In today’s world, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a commonplace topic of interest. Whether it’s the apps we use on our phones or the lesser-known advancements in medical research and development, AI has already transformed society and many of its citizenry. As each day passes, we become increasingly aware of just how close machines are to becoming something akin to us humans – and not just in terms of intelligence.
Riding on top of this technological wave, Israeli-based AI company Cortica says they’re on the verge of creating human-like vision for machines. Based on a branch of AI research known as unsupervised learning, Cortica has created an AI platform which mimics how the human brain processes visual information from the external world. Most AI companies rely on algorithms which require human input. What unsupervised learning does differently, however, is that it’s based on algorithms capable of learning and classifying information – whether visual or otherwise – without any guidance.
Which isn’t to say that Cortica wishes to limit machines to human biological limitations – especially in terms of eyesight. Machines will ultimately, at first, maintain a dominant means of viewing the external world, from seeing in the infrared spectrum to being able to visualize radio waves that are naked to the human eye, e.g. WiFi. Ultimately, though, to achieve such a feat, we must first push machines to reach the complexity of humans and their cognitive capacities. In doing so, the company truly believes they may someday create artificial general intelligence (AGI).
Five to ten years from now, AI will have reached a point where visualizing the external world will be as seamless and complex as that of the human eye. The intelligence capacity of AI will also have reached an all-time high, drawing closer to the intelligence capacity of the average human being. For some AI researchers, there is even a belief that, near the 10-year mark, we could officially create an AGI. This will then open up a chasm of change in everything we see and do, resulting from a skyrocketing of performance in our AI.
“Our technology leverages unsupervised learning to give computer systems the same limitless understanding of visual information that humans enjoy. We’ve created an artificial intelligence platform modeled on neuron activity occurring in the mammal brain. Our AI learns in the way that humans do.”
Thirty to fifty years from now, AI could potentially surpass human-level intelligence. This point in time is what futurist and inventor Ray Kurzweil refers to as the Technological Singularity. What this might entail for us as humans and inhabitants of Earth is simply incomprehensible, given the unlimited potential it would then hold. Everything we see today, touch and interact with, will have changed so significantly by then that it would be akin to comparing today’s monumental change to that of our ancient ancestors making their first trek out of the African plains.
Photo Credit: Cortica