Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thinking inside the box

What do you do when you can't get computers to think like people? Get them to think like computers. Seems simple, doesn't it? But, according to Wired, it's taken programmers 60 years to work this out.

Most of us still think of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as being computers replicating humans. But when you think about it for just a few moments, it's natural to come to the conclusion that replicating humans might not be such a good idea. To err is human, after all.

But the field of AI is changing is remarkable ways, largely because of a change in thinking about what it should be. Intelligence is a difficult concept to nail down anyway, so why restrict computers to a certain type of intelligence? Why not just program a computer to use its logic to generate its own version of intelligence?

And with that change in perspective has come a rash of AI breakthroughs that are becoming increasingly commonplace in everyday life, such as we see in search engines and Pandora, computer-driven stock trading, robotics, scheduling systems, video games, speech recognition software, spam filtering. You can even find AI being utilized in children's toys, music composition, and vehicle gearboxes and braking systems.

All of this because of a change in thinking. Changing your mind: now that's a good idea.

See (and hear) how AI is changing the face of music composition:

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