Can you imagine a world in which humans talk to machines? Like we’ve all seen in so many sci-fi, futuristic movies, and games. These could be droids like C-3PO from Star Wars or the bartender from Passengers. Virtual artificial entities like in Mass effect or holographic representation like in the movie The Time Machine. It would be epic and cool, to say the least.
We are beginning to Imagine a world in which humans talk to machines:
This is exactly what artificial intelligence research is trying to do these days. There are a number of different AI programs that are already doing just that, for example, we all know Siri in our iPhones. Another one gaining prominence is Amazon Echo.
There is another interesting one I found online, this one is made by Existor Technologies. They have a number of interesting bots that you can talk to directly, these have responsive human Avatars that try to have a conversation with you. In fact, one of them is actually a chimp !. I’ve played around with them a bit and they’re pretty impressive.
Although I think we’re far from a world in which humans can actually talk to machines but the progress made so far is remarkable. The difficulty is when we speak in a more creative and intuitive sense. I find that these artificial intelligence programs have a big problem trying to understand this. It’s easy for the machines to understand simple language which has been pre-programmed into them. In fact using deep learning and contextual artificial intelligence they even go a step beyond that. This is done by learning the normal context to human speech and becoming self-learning (for more on this see my interesting article on Artificial Intelligence Basics).
But this does not seem to solve the problem (not yet anyway). I think the biggest issue is these machines have is that they cannot think in abstract and symbolic ways which like we do. It would be something to look forward to though if it were ever possible. So none seems to pass the turing test as far as I’m concerned. Not yet anyway.
(Photo credit: Brother UK)