An AI backed by Elon Musk just 'evolved' to learn by itself


Most of today's artificial intelligence (AI) systems rely on machine learning algorithms that can predict specific outcomes by drawing on pre-established values, but now researchers from OpenAI, a company funded by no less than Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, who are trying to democratise AI for "human good" just discovered – literally – that a machine learning system they created to predict the next character in the text of reviews from Amazon evolved into an unsupervised learning system that could learn how to read sentiment. That's a pretty big deal, and it's also something that, at the moment, even the researchers themselves can't explain. "We were very surprised that our model learned an interpretable feature, and that simply predicting the next character in Amazon reviews resulted in discovering the concept of sentiment," said OpenAI in a blog. According to the post OpenAI's neural network was able to train itself and analyse sentiment accurately by classifying Amazon's reviews as either positive or negative – and it then generated follow on text that fit with the sentiment. The AI the team used was what's known as a multiplicative long short-term memory (LSTM) model that was trained for a month, processing 12,500 characters a second using Nvidia Pascal GPU's – which Nvidia's own CEO gifted to Elon Musk last year – with "4,096 units on a corpus of 82 million Amazon reviews to predict the next character in a chunk of text."

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