You’ve been watching Star Wars and then you go into work the next day. You think it’s bad enough having difficult co-workers who challenge your decisions and ideas – imagine that your co-worker is a robot, who probably has more intelligence than you, albeit it in a particularly logical and non-emotional way.
This is not the future, this is today. Artificial Intelligence is all around us and scientists at major companies and universities are seeing how it can be developed further. Are we on the verge of a new “industrial” revolution?
A fascinating exhibition at Arup’s office at 8 Fitzroy Street in Fitzrovia in London looks at Artificial Intelligence today, with some hints of the future as machines and robots partner with humans to learn and to develop superhuman perception, producing decisions that are more logical than humans can produce, with their cultural and emotional influence that machines can ignore.
Different zones look at different aspects of AI focussed on the benefits it has, and indeed is already providing to modern society, yet which we have yet to fully appreciate, from traffic management to art and design to fraud detection to healthcare. Perhaps as the UK tries to forge a new world in the post-BREXIT era, it could take up the opportunity and opportunities of AI. Sadly, unless Government really provides serious and imaginative research funding, it is likely the Americans and the Chinese will lead the way, along with countries like South iKorea.
There is however major weakness with machines. If they do not have the data they are unable to process information accurately. The virtual recognition system at Arup’s had never seen me before so could not recognise me and tried to pair me up with Arup employees it knew. Cute, but it confirms the weakness of machines and shows how we can defeat them.
And finally, a challenge for you – what might happen if a robot took part in Strictly Come Dancing? Or Masterchef? How far would he (or she)m progress? It doesn’t take much imagination to envisage the day when a robot might be the winner….