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Former IBM Watson Team Leader David Ferrucci on AI and Elemental Cognition

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Dr. David Ferrucci is one of the few people who have created a benchmark in the history of AI because when IBM Watson won Jeopardy we reached a milestone many thought impossible. I was very privileged to have Ferrucci on my podcast in early 2012 when we spent an hour on Watson's intricacies and importance. Well, it's been almost 8 years since our original conversation and it was time to catch up with David to talk about the things that have happened in the world of AI, the things that didn't happen but were supposed to, and our present and future in relation to Artificial Intelligence. All in all, I was super excited to have Ferrucci back on my podcast and hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did. During this 90 min interview with David Ferffucci, we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: his perspective on IBM Watson; AI, hype and human cognition; benchmarks on the singularity timeline; his move away from IBM to the biggest hedge fund in the world; Elemental Cognition and its goals, mission and architecture; Noam Chomsky and Marvin Minsky's skepticism of Watson; deductive, inductive and abductive learning; leading and managing from the architecture down; Black Box vs Open Box AI; CLARA – Collaborative Learning and Reading Agent and the best and worst applications thereof; the importance of meaning and whether AI can be the source of it; whether AI is the greatest danger humanity is facing today; why technology is a magnifying mirror; why the world is transformed by asking questions.


The Anger Over a Virtual IndyCar Crash Exposed the Fragile Facade of Competition

Slate

The suspension of practically all sports during the coronavirus pandemic has led to a lack of sports feuds. On May 2, an online simulation racing league aimed to fill the beefless void when the shortened, virtual version of the Indy 500 went from a serious race to something resembling the final lap in a round of Mario Kart. The IndyCar First Responder 175, the conclusion of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge series, was treated as a legitimate event by the organizers. NBCSN had a commentating booth for the broadcast of the 70-lap race, and there was even a pregame national anthem out of some misguided patriotic duty. The competition used a virtual version of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, via the online video game iRacing.


Language understanding remains one of AI's grand challenges

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David Ferrucci will deliver a keynote at the O'Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference in NYC, June 26-29, 2017. His colleague Jennifer Chu-Caroll will also give a talk, "Beyond the state of the art in reading comprehension," at the same conference. Subscribe to the O'Reilly Data Show Podcast to explore the opportunities and techniques driving big data, data science, and AI. Find us on Stitcher, TuneIn, iTunes, SoundCloud, RSS. In this episode of the Data Show, I spoke with David Ferrucci, founder of Elemental Cognition and senior technologist at Bridgewater Associates.


Artificial intelligence can't yet learn common sense

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Machines can learn a lot of things--probably more than you can imagine. But can they learn common sense? At his company, Elemental Cognition, Ferrucci described how his AI team gave an advanced language program the sentence, "Zoey moves her plant to a sunny window. The AI program was tasked to complete the second sentence. In the real world, it's common knowledge that plants need light. Unfortunately, the AI program couldn't deliver this common observation. Instead, the AI completed the sentence by analyzing statistical patterns. It came up with these possible answers: "she finds something, not pleasant," "fertilizer is visible in the window," and "another plant is missing from the bedroom." This story is an entry point to myriad "common sense" issues that face today's AI. "Solving this problem is, we would argue, the single most important step towards taking AI to the next level.


Watson Is Just the Beginning

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At the Kellogg School's first Computational Social Science Summit, David Ferrucci, the lead scientist behind IBM's Watson computer, sat down with Kellogg School professor Brian Uzzi to discuss how machine learning and artificial intelligence will become central to the future of business. In the first of these videos, Ferrucci gives an overview of the five ways machine learning will be transformative. In the following videos, he goes into detail on each point. Get the latest from Kellogg Insight delivered to your inbox. Devices are getting smarter and smarter, from hearing aids that filter noise, to driverless cars that adapt to specific road conditions.