The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence, Part 2: A Significant Leap?

Aviv Shahar with Dr. Alan Litchfield and Professor Wai (Albert) Yeap

September 24, 2021
AI and humans

As we explore the future frontiers of artificial intelligence, beginning from the traces of the last 60 to 70 years of the computing revolution to the advent of the internet, we can observe its progression has been anything but linear. It appears as though nothing much is going on, and then something seems to disrupt its development in a major way.

Are we nearing an inflection point now where AI is about to over-deliver on its potential with a surprising and significant leap forward? Or is AI, as some experts believe, still a high-velocity pattern recognition kind of an engine and not seriously approaching more of the intuitive human capacity to perceive and create?

​In this conversation, Aviv Shahar and two global researchers on the leading edge of technology development explore the evolution of artificial intelligence and its implications for the evolution of humanity.

My concept is to understand how the mind could become so intelligent. How have we evolved to this level? If we get that knowledge and put it into the machine, now I claim that we have evolved by jumping across the species from biological to metallic.

Albert Yeap

Dr. Alan Litchfield

Dr. Alan Litchfield

Being born with an intense curiosity about the world and at the same time confused by contradictions and unexplained patterns in society has led to a restless life of seeking and searching, penetrating into the purposes and reasons of existence throughout material and subtle worlds. As Director of the Service and Cloud Computing Research Lab at the Auckland University of Technology, much of that is presently focused on research into novel and new technologies and how they might mediate the empowerment of individuals. Also, this is expressed through the philosophy of science and the philosophy of technology in which there are enduring questions about the relationship between what people have expressed of themselves and created, what they thought would be the outcomes, what we all have to show for it, and what are the opportunities for betterment.

Also, being born of Māori (Ngāti Whatua, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Tainui) descent provides approaches and constructs that differ from the typically accepted western world view. This includes how a person relates to their environment, family, their past, present, and future, and the interrelationships that exist through all levels of self.

Wai (Albert) Yeap

Wai (Albert) Yeap

When I first learned of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an undergraduate student, I was fascinated with the idea of creating a machine that is intelligent. I asked: “what is intelligence?,” and since then my fascination with AI is aimed at answering this question.

To me, the answer lies not in trying to define what intelligence is but, rather, in finding out how it comes about, from perception to cognition. While our ability to perform a task reveals how intelligent we are, my research as a Professor of AI has shown one could perform well without understanding.

Recently, I developed an approach whereby I empower a robot with a basic model of spatial cognition and show how the robot’s process could be extended to perform behaviorally, like other species. I hope, one day, the mystery of the mind could be unlocked, thereby allowing us to transcend from our biological self into infinity.

Aviv Shahar

Aviv Shahar

Aviv is the Founder of Aviv Consulting, helping leaders unleash strategic innovation, and is the author of Create New Futures: How Leaders Produce Breakthroughs and Transform the World Through Conversation.