Ray Kurzweil predicts computers will be as smart as humans in 12 years

12 years.

That’s how long Google’s Director of Engineering Ray Kurzweil thinks it will take for computers to reach human levels of intelligence.

Singularity Is Coming

“By 2029, computers will have human-level intelligence,” Kurzweil said in an interview at the SXSW Conference with Shira Lazar and Amy Kurzweil Comix.

Known as the Singularity, the event is oft discussed by scientists, futurists, technology stalwarts and others as a time when artificial intelligence will cause machines to become smarter than human beings.

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This Is Flight in the World of Tomorrow

Vision of the Future

A sleek new helicopter design was unveiled by Bell Helicopter at the Heli-Expo in Dallas, Texas.

Called the FCX-001, the next-generation machine will be built from sustainable materials and run on a hybrid power system. It will come equipped with augmented reality (AR), an artificial intelligence (AI) co-pilot, and rotor blades that morph depending on flight conditions.

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How to Upgrade Judges with Machine Learning

When should a criminal defendant be required to await trial in jail rather than at home? Software could significantly improve judges’ ability to make that call—reducing crime or the number of people stuck waiting in jail.

In a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists and computer scientists trained an algorithm to predict whether defendants were a flight risk from their rap sheet and court records using data from hundreds of thousands of cases in New York City. When tested on over a hundred thousand more cases that it hadn’t seen before, the algorithm proved better at predicting what defendants will do after release than judges.

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AImotive aims to convert regular cars into driverless ones inexpensively

The AImotive office is in a small converted house at the end of a quiet residential street in sunny Mountain View, spitting distance from Google’s headquarters. Outside is a branded Toyota Prius covered in cameras, one of three autonomous cars the Hungarian company is testing in the sleepy neighborhood. It’s a popular testing ground: one of Google’s driverless cars, now operating under spin-out company Waymo, zips past the office each lunchtime.

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Get ready for robots made with human flesh

Two University of Oxford biomedical researchers are calling for robots to be built with real human tissue, and they say the technology is there if we only choose to develop it. Writing in Science Robotics, Pierre-Alexis Mouthuy and Andrew Carr argue that humanoid robots could be the exact tool we need to create muscle and tendon grafts that actually work.

Right now, tissue engineering relies on bioreactors to grow sheets of cells. These machines often look like large fish tanks, filled with a rich soup of nutrients and chemicals that cells need to grow on a specialized trellis. The problem, explain Mouthuy and Carr, is that bioreactors currently “fail to mimic the real mechanical environment for cells.” In other words, human cells in muscles and tendons grow while being stretched and moved around on our skeletons. Without experiencing these natural stresses, the tissue grafts produced by researchers often have a broad range of structural problems and low cell counts.

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Why we must teach morality to robots

Every week comes a new warning that robots are taking over our jobs. People have become troubled by the question of how robots will learn ethics, if they do take over our work and our planet.

As early on as the 1960s Isaac Asimov came up with the ‘Three Laws of Robotics’ outlining moral rules they should abide by. More recently there has been official guidance from the British Standards Institute advising designers how to create ethical robots, which is meant to avoid them taking over the world.

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Wikipedia bots act more like humans than expected

Benevolent bots

‘Benevolent bots’ or software robots designed to improve articles on Wikipedia sometimes have online ‘fights’ over content that can continue for years, say scientists who warn that artificial intelligence systems may behave more like humans than expected.

Editing bots on Wikipedia undo vandalism, enforce bans, check spelling, create links and import content automatically, whereas other bots (which are non-editing) can mine data, identify data or identify copyright infringements.

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AI learns to write its own code by stealing from other programs

OUT of the way, human, I’ve got this covered. A machine learning system has gained the ability to write its own code.

Created by researchers at Microsoft and the University of Cambridge, the system, called DeepCoder, solved basic challenges of the kind set by programming competitions. This kind of approach could make it much easier for people to build simple programs without knowing how to write code.

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Artificial synapse bridges the gap to brainier computers

The human brain is nature’s most powerful processor, so it’s not surprising that developing computers that mimic it has been a long-term goal. Neural networks, the artificial intelligence systems that learn in a very human-like way, are the closest models we have, and now Stanford scientists have developed an organic artificial synapse, inching us closer to making computers more efficient learners.

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Do Robots and AI Deserve Rights?

When it comes to robot-human relations, the conversation typically centers on the welfare of the sentient. Science fiction paints us as petrified by our own creations; fears of a bot planet have influenced everything from Asimov’s “Laws of Robotics” to HAL 9000’s homicidal impulses to Skynet’s global genocide.

These human-centric anxieties are understandable. However, as our assorted bots and bits gain skills and personalities, should they be afforded some form of protection from us? It’s a question people are starting to seriously ponder.

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The Data-Driven Transformation of Intelligence

When “little green men” invaded Crimea in early 2014, they left a data trail that went largely unnoticed by the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).  Distracted by a large Russian exercise to the west, the IC did not connect the digital dots that indicated the impending invasion.  In the Information Age, the “dots” are more plentiful and glaring as everyone now leaves a data trail.  Given that, how can intelligence analysts better gather, share, organize, and view data to reveal intent, more accurately predict behavior, and make better decisions with limited resources?

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