Over the past two decades, artificial intelligence (AI) has been improved by many technological advances, mainly based on the collection and use of big data, and algorithms relying on a method called “deep learning”. As a result, AI can now be applied to many common processes and tasks, such as speech recognition, image labelling, playing board games online or text translation. However, these technologies cannot yet function as autonomous AI solutions, and are thus unable to perform many complex operations like human beings.
In their book Rebooting AI: building Artificial Intelligence we can trust (Pantheon Books, 2019), Professors Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis review AI’s current achievements. They also discuss the potential for a new generation of AI, one that could support every aspect of our lives — from making medical decisions to driverless cars.
The authors argue that the central problem with current AI is that it is too “narrow”, with solutions programmed for particular tasks based on fixed rules. As a result, those technologies are not able to cope with new experiences they haven’t been programmed to recognise, and cannot respond to real-world situations that feature any degree of unpredictability or creativity.
Taking AI to the next level will thus require developing machines that can adapt more easily and quickly to different situations. As argued by Marcus and Davis, this future AI could be more reliable and more trustworthy, as it would have a deeper understanding of the world and of human values.
But how can we possibly create machines with such broad intelligence that they can deal with problems they have never been confronted with before? And more importantly: what would be the consequences for “life” as we know it?
For the 40th edition of our meeting series “Aux Sources du Numérique”, the think tank Renaissance Numérique and Spintank agency invite you to join the debate in the presence of Professor Ernest Davis. This meeting will be held and broadcasted live on YouTube on Tuesday, February 23 at 5:30 pm (Paris local time).
Aux Sources du Numérique, un rendez-vous mensuel, produit avec Renaissance Numérique, autour d’auteurs de livres sur les questions de numérique et société, fort de plusieurs dizaines d’éditions. Chaque mois, nous prenons le temps de rencontrer des auteurs comme Dominique Pasquier, Marie Bergström, Patrice Flichy, Dominique Cardon ou Jean-Gabriel Ganascia, qui éclairent ces grandes questions. À cette occasion, nous produisons un podcast et des entretiens.