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Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence – or AI – is the science of programming machines or computers to replicate human processes, such as learning and decision-making.

The latest technological breakthroughs – for example, "smart" algorithms that autonomously decide what actions to take to achieve their goal, have allowed AI to make great strides, gradually becoming part of our daily lives.

Smartphones are becoming more and more intelligent, cyber-helper can find information in the blink of an eye and autonomous vehicles could soon boost road safety, potentially eliminating the risk of human error.

AI offers the promise of a highly efficient world in which robots take care of our patients, store our refrigerators, plan our vacations and perform dangerous tasks that humans should not or would not do.

Gambling is a crucial measure of AI's progress: to prove that a machine can perform certain "intellectual" tasks better than the human.

Mastering chess in computer science and more recently Go, the ultimate board game, have been hailed as moments in humanity's quest to create intelligent machines.

In medicine, software can already diagnose diseases, including some cancers, as effectively as a true doctor.

However, the question of how to adapt the workforce to face this "fourth industrial revolution" appealed to economists and policy makers.

Millions of jobs could be at risk if robots become capable of almost anything humans do.

It is feared that if nothing is done, the development of super-intelligence could pose a threat to humanity, computers becoming smarter than humans.

Yet, while robot surgeons and Terminator-style military droids may soon move from science fiction to reality, "super-intelligence," where technology can match or surpass the flexible human brain, is still far away.

Much remains to be done to equip robots with a social intelligence that enables them to understand the subtleties of everyday decisions.

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