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The Hunt for AI

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Just before Christmas, I witnessed something extraordinary. I stood in


a room with two robots that were starting to do something distinctly


human. They were learning like young children do, when they


discover the world for the first time. They were developing a


language, one that I didn't understand. It's quite scary. Oh,


gosh, it's asked me to do something. More and more of the things we once


thought made us human are now being taken on by machines. I want to


find out how close we are to creating artificial intelligence.


And what that might mean for us as human. As a mathtition, should I be


worried that they may put me out of a job, or could they extend human


intelligence in unimaginable new ways? What are these machines? Or,


In February 2011, New York was a seen for a very public test of how


clever machines have become. A showdown watched by millions, took


place between two men and a supercomputer. The arena for this


battle was a quiz show called Jeopardy. It's one of the most


popular and long-running quiz shows in America. It's famous for its


Fortunately, those in mankind's corner had no problem with these


questions. One of the two human contestants was Brad Rutter, the


show's biggest-ever money winner. He became a five-time champion,


earning a record $3.2 million. long as I can remember, I grew up


with Jeopardy and by the time I was in high school I started realising


I knew the answers to most questions and if I ever get a


chance to try out, I think I can do pretty well. If wow have told me


how well I would actually do I would have said you were crazy, but


$3.2 million later here I am. the newcomer. This is Watson.


Watson was one of the most sophisticated AI computers ever


built. Sitting in the audience was his creator. We wanted to do this


kind of experiment, this illustration of what would it take


for a computer to play Jeopardy against a human. A brain that fits


in a shoebox powered on a glass of water and sandwich then you have a


computer 80 kilowatts of electricity and 20 tonnes of air


conditioning. This is what it took. In the lead-up to the match, Watson


had to learn how to play the game. In effect, it had to be coached.


One of the most difficult tasks it faced was to get to grips with the


cryptic format of the game, where the contestants are first given the


answer and have to come up with the question. This queen fled to London.


It had to go through the 200 million pages of information it had


been programmed with and find the answer in just three seconds.


famous clown or any incompetent fool? Who is Bozzo. After four


years of development, Watson was considered ready for the challenge.


Let's play Jeopardy. Here we go. was a really, really tense moment.


If I was going to fail we were going to fail in front of - This


was real jeopardy? This is real. You were putting yourself on the


line. This was real and live. People are going to route for the


people rather than the machine, so we felt a little bit of pressure,


but also a great opportunity to kind of represent humanity against


encroaching technology, shall we say? Four-letter word for a vantage


point or belief? What is a view. You have adrenaline going. It was


an open playing field. Anything could happen. Who can Grendell


is the 1930s? After the first round of the first game, Watson was tied


with Brad at about $5,000. Into a tie for the lead. I think everyone


sat there and thought at least we didn't lose. In other words, at


least at this point, the awedients is understanding -- audience is


understanding that the system is good to tie a grand champion.


close for comfort. I remember that moment when I first heard about


Watson. I thought what a key moment for AI. We have already programmed


a computer to beat humans at chess, but chess is a vertical thought


process, where you are making deep, logical connections. Watson is


doing something completely different and thinking horizontally,


accessing a huge database. This is machine intelligence taken in a new


direction. The computer is starting to think in a multi-dimensional way.


How the game would unfold was to change the way many people think


about artificial intelligence, including me. But in order to


understand the real significance of Watson, I need to know where this


dream to replicate our intelligence For thousands of years, we have


invented machines to do things for us. But there was one moment in


history where we realised they weren't just slaves, but had the


potential to be our rivals. Or even I've come to the place where this


realisation first came to life. It was in this building, that the


search for artificial intelligence began. What happened here still


resonates today. The idea that machines could be intelligent like


us was sparked by one man. He was the brilliant man, Alan Turing and


he's a real hero of mine. When he was a young man in his 20s he came


to work here at Bletchley Park, as a code breaker. This was the home


of British intelligence at the time. It was the 1930s and Britain was


gearing up to war with Germany. As well as needing the brute force of


the military, the Government were gathering a crack team hear. And


his genius was precisely what was needed at this time of national


The main problem that he had to wrestle with whilst here, was this.


