Title of a WIRED essay by Steven Levy. Stephen Levy's Artificial Life is one of my favorite books on science and technology. BTW, much of the book deals with cellular automata and Stephen Wolfram's revolutionary work - peaking a little later in NKS.
Artificial Life was released in the early 1990ies.
It also mentions systems with many objects that have little intelligence themselves but intelligent behavior in interplay (kind of ants-on-silicon).
In the essay Levy entries with the description of warehouses that are managed by robots automatically.
Like Kiva Systems . Levy: The Kiva bots may not seem very smart. They don’t possess anything like human intelligence and certainly couldn’t pass a Turing test. But they represent a new forefront in the field of artificial intelligence.
Instead of emulating human intelligence and re-create the human brain, systems use machine learning and massive data.
But, IMO, it is not only dancing with machines. In Dance With Symbols and It is All Numbers I have discussed two concepts that look controversial at first place, but combined to Asymptotic Mathematics it might allow for the adaptiveness required for intelligent systems.
I think of a system that does continuously compute where it thinks that it found information for computational knowledge. It produces massive useful results. And a machine learning system extracts and calibrates knowledge-for-decisions of robots, agents, .. that re-calibrate it to the absolute of reals life behaviour.
Bursting with technologies, described Stephen Wolfram Wolfram Research at the Wolfram Technology Conference 2010 .
And in his Blog post Future Directions Of Wolfram Technologies : you will soon “see a lot of different directions emerge” based on the technology and technology platforms that Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha provide.
In our UnRisk business we work towards a risk management FACTORY that continuously computes tons of prices, theoretical returns and risk spectra of portfolios-across scenarios, risk factors, .. all based on calibrated models and re-calibrated to market data of liquid instruments. Only information that is relevant to the trader or risk manager will be extracted and prepared adequately for decision making.
If the trader and risk managers become computer programs themselves - nothing changes.
Fortunately, we have selected the right technology platforms (Bursting with technologies ...).