Chapter 2. Intelligence Matters

Artificial intelligence has been “just around the corner” for decades. But it’s more accurate to say that our ideas of what we can expect from AI have been sharpening and diversifying since the invention of the computer. Beau Cronin starts off this chapter with consideration of AI’s ‘dueling definitions'—and then resolves the “duel” by considering both artificial and human intelligence as part of a system of knowledge; both parts are vital and new capacities for both human and machine intelligence are coming.

Pete Warden then takes us through deep learning—one form of machine intelligence whose performance has been astounding over the past few years, blasting away expectations particularly in the field of image recognition. Mike Loukides then brings us back to the big picture: what makes human intelligence is not power, but the desire for betterment.

AI’s Dueling Definitions

Why my understanding of AI is different from yours

by Beau Cronin

Let me start with a secret: I feel self-conscious when I use the terms “AI” and “artificial intelligence.” Sometimes, I’m downright embarrassed by them.

Before I get into why, though, answer this question: what pops into your head when you hear the phrase artificial intelligence?

Figure 2-1. SoftBank’s Pepper, a humanoid robot that takes its surroundings into consideration.

For the layperson, AI might still conjure ...

Get Big Data Now: 2014 Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.