Computers that could replace human jobs

Posted by Audrey Dubois-Boutet on July 02, 2010

medical advice from a computerWould you trust medical advice from a computer? Chances are you already do if you use websites such as WebMD and Healthline.

Artificial intelligence brings us one step closer to a future only seen in movies. It has progressed impressively in the past few years, with computers now available in some doctors’ offices to greet patients and interpret symptoms!

Does that seem unbelievable to you? Then think about something you may use more frequently: translation technology. There’s new language technology that allows you to speak a phrase into your phone for translation, but some of it is not without flaws. Take the following example:

“…translation software being tested by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is fast enough to keep up with some simple conversations. With some troops in Iraq, English is translated to Arabic and Arabic to English. But there is still a long way to go. When a soldier asked a civilian, ‘What are you transporting in your truck?’ the Arabic reply was that the truck was ‘carrying tomatoes.’ But the English translation became ‘pregnant tomatoes.’ The speech software understood ‘carrying,’ but not the context.” The example comes from this article about artificial intelligence.

This new technology makes you wonder: How far are we from the world that Hollywood has been predicting for decades? Will all businesses use artificial intelligence in the future? What are your thoughts?

Topics: Translation, Technology