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Driverless Cars And The Quest For True Artificial Intelligence Posted on Nov 08 - 2018

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The search for true artificial intelligence is a cornerstone of the ongoing development of driverless cars. Here's what to know about it.

What is true artificial intelligence? Whatever it is, pundits  and insiders are quick to make light of the fact that what we have right now is not it.

“To get to the point where we have true artificial general intelligence, we’re very far away. We’re not even close to it, and researchers in the AI space know that,” says Intel’s Raveen Nao.

Why are we so far away? In a nutshell, building a true artificial general intelligence is very hard because of one fundamental fact: intelligence is more than pattern recognition and reaction. If there’s a single image that represents intelligence, it’s Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.

The Paradox of Intelligence

The famous fresco The Creation of Adam depicts God giving life to Adam, yet God’s finger is not touching Adam’s (or Adam’s finger is not touching God’s, depending on how you want to look at it).

The level of both logic and mystery, as well as abstraction and actualization, sets the The Creation of Adam in both the divine and profane realms at once. Intelligence is the space between Adam’s finger and God’s. Ask an AI, “How do you make negative space mean something?” and the computer is sure to spout nonsense — at least, it won’t produce an answer equivalent to The Creation of Adam. Go ahead, ask Siri.

As we attempt to create true AI, we attempt to give life to an artificial Adam, but for this to be possible, we have to create a paradox — a being capable of logical and illogical thinking at the same time. For abstraction and true intelligence to be possible, a mind has to be able to remove itself from itself.

Why Driverless Cars Matter

Besides being important to AI, driverless cars are incredibly important to the future of driving and transportation:

  • They could decrease the number of accidents by 90 percent, save lives, and reduce healthcare and car repair expenses.
  • They could cut emissions by 60 percent, which would help in the fight against climate change
  • They could free up drivers to do other things, reduce stress, and catalyze productivity. View More
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