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Shane Padfield

Professor Connie Douglas


English 2116
12/2/2014
Artificial Intelligence: A Review of its Past Present and Future
For many years artificial intelligence has been a part of pop culture and our lives.
Through movies such as Terminator and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, ideas of artificial
intelligence has been implanted in our minds. Many people fear that a full free thinking
AI. may take over the world, but that technology is far from existing. Though many
people are weary of AI many people use it every day. Software on our cell phones such
as Siri by Apple or Google Voice Search are very basic and new forms of AI. What is AI
though, and in all honesty AI is just the ability for a machine to exhibit intelligence.
Though, in order to understand AI we need to know where its basic ideas came from.
Alan Turing was an English mathematician who in 1950 published a paper called
Computing Machinery and Intelligence. In this paper Alan Turing explored the ideas of
artificial intelligence and brought upon a very big question, can machines think? He
came up with something called the Turing Test. The test, or Imitation Game as it was
called in the paper, was putforth as a simple test that could be used to prove that
machines could think. The Turing test takes a simple pragmatic approach, assuming
that a computer that is indistinguishable from an intelligent human actually has shown
that machines can think (Smith). So basically he wanted to make a set of guidelines
that a machine would have to adhere by for that machine to be officially called an
artificial intelligence. Some of the basic guidelines the machine would have to follow to

be called intelligent are to process natural language, be able to learn from the
conversation and remember what had been said, communicate ideas back to the
human and understand common notions, displaying what we call common sense
(Smith). Though the guidelines for the machine to be called intelligent are fairly simple,
the ability to replicate that in a machine is still far from being accomplished even in
modern time.
The Turing Test is still considered the best option of testing a machine to be
intelligent. Just because its considered one of the best options does not mean that it is
without its flaws. One of Alan Turings objections to his own test is that the machine
would need plenty of storage memory in order to replicate a humans abilities. In reality
though the human brains memory storage capacity is massive. According to Paul
Reber, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, said that the humans
brain capacity is around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes). For comparison, if
your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be
enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV
running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage. That is a lot of
storage, which modern technology does not have to capability to hold all in one place.
Another objection is from a theological standpoint, on the fact that you could not put a
God given soul into a machine. Many people also state that the machine would have to
be able to make art and music through emotion instead of just replicated what a human
can do. Though the issue with that Alan Turing brings is that in order to know if a
machine can feel human emotion, we would have to be the machine itself.

Since Alan Turings paper in the 1950s the advancement was very slow for AI,
only until the mid 00s. A lot of uses for artificial intelligence in everyday life started to
become more apparent. With the rise of children playing video games and having
complex computers readily available, technology would have to adapt with the new
generation. Many millennials do not know how to read a map, or find information on
their own anymore without the use of technology. With the advancements we have had
in technology the world has moved forward with that. Now we have a GPS in almost
every phone, and we now also have Google which can give us information at the tip of
our fingers. Though those technologies are not particularly AI, they have started to
implement more modern forms of it to assist its development. If you have an iPhone you
have Siri, which you can ask almost anything and it will perform it. In the beginning
though, Siri was not effective. That is because it did not have much to base what people
were saying to it on. So as Siri was used more by people around the world it began to
learn what people meant when they ask it things. Siri began to learn how to distinguish
accents, figure out what certain slang words mean and many other things. Through that
it is now able to do almost anything for any user who uses it. Siri is an example of a very
basic form of artificial intelligence but the thing that makes it an AI is its ability learn.
There has been a bit of a rebuttal on what makes a real AI. In an interview with
Douglas Hofstadter, a cognitive scientist at Indiana University, he states that Watson
the Jeopardy playing machine is not true AI. He says It doesn't understand what it's
reading. In fact, read is the wrong word. It's not reading anything because it's not
comprehending anything. Watson is finding text without having a clue as to what the
text means. In that sense, there's no intelligence there. It's clever, it's impressive, but it's

