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Intelligent Technology--the Evolution and Future of Automation

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Futuristic automation.

Chinese Academy of Sciences researchers suggest the core principles of automation and artificial intelligence must be reconsidered.


Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China, argue core principles of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) must be reconsidered as the world experiences an information technology (IT) shift.

The researchers' comments follow AlphaGo's victory against an internationally ranked Go player last year. "AlphaGo is not only a milestone in the quest for AI, but also an indication that IT now has entered a new era," says Chinese Academy of Sciences professor Fei-Yue Wang.

Wang describes the progress of robotic and neural machine-human interaction in a timeline of five "control" eras. Wang says automation evolved from the pure mechanics of ancient water clocks and steam engines to the development of electric circuits and transfer functions, which in turn gave way to power grids.

Digital computers and microprocessors represent the third shift and paved the way for the Internet and the World Wide Web, Wang notes. "In Control 5.0...only association revealed by data or experience is available, and causality is a luxury that is no longer attainable with limited resources for uncertainty, diversity, and complexity," Wang says.

He predicts recognizing these three worlds and the dual learning roles of each will be essential in the fifth era of intelligent technology.

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