With intelligent digital assistants invading the home, it’s becoming fairly normal to have a conversation with an Amazon Echo, Siri or Google Now. Believe it or not, they’re becoming more intelligent too.
You might not think it, especially when you’re in the middle of an argument with your supposedly clever digital friend, but artificial intelligence is starting to outpace us in certain areas. It might not quite have the hang of a human conversation or understand the subtle nuances in our language and meanings, but it is getting better and better at making computations and calculations.
With “automation” being a big buzz word in IT, there’s a huge push to make complex and human-centric tasks more streamlined and intelligent with the help of decision-making scripts, computers and artificial intelligence. It’s becoming possible to perform a complicated and traditionally long-winded task with a simple click, but there’s always the worry that these “intelligent” processes may have a little too much control if checks aren’t built in.
With your smartphone it’s already beginning. Perhaps without knowing it, your smartphone has figured out where you live. It knows what time you usually go to work or school and it knows what type of transport you take to get there. If you’re using the train, it’ll tell you about delays. If you’re in the car it can inform you of possible snarl-ups. Just the other day my Android phone popped up to tell me about an accident on the motorway, suggesting that I should perhaps leave earlier. It then told me about some bad weather at my destination and, without realising, I’d almost become a slave to it – not having to bother checking that information myself.
I always compare it to car headlights. On my car they come on automatically when it gets dark, so I never bother checking them. When I get in another car I no longer think to check the lights or turn them on – I’ve had that thought, that intelligence, that common sense removed.
Add the self-driving which is to come and your smartphone could be controlling your every move. Connecting to your car, it’ll know when to leave, which route is least congested and what clothes you should be wearing based on the weather.
The interesting / scary bit? It’s going to continue. Just recently the University of Alberta, in partnership with two Czech universities, set their AI DeepStack system against 33 of the world’s top pros in the game of No-Limit Texas Hold’em poker. DeepStack, during 44,852 hands, beat human opponents by a wide margin. The DeepStack team stated that..
Over all games played, DeepStack won 492 mbb/g. This is over 4 standard deviations away from zero, and so highly significant. Note that professional poker players consider 50 mbb/g a sizable margin.
Part of me wants to grab the knowledge of systems like this so that I can beat games like the Euro Palace mobile casino app, or perhaps head to a real casino with the DeepStack suggestions piped into my ear. Then AI would REALLY be interesting, and hopefully quite