FUTURIST Magazine Reveals Tomorrow’s AI Revolution

February 08, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
Bethesda MD— The advent of a artificial general intelligence—a machine capable of the richness of expression, restive intellect, and nuance of thought that we associate with humanity—promises to generate tremendous wealth for the companies and inventors that develop it. In the March-April 2008 issue of THE FUTURIST magazine, ( www.wfs.org/futurist.htm ) senior editor Patrick Tucker speaks to the thinkers and researchers at the forefront of AI and reveals the intellectual battle taking place over how soon an artificial general intelligence might arrive and what it might mean for the rest of us.

“The decreasing price and increasing power of computer processing suggests that, in the decades ahead, narrow AIs will become more effective, numerous, and cheap. But these trends don't necessarily herald the sort of radical intellectual breakthrough necessary to construct an artificial general intelligence,” says Tucker. “Many of the core semantic and philosophical problems that science faced several decades ago are as palpable as ever today. How exactly do you write a computer program that can think like a human?”

Tucker talks with Google research director Peter Norvig, MIT robotics head Rodney Brooks, Powerset CEO Barney Pell, Self-Aware Systems founder Steve Omohundro and many others to cast light on the near and long-term future of AI.

”As we continue to transfer our knowledge to the Web, posting more blogs, technical reports, news articles, academic writings, etc., and as we continue to develop programs and AI systems to help us categorize, store, retrieve, and analyze data, so those interlinked systems are accumulating more data about human civilization,” says Tucker. “We may be hastening a day when any labor-intensive task can be automated or outsourced to an artificially intelligent entity, a day when such entities might be able to communicate, perform, govern, and even create art more effectively, persuasively, or beautifully than human beings.”

An electronic version of Tucker’s article can be obtained from the Web site of THE FUTURIST magazine ( www.wfs.org/futurist.htm ) where many of his interviews are available for free ( www.wfs.org/Dec-janfiles/AIInt.htm) Individuals can also pick up the March-April 2008 issue of THE FUTURIST for $4.95 at bookstores and newsstands or write the World Future Society, 7910 Woodmont Ave., Suite 450, Bethesda, MD 20814. Order online at www.wfs.org.

THE FUTURIST is a bimonthly magazine focused on innovation, creative thinking, and emerging social, economic, environmental, and technological trends.
Among the thinkers and experts who have contributed to THE FUTURIST are Gene Roddenberry, Al Gore, Newt Gingrich, Richard Lamm, Alvin and Heidi Toffler, Buckminster Fuller, Frederik Pohl, Isaac Asimov, Vaclav Havel, Hazel Henderson, Margaret Mead, Robert McNamara, Betty Friedan, Nicholas Negroponte, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Lester R. Brown, Arthur C. Clarke, Douglas Rushkoff, Ray Kurzweil, William J. Mitchell, and U.S. Comptroller David M. Walker.

Editors: More information about the World Future Society may be obtained from the Society’s Web site, www.wfs.org.