It's an enigma machine and it's an incredibly clever piece of kit. It


was used by the German military to scramble secret messages into code


that nobody could understand. Cracking this code was incredibly


difficult for humans. The Germans believed that the code was


uncrackable. It was up to human minds to decipher the cryptic


communication that was picked up on the airwaves. This was an


impossibly long task. We were on the brink of war and didn't have


time to waist. -- waste. The machine consists of a key board


that I will type my message on to try to encode it. If I press an R,


then the wires in the machine go through and light up a letter at


the top here, so the R was encoded by theler N, but the incredible


thing is, about the machine, if I press R again it doesn't get


encoded by N the next time, because these rotas have kicked on one step


and so the wires are connecting up the letters in a completely


different way now. So when I now press R it is F. The operators had


different ways that they could set up the machine, so they can make a


choice, for example, of which rotas they were using, so there were five


different rotas and they would choose three and they could put


them inside in different orders. Then they would set each of the


rotas on one of 26 different settings and then not only that,


they had some plugs at the front here, which would also scramble up


all of the letters, so the combined effect is that there are over 150


Slobodan Milosevic different ways that the machine can be -- million,


million, million, different ways that the machine can be set up. It


really was human against machine. Alan Turing and his team realised


the human mind wasn't fast enough to do this and the only hope they


had of cracking the code was to create another machine to do it.


This is the incredible machine that he and his colleagues created. It's


called the Bomb. It was from this mesh of cogs and switches held


together by over ten miles of wire that finally came the ability to


crack the code on a daily basis. Something that no human had come


close to being able to do. What this machine did changed the course


of the war and many regard as crucial to the allied victory over


In one sense, this machine was just a collection of cogs and wheels.


But it could do something that some of the finest finds in Britain


couldn't. It was an unsettling moment. Was this machine cleverer


than a human? That is an incredibly satisfying sound. It must have been


an amazing moment when they switched it on for the first time,


seeing the cogs clicking through all the different possibilities,


getting a possible setting in ten minutes what would have taken


humans weeks to try to find. To see this machine solve a problem that


many regarded as impossible, it must have really fired Alan


Turing's imagination. This was built to crack the enigma code, but


he must have begun to think about what was the limit of what machines


could do? Once the war was over, his ideas about machines that could


mimic the human mind really started to take shape. But it was when he


asked the question, can a machine think in a paper in 1950, that the


idea finally sparked people's imaginations. For many, it conjured


up terrifying visions of the future and sparked furious debate. But it


was this idea, above any other, than inspired scientists in labs


across the world to try to re- create what is essentially us. The


hunt for artificial intelligence has become tied up with one


technology, the computer. At the heart of it is the simple idea that


humans and computers aren't so very different. The central thesis of AI


is that actually all human thought is just computation, that the mind


and the brain are just a sophisticated sort of machine. So,


if you could make a big enough computer, with the best software,


you can make a copy of the human So riveted by the man versus


machine Jeopardy game. Because at estheart, it was so much more than


just a TV showdown. Hoare was a machine that could grapple with


natural language, as well as any human. -- here. Including pun,


riddles and complex questions across a broad range of knowledge.


Please welcome Watson. At the end of the first round, the


supercomputer Watson was neck and neck with human Brad. But as the


second round began, the computer started to show what it was really


capable of. Watson who is... Frans list. Who is the church lady. It


all fell apart from Ken and me the second day. Watson went on a tear.


What is violin. It ex exceeded expectations Watson dominated the


entire thing. The final blow for human kind was when Watson went on


to win a bonus question. Answer... Which doubleded his score. When


Watson hit the daily double that was pretty much the end of the road


ch you could see the look on Ken's face, we knew, the guys in the team,


that "It was over, we've won." Watson's landslide victory made


headlines across America. I would have thought technology like this


was years away but it is here now. I have the bruised eco-to prove it.


