The somewhat ill-defined long-term aim of AI is to build machines that are conscious, self-aware, and sentient; machines capable of the kind of intelligent autonomous action that currently only people are capable of. As an AI researcher with 25 years of experience, professor Mike Wooldridge has learned to be obsessively cautious about such claims, while still promoting an intense optimism about the future of the field. There have been genuine scientific breakthroughs that have made AI systems possible in the past decade that the founders of the field would have hailed as miraculous. Driverless cars and automated translation tools are just two examples of AI technologies that have become a practical, everyday reality in the past few years, and which will have a huge impact on our world.
While the dream of conscious machines remains, Professor Wooldridge believes, a distant prospect, the floodgates for AI have opened. Wooldridge's A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence is an exciting romp through the history of this groundbreaking field—a one-stop-shop for AI's past, present, and world-changing future.
"A chronicle of 70 years of progress in artificial intelligence that delivers encouraging news . . . Robot butlers are not on the horizon, but this is an insightful update on the digital revolution still in progress."—Kirkus Reviews
ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH writing this book, I was having lunch with a colleague.
“What are you working on?” she asked me.
This is a standard question for academics—we ask it of each other all the time. I...