Dario Wünsch was feeling confident. The 28-year-old from Leipzig, Germany, was about to become the first professional gamer to take on the artificial intelligence program AlphaStar in the rapid-fire video game StarCraft II. Wünsch had been professionally playing StarCraft II, in which competitors command alien fleets vying for territory, for nearly a decade. No way could he lose this five-...
Artificial intelligence can share our natural ability to make numeric snap judgments.
Researchers observed this knack for numbers in a computer model composed of virtual brain cells, or neurons, called an artificial neural network. After being trained merely to identify objects in images — a common task for AI — the network developed virtual neurons that respond to specific quantities....
New artwork created by artificial intelligence does weird things to the primate brain.
When shown to macaques, AI-generated images purposefully caused nerve cells in the monkeys’ brains to fire more than pictures of real-world objects. The AI could also design patterns that activated specific neurons while suppressing others, researchers report in the May 3 Science.
Reviews & Previews
The Big NineAmy WebbPublicAffairs, $27
Whether artificial intelligence is humankind’s best friend or greatest threat has been widely debated. We’ve all heard promises of device-studded smart homes conferring unprecedented convenience, as well as warnings of killer robots. The Big Nine is a different kind of story about the potential risks and rewards of AI.
WASHINGTON — We live in a golden age of scientific data, with larger stockpiles of genetic information, medical images and astronomical observations than ever before. Artificial intelligence can pore over these troves to uncover potential new scientific discoveries much quicker than people ever could. But we should not blindly trust AI’s scientific insights, argues data scientist Genevera...
Letters to the Editor
Defining intelligence02/10/2019 - 07:15 Artificial Intelligence, Astronomy, Animals
Artificial intelligence followed fauna, diagnosed disease, mapped the moon and more in 2018, Maria Temming reported in “Artificial intelligence is mastering a wider variety of jobs than ever before” (SN: 12/22/18 & 1/5/19, p. 25).
Online reader greg found the term “artificial intelligence” misleading. “In reality what we call AI are merely classification...
HONOLULU — Artificial intelligence is starting to learn how to read between the lines.
AI systems are generally good at responding to direct statements, like “Siri, tell me the weather” or “Alexa, play ‘Despacito’.” But machines can’t yet make small talk the way humans do, says Yejin Choi, a natural language processing researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle. When it comes...
News in Brief
HONOLULU — A new training scheme could remind artificial intelligence programs that they aren’t know-it-alls.
AI programs that run robots, self-driving cars and other autonomous machines often train in simulated environments before making real-world debuts (SN: 12/8/18, p. 14). But situations that an AI doesn’t encounter in virtual reality can become blind spots in its real-life decision...
News in Brief
HONOLULU — The notion of ownership comes so easily to humans that even preschoolers have got it down. Robots, on the other hand, often struggle to grasp such abstract concepts.
Now researchers have programmed a well-mannered robot that can learn who owns what, as well as what it’s allowed to do with people’s belongings.
Teaching robots ownership-related etiquette “is really, really...
Reviews & Previews
Gods and RobotsAdrienne MayorPrinceton Univ., $29.95
Artificial intelligence and robotics are hot scientific fields today. But even in the brave new world of AI, there’s nothing new under the sun, writes classics and science history scholar Adrienne Mayor in Gods and Robots.
In a breezy and thought-provoking account, Mayor describes how ancient Greek, Roman, Indian and Chinese...