A computational life

By ast | Issues at the intersection of computation and social life.

Google’s new AI learns nearly as fast as humans

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF<p>Artificial intelligence can only progress as fast as it can learn, and now that it can learn at almost human speed it’s …

Machine Learning

Elon Musk’s Billion-Dollar Crusade to Stop the A.I. Apocalypse

Elon Musk is famous for his futuristic gambles, but Silicon Valley’s latest rush to embrace artificial intelligence scares him. And he thinks you should be frightened too. Inside his efforts to influence the rapidly advancing field and its proponents, and to save humanity from machine-learning …

Elon Musk

A New Direction for Artificial Intelligence?

OpenAI will describe a new machine-learning approach at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech Digital conference.<p>Ilya Sutskever, director of OpenAI, on …

Machine Learning

Bored? No way. Ditching technology makes life complicated and beautiful

For three months I’ve lived without tech and now realise we need to question its ever-encroaching invasion – before we end up in bed with a sex robot<p>We are walking eyes half-open, half-asleep into a techno-dystopia even George Orwell couldn’t imagine. 1984 is starting to look primitive compared to …

Good News

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning and How they Differ from One Another

These are three terms that are heard all the time now, but often people still get confused about what each one really entails. Below is a quick …

Algorithms Can Be Pretty Crude Toward Women

My friend Michael Harris, a fellow mathematician and author, recently sent me his psychological profile as compiled by Apply Magic Sauce, an algorithm operated by the Cambridge University Psychometrics Centre. This is a cousin of an algorithm that profiles people via access to their Facebook …

Gender

These AI bots created their own language to talk to each other

A next step in the development of artificial intelligence.<p>It is now table stakes for artificial intelligence algorithms to “learn” about the world around them. The next level: For AI bots to learn how to talk to each other — and develop their own shared language.<p>New research released last week by …

Artificial Intelligence

An A.I. Just Developed Its Own Totally New Language

New research from OpenAI and UC Berkeley has created A.I. agents that can form and use their own new language, without instruction, whenever they …

Machine Learning

IBM Speech Recognition System Beats Microsoft's Less Than Five Months Later

Less than five months after Microsoft announced that its Speech Recognition Technology had achieved a 5.9 percent word error rate (WER) which brings …

Machine Learning

New breakthrough gives AI a human memory

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF<p>Unknown to many AI’s are amnesiacs, they forget almost everything they’re taught, but now a new human like memory system …

OpenAI’s Deep Learning to Invent Language

OpenAI research has a short introduction on their newest research “Learning to Communicate”. There are many trends that I watch for in the field of …

The Mobile Internet Is Over. Baidu Goes All In on AI - Bloomberg

On Dec. 6, 2016, thousands of translators filed into office buildings across mainland China to pore over brochures, letters, and technical manuals, …

Deep Learning

Google's DeepMind AI learns like a human to overcome 'catastrophic forgetting'

Forgetfulness is a major flaw in artificial intelligence, but researchers have just had a breakthrough in getting 'thinking' computer systems to remember.<p>Taking inspiration from neuroscience-based theories, Google’s DeepMind researchers have developed an AI that learns like a human.<p>Deep neural …

Artificial Intelligence

Bodies Are the Key to Human Intelligence—What About Machines? - Motherboard

It's tempting to think of the mind as a layer that sits on top of more primitive cognitive structures. We experience ourselves as conscious beings, after all, in a way that feels different to the rhythm of our heartbeat or the rumblings of our stomach. If the operations of the brain can be …

Machine Learning

Murder defendant volunteers Echo recordings Amazon fought to protect

Arkansas resident James Bates willing to allow police to review information that Seattle-based tech company twice declined to provide<p>Amazon has stopped fighting a legal battle to keep Echo recordings secret, after the defendant at the heart of the case gave his permission for the evidence to be …

