In Go, no successful evaluation function for non-terminal positions has ever been found. Therefore, it is not a problem that will be solved with faster search. It pushes the boundaries of what is possible with new algorithms such as Monte Carlo methods. Work on computer Go started in the 1960's, but it was not until 2016 that the AlphaGo program was able to best the second-highest ranking professional Go player.
The debate whether computers can be truly creative started two years ago after a special game of Go, an abstract strategy board game. The world champion, Lee Sedol, had just lost to AlphaGo, a computer program developed by the Google company DeepMind. What surprised the engineers and Go experts was that AlphaGo had secured the victory with a remarkable move that no human had ever done. The question is how artificial intelligence will be used in the workplace and if it will complement or substitute human skills. Michael Björn, co-author of the report and Head of Research at the Ericsson Consumer and Industry Lab, says: "The introduction of artificial intelligence systems will affect most professions in the future.
The Robotart (that's "Robot art") competition aims to combine art and engineering to advance both fields. Vincent van Bot: Of the 100 images submitted to the 2018 Robotart competition, a automaton called CloudPainter rose to the top, with evocative portraits featuring varying degrees of abstraction. One of its winning images (pictured above) was created by a team of neural networks, AI algorithms, and robots. Artistic progress: Robotart's founder, Andrew Conru, told MIT Technology Review that this year's entries have shown refined brushstrokes and composition. "CloudPainter, the winner this year, has been involved all three years and has made the most improvement in his system," he says.
Entries for the 2018 RobotArt competitions are in. The top 10 teams have been announced, and you can see the robot-painters' impressive works in an online gallery. This year's first-place artist, CloudPainter used machine learning to generate portraits and landscapes (including a re-imagination of Cezanne). The second place team chose impressionistic paintings with "a high level of skill with brushstrokes," and the third place team programmed a robot "brushstroke by stroke," using haptic recording and playback to generate gorgeous reproductions of Van Gogh landscapes. For the first time this year, patrons can also buy AI produced paintings at the Seattle Art Fair on August 2-5th.
It's no coincidence that Apple released a series of iPad international video spots just hours before Microsoft unveiled its most affordable tablet, the Surface Go. The four 15-second ads spotlight the iPad's ability to make mundane tasks like paperwork, packing, and traveling easier with the low-cost tablet. But now Microsoft has a strong competitor to Apple's entry-level $329 iPad. With a $399 price tag and a 10-inch screen, the Surface Go isn't just Microsoft's cheapest Surface tablet, it's one of the most affordable full-featured tablets you can buy. And it just might be a better investment than the 9.7-inch iPad depending on what you need.
Consider this your weekly reminder that we are still in the end throes of the graphics card crisis. That means sometimes the sales drop down to the original MSRP, and sometimes they get closer than before--like today's deal. Right now, Newegg's got the EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SC Gaming for $180 with code EMCPWPV24. While that's still $40 more than its $139 MSRP, it's about $30 cheaper than the next lowest price you'll find right now and the same price Amazon offered during the retailer's PC hardware sale back in April. Newegg says its sale ends on Thursday, July 12.
Recent advances in deep learning and exponential growth in the use of machine learning across application domains have made AI acceleration critically important. IBM Research has been building a pipeline of AI hardware accelerators to meet this need. At the 2018 VLSI Circuits Symposium, we presented a multi-TeraOPS accelerator core building block that can be scaled across a broad range of AI hardware systems. This digital AI core features a parallel architecture that ensures very high utilization and efficient compute engines that carefully leverage reduced precision.
The graphics card sale pricing keeps on getting better. Today only you can pick up an MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Duke 8G for $420 with the checkout code EMCSPVRW2 and a $20 mail-in rebate. That makes the up-front cost $445, which is still $45 cheaper than what you'll see for this same graphics card on Amazon right now. As our GPU expert Brad Chacos wrote in our roundup of the best graphics cards, a GTX 1070 Ti is a good card to get for 1440p gaming on fast 144Hz displays. That's why we were so excited in early June when we found the EVGA GTX 1070 Ti SC Black for $470, which was that particular card's MSRP.
As our dependence on technology builds and the privacy-destroying, brain-hacking consequences of that start to come to light, we are seeing the return of a science-fiction trope: the rise of the robots. A new wave of television shows, films and video games is grappling with the question of what will happen if we develop the technology to create machines in our own image. Westworld posits that if we could develop realistic androids, we would want to rape and murder them for fun. In Blade Runner 2049, they have replaced humans as sex workers and manual labourers. In the recently released video game Detroit: Become Human, androids are nannies, carers and even pop stars, omnipresent in the home and in city life.
At the Artificial Intelligence Conference in New York, Kathryn Hume pointed me to Ellen Ullman's excellent book, Life in Code: A Personal History of Technology. In Part 3 of her book "Life, Artificial," Ullman talks about artificial intelligence, robotics, and the desire to create artificial life. What these views of human sentience have in common, and why they fail to describe us, is a certain disdain for the body: the utter lack of a body in early AI and in later formulations like Kurzweil's (the lonely cortex, scanned and downloaded, a brain-in-a-jar); and the disregard for this body, this mammalian flesh, in robotics and ALife [Artificial Life]. By connecting the poverty of AI with its denial of the body, Ullman follows an important thread in feminist theory: our thinking needs to be connected to bodies, to physical human process, to blood and meat. The male-dominated Western tradition is all about abstraction, for which Plato is the poster child.