London: Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most exciting facets of technology and computing. In a nutshell, AI seeks to develop software and programmes that have the ability to think and make smart decisions like humans.
The seeds for this science were first planted in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly by Alan Turing, who came to be known as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence.
In 1950, Turing conducted his first simulation exercise, now widely known as the “Turing test,” to measure the intelligence and abilities of machines. Initially, Turing had dubbed his experiment the “imitation game,” which became the title of a 2014 biographical movie on the British genius.
This was followed in the 1960s and 1970s by developments in the fields of machine learning and artificial neural networks.
In the two following decades, research and technical efforts to develop AI intensified. Focus was placed on developing machine learning technologies and enhancing the performance of smart systems with the help of novel tools, like decision support and data analysis, which significantly furthered the evolution of AI.
In the new millennium, rapid growth led to the wide use of AI across several fields. Deep learning technologies were further developed.
Computing capacities and big data were employed to facilitate the incorporation of AI technologies in fields like machine learning, service robots, medical diagnosis, self-driving cars, and many more.
Many publications have been written about AI, documenting its evolution and highlighting its various theoretical and practical facets.
Many of these books tackled philosophical and ethical issues linked to AI, as well as concerns and questions about the present and future of humanity in light of the rapidly evolving technological landscape.
Al Majalla suggests the following selection of books discussing this new technology and its applications across many sectors.
1. What Computers Still Can't Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason (1972)
Published nearly three decades ago, this book by Hubert L. Dreyfus has become a classic. As its name suggests, it offers a critique of the ability of computers to carry out human cognitive processes like deductive reasoning, natural language processing, and sensory discrimination.
In his thesis, Dreyfus underlines that the capacities that humans possess in dealing with and understanding the world surpass the capabilities of computers by a long shot. The book highlights the key challenges and issues ahead of AI development, and wonders whether computers are indeed able to function just like the human mind, as their conception of mental functioning is “naïve.”
When it was published, the book caused an uproar in the artificial intelligence community, as the author predicted machines would fail to mimic the functions of the human mind.