For days after the interhet was alive with chatter about the demise


of humanity. Here was a computer that was displaying uniquely human


qualities. This machine could understand all the complexities,


puns and riddles much faster than any human. But was this true


artificial intelligence? Was Watson really thinking like us? The 1980s


the American philosopher John Searle challenged the idea whether


a machine could ever really think. He came up with an interesting


thought experiment to try and prove his idea. It is called the Chinese


Room. I am going to try and put that into practise to explore his


He imagined a non-Chinese speaking person like me, in a bare room,


with an instruction manual, and a selection of Chinese characters. He


then imagined someone who could speak Chinese, to be outside the


room, communicating with me, by a series of messages written using


Chinese characters. Can you speak Chinese? The messages are posted to


me through a door. And I have to come up with a response, even


though I don't understand a word of Chinese. OK I haven't got a clue


what this says. But if I follow the instructions in this book, I should


be able to give some sort of response to this question, which


will make some sort of sense, so let's have a look. What do I have


to find? There is a little one over X symbol. The book tells me to find


an exact match of the message on the top half of the page. And then


to reply by copying the Chinese characters from the bottom half of


the page. That is interesting. Some of the characters appear in the


answer, which makes some sense. Gosh, I don't know whether these


are the right way round. That looks like a little house with a roof on


the top. I need this character here. Oh yes. Bingo! Who knows what I


have just said! Can you speak Chinese? He compared the person in


the room making up the Chinese message, to a computer reading a


bit of code. Have you been to No I haven't been to China but


would one day like to. I am just faking I can speak Chinese. So just


how convincing was I? You your Chinese was perfect. If we were on


line having a chat like that, you would have been convinced you were


talking to... I really really would. I would have thought you were


someone who spoke Chinese. Chinese Room I think is an


important thought experiment. Not for the answers it offers but more


for the questions it raise, because I certainly didn't understand a


word of what I was writing down there, yet I seem to be able to


fake the fact I was speaking Mandarin, so if a computer is


following instructions, isn't really thinking, is it? But then


again, what is my mind doing when I am actually articulating words now?


It is following a set of instructions, so it raises the


question, where is the threshold? What point can you they a machine


is really understanding and thinking? So, our bigger and faster


machines going to bring us closer to this threshold? Since John


Searle came one the Chinese Room experiment computer power has been


doubling every two years. I am off to see one of the most powerful


computers that exists in the world today. We enter the lab I need to


warn you it will be very noisy. You will need some ear protection.


What is the noise? So that is all cold air blowing through the racks,


to cool off the computer chip. Because they are working so hard.


Because they are working so hard. This is the first time I have done


an interview with ear plugs in. This beast of a machine called Blue


Gene is a phenomenal piece of engineering. It is used to perform


the kind of calculations that my brain could never do, and it never


has to sleep. Fred Mintzer is the naers inventor and Cray to have


Blue Gene. -- master. So this is first generation Blue Gene rack.


Its commutational performance is 5.6 Terra nops a second. A teraflop


is a million million operations per second. Faster than I can go.


Faster than you can go. How many have you got. We have 16 Rab rack,


they all work in parallel. That is 60,000 processors and a performance


of 91 teraflops a second. Blue Gene is solving complex calculations


about biological processes. It would take me the rest of my life


to do what this computer can do in an hour. But is it really being


intelligent? Or is it just doing what it is told? The real


intelligence comes from the programmer. It is totally


programmed intelligence. Would you say it's a big number cruncher.. It


is an enormous number cruncher. But it the doing the things our brains


could never get anywhere near. computers are good at computation,


brains do much more. It is impressive to see just how powerful


they have become. This firepower you have with Blue Gene is


something my brain could get nowhere near, but then again, with


when I am doing maths it is not just doing number crunching. I am


doing more than that. The brain is working, making leap, a lot of


imagination, there is a lot of choices involved, which often


involve a kind of aesthetic sensibility. I am not saying a ma


sheen like that might not be able do that but at the moment it is a


sheer brute force crunching. It hasn't captured what my brain can


do. These other qualities that inare inhe want hernt in how man


intelligence, like creativity and imagine nation, are what make us so


unique. And they are the reason that the quest for artificial


intelligence is such an interesting and difficult challenge. There is


no reason to think that a computer couldn't one day develop these


qualities too. But to do this, scientists have got to get o grips


with exactly how well develop them At the heart of human intelligence


lies ourable to learn to do things we have never done before. Which is


what has borough me here. And that is not me by the way. I have joined


the circus an my challenge is to walk the tightrope. Not something


mathematicians normally do. My instructor for the day is Lila.


are nervous. It is not that. There we go. This is a training wire.


So... This isn't the real thing. is. It is the same you will feel on


the high wire. You don't have the fear fabg - factor because you can


stand over it safely. The other one there is a bit of jeopardy. No, it


is just... You could get a body bubble edouble. He is wearing a red


shirt! See, no movement. So once upon a time he couldn't do that. He


wasn't born being able do that. That is something he learned.


