“We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about” Google’s Eric Schmidt.
Let’s play with an actual Machine Learning algorithm – let’s see if it can guess what you’re drawing. Lots of fun – and instructive!
With theatre attendance at a two-decade low and profits dwindling, the kind of disruption that hit music, publishing, and other industries is already reshaping the entertainment business. From A.I. Aaron Sorkin to C.G.I. actors to algorithmic editing, Vanity Fair investigates what lies ahead. A lot of the disruption underway in Hollywood is being driven by Big Data. This week’s episode of the excellent Raw Data podcast takes a deep dive into the ways that companies like Netflix and Amazon are mounting a threat to traditional studio powerhouses (Disney, Sony, etc) and the “perfect storm” of tech forces hitting Hollywood. For more insight on exactly how Netflix is using customer data, they talk with the Director of Content Science and Algorithms.
In thinking through the future of AI, it is useful to consider fiction, especially science fiction. From Frankenstein’s monster and Hoffmann’s automata to Skynet and Ex Machina, fiction writers have raised concerns about destruction that could perhaps be unleashed on humanity by the autonomy we confer on our technological creations. Ethical considerations cannot be bolted on afterwards. Outstanding research paper on Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence Courses. (Also, see the Cyborg Bill of Rights below).
When Scandinavian engineers launched their crowdfunding campaign for “No More Woof” in December 2013, they talked a good game. They would build a wearable gadget that you could slip onto your dog’s head, which would read its doggy brainwaves and translate its mental state into human language.It may not shock you, savvy reader, to learn that the campaign never delivered – The story of No More Woof (if I want to know my dog’s mental state, I’d just ask it).
Artificial intelligence, in all its variants has captured public imagination, dominated media coverage, and driven furious volumes of investment and acquisition activity. In the midst of this hype cycle, spotting the difference between phony wannabes and true investments can be a challenge. Here’s how real investors separate AI hype from reality.
Facebook are trialling their AI Messenger App in closed beta. Here’s some great behind-the-scene’s stories of how it’s coming together, and what’s actually AI and what’s not.
The creation of non-human autonomous robots would disrupt religion, like everything else, on an entirely new scale. “If humans were to create free-willed beings,” says Wired Editor-at-Large Kevin Kelly, who was raised Catholic and identifies as a Christian, “absolutely every single aspect of traditional theology would be challenged and have to be reinterpreted in some capacity.”
Within the lifetimes of most children today, bio enhancement is likely to become a basic feature of human society. Personalised pharmaceuticals will enable us to modify our bodies and minds in powerful and precise ways. New brain-machine interfaces will improve our memory and cognition, extend our senses, and confer direct control over an array of semi-intelligent gadgets. Genetic and epigenetic modification will allow us to change our physical appearance and capabilities, as well as to tweak some of the more intangible aspects of our being such as emotion, creativity or sociability. Do you find these ideas disquieting?
Amazon is using Alexa to compete against all of the other retailers on the planet and Google Home. Tesla’s AI downloads updated geo-intelligence to compete against all the other car brands that don’t update via the cloud. IBM’s Watson is automating decision analysis that competes with clinics and hospitals not enabled by its cognitive computer. This is just the beginning of the AI Wars. Companies that are using AI to compete will shape the future of AI. There are companies using AI for diagnosing disease, deciphering law, designing fashion, writing films, drafting music, reading taxes or figuring out if you’re a terrorist, fraudster or threat. AI is everywhere. If you are within sight of a video camera, cell phone, city, driving in a car or traveling by transit, online or off, you are likely exposed to AI in real-time. You may not know this.
Speaking of Amazon, it’s the titan of twenty-first century commerce. In addition to being a retailer, it is now a marketing platform, a delivery and logistics network, a payment service, a credit lender, an auction house, a major book publisher, a producer of television and films, a fashion designer, a hardware manufacturer, and a leading host of cloud server space. Although Amazon has clocked staggering growth, it generates meagre profits, choosing to price below-cost and expand widely instead. Through this strategy, the company has positioned itself at the center of e-commerce and now serves as essential infrastructure for a host of other businesses that depend upon it. Elements of the firm’s structure and conduct pose anticompetitive concerns—yet it has escaped any antitrust and anti-competitive scrutiny. The Yale Law Journal has a forensic look at Amazon and its practices – you can just read the abstract but there’s lots of great stuff to sample in depth as well.