Our discussion about technologies ever-increasing presence in our lives got me thinking about the subject of artificial intelligence. I suppose that our talks about the semantic web pretty much touched on the subject of AI without using the term specifically. Many different thoughts and opinions were shared during that discussion which ranged from fear to hope about the future of independent decision making technology. In order to put this subject in context, I harked back to the discussion of Moore's law which Moreville covered in chapter 3. While his law was not one hundred percent accurate, it still was surprisingly close (transistors double about every two years) especially considering it was postulated in 1965. Perhaps something that you might not be aware of is that the transistor threshold is predicted to reach a maximum sometime in the next five years. This is simply do to the fact that only a finite number of transistors can exist on a circuit board. This has lead scientists and software engineers to figure out ways to take ever-increasing computing power and put it into ever-decreasing devices. This perhaps raises another question in regards to advancing technology; how will this impede our efforts in the way of creating the artificial intelligence we once dreamed of for our future?
There are those that are no doubt relieved that some of our predictions have yet to come true. I am speaking of course about the Terminator future where our once beloved AI creations rebel and begin a course of action that is bent on destroying humankind. Of course others had a brighter future in mind where they envisioned a type of technological utopia where the AI was still in the form of bi-pedal robots but served to help us in all aspects of our lives. However, if you really think about it AI is all around us, just not in the form that we envisioned. Our Garmin determines the best route for us to travel, even making adjustments due to traffic jams or road closures. Our Netflix account recommends movies we would like based on our preferences and viewing history. Large storage facilities for many retail companies are organized and run by AI robots who determine the most efficient way to keep product flow running smoothly. The smart DJ from Zune can take one song and spit out twenty that relates to it. Our predictions about AI were not farfetched sci-fi fantasies, they are present reality. Our vision was simply skewed. What we learned was that the best AI is subtle while still being highly influential to our social structure.