I should have the confidence that I can learn this new skill.. You know


the younger you learn something... What are you saying? I am saying it


is easier. You saying I am too old. No, not at all. I am going to do


this. Lila can't programme me with a set of rules. Unlike a computer,


my brain and my body have to master this by themselves. As a


mathematician I know there is a formula to describe what is going


on here. But I can't calculate my way out of this. I just have to do


Let your muscles do the thinking. Turn your brain off a bit. I have o


do things with my body and I have to think and counter act certain


things which I shouldn't do. There is a guy over there, who can just


sort of skip and dance across. Hands up. Hands up. Hands up!


trying to concentrate on the wall over there and keep my hand up, I


am trying to keep this leg straight, and maybe I am thinking too much.


think, we have to get some of it into muscle memory so you don't


think about that, that it comes naturally. As I flail round on the


tightrope, I can see the complicates physics I am asking my


brain and body do to master this new skill. It is this idea that the


brain and body work together. That is taking the hunt for AI in a


I have come to meet a scientist who has built the world's first


anthropomimetic robot. Which means it mimics the hue -- human body.


Because he believes that our fiscal form actually helps shape the way


we think. Without a body, artificial intelligence cannot


exist. 6. What we are interested in is how the brain controls body and


having built the body we have realised what a serious problem


that. Can I interact with it? you like to shake hands with it?


Yes, provided it doesn't clonking me anywhere sensitive. Give its


hand a good squeeze and a shake. It's squeezing back. It's really


responding to contact with me, picking up something. It gives


people the sensation of interacting with something that in a way of


really like themselves. This robot called Ecce Robot has no blood or


skin or flesh, but ha bones, joints, muscles and tendons that move like


ours, so it's able to have human interactions. This is an


extraordinary piece of engineering, but how does it help in getting


insight into intelligence? We are interested in what is known as


embodied intelligence. This is the idea that your intelligence is not


an abstract free intelligence, but tied very much to having a body and


in particular to having a human body. In order to investigate this,


what we have to do was build a robot that had as near to a human


body as we can manage and investigate the way it interacts


with the world and enables it to develop a particular sort of


intelligence for dealing with objects and so on. Once we get on


that track we'll be able to see how that intelligence, how that is


actually determined and conditioned by its body. You think it will be


distinct from the sort of intelligence that - does it know


I'm talking about it? The intelligence that before they were


doing things in robots, computers and that doesn't have a sense of a


body, it's a box? What happened when people started trying to make


robots that were controlled by AI and computers, is that they found


that the things that we thought would be difficult like playing


drafts or something like that were extremely easy. What was difficult


was moving the pieces. The interaction with the world is very,


very difficult and requires a lot of computation, but we are


completely unaware of this. What about the ultimate goal of things


like imagination or consciousness, this would actually become


conscious of its own body? I like to think it's the most interesting


question of all, but there are lots of problems to overcome before we


get to that stage. I happen to believe it will be possible one day


to build a machine that will have a kind of consciousness, whether it's


the same consciousness as ours, whatever that means, will be an


issue. I don't really believe we are going to arrive at


consciousness with a disembodied computer. This robot suggests that


human intelligence simply cannot be divorced from the human body that


created it. The hunt for AI has ended up on an alternative path.


It's not about hardware and software, but about trying to


replicate human biology. Back at the circus school, I'm still having


problems with my own body as I continue to struggle to get across


the tightrope. Take that leg off right away. Good. Up, up. Come on,


fight it. It's a battle. You think this isn't going to work, but the


minute you reach up you are pulling yourself back in line. It doesn't


seem logical. It really didn't. I was thinking that will do that. I


feel there are lots of instructions going on here and I've got to try


to put them together and maybe I'm - well, I don't know, whether I'm


ever going to be able to do this. This is something -- is this


something instinctive I'll be able to learn, or whatever? Move, move,


move. If you are doing maths, you are thinking, thinking, you need to


clear that. This feels really alien. But when I take a step back I


realise that I've done something very similar to this before. That's


when I learnt to walk as a child. Really relax your brain. Hands up.