Surveillance

The Guardian view on big data: the danger is less democracy

The information gathered about us by the internet giants makes our political system vulnerable to new forms of manipulation<p>The Observer’s discovery that a secretive firm apparently bankrolled by a rightwing billionaire was at work in the Brexit referendum to sway voters selected on the basis of …

Democracy

The Next Phase of AI Startups Aim to Make Sense of All That Data

Outlier.ai, an artificial intelligence startup created by Flurry co-founder Sean Byrnes, has raised $2.2 million from Susa Ventures, Homebrew and …

Artificial Intelligence

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017: Reinforcement Learning

By experimenting, computers are figuring out how to do things that no programmer could teach them.<p>Inside a simple computer simulation, a group of …

Artificial intelligence in the real world: What can it actually do?

What are the limits of AI? And how do you go from managing data points to injecting AI in the enterprise?<p>AI is mainstream these days. The attention …

Sexism rules in voice assistant genders, show studies, but Siri stands out

Studies cited by the <i>WSJ</i> show that sexist attitudes are alive and well when it comes to preferences for gender in the voices of intelligent assistants.<p>An Indiana university study found that both men and women prefer a female voice, finding it welcoming, warm and nurturing. Microsoft and Amazon found …

Gender
Siri

'Prejudices play out in the ratings we give' – the myth of digital equality

Sharing apps – from Airbnb to Uber – were supposed to make services open to everyone. But real-life discrimination can be exacerbated in an economy where we are vulnerable to others’ biases<p>The problem started when Reed Kennedy tried to book an Airbnb house in upstate New York for New Year’s Eve. “I …

Airbnb

A Computer to Rival the Brain

More than two hundred years ago, a French weaver named Joseph Jacquard invented a mechanism that greatly simplified textile production. His design replaced the lowly draw boy—the young apprentice who meticulously chose which threads to feed into the loom to create a particular pattern—with a series …

Singularity

Kapow! Amazon’s Alexa has learned new words – and she’s more nerdy than ever

An update has added more geeky in-jokes and references to the e-commerce giant’s AI assistant, from ‘Cowabunga’ to ‘Great Scott!’<p>Alexa, the talking lady who sits inside the Amazon Echo waiting for you to say her name, is having a personality makeover. The talking AI’s latest update comes with a …

Amazon Echo

Semantic Machines hopes to best Google in the conversational AI game

I believe it was Sartre who wisely said hell is conversational AI. Despite the best intentions of engineers, today’s machine learning really is the savior and handicap of personal assistants. Berkeley-based startup Semantic Machines might suffer the same Achilles’ heel, but its team of 18 …

Artificial Intelligence

Will Algorithms Erode Our Decision-Making Skills?

Algorithms are embedded into our technological lives, helping accomplish a variety of tasks like making sure that email makes it to your aunt or that you're matched to someone on a dating website who likes the same bands as you.<p>Sure, such computer code aims to make our lives easier, but experts …

Algorithms

The Observer view on artificial intelligence

Superintelligent computers may grab the headlines, but the humble algorithm is a significant threat to humanity<p>First it was checkers (draughts to you and me), then chess, then <i>Jeopardy!</i>, then Go and now poker. One after another, these games, all of which require significant amounts of intelligence …

Artificial Intelligence

How Google's Amazing AI Start-Up 'DeepMind' Is Making Our World A Smarter Place

DeepMind is a British AI startup which was relatively unknown until it was bought by Google for around $600 million in 2014. Since then DeepMind has continued to refine its neural-network driven technology which has broken new frontiers with machine learning, particularly deep learning.<p>Perhaps …

Artificial Intelligence

Why the promise of big data hasn’t delivered yet

The ubiquity of big data is such that Gartner dropped it from their Hype Cycle of Emergent Technologies back in 2015. Across sectors, businesses are scrambling to make every function “data driven,” and there’s no shortage of firms lining up to help them. The big data analytics industry, dedicated …

Big Data