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Why artificial intelligence needs the human touch

Forget the scare stories:

is produced by engineers and its creators have the capability to design it in ways that enhance, rather than hinder, peoples’ lives

copyright by news.microsoft.com

“I propose to consider the question, ‘can machines think?’ This should begin with definitions of the meaning of the word ‘machine’ and ‘think’.”

So wrote computing pioneer Alan TuringAlan Turing constructed a test in the 1950's to determine a machine's intelligence. The test is considered to be passed, when a human cannot tell whether s/he is interacting with a machine or a human. The test as sparked controversy but is an important concept nevertheless.  in the introduction to his seminal paper on machine intelligence, published in the journal Mind in 1950.

That paper – introducing the ‘imitation game’, Turing’s adversarial test for machine intelligence, in which a human must decide whether what we now call a chatbotChatbots are computer programs which were engineered to converse in spoken or written form with humans. They are usually used in dialogue systems with a limited topic range. For example, they can answer basic customer questions or help you buy the correct train ticket. is a human or a computer – helped spark the field of research which later became more widely known as artificial intelligenceArtificial Intelligence knows many different definitions, but in general it can be defined as a machine completing complex tasks intelligently, meaning that it mirrors human intelligence and evolves with time..

Whilst no researcher has yet made a general purpose thinking machine – what’s known as artificial general intelligence – that passes Turing’s test, a wide variety of special purpose AIs have been created to focus on, and solve, very specific problems, such as image and recognition, and defeating chess and Go champions.

However, whenever hits trouble – such as when prototype autonomous cars cause accidents, robots look like eliminating jobs, or algorithmsAn algorithm is a fixed set of instructions for a computer. It can be very simple like "as long as the incoming number is smaller than 10, print "Hello World!". It can also be very complicated such as the algorithms behind self-driving cars. access personal data without permission, the news media surfaces major concerns about a societal downside to .

One trope in such stories is that is a hard-to-harness technology, one that could run away from human control at any time. But the truth is far more nuanced. At Microsoft, the aim is to use as a tool just like any other – one that’s used by engineers to achieve an end that strongly benefits people in one way or another, whether they are at home, or at work in fields as diverse as education, healthcare, aerospace, manufacturing or retail.

“We are trying to teach machines to learn so that they can do things that humans currently do, but in turn they should help people by augmenting their experiences,” says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

read more – copyright by news.microsoft.com

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