artificial intelligence

8 articles
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The Stupidity of Computers

A history of the divide between computing and language, and why we “define and regiment our lives, including our social lives and our perceptions of our selves, in ways that are conducive to what a computer can ‘understand.’”

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Computers Aren’t So Smart, After All

I love combing through The Atlantic’s archives. There’s almost no better way of grasping the strangeness of the past than to flip through a general interest magazine from 1960. Here, we find Fred Hapgood grappling with what human intelligence meant in the light of new machines that could do something like thinking. Intelligence was being explored in a new way: by finding out what was duplicable about how our minds work. Hapgood's conclusion was that if you could automate a task, it would lose value to humans. What tremendous luck! Humans value that which only humans can do, he argued, regardless of the difficulty of the task. And that because computers were so good at sequential logic problems, we'd eventually end up only respecting emotional understanding, which remained (and remains) beyond the reach of AI.

-A. Madrigal

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Inside Google’s Age of Augmented Humanity (Pt. 1-3)

The next frontier of search is… everything. Voice recognition, image recognition, and why Google’s data set is one of the most valuable scientific tools of our age.

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2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal

Ray Kurzweil and the Singularity; when will our minds meld with the machine?

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Programmed for Love

Fifteen years ago, Sherry Turkle developed a little crush on a robot named Cog. Since then, the MIT professor has been studying our ever-increasing emotional reliance on technology. She’s not optimistic about where we’re headed.

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The Chess Master

A grandmaster on the computers that have bested him and how we have misunderstood the implications of artificial intelligence.

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Like Minds

The story of two Canadian artificial intelligence visionaries who became bitter rivals and then both committed suicide in the same month.

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What Is I.B.M.’s Watson?

It’s the furthest artificial intelligence has come. And while the supercomputer may get attention for competing on Jeopardy!, Watson could also change everything from customer service to emergency rooms.