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By now, you’ve likely heard something about Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning or deep neural networks. If not in a favorite science fiction read, then in the headline news as the media is craving this class of story. AI has been in development since the 1960s and only in the current decade is it starting to really find roots in our daily experiences.
From recommendations in your online shopping to self-driving automobiles, computer software technology capable of guiding some of its behavior is no longer the stuff of science fiction. The foundation of AI is based on a variety of techniques referred to as “machine learning,” which is undergoing rapid development by scientists worldwide.
Our civilization has evolved through many technical revolutions that drove our capabilities as a species to a new level. First, it may have been the purposeful ignition of fire or the shaping of stones with sharp edges. We next progressed through wheels, irrigation, writing substrates, printing, and eventually computers. Our first industrial revolution that brought about the next level in how we produce things occurred around 1784 when steam power came online. Then, the early 1900s brought us the assembly line approach followed by electrical engineering (oh, how we love our light bulbs!) ushering a second industrial revolution. Only several decades later (suggesting a trend of exponential growth), the third industrial revolution washed over us with increasing computing power and advanced automated production processes that evolved rapidly through the end of the 20th century.
While machine learning sparked back in 1959 right along with the cusp of the third industrial revolution, it is now in the 21st century that AI is beginning to mature, although still in an infancy of its full potential. Its deepening integration into automated processes is proliferating through many industries, and we find ourselves on the cliff’s edge of the fourth industrial revolution: the AI revolution.
What is interesting to note is that since we are experiencing just the beginning of this revolution, we can see how engineers and developers are still down in the weeds figuring out the details of how to implement AI. While you may see many cover stories and promotional materials highlighting how AI is powering existing technologies, the industry doesn’t have anything close to perfection and are scrambling to understand how and where the AI integration will take us and our technologies. This rapid and convoluted discovery phase is reflected in today’s discussions from scientists and engineers, and it is exciting to witness this dynamic development occurring at a frantic pace.
An article published earlier this year by Inside HPC reflects this state of “not really knowing what we’ve got, but we’re plowing forward anyway” from those who are actively working the AI application problem. This is an interesting read to learn a bit more about our next industrial era (it’s happening, folks, one way or another) and how research teams are frantically working on it without quite knowing exactly where we are going.
↬ “Artificial Intelligence: The Next Industrial Revolution” | Inside HPC, February 5, 2018
Dynamic Patterns Research is excited to announce the official launch of a new app, MyHealthy.Today!
There are a lot of things to remember to stay healthy. Your health goals can become doable if you break them down into a process of manageable tasks and routines. Our new app is designed to help you keep track of all the healthy activities that fit your needs. You can create customizable daily tasks that are just right for you and your health goals, and the app will keep you focused and monitor your performance.
We have tinkered with web-based applications for several years and MyHealthy.Today is the first to make it to a public version 1.0 launch. The app is optimized for mobile and will work on any desktop, tablet or device through the web browser. By the end of April 2018, we will provide a major update for version 2.0 to include integration with Amazon Alexa. Future enhancements will offer Android and iOS versions.
Where’s the science in a healthy routine?
Why would Dynamic Patterns Research design a health app? A focus on healthy living is a goal toward which our family has an expanding commitment. Also, from one of the broader topics covered by dpr, healthy living must be a key target for any individual interested in their long-term existence and the future of humanity.
Hypotheses abound for how humans may evolve, when the singularity will arrive, how we might integrate with technology, and how long we can survive in the future, if not forever. While there is evidence that some, if not all, of these futuristic considerations may be approaching rapidly, they are all in the future. If anyone living today wants to experience revolutions in human-computer interfaces and how our lives can be enhanced and extended with better tools and innovations, we need to still be around when the future arrives. This future may happen next year, next decade or next century, and if we want to ride the wave, then we better stay healthy and alive as long as possible.
