Microsoft is teaming up with General Assembly (GA) to bridge the skill gaps in modern technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and data engineering, machine learning, data science, etc. General Assembly is a leader in education that has transformed the careers of tens of thousands of individuals through pioneering and experiential education. The companies will also develop industry-recognized credentials for AI skills. The ultimate aim is to create a pool of AI talent for the global workforce, the companies said. Microsoft has already been focusing on closing AI skill gaps around the world.
Elon Musk announced that his company Neuralink plans to link human brains directly to computers, saying the first prototype could be implanted in a person by the end of 2020. Microsoft has agreed to invest $1 billion in and partner with research company OpenAI, co-founded by Elon Musk, to develop artificial general intelligence, a technology that could have human-level intellectual capacity. The companies said Monday that they will build a hardware and software platform of "unprecedented scale" within Microsoft's cloud service provider Azure that will train and run increasingly advanced AI models. Microsoft will also become OpenAI's preferred partner for selling its technologies and the two will jointly develop Azure's supercomputing technology. "By bringing together OpenAI's breakthrough technology with new Azure AI supercomputing technologies, our ambition is to democratize AI -- while always keeping AI safety front and center -- so everyone can benefit," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the statement.
Computer scientists at Microsoft have developed a new artificial intelligence platform atop the hugely popular video game Minecraft. Dubbed AIX, the platform hooks into Minecraft and allows the AI to take control of a character and learn from its actions. It's early days for the project; so far, the scientists have been hard at work getting the the AI to learn to climb a hill. It's a simple enough task to program directly, but for an AI that starts out knowing nothing at all about its environment or what it's supposed to be doing, that's a big ask. The AI not only needs to understand its surroundings, but it also needs to figure out the difference between day and night, why walking on lava is probably a bad idea, and when exactly it has achieved its goal via a system of rewards.
As if Minecraft wasn't already popular enough, it is now being used to help artificial intelligence. Well, at least, a mod of the game by Microsoft is going to. Katja Hofmann and her team of colleagues at Microsoft have created a platform called AIX, which is a mod of Minecraft. The company intends for this system to help artificial intelligence agents have a better understanding of general intelligence. For those of you who are not aware, artificial intelligence is rapidly growing and has improved leaps and bounds of the years.
A lot of startups in the San Francisco Bay Area claim that they're planning to transform the world. San-Francisco-based, Elon Musk-founded OpenAI has a stronger claim than most: It wants to build artificial general intelligence (AGI), an AI system that has, like humans, the capacity to reason across different domains and apply its skills to unfamiliar problems. Today, it announced a billion dollar partnership with Microsoft to fund its work -- the latest sign that AGI research is leaving the domain of science fiction and entering the realm of serious research. "We believe that the creation of beneficial AGI will be the most important technological development in human history, with the potential to shape the trajectory of humanity," Greg Brockman, chief technology officer of OpenAI, said in a press release today. Existing AI systems beat humans at lots of narrow tasks -- chess, Go, Starcraft, image generation -- and they're catching up to humans at others, like translation and news reporting.