Did you know that ...

... soon robots will make decisions on their own?

Let's set the scene: there are seven computers on stage, and each computer is trying to hack into the others while fighting off attacks from competitors – all without any human intervention. This is what happened at the beginning of August 2016 during the Cyber Grand Challenge. The final result: five out of six security vulnerabilities were patched in just a few hours. Human developers would have needed months, even years to achieve the same result.

Copyright: John Cairns

© John Cairns

No matter if it's chess, Go, big data analyses or – these days – even programming: computers are taking on increasingly complex and challenging tasks. Thus it is logical that they are making more and more decisions. We notice this in everyday life: many internet users select the first restaurant, gift or book that a search engine displays. Or just think what happens when you use a GPS: you enter the destination into the device, and the GPS does the rest – all you need to do is follow the directions.

In the future, machine learning (abbr. ML) will be combined with computer-aided image processing, also known as computer vision (abbr. CV). CV makes it possible to identify people, animals or things via functions such as image segmentation, 3D reconstruction and object recognition. With self-driving cars, this technology is used to ensure that pedestrians and other vehicles are identified in plenty of time. Together with ML, the next big development may be a new generation of robots which can independently modify decision-making processes in response to the particular situation. And the day's not far off when these systems could even win a competition between machines and people.


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