Step. Come on. I need to get mean now. Hands up. What's truly


remarkable about our brains is that everything we learn to do from


seeing, thinking, walking and talking, becomes automatic when


practice. Go, go, go. Don't rush. Hands up. Hands up! We'll try a


little bit of military technique. Use a whip now! This ability to


learn to do something instinctively, without even thinking about it, is


what makes us human. Getting a machine to do this is one hell of a


task. Getting a computer to see has become one of the most difficult


challenges in AI. Our vision is key to our intelligence. Without it how


would we perceive the world around us? The one scientist -- for one


scientist, the challenge has been to get a computer to be able to


monitor and interpret CCTV footage, like a human does. You would think


with the power of computers and a mainframe in here scanning all the


programmes we can write, you would be able to pick up We haven't


written the programme that can do this sort of thing. It's so


difficult for a computer to pick out the needles in the haystacks.


Our brains have learnt to control our eye movements effortlessly,


taking in the whole seen. We instantly combine this with our


previous knowledge of what a car, bus, person or building looks like.


In less than seconds we can make sense of all the activity that's


going on in busy Piccadilly Circus. For a computer to recognise just


one of these elements, is almost impossible. James wants to show me


why this is. This is a simple programme to demonstrate how


difficult vision is. What it does is remove our hardware, our vision


processing hardware from the problem, so we have to process each


bit of the image piece by piece, rather like a computer has to.


challenge is to try to recognise a few familiar faces. It's through a


tiny dot on the screen. Is this somebody I should know? Yep, you


should know all of these. OK. I've found the eye. OK. I've got a bit


of clothing there. Check shirt. Exactly. You can put all this


together, Marcus. Then I should get it? Yeah. I don't know. Give in on


that one. Stephen Hawking. again. Another face. It's weird, I


can pick out eyes and nose and mouth. Putting that all together in


bits, but it doesn't have enough hair for Einstein. It's relevant


for this programme. OK. Alan Turing. We'll have one more. Beyond picking


out that this is a face, I think just the little pieces kind of


piece by piece - all right, it's me. I don't spend ages looking at me.


It really demonstrates how difficult it is. A computer can


only interpret one small business of the image at a time. But we have


learnt to piece all the pixels together and see the whole thing


with no effort at all. James has been wrestling with the problems


for years. He has done something really interesting, I think. He's


developed a piece of software that uses ground-breaking technology to


recognise individuals in a crowd. He wants to use me as a guinea pig.


What we'll do now is take you out on to the streets and track you out


and about. This means tracking you as you go within a camera and then


when you move on to a different view, we'll track you into the new


camera and try to find you there and carry on to see how far we can


take you. I'll be passing under the gaze of the Dons of CCTV cameras in


and around Piccadilly Circus. -- dozens. It's difficult for a


computer to pick out, because as I walk through the different camera


shots my size and position changes all the time. Whereas we can


separate what is me and what isn't without even thinking about it.


James' computer system gives each person a sequence of numbers and


then attempts to recognise individuals by matching their


number between all the different camera views. On the right-hand


side of the screen we can see where the computer has successfully


picked me out of the crowd on my journey around central London. In


the end, I was tracked across five views as I walked a quarter of a


mile. James is making real progress in getting a computer to recognise


what it's looking at. But there's a deeper question at stake here. --


steak here. It's not just about -- stake here. It's not just about


assigning objects, but what we see. It's something that humans working


here don't have a problem with. don't think we'll get rid of the


human intervention. On a Friday or Saturday night, we see lots of


people, the ones who have had a drink will mess about and play


fight. I don't think a computer would be able to tell the


difference between a real and play fight, because we can look at the


expressions on faces and see if they're smiling or if they're angry,


so I don't think we're at that stage. The chaos of the urban


jungle. Exactly. The human eye is still better. We are programmed to


pick out something unusual. That's weird. What are you found there?


pair of shoes on a seat. I was curious as to why they are there.


It's kind of strange. I've looked around to see who they might belong


to why they might be there, a couple of people have sat down next


to them and walked away, so you know they're not theirs, but I


don't think a computer can be programmed with the level of


curiosity and that's a natural human emotion. This desire to


understand meaning is absolutely at the forefront of artificial


intelligence right now. Our brains do it by learning complue


experience and it's become a really -- through experience and it's a --


it's become a really complex experience. I'm being reminded


today what a great human thing it is to be able to learn something


through experience. You would learn this pretty quick if you thought a


crocodile was under you. Trying to get across a wire encapsulates all


the problems involved in getting a machine to do a new task. Through


the process of learning by experience we are able to combine


all the different abilities that are needed. Like body control,


reasoning and instinct. I've tried everything to get across this wire.


