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“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world” — Archimedes said that (or something close to that, anyway — exact quotes are hard to come by when they’re more than two thousand years old). That’s essentially what technology has been marching toward for the past 50-60 years: creating a long enough lever and developing the fulcrum on which to place it such that man can move the world (or at least elevate the species). Artificial intelligence (and not the sci-fi Hal 9000 version) represents some of the greatest possible advancements toward that terrestrial leverage equation in man’s history. But, to truly judge how successful we are in moving toward that end, we have to look to the future for hints at AI efficacy.

AI efficacy

It’s been covered quite a bit by now, but AI really isn’t what most people think it is. Through misuse and layperson misunderstanding, the term has come to represent and/or stand-in for a host of interrelated technologies and concepts in modern computing. Most people envision what we’d call ‘general intelligence’ AI, which is the Hal 9000 version — a computer system that can reason, think, rationalize and/or improvise while then making decisions as efficiently …

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