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人工智能真的能够帮助人类吗?

来源:中国科技网 作者:张微编译 2016年09月06日 11:24
[导读] 本周,两所加州大学分别宣布成立新的中心,致力于研究人工智能帮助人类的方式。

人工智能真的能够帮助人类吗?

导读:本周,两所加州大学分别宣布成立新的中心,致力于研究人工智能帮助人类的方式。 

本周,两所加州大学分别宣布成立新的中心,致力于研究人工智能帮助人类的方式。 

本周三,南加州大学维特比工学院和它的社会工作学院表示,他们已经联合创立了解决社会问题的人工智能研究中心。此前一天,加州大学伯克利分校宣布,他们刚刚新建了人工兼容智能中心。 

尽管技术权威们(包括史蒂芬·霍金、比尔 盖茨和伊隆·马斯克)认为先进的人工智能取代人类,还十分遥远,但是专家们说,科学家们越来越多地关注,人工智能在实际生活中能够以何种方式帮助人类的生活。 

加州大学伯克利分校的研究中心,负责人是斯图尔特 罗素,他们努力去了解如何将人类价值内置于人工智能设计中,创建数学框架来帮助人们建立有益于人类的人工智能系统。 

他们要应对的众多问题之一是,例如,如何让机器人了解什么是人类真正想要的(因为人类非常不善于沟通他们的目标)。罗素将其称之为米达斯王问题。在希腊神话中,米达斯具有点石成金的能力。被他手指点到的食物和饮料都会变成金属,这导致他在痛苦和饥饿中死去。 

科学家们可以通过设计能够观察人类的人工智能来绕开这种沟通问题,并通过人类行为了解人类的价值观(虽然有一些不确定性,因为人类的行为并不总是与他们的价值观一致,罗素补充道)。 

“我的目标…主要取决于如何设计人工智能系统的问题,这样你才能保证得出满意的结果,”罗素说。(如果他们能够设计出他们想要的、甚至更好的有用软件或设备)。 

南加州大学的研究中心,由人工智能研究人员Milind Tambe和社会工作科学家爱瑞克·赖斯共同领导。他们努力的方向是利用人工智能现有的能力来解决复杂问题和复杂的人类环境。 

Tambe负责领导一个研究会,主要负责人工智能服务于“社会政策”,这个研究会由白宫科学技术办公室资助。他利用人工智能帮助护林者减少野生动物偷猎行为,帮助洛杉矶国际机场安全官员们查获更多的武器,毒品和其它违禁品。他和赖斯正在合作进行研究,这也是他们的中心所能做的工作:在社会网络中利用人工智能来识别关键人物,帮助阻止艾滋病在洛杉矶无家可归的年轻人中的扩散。 

人工智能还包括一系列工具,包括机器学习,计算机视觉,自然语言处理和博弈论(虽然有些人认为博弈论可能是另一个学科,Tambe说)。这些领域中有类似于人工智能的方面。Tambe说,他希望有更多的研究者能够加入到他们的中心,更多的计算工具集能够得到更好的利用。 

“要给出一个所有人都接受的人工智能定义是很难的,” Tambe说。“但基本上所有类型的人工推理可能都适用于人工智能问题,人工智能能够做的更多、更好。” 

赖斯说,他看到了这些技术的潜力,可以被应用到不同人类环境下,一系列棘手的问题中,从全球变暖对贫困社区的影响到儿童福利制度,无家可归和医疗保健问题。 

虽然该中心的创始董事具有不同的学科背景,但不同的学科能够互相补充、互相提高,Rice解释说。 

“如果你把来自社会工作的人们联合起来,他们能够理解现实世界的复杂性,而计算机专业的人,能够对复杂系统进行定量化研究,通过不同科学背景的研究人员彼此合作,就能以一种绝好的办法推进研究工作,解决这些复杂问题,”Rice说。 

“英文原文” 

Could artificial intelligence help humanity? Two California universities think so 

This week, two California universities separately announced new centers devoted to studying the ways in which AI can help humanity. 

USC's Viterbi School of Engineering and its School of Social Work said Wednesday that they had joined forces to launch the Center on Artificial Intelligence for Social Solutions. A day earlier, the University of California, Berkeley unveiled its newly minted Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence. 

Even as science and technology pundits (including Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Elon Musk) warn of the overthrow of humanity by advancedartificial intelligence - a prospect that appears nowhere on the horizon, experts say - scientists are increasingly looking ahead to the ways in which AI might actually aid human lives. 

The UC Berkeley-led center, directed by artificial intelligence researcher Stuart Russell, will seek to understand how human values can be built into AI's design, and create a mathematical framework that will help people build AI systems that are beneficial to humanity. 

One of the many questions they'll be wrestling with, for example, is how to get robots to understand what humans really want (because humans are notoriously bad at communicating their objectives). Russell called it the King Midas problem. In Greek mythology, Midas asked for everything he touched to be turned to gold. As this meant his food and drink turned to metal, he died in misery and starvation. 

 Scientists might get around this communication problem by designing artificial intelligence that can watch humans and learn what their values are through their actions (though even that comes with some uncertainty, as humans don't always act in ways aligned with their values, Russell added). 

"My objective ... is primarily to look at these long-term questions of how you design AI systems so that you are guaranteed to be happy with the outcomes," Russell said. (And if they design some useful software or devices as they do so, even better.) 

The USC center, co-directed by artificial intelligence researcher Milind Tambe and social work scientist Eric Rice, seems to operate in a mindset perpendicular to the one at UC Berkeley: It seeks to harness AI's existing capabilities to solve problems in messy, complicated human contexts. 

Tambe has led a workshop sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on using AI for "social good." He has used AI to help rangers reduce the poaching of wildlife and help LAX security officials catch more weapons, drugs and other contraband. He and Rice are working on a project that exemplifies the kind of work the center could do: using artificial intelligence to identify key people in social networks to help prevent the spread of HIV among Los Angeles' homeless youth. 

AI also includes a wide range of tools, including machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing and game theory (though some may consider game theory part of another discipline, Tambe said). Some of these areas have analogs to aspects of human intelligence. Tambe said he hopes that as more researchers get involved in the center, more of these computational tool sets will be put to good use. 

"An agreed upon definition of AI that is acceptable to everyone is very hard to come by," Tambe said. "But essentially all of the kinds of human reasoning that may be applied to problems, AI wants to be able to do that and more." 

Rice said he saw potential for these techniques to be applied to a host of thorny problems in different human contexts, from the effect of global warming on impoverished communities to issues with the child welfare system, homelessness and health care access. 

Although the center's founding directors have very different backgrounds, the pair's distinct skill sets complement and enhance each other, Rice explained. 

"If you bring together people from social work, who have this understanding of the complexity of the real world, with people from computer science who can model incredibly complex systems, it creates a really great way of moving forward and getting traction on these complicated problems," Rice said. 

  

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