A charitable foundation backed by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife said Monday it has bought a Canadian artificial intelligence startup as part of a mission to eradicate disease. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative did not disclose financial terms of the deal to acquire Toronto-based Meta, which uses AI to quickly read and comprehend scientific papers and then provide insights to researchers. Meta capabilities will be unified in a tool made available for free to scientists. Meta artificial intelligence can analyze insights across millions of papers, finding connections and patterns at scales and speeds impossible for humans to match unassisted. In the field of biomedicine alone, thousands of research papers are published daily.
Microsoft is trying to help create machines that can have conversations by releasing a new set of data for free. The data, called the Microsoft Machine Reading Comprehension dataset (MS MARCO) is a bundle of 100,000 English queries along with corresponding answers. It's supposed to help people build artificial intelligence systems that can understand human written language. The company is opening up its dataset in the hope that Microsoft can work with other organizations on making machines better at reading comprehension, said Rangan Majumder, program manager for the Microsoft Partner Group, in a blog post on Friday. The queries in MS MARCO are based on anonymized questions that were submitted to Microsoft's Bing search engine and Cortana virtual assistant.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has come up with some crazy ideas in the past, and its latest idea is to create computers that are always learning and adapting, much like humans. Mobile devices, computers, and gadgets already have artificial intelligence features, with notable examples being Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and Amazon's Alexa. But these devices can only learn and draw conclusions within the scope of information pre-programmed into systems. Existing machine-learning techniques don't allow computers to think outside the box, so to speak, or think dynamically based on the situations and circumstances. The goal of a new DARPA project is to create computers that think like biological entities and are continually learning.
Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughterhouse Five and J.K.Rowling's series of Harry Potter novels describe the time travel paradox. Traveling through time changes the future from the point in time where the traveler arrived. The personal assistant that will arrive at some time in the future will change humans from that point in time forward, but in a more impactful way than GPS. Google and Facebook have recruited the best artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning talent in the world to build personal assistants in small increments. The personal assistant's intimate knowledge of users' likes and dislikes and awareness of situational context could be like Samantha depicted in the movie Her, but without an emotional relationship so users will not fall in love with their assistants.
When it comes to the future of artificial intelligence, the ultimate battle between man and machine may come to mind -- but that's really the stuff of science fiction. AI actually has a presence in our daily lives on a much more useful and less apocalyptic level. Think personal assistant devices and apps like Alexa, Cortana and Siri, web search predictions, movie suggestions on Netflix and self-driving cars. The term "artificial intelligence" was coined back in 1956. It describes a machine's ability to perform intelligent behavior such as decision-making or speech recognition.