Machines Who Imagine: Past, Present, and Future of Artificial Intelligence From 1950 to 2050

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At the dawn of the 20th century, scientists discovered a hidden universe lying inside the atom, giving rise to the revolutionary theory of quantum mechanics. Quantum theory played a profound role in the previous century, giving rise to atomic weapons, medical devices such as the PET scanner, as well as led to the invention of transistors, computers, and smartphones. The 21st century is likely to similarly shaped by scientific advances in the field of artificial intelligence, which designs machines that “think”. Stunning advances in AI and machine learning have given rise to machines that beat the best humans at open-ended quiz competitions, like Jeopardy, or challenging games, like chess and Go. We are beginning to see autonomous cars driven by AI roaming our streets, and AI software now daily analyzes vast amounts of information on the web. The next decades will usher in even more significant advances in AI, where machines are capable of “imagination”, and are able to perform more creative tasks, from creating art and designing novel drugs, to inventing new scientific ideas by reading the scientific literature. Many countries, such as China and Russia, have recognized the importance of AI, and are devoting significant resources to building AI expertise. The arms race in the 21st century is likely to be significantly shaped by advances in AI.

Sridhar Mahadevan is the Director of the Data Science Laboratory at Adobe Research in San Jose, California, as well as an adjunct professor at the College of Information and Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has published over 150 scientific articles in AI and machine learning over the past three decades, and was elected Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of AI in 2014 for significant contributions to machine learning. From 2001 to 2018, he was a full professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where his research was supported by significant funding from DARPA, NSF, NASA, and other government agencies. He has lectured widely on AI in over three dozen countries. His 2018 paper on imagination machines received the Best Paper Award in the Blue Sky track at the annual AAAI conference.

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Usman Arshad says:

What a horrible person he is!

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