absolutely vacuous (Herkewitz). From his standpoint I can understand where he is


coming from. He has a more humanistic approach to artificial intelligence. Based on his
responses in the article he treats the idea of AI as if its supposed to replicate human
interaction. According to the Turing Test though, that doesnt particularly apply to AI,
since we would not be able to tell if it can understand things on a human level unless we
were the machine itself.
So far we are advancing quite fast at making a completely free thinking AI, but no
matter that speed it will be long before we may achieve it. Though the near future is still
showing promise of incredible intelligence. Just by the fact that future factory and labor
workers job security is at risk shows promise for AI. Experts are saying that many of us
may lose our jobs in the near future. Experts predict that 50 per cent of occupations
today will no longer exist by 2025 as people will take up more creative professions..
(Awford). That being because artificial intelligence will be able to do some, and if not
many, of the tasks that many employees have now. Yes that is worrisome for many
worker and people in college now but that begins to open up a whole new world of
careers for people to pursue.
In all I believe artificial intelligence is definitely a beneficial technology that world
could use effectively in the future. Though we need to be weary of full free thinking AI,
even Stephen Hawking warns of it. The development of full artificial intelligence could
spell the end of the human race,While Hawking admits there are many benefits to the
artificial intelligence developed so far, further refinements may mean the program
would take off on its own and redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans,
according to Hawking, are limited by slow evolution and cannot compete (David). We

should definitely trek into AI as a relevant technology but we should always be aware of
what we are creating.

Works Cited
"Applications and Uses of Artificial Intelligence." BBC News. BBC. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

The BBCs article gives some examples of what AI is used for in the modern day
as well as describing how one may work. It is quite reliable because it is straight
from the BBC and it does not contain any bias. It helped to show many uses of AI
in modern technology and how it may work.

Awford, Jenny. "Will YOUR Job Still Exist in 2025? New Report Warns 50 per Cent of
Occupations Will Be Redundant in 11 Years Time." Mail Online. Associated
Newspapers, 8 Nov. 2014. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.

This article goes over how in another decade many of our labor jobs may be
replaced by machines. Though it does state that even though machines may take
the current jobs that there will still be no shortage of things that need to be done
by humans. Its objective and focuses on the statistics that it had found. The
article is helpful because job security is something that many people may worry
about when it comes to AI.

David, Emilia. "Stephen Hawking: Artificial Intelligence Could Be the End of


Mankind." NBC News. CNBC, 2 Dec. 2014. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

This article speaks of how in a recent interview with Stephen Hawking he stated
that artificial intelligence could bring the end of the world. This article does not
have much content but helps me reinforce a point about safety around AI.

Gross, Grant. "The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Computers Will Take Your
Job." PCWorld. 6 Oct. 2014. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

This article goes into depth about how AI systems can take our jobs and what
parts of them specifically. This comes from PCWorld which is a typically trusted
source and there does not seem to be any bias. The article helps me to reinforce
certain things an AI can do in place of a human.

Smith, Chris. "The History of Artificial Intelligence." University of Washington, 8 Dec.


2006. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

This is a very large report about how AI had come about. It goes into what
defines an AI and the people who helped develop the basic ideas of AI. The
article seems to be based solely on history and facts. I mostly am using it to talk
about Alan Turing and his machine.

Reber, Paul. "What Is the Memory Capacity of the Human Brain?" Scientific American
Global RSS. 1 Apr. 2010. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

This article features the question of memory capacity which is enormous. It is


answered by a psychology professor and states the amount our brain can hold. I
use this to further a point about AI having a long way to go to store what the
human brain can.

Simonete, Tom. "Demis Hassabis, Founder of DeepMind Technologies and Artificial


Intelligence Wunderkind at Google, Wants Machines to Think Like Us | MIT
Technology Review." MIT Technology Review. 2 Dec. 2014. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

This article talks about Google acquiring a very complex and powerful AI system
from a tech startup company. The way the company had programmed the AI was
beyond anything already seen. The article is just an observance of the facts that
have come from the companies. I use this article to show how AI is definitely
evolving to crazy levels.

"UCAR - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research." New NCAR System May
Guide Transoceanic Flights Around Storms and Turbulence. 7 July 2009. Web. 1
Dec. 2014.

This article goes over a new weather team and technology what will help flights
avoid turbulence overseas. The AI helps make the decisions fast about the
weather it finds overseas. I use this to incorporate how AI is advancing in the
future and can take jobs possibly.

Herkewitz, William. "Why Watson and Siri Are Not Real AI." Popular Mechanics. 10
Feb. 2014. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.

This article goes over a rebuttal of what is already thought of in the public eye as
AI. The interviewee goes over the fact that until AI machines can think and feel
like humans do, theyre not AI. The article provides a different standpoint than the
norm and helps me to show a different side of things.