Posts Tagged ‘artificial intelligence’

Artificial Intelligence: What We Hoped For & What We’ve Gotten

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Michael C. Daconta of GCN recently wrote, “Over the last year, several developments on the artificial intelligence (AI) front have occurred that reflect our wildest fantasies and worst fears for this technology.  Here are a few examples: A battle continues to rage between MIT linguist Noam Chomsky and Google Director of Research Peter Norvig over the increased use of statistics and probability in AI.  Chomsky argued that the ‘new AI’ is merely mimicking behavior instead of unraveling the rules and processes of cognition.  On the other hand, Norvig takes a more practical, probabilistic approach, believing in AI’s suitability for natural language processing, for instance. Last month, CNBC reported that inventor Elon Musk and physicist Stephen Hawking expressed concerns about the future of AI, suggesting that there are dangers in the fledging AI market.  They made it easy to surmise they fear a Robopocalypse caused by AI run amok!” Read more

Artificial Intelligence Pushes Ahead in China

Baidu logoA recent press release revealed that, “There are signs indicating that Chinese Internet users might be the very first group of people to truly reap the benefits of artificial intelligence. The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, written by Ray Kurzweil, painted us a picture of artificial intelligence. Kurzweil describes his law of accelerating returns which predicts an exponential increase in technologies; in the book he says this will lead to a technological singularity in the year 2045, a point where progress is so rapid it outstrips humans’ ability to comprehend it. Baidu, the leading Chinese search service provider, recently announced their ground-breaking Light App (a modified kind of web app), the Baidu Exam-Info Master. Using the artificial intelligence of their search engine, Baidu seeks to offer some practical help to high school seniors when it comes to applying for their dream college after the National College Entrance Examination. This service has soon become wildly popular among users, and may grow into a key motivation for Baidu to duplicate this kind of method into a far broader area.”

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Adventure Game Uses Natural Language Understanding

Graphic of the Natural Language Understanding technical flow.An article written by Eugene Joseph of Gamasutra reveals that, “Bot Colony is an episodic single player adventure game that we launched on Steam’s Early Access on June 17. It has the distinction of being the first game that integrates unrestricted English dialogue into the game experience. While the Bot Colony Natural Language Understanding (NLU) pipeline cannot yet handle everything a player throws at it, it is able to understand enough that cooperative players can complete the game’s episodes (versions of the first two are available now on Steam Early Access). Language understanding is not limited to the minimum required to play the game – we actually hope that players will explore the boundaries of AI understanding and probe just how much a Bot Colony robot understands.”
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The Future of Personalization

[Editor's Note: This guest article comes to us from Dr. Nathan Wilson, CTO of Nara. ]

Photo of Thomas Jefferson statue and modern person with smart device The Problem: Information has run amok.

There once was a time when the busiest and greatest minds –the Jeffersons, Hemingways and Darwins – would have time in their day for long walks, communion with nature, and leisurely handwritten correspondence. Today we awaken each day to an immediate cacophony of emails, tweets, websites and apps that are too numerous to navigate with full consciousness. Swimming in wires, pixels, data bits, and windows with endless tabs is toxic to you and to me, and the problem continues to escalate.

How do you connect to this teeming network without electrocuting your brain? “Filtering” is a simple, but ultimately blinding, approach that shields us from important swaths of knowledge. “Forgetting faster” is potentially a valid solution, but also underserves our mindfulness.

A History of Attempted Solutions So Far: How have we tried to solve information glut so far, and why is each solution inadequate?

Phase 1 – The Web as a Linnaean Taxonomy (1994-2000)

The first method to deal with our information explosion came in “Web 1.0” when portals like Yahoo! arose to elegantly categorize information that you could explore at your leisure. For instance, one could find information on the New England Patriots by following a trail of breadcrumbs from “Sports” to “Football” to “AFC East” and finally “New England Patriots” where you were presented with a list of topical websites.

