The smartphones and tablets that we use today are so powerful, so responsive and so thin and light that ten years ago we would have thought them things of science fiction. Of course, we all know better these days, and if the progress mobile devices have made over the past decade is any indication, technology is developing rapidly and it seems like there are few limits. Artificial Intelligence has long been the thought of science fiction, but as cloud computing and big data has shown, we’re approaching a point where AI might not always be a pipe dream. Eric Schmidt, famous for putting Google on the right course throughout the 2000’s has said that AI shouldn’t be looked upon as a bad thing, and that it can be used to better the world.
Speaking at a conference in New York, Schmidt, Alphabet’s Executive Chairman said that he would want to see a future with Eric – i.e. himself – and a “not-Eric”, created as an Artificial Intelligence running as if it was in fact Eric himself. Schmidt goes on to say that AI could be used to solve “hard problems” that the world is facing, such as climate change, world hunger and possibly new sources of energy. Schmidt isn’t the first to think that AI can lead to good things, after all taking out emotion, judgment and so on from the thought process can lead to some big solutions. Whether or not Google, or another part of the new Alphabet, will try to create their own artificial intelligence to get working on these problems is unclear, but it wouldn’t surprise us.
Google has already used software similar to artificial intelligence that we use day-to-day. Google Now is powered by a neural network of scripts and data that work in tandem to deliver us the answer to our questions, as well as predict when we want to know something useful like traffic or weather details. As ‘bots’ become an ever-more present occurrence online, it’s perhaps only a matter of time before we see more than a few IBM Watsons working their magic.