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Artificial Intelligence at Human Level by 2029? 678

Gerard Boyers writes "Some members of the US National Academy of Engineering have predicted that Artificial Intelligence will reach the level of humans in around 20 years. Ray Kurzweil leads the charge: 'We will have both the hardware and the software to achieve human level artificial intelligence with the broad suppleness of human intelligence including our emotional intelligence by 2029. We're already a human machine civilization, we use our technology to expand our physical and mental horizons and this will be a further extension of that. We'll have intelligent nanobots go into our brains through the capillaries and interact directly with our biological neurons.' Mr Kurzweil is one of 18 influential thinkers, and a gentleman we've discussed previously. He was chosen to identify the great technological challenges facing humanity in the 21st century by the US National Academy of Engineering. The experts include Google founder Larry Page and genome pioneer Dr Craig Venter."

Military Robots to Gain Advanced Sight 71

coondoggie brings us a NetworkWorld report discussing iRobot's plans to include Laser Radar technology in their military robots. Quoting: "Specifically the robot-maker is licensing Advanced Scientific Concepts' 3-D flash Ladar which uses laser beams to scan and process targets. The system has the ability to create a virtual 3D picture of an entire area. IRobot ... believes the technology will provide new navigation and mapping capabilities for future generations of robots and unmanned ground vehicles and pave the way for autonomous vehicles to lead convoys into dangerous territory, search contaminated buildings for casualties, or enable bomb squads to safely investigate suspicious objects."

Microsoft and Google Duke It Out For the Future 297

Hugh Pickens writes "There is a long article in the NYTimes, well worth reading, about the future of applications and where they will reside — on the Web or on the desktop. Google President Eric Schmidt thinks that 90 percent of computing will eventually reside in the Web-based 'cloud.' Microsoft faces a business quandary as it tries to link the Web to its existing desktop business — 'software plus Internet services,' in its formulation. 'Microsoft will embrace the Web while striving to maintain the revenue and profits from its desktop software businesses, the corporate gold mine, a smart strategy for now that may not be sustainable,' according to the article. Google faces competition from Microsoft and from other Web-based productivity software being offered by startups, and it is 'unclear at this point whether Google will be able to capitalize on the trends that it's accelerating.' David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School, says the Google model is to try to change all the rules. If Google succeeds, 'a lot of the value that Microsoft provides today is potentially obsolete.' Microsoft used to call this 'cutting off their air supply."

Video Surveillance Identifies Threat Patterns 132

Ponca City, We Love You writes "When the 2008 Olympic Games kick off in Beijing next year, organizers will be using a sophisticated computer system to scan video images of city streets looking for everything from troublemakers to terrorists. The IBM system, called the Smart Surveillance System, uses analytic tools to index digital video recordings and then issue real-time alerts when certain patterns are detected. It can be used to warn security guards when someone has entered a secure area or keep track of cars coming in and out of a parking lot. The system can also search through old event data to find patterns that can be used to enable new security strategies and identify potential vulnerabilities. IBM is also developing a similar surveillance system for lower Manhattan, but has not yet begun deploying that project. "Physical security and IT security are starting to come together," says Julie Donahue, vice president of security and privacy services with IBM. "A lot of the guys I'm meeting on the IT side are just starting to get involved on the physical side.""
The Military

Carnegie Mellon Gets $14.4M to Build Robo-Tank 213

coondoggie passed us a NetworkWorld article, this one discussing new developments in the state of robotic warfare. Carnegie Melon is now hard at work on a tank set to join its brother, the already much-discussed Unmanned Areal Vehicle, on the modern battlefield "Ultimately unmanned ground vehicles would be outfitted with anti-tank or anti-aircraft missiles and anti-personnel weapons to make them lethal. Part of the new award budget is also slated to help the university prove that autonomous ground vehicles are feasible in future combat situations."

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.