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Video Game Characters Are About To Have Lives Of Their Own

sentioVideo games are on their way to becoming an increasingly immersive experience. Rival Theory’s first offering was RAIN, an artificial intelligence engine for the Unity game development ecosystem that counts a little over 7,000 active users. RAIN took a bit of a non-traditional approach to what AI means in the gaming world, which usually just refers to setting up the math functions or algorithms for controlling character behavior, animations and path-finding, says Rival Theory co-founder William Klein.

But its next platform, Sentio – which was demonstrated at the recent TechStars event in New York City – is extending Rival Theory’s work to use AI to give intelligence to individual characters, so that they can think, learn, remember, and even experience emotions. Sentio, which it began working on a couple of years ago, is a set of services and upgrades to its AI work to allow characters “to be more than they are today in games,” he says.

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Ray Kurzweil, Google Discuss Artificial Intelligence (video)

Photo of Ray Kurzweil presenting at Google I/O 2014Signe Brewster of Gigaom recently wrote, “In 2012, Google hired Ray Kurzweil to build a computer capable of thinking as powerfully as a human. It would require at least one hundred trillion calculations per second — a feat already accomplished by the fastest supercomputers in existence. The more difficult challenge is creating a computer that has a hierarchy similar to the human brain. At the Google I/O conference Wednesday, Kurzweil described how the brain is made up of a series of increasingly more abstract parts. The most abstract — which allows us to judge if something is good or bad, intelligent or unintelligent — is an area that has been difficult to replicate with a computer. A computer can calculate 10 x 20 or tell the difference between a person and a table, but it can’t judge if a person is kind or mean. To get there, humans will need to build computers that can build abstract consciousness from a more concrete level. Humans will program them to recognize patterns, and then from those patterns they will need to be smart enough to learn to understand more.”

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Fact Check Your News with the Trooclick App

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Silky Malhotra of Digit reports, “A team of developers from Paris have created a new automated fact-finding app called TrooClick, which can catch ‘glitches’ in online news and highlight the most reliable stories for you to read. Trooclick is a browser plugin that alerts users if an article they are reading contains ‘glitches’. A glitch could be an incorrect fact as well as information that conflicts with other media reports about the same topic. The report highlights any information about the publisher’s ethics that a reader should be aware of, according to ‘poynter.org’.” Read more

What’s Next For Watson Mobile Apps?

ibmwatsonlogoIBM’s quest to build Watson into a business (see our story here) took another step last week when the vendor announced the winners of its 2014 Watson Mobile Developer Challenge to create consumer and business apps with its cognitive computing capabilities.

The winners were GenieMD,  Majestyk Apps,  and Red Ant, whose solutions were focused respectively on the health care, educational and retail markets. But twenty-two other companies with innovative ideas of their own also made it to the finalist stage

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Does AI System Eugene Goostman Pass the Turing Test?

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Dante D’Orazio of The Verge reports, “Eugene Goostman seems like a typical 13-year-old Ukrainian boy — at least, that’s what a third of judges at a Turing Test competition this Saturday thought. Goostman says that he likes hamburgers and candy and that his father is a gynecologist, but it’s all a lie. This boy is a program created by computer engineers led by Russian Vladimir Veselov and Ukrainian Eugene Demchenko. That a third of judges were convinced that Goostman was a human is significant — at least 30 percent of judges must be swayed for a computer to pass the famous Turing Test. The test, created by legendary computer scientist Alan Turing in 1950, was designed to answer the question ‘Can machines think?’ and is a well-known staple of artificial intelligence studies.” Read more

Nokia Acquires Mapping Startup Desti

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Natalie Gagliordi of ZDnet reports, “It looks like Nokia is expanding its HERE Maps mapping business with its acquisition of the mapping startup Desti, a spinout from SRI International — the same group responsible for Apple’s Siri. This is the Finnish company’s first purchase since it sold its phone-making business to Microsoft last month.  Desti uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to help travelers find what they’re looking for. For instance, if someone is looking for a low-cost place to stay on a business trip, Desti mines through hotel reviews and descriptions and weeds out the options that would appeal to partying college kids or lovers on a romantic getaway.” Read more

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