A New Year, a new blog.

2017.  Saying that out loud will conjure either a grimace or a smile.  I can’t help but think that we left 2016 in the dust with little regard for what happened in that year.  Last year was filled with various tropes of climate change, Donald Trump, Russia and reports of social media making us more depressed.  Being able to take that firehose of information of course while trying to maintain a healthy relationship with people is a hard act to follow.  I’m sure if you’re like me, you’d rather not dwell on the past but look towards our new year with a sense of optimism.

An area of impossible growth over the past year that you may or may not know about is Artificial Intelligence or A.I. for short.  While you may scoff at A.I., think about it very carefully; You talk to your phone, you perhaps talk to Google, you may talk to Alexa — A.I. is as pervasive as the internet these days.  However, in the vein of trying to understand what A.I. is and what A.I isn’t, could be an entire Harvard class (okay, Columbia has one) so while I will not be trying to explain that portion of it to you (that’s your part of your homework), I will bring up some stories that I find fascinating on how A.I. continues to advances and re-shape our future.

Like I told my father-in-law, Artificial Intelligence is the new space race and everyone wants in; Tesla, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, cell phone providers and you.  This blog over the course of 2017 will be focusing on some of the milestones we hit in 2016 along with a look ahead in 2017 and what the future of A.I. could hold for humanity.

While this journey may be an uncomfortable one, I’m sure will be one filled with twists and turns.  For those interested in getting a jump-start, make sure to check the following movies and shows:

iRobot – Great movie on what it means for A.I. to have Morals

Her – Not for the faint of heart as there is some explicit sexual material but fascinating in terms of relationship and co-dependence w/ A.I.

A.I. – You probably have forgotten that this was ever made and quite frankly, I wouldn’t blame you.  A story about an adopted artificial boy who doesn’t know he’s not real.

Ex Machina – Another one not for the faint of heart as it deals with some fairly dark places of the human condition.  Incredible story that will suck you in and keep you wondering what is going to happen next.

2001: A Space Odyssey – If you’ve ever heard anyone sarcastically say “I’m afraid I can’t do that Dave…” and you had no clue what the hell they were talking about… this is the movie to watch.  Cult classic and while it only briefly touches on some of the technology, look for the human dependence on the machines.

Finally, go binge watch West World; Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Until next time…. Cease reading this blog.