Artificial Intelligence, Poker and Skynet
Karen is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
By the year 2030, higher intelligence, reasoning and memory will no longer belong exclusively to the human race.
Artificial intelligence is already with us in smartphones, tablets and Roomba cleaning robots. But scientists and software engineers are working in laboratories together to create a new generation of artificial intelligence designed to think…well, like us.
There’s a serious side to Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) that gets overshadowed by its internet presence. For several years Google scientists have been quietly working to develop a computerized neural network capable of analyzing and categorizing data then using that data to teach itself to recognize images. The scientists linked 16,000 processors together to create a supercomputer with over one billion connections that watched selected thumbnail images from YouTube videos. The end result was a computer that independently learned and could recognize the image of a cat without assistance from the scientists. On the practical side, neural network software technology will be very useful in civil engineering, economics, music, time series forecasting and much more.
On the lighter side, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has put awesome artificial intelligence into their Texas Hold’em poker app that’ll make you feel like you’re in Vegas. The opponents are unpredictable and you play in tournaments that have increasingly large antes and payouts. The graphics and animation are excellent and it doesn’t require an internet connection to play. There’s a one-time fee of $4.99 and you can play Texas Hold’em on your Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod.
You can’t have a discussion of artificial intelligence without including Big Blue. IBM (NYSE: IBM) has taken a different approach and is developing neurosynaptic chips that mimic the human brain. They’re designed like human brains with neurons and synapses that have perception, action and cognitive abilities. IBM’s artificial intelligence can learn through experience, recognize patterns, create ideas and understand outcomes. Due to their cognitive abilities and the incredible amount of data this form of artificial intelligence can handle, these neurosynaptic chips could be used to monitor ocean temperatures, wave height and other factors to determine if a hurricane or tsunami is developing.
But Intel (NASDAQ: INTL) wants to take artificial intelligence one step further and teach computers how to learn. The goal is twofold, the first being to create wearable and portable devices that learn about their owners. The computer will have all the human senses and be able to recall your favorite perfume or after shave or remind you where you left your car keys. The second goal is to turn over tasks normally handled by humans to the chips and see how well they do. For example, chips could be used to monitor traffic patterns and redirect traffic flow without human intervention. In ten years, Intel plans to have more transistors in one chip than there are neurons in the human brain. Didn’t we learn anything from Skynet?
It’s exciting and unsettling that we’re creating machines whose intelligence could equal and potentially exceed ours. But how do you program morality, or teach a machine right from wrong? It will be more than interesting to see how chip designers integrate the human trait of compassion into artificial intelligence.
kprogers has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and International Business Machines. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.