About

About My Blog

My aim in writing this blog is to help as many people as possible understand the world of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Over the last few years, AI and in particular Machine Learning has made great strides forward, following a long fallow period. The availability of cheap on-demand processing in the cloud combined with the explosion of data available means that Machine Learning is now available to most developers.

Indeed, we are seeing AI apps jumping up all over the spectrum, carrying out tasks that previously had been the exclusive domain of people. Over time, this is going to have a major impact on society, just as the mechanisation of labour did in the last century, as AI incrementally replaces parts of people’s jobs.

While steps in Machine Learning have been rapid, and the encompassing narrow AI applications impressive, there has been relatively little progress in developing a general AI. This is what most people would think of as being an AI (think HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey, or the lethal Terminator robots).

At the moment, realisation of general AI seems as far away as it ever was, but it will be an interesting path ahead as research goes on.

About Me

I’ve been interested in Artificial Intelligence for as long as I can remember. As a child of the 1970’s, the Star Wars robots C-3PO and R2-D2 cast a long shadow over my concepts of AI.

During the 1980’s I came across a listing for Eliza in a magazine and spend hours typing it into my home computer. (And yes, before the internet, you could buy magazines with pages of code!)

This led me to pursue post-graduate research in Trinity College Dublin into AI using Genetic Algorithms and applying it to hard problems such as the Travelling Salesman. I also completed a short module in Robotics at the Open University and along the way, published a few papers.

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