Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Basic Machine Intelligence?

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Smart machines on the horizon?

Artificial intelligence, in all its various forms, has been a standard of science-fiction for quite some time. It intrigues us and frightens us at the same time. The idea that a thing created by mankind could eventually out think us is a bi terrifying, but also somewhat attractive. Seductive, if you will.
Well, we may be on our way. According to this article on, a Welsh scientist has created a simple, but smart, robotic lab assistant. Ross King, a researcher at the University of Wales, has modified some standard equipment in a chemistry lab to build in some basic intelligence. It’s an automated testing machine. Put simply, it runs through thousands of variations on a single, simple experiment automatically, so that a human researcher doesn’t need to do the “leg work”, so to speak. But, that’s not the interesting part. Apparently, Professor King has worked up a program that looks at the data along the way and follows the most promising patterns first. The trick is, apparently, getting the details of what “promising” means worked out and into the program. The rest, well, just sort of happens. It’s not very smart, but it’s a start.

So, now, as a writer, what does that mean? Where will it go? I don’t know, but lots of people have written about it for a long time. Read the article and decide for yourself. Then, write!

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