AI stands for artificial intelligence. No, not what Washington, D.C., uses but a technology in its early stages of development.

AI is an effort to make computers and other devices think and act like humans.

Getting computers to think like humans is a daunting task. One effort was undertaken by IBM with its supercomputer, Watson. It’s a large-scale scientific computer programmed to play chess and do other things. At first, world-class chess champions beat Watson, but not anymore.

IBM continued to enhance Watson’s ability to analyze various chess moves to the point where it stands as the undefeated world champion.

AI is now comparable to computers of the 1960s. Then it took weeks of coding to get computers the size of large rooms to perform tasks such as payroll. Today, it would take hours, if not minutes, on handheld-size machines.

Today’s supercomputers are executing instructions at the rate of 1,000,000,000,000,000 per second, measured as “mega petaflops.”

China just passed the United States as having the largest computing platform in the world. Not to worry, the U.S. will recapture the record again, only to lose it again to China. So it goes.

If you want to see a movie made in 1970 about a computer taking over the world, watch “Colossus, The Forbin Project.” Could it happen?

What does this hold for the future?

It is scary what the kids of today will learn. If given a homework assignment about who discovered America and in what year, all they will have to do is access Wikipedia for answers. There will be no going to a library. Oh, what’s a library? Is this our future?

Warren Harris

Waterlily Way


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