Steven Levy is a senior writer for Wired and author of many books, including In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives (Behrens and Rosen 209). In his essay “The AI Revolution is On” published in Wired in December of 2010 Levy distinguishes between two visions of artificial intelligence: the kind of AI currently in place and the machines that will think
First, Levy gives a visual picture of how robots organize a warehouse. He explains that a company called Kiva Systems outfit similar facilities such as Gap, Staples, and Office Depot; the system can deliver items to packers at the rate of one every six seconds (209). Levy claims, “Today’s AI doesn’t try to re-create the brain. Instead, it uses machine learning, massive data sets, sophisticated sensors, and clever algorithms to master discrete tasks (210). He continues to explain the process of how computers have been programmed from the 1950’s and 60’s to now.
Next, Levy states, “We are engaged in a permanent dance with machines, locked in an increasingly dependent embrace. And yet, because the bots’ behavior isn’t based on human thought processes, we are often powerless to explain their actions” (211). He advises, though, that we must learn to adapt. He quotes Thinking Machines’ Hillis as saying, “The computers are in control, and we just live in their world”(211).
Levy, Steven. ” Artificial Intelligence.” Writing And Reading Across The Curriculum. Eds. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. 12th ed. New York: Pearson, 2008. 209-211. Print.