Artificial intelligence: our final invention?

Artificial intelligence: our final invention?Is it ‘Hasta la vista, baby’ for humans, now that computers can be trained to learn?  Or will intelligent machines save, rather than take, lives? That was the fascinating topic that Professor Chris Bishop, Lab Director of Microsoft Research here in Cambridge, sought to answer in his lecture on Artificial Intelligence (AI), one of a series of community lectures at The Perse to mark our 400th anniversary. Professor Bishop started by giving the audience a short introduction to the origins of this area of science, beginning with Alan Turning, an early proponent of AI, who conceptualised machines with the capabilities of the human brain. In the 1950s, AI experimentation was limited to writing code that would enable computers to ‘understand’ a problem – such as a…

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