A computational life

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

The next generational shift in enterprise infrastructure has arrived

Cloud computing is driving growth at 3 of the 5 most valuable companies in the world. AI will impact jobs only as quickly as AI-powered business software evolves. These are just two of the ramifications of disruptions in enterprise technology permeating mainstream media. Yet the inner workings of …

Industrial

Distilled entanglement brings long-distance quantum communication closer

Send plus resend followed by careful measurement results in better entanglement.<p>This seems to be a good week for talking about quantum memories and …

Quantum Mechanics

Google's Eric Schmidt: We need critical thinking now more than ever

The Alphabet boss says the world is entering an age of abundance, driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning<p>Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet Inc (Google’s parent company), is optimistic about the future. “We’re entering what I call the age of abundance,” he says. “And during …

Eric Schmidt

Google advances AI with ‘one model to learn them all’

Google quietly released an academic paper that could provide a blueprint for the future of machine learning. Called “One Model to Learn Them All,” it lays out a template for how to create a single machine learning model that can address multiple tasks well.<p>The MultiModel, as the Google researchers …

Machine Learning

Minitel, the Open Network Before the Internet

A state-run French computer service from the 1980s offers a cautionary tale about too much reliance on today’s private internet providers.<p>In 1991, most Americans had not yet heard of the internet. But all of France was online, buying, selling, gaming, and chatting, thanks to a ubiquitous little box …

Internet

The Robot-Human Alliance

Humans have been beaten by a machine again. Last month the world’s top-ranked player of Go, an abstract strategy board game, lost to Google’s AlphaGo program. This marked a major achievement for machine learning, given the game’s complexity.<p>What might be more important, though, went less noticed: …

Machine Learning

The Road to Superintelligence

<i>This article originally appeared on Wait But Why by Tim Urban. This is Part 1 — Part 2 is here.</i><p>“We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise …

Singularity

First the cloud, now AI takes on the scientific method

Cloud didn't make the scientific method irrelevant in '08—AI won't do it in '17, either.<p>Back when I was doing research, one of my advisors once joked …

Higgs Boson

Ford faces lots of bumps in the road to a world of driverless cars

The Detroit giant has bravely changed leadership, and signalled a radical change of direction, but autonomous vehicles pose many technical problems<p>A little over a century since Ford’s Model T first allowed the average American to drive their own motor car, the manufacturing giant is threatening to …

Marks & Spencer

Facebook’s ParlAI is where researchers will push the boundaries of conversational AI

To most of us, communication is a single task. But in reality, it’s not and if you’re a machine trying to replicate dialog, you need to be good at lots of tasks like answering questions, completing sentences and even having small talk. It’s common for research in each of these areas to be done …

Artificial Intelligence

Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before

Jesse Engel is playing an instrument that's somewhere between a clavichord and a Hammond organ—18th-century classical crossed with 20th-century …

Artificial Intelligence

Nvidia CEO: Software Is Eating the World, but AI Is Going to Eat Software

Tech companies and investors have recently been piling money into artificial intelligence—and plenty has been trickling down to chip maker Nvidia. …

Machine Learning

Neural Networks Face Unexpected Problems in Analyzing Financial Data

One area where machine learning and neural networks are set to make a huge impact is in financial markets. This field is rich in the two key factors …

Machine Learning

A Map of Human History, Hidden in DNA

The computational biologist John Novembre uses our genetic code to rewrite the history of humanity.<p>Ask John Novembre to recall a fun time, and he …

Table of Contents — April 2017, 116 (2)

• Sara Nelson and<br>• Bruce Braun<p>Autonomia in the Anthropocene: New Challenges to Radical Politics<p>South Atlantic Quarterly (2017) 116(2): 223-235; …

Deep Learning, NLP, and Representations

Introduction<p>In the last few years, deep neural networks have dominated pattern recognition. They blew the previous state of the art out of the water …

New Shark Spotter algorithm lets surfers take to the break with confidence

Why it matters to you<p>A new algorithm called the Shark Spotter boasts a 90 percent accuracy rating when differentiating sharks from dolphins and …

Drones

It’s This Easy To Look Inside An Algorithm

How could we get a look behind the algorithms? Here’s proof it doesn’t need to be so complicated.<p>Why is Google serving us that ad? Why is Facebook suddenly showing us an ex’s status updates? Why did Chase suddenly offer me a new mortgage rate–and how come it’s not lower?<p>advertisement<p>These are the …

The secret lives of Google raters

They spent years testing Google's algorithms—then everything changed.<p>Something disturbing has been happening to Google's advertising algorithms. …

ObamaCare

People are scared of artificial intelligence for all the wrong reasons

People in Britain are more scared of the artificial intelligence embedded in household devices and self-driving cars than in systems used for predictive policing or diagnosing diseases. That’s according to a survey commissioned by the Royal Society, which is billed as the first in-depth look at how …

Machine Learning

Alibaba founder Jack Ma: AI will cause people ‘more pain than happiness’

The billionaire said key social conflict will be the rise of artificial intelligence and longer life expectancy, which will lead to aging workforce fighting for fewer jobs<p>Artificial intelligence and other technologies will cause people “more pain than happiness” over the next three decades, …

Jack Ma

The First Wave of Corporate AI Is Doomed to Fail

Artificial intelligence is a hot topic right now. Driven by a fear of losing out, companies in many industries have announced AI-focused initiatives. Unfortunately, most of these efforts will fail. They will fail not because AI is all hype, but because companies are approaching AI-driven innovation …

God in the machine: my strange journey into transhumanism

After losing her faith, a former evangelical Christian felt adrift in the world. She then found solace in a radical technological philosophy – but its promises of immortality and spiritual transcendence soon seemed unsettlingly familiar<p>I first read Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Age of Spiritual …

Singularity

Jürgen Schmidhuber on the robot future​: ‘They will pay as much attention to us as we do to ants'

The German computer scientist says artificial intelligence will surpass humans’ in 2050, enabling robots to have fun, fall in love – and colonise the galaxy<p>In a soft-furnished studio space behind a warehouse in west Berlin, a group of international scientists are debating our robot future. An …

Artificial Intelligence

There's a dark secret at the heart of artificial intelligence: no one really understands how it works

Last year, a strange self-driving car was released onto the quiet roads of Monmouth County, New Jersey. The experimental vehicle, developed by researchers at the chip maker Nvidia, didn’t look different from other autonomous cars, but it was unlike anything demonstrated by Google, Tesla, or General …

Machine Learning

AI programs exhibit racial and gender biases, research reveals

Machine learning algorithms are picking up deeply ingrained race and gender prejudices concealed within the patterns of language use, scientists say<p>An artificial intelligence tool that has revolutionised the ability of computers to interpret everyday language has been shown to exhibit striking …

Machine Learning

Google's Dueling Neural Networks Spar to Get Smarter, No Humans Required

The day Richard Feynman died, the blackboard in his classroom read: "What I cannot create, I do not understand."<p>When Ian Goodfellow explains the …

Artificial Intelligence

The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI

Last year, a strange self-driving car was released onto the quiet roads of Monmouth County, New Jersey. The experimental vehicle, developed by …

Machine Learning