Professor Stuart Russell is a long term researcher into Artificial Intelligence and wrote (along with Peter Norvig) a widely used undergraduate text called “Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach”. Last month he delivered this excellent lecture at The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk. He makes very good arguments that although sentient AI may be far in the future, it is worth considering the ethical possibilities as soon as possible.
It’s quite a long video, but worth the time to watch through.
[Note the sound quality is poor for the first several minutes but is clear thereafter.]
This is a good review of the recent DARPA Robotics Challenge by CBS News. The video also looks at some of the latest advances in Artificial Intelligence that you may be familiar with and some of the potential impacts it will have in the years to come.
Brief overview of how Facebook is using Convolutional Neural Networks to mine the enormous amount of free data they have. It’s also interesting to note that they are attempting to use Artificial Intelligence to understand the content in posts, videos and text.
So make sure you know what Facebook is doing with the information you post there.
Facebook today launched its Moments product, which uses Facebook’s image recognition abilities to scan your photos for your friends and then lets people create private photo albums with a particular group, such as the people in the photo. The idea is to make it easier to share photos from a big event among attendees without the cumbersome process of emailing snapshots to everyone or the awkward end-of-event huddle while six people take the exact same group shot. It’s not a cure for cancer, but behind the scenes of this new feature is an impressive technology that Facebook has been working on for years.
A key element of the Moments feature is the ability for Facebook’s algorithms to recognize people’s faces across different photos, so that Moments knows who was at the event. This requires computer vision expertise that companies such as Google, Microsoft, Baidu, and others are currently…
In a sign of things to come, the United Arab Emirates is running a competition to find applications for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in the areas of Education, Healthcare and Social Services.
The focus on areas that have the potential to improve people’s lives is interesting and timely, given that one of the first major uses for IBM’s Watson is also in Healthcare.
With an award for international entries of US$1m, this competition is likely to attract a lot of interest around the world. Furthermore, with the substantial award, it looks like AI is finally entering the realm of respectability when it comes to attracting investment.
The competition’s organising committee will begin accepting submissions from 15th June, 2015. For more details on the competition, follow the link below.
I’ve just finished writing a non-fiction book on artificial intelligence, called Surviving AI.
It starts with a brief history of the science and a description of its current state. It goes on to look at the benefits and risks that AI presents in the short and medium term, with a short story highlighting the improvements to everyday life that are in the pipeline, and discussions of technological unemployment and killer robots.
Then it gets into artificial general intelligence – machines with human-level cognition: whether we can create one, and if so when; whether we will like it if we do, and what we should do about it.
Surviving AI will be published this summer. If you would like a review copy in PDF or mobi for Kindles, email me at cccalum at gmail.com.