Nothing seems to be working. But then Leila comes up with one little


thing. Try a little song. It releases any little tune. I'm


chatting to you now to try to relax you a bit. La, la, la, la. Keep


coming, don't stop. Keep the leg down. Keep coming. Keep it small.


Hands up. Hands up. Come on! That was so easy. You were there.


close and then my hand went down. What you just did there, right to


that point, looked really easy. I thought you can cracked this. I


don't know, sometimes the last, the anticipation, it's the last step or


something. This is the last bit. You've got it, so keep that


momentum going. We can't fully explain how our brains learn in


this way. I don't know where the huming is helping, but it is.


rush. Oh, yes, I'm rushing. Mm, mm, Hand up. Leg off, hand up. Hand up.


Little steps. Hands up. Hand up. Hand up. Yes! It wasn't elegant.


Frpbts it was pretty elegant. Perfect. Well done. That is an


amazing feeling to be able to get from one end of the tightwire to


the other. But that is the amazing thing about human intelligence,


just how adaptable it is, how I can go from nothing to learning a new


skill like doing the tightwire. If you think about a computer, you


would have to programme it especially to be able to do such a


something different and for it to be lost again. Perhaps we can try


the trapeze now? Yes, sure, great! One other human quality we like to


celebrate, and often link to intelligence, is creativity. I have


come to Paris, where the streets are steeped in artistic culture. I


am here to visit an unusual artist's studio. Run by computer


scientist Simon Colton, who is normally based at Imperial College


London. All these immap -- images have been created not by him but by


a computer. Because Simon wants to find out if it is possible to break


down the creative process into a set of instructions. That is why I


started simulating paint strokes. And this is a good example of that.


As well as programming it with painting techniques, Simon gives


the computer rules about different artistic styles. We can choose a


painting style according to the emotion of the sitter. So it is


kind of feeding off its suant and trying to tap in and appreciate its


mood. His of her mood and express that through the art. I can see


what a difficult task this is. But there is one image that has really


caught my eye. I love this one. Lots of comments from people.


is what dancers? That is right. But these people don't really exist.


This isn't a photo that, or a video it has looked at. It is taking some


concept of people fed into it. you watch it being painted it


paints it all in one stroke. This is a single line. Is that is what


is giving it this sense of energy and motion? That is right. Yes.


That is a classic example of where you put in a rule, where you have


more out of it than you put in I had no idea that I would get this


kind of effect. I had no idea it would give such a dynamism. I say


that real creativity makes you think more, so the software we are


developing, that will make us think more not less. Just like every


artist or musician or poet wants us to think more. So, I see a


different future for AI which is somewhere software is out there to


challenge you. So if these creations are meant to challenge us,


what do the city's artists make of them? There is something sexual. In


this artwork. Interesting. Like bacon, like monkey. You are seeing


bacon and monkey? That is interesting. Is it a man or ma heen


who does the paintings. Why do you think? Was a it is done


automatically. How can you tell, you are right, but, I am interested.


You can see it. For me I am not an artist, so I would be hard pushed.


What gives it away? There is no sensibility. Really? You can pick


that up. That is interesting. I quite like the image, or some of


them any way. It is clear that trying to mimic something as


elusive as raytivety remains a huge challenge. -- creativity. But


scientists are starting to put down the first important building blocks.


100 years the birth of the visionary mathematician Alan Turing,


we are discover hag the hunt for AI is a more difficult problem than he


or we ever imagined. Machines have surpassed us as specific tasks, but


the human brain sets the bar for artificial intelligence extremely


high, in its ability to constantly learn new skills. Hard wear and


software, are struggling to mimic our biology. But maybe there is


another way to create a thinking machine. That can capture the


versatility of the human brain. I have come to Berlin, for the


highlight of my journey. To meet a scientist who believes that for


something to be truly intelligent, it needs to develop and evolve like


we did at the very beginning of our lives and as a species. If you want


to understand how to create or understand intelligence in some way,


we have to capture this evolutionary adaptive aspect of it.


