Someday Smart Machines Will Be All Around Us


“Today, computers can beat most people at chess. They can add, subtract, multiply, and divide much faster and more accurately than human beings can. Their memories can store whole libraries full of information, and they can find any bit of data instantly. They can even compose music, make up poems, and can draw pictures. In the future, smart machines will have even more computing brainpower. They will be able to see, hear, feel and talk to us. Someday we may be carrying on conversations with our television sets, cars, washing machines and even our houses! The drawing below shows some of the machines that may talk to workers in the factory of the future.”

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In 1997, Deep Blue beat the reigning world chess champion, Gary Kasparov, in a closely fought 6 game match (3,5 to 2,5). This was seen as a tremendous advance in proving the “intelligence” of computing. Remaining true to our human nature, we accused the computer of cheating and remained steadfast that humans were smarter seeing as how the game of Go is even more complex as it relies on intuition and “feel” more than it does on the brute force computation and logic that is require by chess, and that the computer would never beat us at Go…. until recently when the Google funded AlphaGo beat the European Go Champion Fan Hui 5 to 0! I eagerly await the result of the match versus Lee Se-dol taking place in March 2016 and predict an overwhelming victory for the machine.**

Earlier this evening as I was writing this post, my 7 year old daughter (Leah) was using “OK Google” to find the latest LDShadowLady minecraft gaming video on her iPad mini and everyone else that has a smart device or even the latest Apple TV or Roku has had a conversation with their computer, as predicated above, whether it was to check a sports score to settle a bet, to find a movie to watch or to check the weather next week Wednesday in Shanghai. These “smart machines” have now almost become ubiquitous.

** AlphaGo beats Lee Se-dol 4-1

Fast Forward:

Current thinking has two major schools of thought prevailing; namely AI will either save the world or destroy it. A downside of either scenario will be that many jobs will be lost. The best defence to this will be to educate yourself continuously and to try and stay ahead of the changing world. This is going to require profound changes within society but adapt we must. How we will adapt is not fully clear yet. But it is something we will have to think about.


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