The human race has long designed and used tools to help us solve problems, from flint axes to space shuttles. They affect our lives and shape society in expected and sometimes unexpected ways. We may understand how these tools work – after all, we built them – but sometimes it’s the use they’re put to …

For more than two millennia, Western thinkers have separated emotion from cognition – emotion being the poorer sibling of the two. Cognition helps to explain the nature of space-time and sends humans to the Moon. Emotion might save the lioness in the savannah, but it also makes humans act irrationally with disconcerting frequency.  In the …

Will the intelligent algorithms of the future look like general-purpose robots, as adept at idle banter and reading maps as they are handy in the kitchen? Or will our digital assistants look more like a grab-bag of specialised gadgets – less a single chatty masterchef than a kitchen full of appliances? If an algorithm tries …

WHAT IS AI? From SIRI to self-driving cars, artificial intelligence (AI) is progressing rapidly. While science fiction often portrays AI as robots with human-like characteristics, AI can encompass anything from Google’s search algorithms to IBM’s Watson to autonomous weapons. Artificial intelligence today is properly known as narrow AI (or weak AI), in that it is designed …

Artificial intelligence already impacts many aspects of our daily lives at work, at home, and as we move about. Over the next decade, analyst firm Tractica predicts that annual Global AI enterprise software revenue will grow from $644 million in 2016 to nearly $39 billion by 2025, and services related revenue should reach almost $150 billion. They …

Mistaken extrapolations, limited imagination, and other common mistakes that distract us from thinking more productively about the future. We are surrounded by hysteria about the future of artificial intelligence and robotics—hysteria about how powerful they will become, how quickly, and what they will do to jobs. I recently saw a story in ­MarketWatch that said robots will take …

Scientists, technologists, engineers, and visionaries are building the future. Amazing things are in the pipeline. It’s a big deal. But you already knew all that. Such speculation is common. What’s less common? Scale. How big is big? “Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, Silicon Dock, all of the Silicons around the world, they are dreaming the dream. …