In the third issue of this monthly digest series you can find out how Microsoft is bringing AI to the visually impaired, how to colorize your grayscale images, why a Google car caused a crash for the first time, and much more. Last Thursday, Microsoft showed off its Seeing AI app for the first time. It's still under development, but it looks extremely promising. Using a smartphone camera or a pair of camera-equipped smart glasses, the Seeing AI app can identify things in your environment--people, objects, and even emotions--to provide important context for what's going on around you. By a swipe of hand, the user can instruct the app to take a snapshot of the current visual scene and run it through image recognition software.
Self driving cars thought to be a distant dream just a few decades ago. However, thanks to the recent progress made in various fields of computer science, this dream is becoming a reality now. Computer vision plays a central role in understanding the capabilities these vehicles required to be able to operate not only under standard conditions, but also under the most unexpected situations. Machine Learning is everywhere these days. We live in a world where Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence is not obscure mathematical and science fiction anymore they have become crucial part of our lives.
That's because, to paraphrase Amazon's Jeff Bezos, artificial intelligence (AI) is "not just in the first inning of a long baseball game, but at the stage where the very first batter comes up." Look around, and you will find AI everywhere--in self driving cars, Siri on your phone, online customer support, movie recommendations on Netflix, fraud detection for your credit cards, etc. To be sure, there's more to come. Featuring 30 lectures, MIT's course "introduces students to the basic knowledge representation, problem solving, and learning methods of artificial intelligence." It includes interactive demonstrations designed to "help students gain intuition about how artificial intelligence methods work under a variety of circumstances."
In recent years, we've seen a resurgence in AI, or artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Machine learning has led to some amazing results, like being able to analyze medical images and predict diseases on-par with human experts. Google's AlphaGo program was able to beat a world champion in the strategy game go using deep reinforcement learning. Machine learning is even being used to program self driving cars, which is going to change the automotive industry forever. Imagine a world with drastically reduced car accidents, simply by removing the element of human error.