize how sophisticated our use of language to describe the world around us is,’ says Wiles.

 

 
Mapping: The robots create 'words' for places they have been before, with each location generally being a few metres wideMapping: The robots create ‘words’ for places they have been before, with each location generally being a few metres wide

 
Know your place: Using the location names - here the word is 'kuzo' - the robots are able to determine where they areKnow your place: Using the location names – here the word is ‘kuzo’ – the robots are able to determine where they are

 
Robots day trip: The Lingodroids are then able to arrange to meet up in a different location and navigate there independentlyRobots day trip: The Lingodroids are then able to arrange to meet up in a different location and navigate there independently

The Lingodroids themselves are two-wheeled robots, looking not too dissimilar to some vacuum cleaners, which use an onboard camera, sonar and a laser range-finder to map the space around them.

The language, which sounds similar to the keytones on a phone, is actually spoken aloud by the robots using a microphone and speaker.

Games played among them include the go-to, the where-are-we and the how-far game.

In the where-are-we game, the robots map their environment independently by driving around, and then whenever they meet another robot, one gives the area in which they meet a name and both update their vocabulary with the new word.

 
Sci-fi: In the Terminator series of films, the moment when robots learned to speak for themselves brought catastrophic consequencesSci-fi: In the Terminator series of films, the moment when robots learned to speak for themselves brought catastrophic consequences

In the go-to game, one robot chooses a location, both robots find the place in their own map, and then the navigate to that place independently.

The vocabulary this creates, called a toponymic lexicon, allows the robots to go on to develop ‘words’ for distances and directions.

With their expanded lexicon, the robots were even able to meet each other in places they had talked about but never been together, and to describe places they ‘imagined’ exist outside their own maps.

As the games continue it is expected the vocabulary will become more expansive and make the robots knowledge more subtle.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1390627/Robots-develop-language-lets-meet-chat-imagine.html#ixzz1Y6xDm8d7