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November 9, 2015
(Era of Wisdom) Palo Alto, California — A discussion on artificial intelligence is raging behind the scenes of the world stage, though it seems to be largely buried in the headlines. According to Business Insider, “all major technology companies, including Google and IBM, are developing artificial intelligence software.”
A race to develop AI technology is taking place, in which several events must be understood to have a good perception of where the future is headed. This article will break down some recent pieces of news on AI.
According to the Guardian, “Though it promises robot carers for an ageing population, it also forecasts huge numbers of jobs being wiped out: up to 35% of all workers in the UK and 47% of those in the US, including white-collar jobs, seeing their livelihoods taken away by machines.”
The first paragraph of the report is quite a remarkable statement if you can comprehend it through the jargon. It says “It is the BofAML view that we have entered a period of accelerated innovation driven by three ecosystems of creative disruption: the Internet-of-Things (IoT); the Sharing Economy; and On-Line Services. The consumer wins: tech makes things easier, less time-consuming, less uncertain, and less costly. Corporations will be disrupted: incumbents are threatened, innovators will win.”
Did they just basically say that monopolies are being threatened by creative innovation? It isn’t quite that simple, so I highly recommend sifting through the full report, which can be found here.
Toyota is investing over a billion dollars on an artificial intelligence project in Silicon Valley.
Titled the “Toyota Research Institute,” the company announced on Friday that they will soon have a laboratory adjacent to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, for the sake of research on artificial intelligence technology.
It will be one of the largest research laboratories in Silicon Valley.
According to the New York Times, “Silicon Valley is diving into artificial intelligence technology, with start-ups sprouting up and Google and Facebook pouring vast sums into projects that would teach machines how to learn and make decisions. Now Toyota wants a piece of the action.”
Facebook and Apple are of course participating in the AI “arms race,” front and center.
According to that article “Facebook, one of the most important players of AI (Artificial Intelligence) research innovation, has come up with a new feature with which the blind can now see every picture with its vivid hues and colours.”
So Facebook is using AI to assist in giving blind people insight into sensory detail. Fair enough, that’s a benevolent way to kick off an era of AI. It still doesn’t change the fact that we’re delving into incredibly elusive territory, potentially playing with a lot of power.
Apple has a secretive AI program, so secretive in fact that it made headlines recently. A headline from Business Insider reads “Apple’s Secrecy is Reportedly Hurting its Artificial Intelligence Efforts.”
Realistically though, would Apple allow that secrecy to hurt its efforts? It must be serving their interests or they wouldn’t choose to operate in secrecy.
These Silicon Valley corporations really have accumulated an ungodly amount of power. Apple’s new Northern California headquarters in construction is referred to as the “spaceship headquarters”, a gigantic spherical building.
This is a video of a YouTuber with a drone flying over the headquarters in February. It’s a massive spherical, futuristic building nearly the size of the Pentagon.
However in reality, the greatest threat that could wield artificial intelligence has to be the Pentagon; let’s take a look at DARPA and their work with AI.
Upon initially google searching “DARPA AI,” one of the first results is a story about DARPA teaching robots how to improvise jazz with artificial intelligence.
Benevolent enough for the first page of search results; let’s look deeper.
An October 27th article from TIME Magazine sports the headline “Inside the Pentagon’s Effort to Build a Killer Robot.”
The article says “To address brain injuries sustained in modern warfare, DARPA has publicly stated that it has a multitude of science and technology programs in place. The agency’s longterm goals in brain science research, it says, revolve around trying to restore the minds and memories of brain-wounded warriors.
But if the past teaches us about the present, it is clear that DARPA’s stated goals regarding its brain programs are not DARPA’s only goals. DARPA is not primarily in the business of helping soldiers heal; that is the job of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. DARPA’s job is to “create and prevent strategic surprise.” DARPA prepares vast weapons systems of the future. So what are the classified brain programs really for?”
It probably doesn’t need to be said, but either way; that’s not just the past where the United States military is deceptive and downright criminal. It’s today; just look at the two Doctors without Borders hospital bombings, and the recent revelation that U.S. forces mowed down innocent people as they fled the hospital they were bombing.
The bottom line is, that’s not even the threshold of what the U.S. military industrial complex can get away with today. Do we really want to explore the boundaries of modern warfare, and allow this military machine to become even more technologically advanced?
It’s inevitable it seems, that some people in the world develop AI technology. The best thing we can do as citizens is pay close attention.
This is hardly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the development of artificial intelligence.
If you have any desire to anticipate the future before it happens, ready yourself and be prepared for the future of the world, perhaps even be prepared to influence and shape that world, this is important to know.
This article (Toyota to Spend a Billion on Artificial Intelligence Facility in California) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Cassius Methyl and Era of Wisdom.org.