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Dated: Jul. 17, 2011
Related CategoriesTechnological Advances
- History, Origins, and Various Generations of Computers
- Charles Babbage - Father of Computing
- Fourth Generation of Computers
- Sixth Generation of Computers (Artificial Intelligence)
- Fifth Generation of Computers
- Generations of Computer
It is amazing to look at all that has transpired in technology in relatively a blink of an eye. In a span of 71 years, about as long as many baby boomers have been alive, computers have gone from huge devices that took an entire room to one that can sit on your lap while you update your Facebook page. In more recent years, we have seen the birth and awkward infancy of artificial intelligence, also known as the sixth generation of computers.
A generation of computer is a term used to describe the evolution of computing and how technology has adapted the computing industry to a more streamlined, powerful set of highly evolved processors. Each technological breakthrough has made computers smaller, faster and less expensive. In the 1980’s it was rare for even one home to have a computer, now most homes have several. Accessing the Internet was once reserved for college universities, now we can download music from the web onto our cell phones. And we are still changing, making things even smaller and able to perform more complex functions, such as type what we say and beat us at chess.
Artificial intelligence is the realm of programming where devices are enabled with the ability to think and react to the environment around it. The fields of gaming, robotics, voice recognition, and real life simulation all center on perfecting the science of artificial intelligence. The sixth generation of computer differs from previous generations in terms of size, processing speed and the complexity of tasks that computers can now perform. Back in the earliest stages of computing, computers contained vacuum tubes and magnetic drums. They were large, expensive and could only perform one task at a time. They were also prone to malfunctions and had the self-destructive inclination to overheat due to the vast amount of electricity it used and heat it generated.
The ability to perform many complex tasks at one time was expanded and revolutionized with the introduction of the microprocessor in the early 70’s. Now what took up a whole room could rest gently on a fingertip. Microprocessors were the beginning for a fury of technological advancements that includes computerized cars, appliances and smart phones. Everything has become smarter, faster and smaller. They have also become integrated. With the advent of the microprocessor came the ability to link computers together in a network. The birth of the Internet and all of its wonders are attributed to the birth of the microchip.
All of this has led to the ability to program computers to imitate the ability to think. While no computer or device can truly think on its own (sorry HAL) it is able to simulate many decision making functions that have helped to improve the lives and fun of humans.
AI programmers started with basic algorithms for reasoning and progressed to using probability and economic theories to help create the ability to solve more complex issues. Advances in the field of fuzzy logic have introduced the ability to solve problems where there is no clear answer of right or wrong. While more complex problem solving is possible, the amount of computing power necessary expands exponentially when the solution is difficult. Research is ongoing to find ways to make problem solving more efficient and less cost prohibitive.
In the military, AI has helped enhance simulators so that training soldiers for unexpected problems that arise in different peacekeeping missions around the world. Artificial Intelligence is also prevalent in many of the world’s spy networks to help determine the probability of certain actions occurring in highly volatile parts of the world.
In the automobile industry, robots are used in manufacturing, but AI has crept into the vehicles themselves. From global positioning systems to warning a driver of a potential hazard in front of them, artificial intelligence is present. Some cars can even apply the break or swerve the vehicle out of harm’s way if necessary.
Artificial intelligence has also assisted in the development of voice recognition software (VAR). While unable to understand the words, VAR has allowed people who have disabilities to speak into a microphone and see the words appear on the screen. Although people need to speak slowly and clearly in order to work properly, and it is not 100% accurate, VAR is also now on many hand held devices. Being able to surf the web or send a text has become easier than ever, and more advancements are on the way.
This can be seen in the robot that won on jeopardy and the customer service avatars now seen on websites and as office assistants. One virtual office assistant (HAL’s ancestor perhaps) can hold an actual conversation with the user. As well as remind him to pick up a gallon of milk on the way home.
Now that you've gotten free know-how on this topic, try to grow your skills even faster with online video training. Then finally, put these skills to the test and make a name for yourself by offering these skills to others by becoming a freelancer. There are literally 2000+ new projects that are posted every single freakin' day, no lie!
thank you shivam
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