Microsoft announces new developments in Interactive Technology and Artificial Intelligence!

Hey all,

Anyone remember that awesome computer system Tom Cruise used in Minority Report? The one with the giant curved glass monitor that he used to navigate and manipulate data with nothing but hand gestures? Microsoft announced last week that such computers are quickly escaping from the realm of science fiction. I was just reading the nytimes and felt that this article needed sharing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/02/technology/business-computing/02compute.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq&st=nyt&scp=2

A brief overview:

1. Microsoft has developed a projection system that lets people manipulate large video images with their hands.

2. Microsoft has developed a digital assistant, named “Laura” who appears as a talking head on a screen. She can handle basic tasks like booking appointments and scheduling flights and can make sophisticated decisions about the people in front of her, judging things like their attire, whether they seem impatient, and even their social importance! And here’s a scary quote for sci-fi fans “Microsoft wants to put a Laura on the desk of every person who has ever dreamed of having a personal aide.” Hmmm…Attack of the Laura’s anyone?

3. Craig Mundie (the chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft) is dedicated to producing computing systems that are 50 to 100 times more powerful than today’s systems by 2013.

4. Intel announced that more than 1,000 products (many of which include AI systems) are being designed for its coming Atom chip, which is aimed at nontraditional computing systems. Intel views this as a $10 billion potential market that will give rise to 15 billion brainy devices by 2015!

Is anyone else a little terrified of all of these amazing, albeit futuristic, developments? I think the topic of AI is particularly worthy of further discussion…how does AI complicate, even revolutionize, surveillance?

Let me know if anyone has an opinion, or some calming words, to throw back at me.

Devon

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