Welcome to Intelligence Matters

Casting a critical eye on the exciting developments in the world of AI

[A version of this post appears on the O’Reilly Radar blog and Forbes.]

Editor’s note: this post was co-authored by Ben Lorica and Roger Magoulas

Today the O’Reilly Radar is kicking off Intelligence Matters (IM), a new series exploring current issues in artificial intelligence, including the connection between artificial intelligence, human intelligence and the brain. IM offers a thoughtful take on recent developments, including a critical, and sometimes skeptical, view when necessary.

True AI has been “just around the corner” for 60 years, so why should O’Reilly start covering AI in a big way now? As computing power catches up to scientific and engineering ambitions, and as our ability to learn directly from sensory signals — i.e., big data — increases, intelligent systems are having a real and widespread impact. Every Internet user benefits from these systems today — they sort our email, plan our journeys, answer our questions, and protect us from fraudsters. And, with the Internet of Things, these system have already started to keep our houses and offices comfortable and well-lit, our data centers running more efficiently, our industrial processes humming, and even are driving our cars.

Of course, these systems don’t exist in a vacuum; in fact, some of the most fascinating aspects of machine intelligence arise from their deep interconnections with other technologies. The impact of big data and the Internet of Things will both be magnified once these massive information streams can be interpreted and acted upon by truly intelligent systems. Continue reading