Artificial intelligence (AI) exists now, in narrow systems (Siri, for example, and Facebook friend recommendations) and in larger systems, such as Watson, the chess-playing computer. But the challenge of AI is to build a computer mind that can think like a human being—not just running on a list of rules but with a wide overall understanding of how things work, and the ability to adapt and react to new situations. We’re not quite there, but there’s little doubt that we’ll get there.
So, where exactly are we with AI? Yesterday, at the annual World Economic Forum held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, a panel of experts—including Executive Vice President of Qualcomm Technologies and Chief Technology Officer of Qualcomm Incorporated Matt Grob—discussed the state of AI with moderator Jennifer Moon. In addition to Grob were Stuart Russell, professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley; Ya-Qin Zhang, president of Chinese Web-services company Baidu; and Andrew Moore, dean at the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. (Grob and Russell are also participants on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Artificial Intelligence & Robotics.)
The panel covered a wide range of AI topics—autonomous cars, AI applications in smartphones and medical devices, the role AI plays in security, how (and how soon) it may evolve, and much more. “In the near term,” said Grob, “the applications for this are profound… It’s a very exciting time.”
You can watch the panel discussion at 2016 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting: The State of Artificial Intelligence.