In 2011 a computer named Watson outscored two human competitors on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! and snagged the million-dollar prize. Watson isn't the only machine keeping up with humans. The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is booming, with drones, robots, and computers handling tasks that once only humans could perform.
Such advances raise challenging questions. Do Watson and other computers really think? Can machines acquire self-awareness? Is AI a promising or a dangerous technology? No machine, not even Watson, yet comes close to matching human intelligence, but many scientists believe it is only a matter of time before we reach this milestone. What will such a future look like?
About the Author
Stephanie Sammartino McPherson, a former teacher and freelance newspaper writer, enjoys writing about science and the human interest stories behind major discoveries. Stephanie and her husband Richard live in Virginia but also call California home.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Dawn of a New Age 4
Chapter 2 The Roots of Al 14
Chapter 3 Deep Learning 30
Chapter 4 The Rise of Robots 40
Chapter 5 Robots in Extreme Situations 50
Chapter 6 Socializing with Robots 64
Chapter 7 The Singularity 74
Chapter 8 Friendly, Hostile, or Indifferent? 82
Chapter 9 A Glimpse of the Future 90
Source Notes 92
Selected Bibliography 98
Further Information 99