Will Oremus of Stuff.co.nz writes, “Google just bought a fearsome fleet of robots. The company confirmed a New York Times report that it has acquired Boston Dynamics, the Massachusetts-based maker of such noted mechanical beasts as BigDog, Atlas, Petman, Cheetah and Wildcat. The company’s robots are among the world’s most advanced two- and four-legged machines. Some are humanoid, while others resemble predatory animals. Most have been developed under contract with military agencies, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. What might Google want with an army of military robots? At first gasp, the answer might seem to be, ‘conquering the world’. But that doesn’t seem to be the goal – at least, not in a military sense.” Read more
Posts Tagged ‘AI’
The Plante Moran 2013 Innovation Survey that was recently released doesn’t have anything specifically to do with semantic, Linked Data, AI, machine learning or related technologies. But it’s hard to ignore their place in innovation, which 94 out of 100 business leaders responded is a priority for them.
The survey reported that more than 90 percent of leaders saw innovation as being important to sustainability and growth; 85 percent recorded that it matters to new or improved processes; and more than 70 percent saw its value for improved products or services, to name just a few critical areas. Most readers of this blog likely will recognize that such outcomes are often realized by companies that follow semantic and other smart and innovative technologies down paths of innovation to new offerings and other key returns (Google anyone?).
Companies still experience constraints on making innovation happen, though, one of them being lack of access to new technology, according to the survey. But the report also finds that collaboration was considered a possible jumpstarter for innovation among three out of four of the respondents.
The holiday shopping window is starting to close. How far along have you gotten?
To help out, we’ve compiled a list of some gift-giving ideas with a little bit of smarts to them.
Anki DRIVE: Artificial intelligence comes to the video game world. This one’s getting a lot of buzz – some are even heralding it as the season’s hottest toy. TIME Magazine has put it on its Top 25 innovations list, too. Each car, the company says, thinks for itself. The recipient of your gift can control it with an iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or iPad Mini to go up against friends or AI-enabled opponents, but the car can drive itself and make its own decisions as it does so, becoming more sophisticated the more you drive and even deciding to take out players. The game comes with a physical track, two intelligent cars and the downloadable Anki DRIVE app. Check out the video here.
Bianca Bosker of the Huffington Post reports, “Facebook’s new AI team made 1.2 trillion comments and status updates searchable. Our more than 1 trillion social connections can now also be mined with queries like, ‘friends of friends who are single in San Francisco.’ On Wednesday, Zuckerberg made clear these kinds of cute searches are just the appetizer. He wants people to be able to ‘easily ask any question to Facebook and get it answered.’ (Emphasis added.) This first requires getting to know us better. Read more
Russell Brandom of The Verge recently wrote, “Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has been pondering artificial intelligence since he was a kid. In the late ’60s, eerily intelligent computers were everywhere, whether it was 2001′s HAL or Star Trek‘s omnipresent Enterprise computer. As Allen recalls in his memoir, ‘machines that behaved like people, even people gone mad, were all the rage back then.’ He would tag along to his father’s job at the library, overwhelmed by the information, and daydream about ‘the sci-fi theme of a dying or threatened civilization that saves itself by finding a trove of knowledge.’ What if you could collect all the world’s information in a single computer mind, one capable of intelligent thought, and be able to communicate in simple human language?” Read more
John Cook of GeekWire recently reported, “Perhaps no one has been more synonymous with the startup ethos at the University of Washington than computer science professor Oren Etzioni, a mainstay on campus for more than two decades and an inspiration for budding entrepreneurs in academia. An expert in search, data mining and machine learning, Etzioni’s technologies have formed the basis of startup companies such as Netbot (acquired by Excite), Farecast (acquired by Microsoft) and Decide.com (backed by Madrona, Maveron and others). Now, Etzioni, who earned his PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University, is moving on from academia after nearly 30 years.” Read more
Olivia Solon of Wired.co.uk recently drew attentions attention to startup Wibbitz, calling it a “Summly for video.” In five to ten seconds, she reports, the technology “transforms any article into a one to two-minute video, extracting the salient points from the text, pulling in images and infographics and adding a voiceover.”
Wibbitz, Solon notes, “uses algorithms to extract text from an article, then analyses it using natural language processing and artificial intelligence to understand what the text is taking about. It then summarises the article, and hunts for relevant imagery through various image licensing sites, including Getty, Reuters and AP. It also adds in infographics based on a number of fixed templates and then converts the summarised text into a voiceover (users will soon be able to select one of four different voices).”
Anya Kamenetz of Fast Company recently wrote, “Taking another step in their ongoing quest to steal all the jobs in the world, a pair of computer scientists at the University of Edinburgh have created a computer program that can generate original jokes in the timeless, sexist, ‘I like my women like I like my coffee…’ format. As the scientists note in their original paper, this isn’t the first joke-telling robot. In 2011 some University of Washington scientists wrote a program that could correctly add ‘that’s what she said’ after a sentence 72% of the time, which is just below the percentage your brother-in-law says it. But that program had to be trained on a set of human-generated jokes, a process that is, um, long and hard. (…)” Read more
Comprehensive support for semantic analysis across 20 languages (up from ten) is one of the latest additions to TextRazor’s customizable, open semantic analysis and text mining API, to satisfy what the startup says is increasing demand for sophisticated semantic tools that go beyond English.
The company’s technology has been in public beta for just a few months. It differs from other multilingual natural language processing solutions, says founder Toby Crayston, in that it strongly leverages linked data sources like DBpedia and the semantic web to disambiguate, normalize and filter extracted metadata with better accuracy, so that end users can build powerful multilingual classifiers regardless of the language of their documents.
Dan Farber of Cnet recently wrote, “Ray Kurzweil, Google’s director of engineering, calls Glass a ‘solid first step’ along the road to computers that rival and then exceed human intelligence. Kurzweil, who is also an accomplished inventor and futurist, predicts that by 2029 computers will match human intelligence, and nanobots inhabiting our brains will create immersive virtual reality environments from within our nervous systems: ‘If you want to go into virtual reality the nanobots shut down the signals coming from your real senses and replace them with the signals that your brain would be receiving if you were actually in the virtual environment. So this will provide full-immersion virtual reality incorporating all of the senses. You will have a body in these virtual-reality environments that you can control just like your real body, but it does not need to be the same body that you have in real reality’.” Read more
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