Robotic Revolution: Artificial Intelligence on the Horizon

In the media, artificial intelligence has been seen in films like “Blade Runner,” “I, Robot” and “Her,” but a world filled with androids and robots might still be far-fetched.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a branch of science and robotics that deals with bringing human-like qualities and intelligence to artificial machines. This broad definition means that there is AI all around us in our current era of technology and advancements. 

While it may not seem like the most advanced piece of technology on the market, the iPhone’s Siri feature and others like it are our most prominent examples of everyday AI. Although the feature will likely never display the human emotions of the androids in “Blade Runner,” it is an overlooked form of artificial intelligence that sci-fi writers of the 60s and 70s could have never imagined becoming a part of life in 2014.

More impressive is the recent example of an AI program beating the famed “Turing test.” Developed by scientist Alan Turing, the Turing test is a series of conversations between a human judge and an AI system. To beat the test, the AI must display such highly complex levels of intelligence that it is indistinguishable from a human being. To do this the conversation must flow in a way that does not give away that the answers are coming from a robot.

A Russian AI known as “Eugene Goostman” completed the test with a 33 percent. Although 33 percent may not sound like a huge leap for artificial intelligence, this is one of the highest scores ever recorded.

Another highly impressive yet also common form of AI is found in video games. The non-playable characters (NPCs) in video games are our most advanced form of artificial intelligence and continue to advance as new games are released.

Researchers at North Carolina State University are currently working on learning algorithms that will help NPCs adapt to the way the player interacts with the world around them in order to move the game’s narrative forward in an effective way.

Thanks to advances in the new wave of open-world gaming, video game AI is continuing to grow at a rapid rate and is likely the next step in computer intelligence.

The researchers at North Carolina State University plan to use their new methods for educational games, but it is impossible to predict how long it will be before we see these advanced forms of AI in games like “Grand Theft Auto” or “Destiny.”     

 “Artificial intelligence is one of the most unpredictable fields of computer science. It is also a field where large leaps are made in a short period of time. For all we know, we could have advanced AI within the next five to 10 years,” stated senior Jeff Makuta, an information technology major.

The artificial intelligence of science fiction is slowly becoming the reality we live in today. With the technology advancing every day, there is no predicting the future of AI, but there is no doubt about the fact that our world will continue to change thanks to advances in robotics and AI.