The field was founded on the claim that a central property of humans, intelligence -- can be so precisely described that it can be simulated by a machine
Artificial intelligence has been the subject of optimism, but has also suffered setbacks and, today, has become an essential part of the technology industry, providing the heavy lifting for many of the most difficult problems in computer science.
AI research is highly technical and specialized, deeply divided into subfields that often fail to communicate with each other.
Subfields have grown up around particular institutions, the work of individual researchers, the solution of specific problems, longstanding differences of opinion about how AI should be done and the application of widely differing tools.
The central problems of AI include such traits as reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, communication, perception and the ability to move and manipulate objects. General intelligence (or "strong AI") is still among the field's long term goals.
In computing, the Internet of things, also known as the Internet of objects, refers to the networked interconnection of everyday objects. It is described as a self-configuring wireless network of sensors whose purpose would be to interconnect all things. The concept is attributed to the former Auto-ID Center, founded in 1999, based at the time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Although the idea is simple, its application is difficult. If all objects in the world were equipped with minuscule identifying devices, daily life on our planet could undergo a transformation. Such a system could greatly reduce the chances of a company running out of stock or wasting products, as all involved parties would know exactly which products are required and consumed. Mislaid items and physical theft would be affected by the fact that the location of an item would be known at all times.
If all objects of daily life were equipped with radio tags, they could be identified and inventoried by computers. The next generation of Internet applications using Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) would be able to communicate with devices attached to virtually all human-made objects because of the extremely large address space of IPv6. This system would therefore be able to identify any kind of object.
The Internet of objects would encode 50 to 100 trillion objects, and be able to follow the movement of those objects. Every human being is surrounded by 1000 to 5000 objects.
Alcatel-Lucent touchatag service and Violet's Mirror gadget provide a pragmatic consumer oriented approach to the Internet of Things by which a developer can link real world items to the online world using RFID tags and QR Codes.
Radio-frequency identification involves interrogators (also known as readers), and tags (also known as labels).
RFIDs are easy to conceal or incorporate in other items. For example, in 2009 researchers at Bristol University successfully glued RFID microtransponders to live ants in order to study their behavior. This trend towards increasingly miniaturized RFIDs is likely to continue as technology advances.
There are three types of RFID tags: passive RFID tags, which have no power source and require an external electromagnetic field to initiate a signal transmission, active RFID tags, which contain a battery and can transmit signals once an external source ('Interrogator') has been successfully identified, and battery assisted passive (BAP) RFID tags, which require an external source to wake up but have significant higher forward link capability providing greater range.
Grey goo (alternatively spelled gray goo) is a hypothetical end-of-the-world scenario involving molecular nanotechnology in which out-of-control self-replicating robots consume all matter on Earth while building more of themselves, a scenario known as ecophagy ("eating the environment").
Self-replicating machines of the macroscopic variety were originally described by mathematician John von Neumann, and are sometimes referred to as von Neumann machines. The term grey goo was coined by nanotechnology pioneer Eric Drexler in his 1986 book Engines of Creation, stating that "we cannot afford certain types of accidents." In 2004 he stated "I wish I had never used the term 'grey goo'."
Analysis has shown that the danger of grey goo is far less likely than originally thought. However, other long-term major risks to society and the environment from nanotechnology have been identified. Drexler has made a somewhat public effort to retract his grey goo hypothesis, in an effort to focus the debate on more realistic threats associated with knowledge-enabled nanoterrorism and other misuses.