8 July 2016
By Rowin Meijerink
The holy grail in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) is to eventually create social intelligence, creativity, and general intelligence. This of course grabs people’s imagination, and was the incentive of many movie writers to create science fiction movies, such as ‘I, robot’, ‘The Matrix’, or ‘Terminator’. In these movies, AI usually causes complete and sometimes catastrophic disruption: An advanced future society runs into problems due to out of control AI, usually represented by an army of robots that tries to rule humanity.
Although those movies are completely fiction, AI is making some European politicians very nervous as they fear the growing pace and use of automation and uprising of robots with an intellect superior to humans. Also prominent people such as Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking are wary about AI.
At the same time the general public are very enthusiastic, and both governments as well as businesses make heavy investments. Researchers are working on applications, that we would never have thought possible ten years ago, e.g.,: Google works on monitoring eyes to prevent blindness, and digital assistants finding information in no-time; IBM works on the digital diagnostician Watson that will hopefully help cutting medical costs. Also, AI creates many new opportunities making our daily life much easier, e.g., self-driving cars are no longer a futuristic idea, but will soon be commonly used.