So, go check out MyHealthy.Today today and sign up for a free account. Since we are still in the early stages of our v1.0 launch, please send us feedback to report bugs, unexpected behavior, and your ideas for how we can improve the app to make it easier to maintain your healthy lifestyle today… and maybe forever!
Another Future Day is upon us, and this year, Dynamic Patterns Research will celebrate with a new “book club” event hosted online for all of you to participate.
Thursday, March 1, 2018 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm online
RSVP at the dpr Facebook Calendar Event
Future Day is a grass-roots, world-wide celebration of the future and what it holds for humankind. On March 1, we are encouraged to ponder what the future might be like and, more importantly, what we can do now to help make the future become what we want.
In this spirit, I recently discovered the popularized science book written by Max Tegmark, Professor of Physics at MIT, that discusses the possibilities, opportunities, and warnings for the next phase of life as we know it. The first “version” of life, or Life 1.0, evolved in the form of bacteria. The second phase featured humans. Looming on the horizon is Life 3.0–where human intelligence is exponentially and explosively broadened with technology. This new product launch of life will be represented by the development of a super-human artificial intelligence (AI) driven by extreme computational frameworks.
Life 3.0 is our evolution into technological intelligent beings.
Prof. Tegmark offers a thorough and imaginative–yet, scientifically grounded–exploration of the wide implications of a level of AI that is so much more than anything we have witnessed up until today. His ideas and stories include wondrous new opportunities for prosperity and enhancement to apocalyptic scenarios that leave biological humans in the dust, quite literally.
While a super-AI does not exist today, it is likely inevitable. However, exactly when super-AI comes to pass is impossible to predict. Some say within the next couple of decades, others claim in the next millennia, while still others insist it just can’t happen. No matter when the future of AI arrives, it will do so because human beings created it. This means we are in the critical position today to guide its development and implementation. So, the time is now to figure out what we want the future of AI to be for us. Thinking about what we want when super-AI is about to emerge will be much too late because the super-AI may just pass us by and push us under.
I encourage you to grab a copy of this intriguing book–check it out at your local library, download the audio version for your commute, or pick up a copy at your favorite local bookseller, such as Anderson’s Bookshops, or that other big warehouse with a lot of books and things. For our book club discussion, try to get through at least the prologue, which includes a tantalizing fictional account of how a super-AI might develop and lead to world domination, and the first chapter. This includes a broad introduction to the issues, ideas, and terminology as well as an initial review of questions we should answer to determine how we want to guide our fate alongside the inevitability of the future of AI.
On March 1, 2018 (Future Day!) from 6:30 – 8:00 pm, dpr will host an online event (and possibly the addition of a local venue depending on participation). Bring your questions, ideas, thoughts and preferences for the future, and your imagination (and web cam) while we talk through the exciting, scary, wild, and unbelievable possibilities that we might witness when Life 3.0 launches.
To RSVP, please like the dpr Facebook page and mark you will be attending in the calendar event. You may also RSVP by contacting dpr directly, and I’ll be sure to email you with connection details closer to the event date and time.
Happy Future Day!
If you have been considering getting involved in Citizen Science and just haven’t found the time or the right project, then let this annual opportunity pique your interest! The Great Backyard Bird Count is hosted every February by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, and it takes as little as 15 minutes. It’s also fun, free, and perfect for the entire family to do together.
During the four-day event (Friday, February 16 through Monday, February 19, 2018), head out into your backyard and count the birds you observe. Next, simply submit your checklist of observations online or through a mobile app, and your data will be used by researchers for the rest of the year to study how birds are getting along in our environment. This is the 21st year for the GBBC and last year more than 210,000 participants provided bird observations of nearly 6,000 species!
Bird populations shift throughout the United States, and observations of these behaviors are a vital window into environmental trends. For more details, check out the 2017 results and the many great photos sent in along with the observations.
Let us know if you participate this year and anything interesting you observe, and share your bird photos on our Facebook page!
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