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EXPERIMENT - When AI tries to foresee the future - Prospectivism in action - 28/12/20xx

This article is out of our publishing habits but in the light of a coming new decade, it seemed important to us to really experiment and to interact directly with an artificial intelligence.

The OpenAI consortium published a text generator tool based on a Deeplearning system a few months ago. This tool, called "poetically" GPT-2 has been made freely available on various websites including: which we used for the occasion.

The result is shown below.

Our opinion: the speed of response of the system is impressive but it requires several tests for each paragraph in order to offer real overall consistency.

But what surprised us most is the fact that it is obvious that this system is above all a great tool for data analysis, no more no less.

And in the context of a prospective website, the tool appears more than disappointing because it actually uses only the existing (and therefore the past) to produce information. The ability to anticipate, even when voluntarily fed with dates and events not yet existing, is quickly annihilated after one or two paragraphs which bounce opportunistically on the data inserted.

Obviously progress is real in terms of analytical capacity, but we are far, in the great debate on artificial intelligence, from the apocalyptic predictions of intelligent machines.

We let you enjoy the final version:

"Today, the speed of innovation on marine-inspired processes is increasing. For example, researchers at Technische Universitaet Berlin (TU Berlin) are working on biomimicry technologies. These are systems that involve both biological and engineered systems and mimic, by mimicking mechanisms in nature.

The issue of sparsity

The pace of innovation may be so fast today that it exceeds the limits of either hardware or algorithms. For example, on a recent trip to Spain, I met with my colleague Ricardo Magalhães, the manager of the Sensor Technologies and Engineering Division at Airbus Defense and Space. He was telling me about the Hyperloop "project" in the USA, and the reason why the latest technology described in the test paper on this project came from its home country.

Indeed, "in 3 years time we will have super-fast zero-emission ships," he said.

Ricardo is obsessed with his client, and for good reason. His Airbus will launch a new fleet of super-fast zero-emission aircraft in the 2040s. The first will be a public jet that will run at five times the speed of sound (360km/h). It will be a sort of revolutionary flying bus, bringing people from their homes to meetings in the city, and giving them a rest from flying. But unlike buses it will also cruise around for a bit at 2m/s, converting a lot of air space to store energy in the form of hydrogen. This will use a lower-energy form of the cleanest source of energy, water.

Ricardo wants this power-storing system to be a significant part of his new world.

"This so-called 'clean' flying water system will allow us to transition from an almost completely coal-based global energy system to renewable energy," he said.

That may be too optimistic, however. Jason Bordoff, the author of a recent study for the Breakthrough Institute, called it "a game changer" but said it was "still far from perfect" and "unlikely to be the sole solution."

"The real solution will be to transition off the dirty and expensive fossil fuels as quickly as possible," Mr. Bordoff said. "It will be disruptive and disruptive means the energy industry's greatest weakness in dealing with climate change is the constant delay that goes along with changing to renewable energy sources."

But that, Mr. Bordoff and other experts acknowledge, can be a tricky move, given the public outcry over fracking and associated air pollution.

But once the industry realigns, so can the public conversation.

"The difficulty is to try to accelerate it so that as a result of this transition," said Mark Brownstein, director of environmental advocacy at the Environmental Defense Fund.Some experts agree that broading the conversation around more sustainable energy sources and engaging the public on the benefits of cutting carbon emissions is a necessary first step toward transforming the country's energy system.

"We need to get moving," said Jean Soler, a professor of energy economics at MIT and director of the MIT Energy Initiative. "The U.S. is far from meeting its current energy commitments, and that's a big opportunity for change.""

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