So we cannot programme intelligence? We cannot hope to


give it the purpose and do the learning and, a lot of people think


that today, but it, we have to understand this continuous adaptive


nature, this flexibility, also this motivation to continue to learn, to


be excited about new thing, to seek out new things. Luc is taking me to


a lab on the outskirts of the city. To show me some robots that are


starting to do something remarkable. Three of them. They are punch


larger than I thought they were going to be. -- much. These robots


have been set up to develop much They are beginning to understand


how their bodies work, by looking at a reflection of themselves. You


have a mirror, so what is the.... Well the experiment is about that


the robot would learn something about its own body, because in


order to move in the world, in order to control it, in order to


also recognise the movements of another, you need to have some sort


of model of your own body. Right. The way that the model is going to


be built up is that the robot is doing actions, and watching itself.


Performing the actions. So to get a relation between the visual image,


and movement of the motor for. So here you see this looking at the


its hand. You also see very much how I was trying to keep balance.


It is very impressive. How all the motor commands are in an early


phase, right. Well caught! It has just woken up. I know that feeling.


I think this was a beautiful example of feedback, and of finding


balance. It is extraordinary. It really does look like it is


encountering itself for the first time. But what is even more


remarkable about Luc's robots, is that once they are able to


recognise themselves, they start to evolve their own language and


communicate with each other. So what will happen now? Well, one of


them is going to speak, then he is going o to ask the other one to do


an action. He is going to invent a word, because he doesn't have yet


the word to maim that action. OK, so then he says the word and


this one isn't sure whether what it could mean, this is a brand-new


word, so he will make a guess, and if the guess is OK, totally by luck,


well they both know this word and they know for the future they can


use this word to communicate with each other. What if he gets it


wrong? If it gets it wrong this one will say this is not what I had in


mind. He will show it. OK. I mean I don't know which one is going to


speak first. OK, he is speaking first. He is doing the action.


is fantastic. OK. Notice how he looked. So he is... He is doing the


real action. So now there is another interaction going to happen


again. I don't know which one is going to speak. OK. Is that the


word it just learned. Kimato? doing it. He will say yes,


presumably. Yes. So would they interact with me, to learn this


language? Yes, we could try it. Do you remember any one of the


words. We will see. In is scary. Gosh it has asked me to do


something. Kimato. What was that? Was it that, have I got it right.


OK, you tell me what Kimato is. OK, that is right. All right. Tomima.


Tomima. I think that was lifting my right arm. Did it get it right. Yes.


I am learning robot! What would you say to people that would suggest


that, well this looks simple. They are doing a few action, swapping


words what is the big deal? first thing I would say to people,


just try it yourself, OK, just try to build a robot that stands up.


And then, you already will see its extraordinary complicated. How fast


do you think the development will be in of the intelligence of these


robot, such they are beginning to create a new language between


themselves, but how long will it be before they are, I don't know,


creating great works of art, the sort of things that we can do?


know, if we have these two robots and we let them alone. We come back


at the end o of the day and they will have developed a vocabulary


for co-ordinating their action, once they start talking about


shapes and colours and we don't know when they say Bobita do they


mean a colour or a position in space. You will be going through


the same process that the robot did to acquire that language, I mean...


Yeah. The exciting thing about the robots, is they have their own


evolutionary journey to go on. Tomima. Which could happen much


quicker than ours. And they open up the possibility for intelligences


very different from our own to emerge. That was a striking example


of a merging intelligence, something which wasn't


preprogrammed. Those robots really started with a pretty blank sheet,


and by the end of the day just talking to each other, they had


evolved their own language. A Laing cadge I couldn't really understand.


Turing asked can machines think? I think he would be excited by what I


-- a language I couldn't understand. I have discovered that computers


have far surpassed humans in many fields but are unlikely to put us


out of business yet. Because these super machines haven't come close


to capturing the true nature of our intelligence. But I also learned


how closely our intelligence is linked to our biology. And that


perhaps the secret to creating thinking machines lies in letting


But the one thought that has been creeping up on me throughout all of


this, is that maybe we have become obsessed with our own abilities.


And are blinded by being human. It does raise the question about


whether we should be bothering to try and recreate what is us, when


machines can do something so different to what human beings can.


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