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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.


Watson's Creator Wants to Teach AI a New Trick: Common Sense

WIRED

David Ferrucci, the man who built IBM's Jeopardy-playing machine, Watson, is explaining a children's story to his new creation. In the tale, Fernando and Zoey buy some plants. Fernando places his plant on a windowsill while Zoey tucks hers away in a darkened room. After a few days, Fernando's plant is green and healthy but the leaves of Zoey's have browned. She moves her plant to the windowsill, and it flourishes.


Language understanding remains one of AI's grand challenges

#artificialintelligence

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

#artificialintelligence

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.