A computer has been taught to gaze five minutes into the future and foresee events which have not yet happened

Scientists have taught a computer to predict events five minutes in advance in a chilling demonstration of the power of artificial intelligence.

A team from the University of Bonn used artificial intelligence to guess what a chef was going to do before they did it.

Bunch of idiots destroy 320,000,000 years of history in a few stupid seconds

Their program was shown videos of chefs at work to teach it about the stages of the cooking process.

It was then able to watch the beginning of a video and guess what a cook was going to do next.

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gall said: ‘Accuracy was over 40 percent for short forecast periods, but then dropped the more the algorithm had to look into the future.’

Prof. Jürgen Gall (right) and Yazan Abu Farha from the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Bonn

Now he hopes to peer even further into the future.

‘We want to predict the timing and duration of activities – minutes or even hours before they happen,’ Gall added.

The skill of guessing what a chef will do next is great for a tech firm building a robot butler or an assistant designed to help out in the kitchen.

But we’re only at the beginning of the development of future predicting software, which is likely to become extremely powerful in the future.

The least scary possibility this sort of technology offers is still pretty creepy. If businesses can predict what potential customers are going to do in the future, they could seek to manipulate their behaviour through highly targeted advertising.

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Facebook has already designed a system which allows it to identify users ‘at risk’ of abandoning their loyalty to a certain product and buying from a competitor – and then bombard with advertising to make them rethink their decision.

The science fiction nightmare scenario comes if you imagine a totalitarian state getting their hands on the tech and using it to brutally repress citizens.

Police already use ‘future crime’ software to work out the areas which are most likely to be hit by crime.

It’s not totally far-fetched to imagine a government working out which people are likely to become dissidents and then taking steps to clampdown before they have a chance to rebel.

China has already instituted a ‘social credit rating’ system which rates the trustworthiness of its citizens. People who are given a low score face travel restrictions and slower internet speeds.

MORE: Artificial intelligence must be stopped from ‘hurting, destroying or deceiving’ humans

MORE: Artificial intelligence can now write jokes and memes – but are they funny?

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