I have been interested in artificial intelligence (AI) since I read about Marvin Minsky at MIT in a book more than 25 years ago.
Not to mention a general interest in technology, I remember another interesting book I read called Sci-Tech and the Future of Work a similar amount of years ago, though this book seems no longer available so I digress.
Besides reading about AI I was and still am a huge Stanley Kubrick fan, the auteur of such films as 2001 and A Clockwork Orange, and he wrote the screenplay I believe for the movie A.I. which Steven Spielberg would eventually direct since Stanley Kubrick died before he could complete it.
While A.I. the movie left something to be desired, these types of movies, AI as humanoid robot, would continue along until Ex Machina, directed by Alex Garland, the masterpiece which came out and I have previously written about on this blog, and still love.
What’s really off-the-wall interesting right now during this horrible pandemic of the novel (or new) coronavirus called COVID-19, is how real AI is being pushed into service to try and help in different ways.
I have never programmed AI, only being a bit familiar that the R programming language is often used and lots of Python, but I know from fleeting experience how strong the budding AI community is in Montréal and read somewhere that companies are going to work with the Google office in my city to try and come up with some sort of AI tool or tools which might alleviate the 811 calls by answering questions and who knows what other uses they will come up with. Again, my own details are sketchy and you can search online for what is really happening, but it looks like this technology is being put to a real test in realtime right now. (I know I rag a lot about Google’s surveillance technology, but if they put their manpower and technology to real truly good use I am all for that!)
To harken just a little back to another of my favourite movies, The Imitation Game, about breaking the German encryption tool Enigma during World War II, paying homage to Allan Turing one of the key players in the invention of the modern computer without which there would of course be no AI. Turing’s life, as portrayed in the movie, ended up in tragedy with the UK ultimately persecuting him for his sexual orientation when in fact he sort of was responsible for winning the war in my opinion.
Who are our current heroes of science and technology who hopefully will turn the tide on COVID-19 to help civilization beat this new war, which is against not a nation state, ideology, or people, but in fact a pathogen that threatens everyone? They seem to be hard at work and I believe I have at least some of them as LinkedIn connections, but most of them are probably too busy to be engaged in any mostly frivolous online social networking right now.
Of course our environmental problems persist and this should be the very next thing that is tackled as an emergency, but I want to take this bit of space to commend the technologists who are pushing things as never before to solve the slew of worldwide interrelated problems that COVID-19 is causing.
Merci beaucoup à tout le monde!!