As if quantum computing wasn't mind-bending enough, one of D-Wave Systems' founders is now pursuing another futuristic idea: using artificial intelligence and high-tech exoskeleton suits to allow humans--and, at least according to one description of the technology, monkeys, too--to control and train an army of intelligent robots. Geordie Rose is a co-founder and chief technology officer of D-Wave, the Canadian company selling machines that it claims exploit quantum mechanical effects to solve certain problems hundreds of millions times faster than traditional computers. Now an IEEE Spectrum investigation has discovered that Rose is also CEO of Kindred Systems (aka Kindred AI), a stealthy startup he founded with others in 2014 dedicated to delivering advanced teleoperated and autonomous robots. The goal is making programming robots faster and less costly–and possibly revolutionize the world of work. Kindred has so far received well over 10 million in funding, according to Data Collective, the venture capital firm that led one of the rounds.
Mark Cuban, chairman of AXS TV and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, listens to testimony during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing Dec. 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Mark Wilson, Getty Images) Add Mark Cuban to the list of tech visionaries exhorting the need to address the advance of robotics and artificial intelligence. "Automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it," Cuban posted on Twitter with a link to an essay about the rise of robots in the workplace. Automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it. Employment and jobs have been a hot topic recently with President Trump's emphasis on getting U.S. corporations to focus on jobs at home and his plans of tightening of trade and immigration policies to foster job growth. Automakers including Fiat Chrysler, GM and Ford, as well as Intel and Walmart have recently announced plans that the companies say will create new jobs.
As recently as 2013, the [deep learning] space saw fewer than 10 deals. Computer Vision: Startups here are using deep learning for image recognition, analytics, and classification. Aerial image analytics startup Terraloupe was seed-funded this year by Germany-based Bayern Kapital. New York-based Calrifai -- backed by investors including Google Ventures, Lux Capital, and NVidia -- entered the R/GA accelerator this year, after raising 10M in Series A in Q2'15. Captricity, which extracts information from hand-written data, has raised 49M in equity funding so far from investors including Social Capital, Accomplice, White Mountains Insurance Group, and New York Life Insurance Company.
If I had to pick one area I find most exciting, most potentially disruptive and thus the best opportunity for return on investment, it would be A.I. Or is it the other way around? The anatomy of infrastructure is not unlike that of the human body, and we all know it's possible to live long, healthy lives. But we also know that systems out of balance in the body lead to sickness and disease (or, in the case of Industrial Revolution, economic disease and monetary sickness). It hasn't happened yet, as history has shown that human behavior, fear, and greed are more sure in life than death and taxes. Remember, we're trying to construct an infrastructure with systems working in harmony: the Anatomy of the (Healthy) Future Clearly, the best representation of the nervous system in our cyber-anatomy infrastructure is Artificial Intelligence, the future of which is Deep Learning (Augmented Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Neural Networks have actually been around some time).
On December 2nd, 1942, a team of scientists led by Enrico Fermi came back from lunch and watched as humanity created the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction inside a pile of bricks and wood underneath a football field at the University of Chicago. Known to history as Chicago Pile-1, it was celebrated in silence with a single bottle of Chianti, for those who were there understood exactly what it meant for humankind, without any need for words. Now, something new has occurred that, again, quietly changed the world forever. Like a whispered word in a foreign language, it was quiet in that you may have heard it, but its full meaning may not have been comprehended. However, it's vital we understand this new language, and what it's increasingly telling us, for the ramifications are set to alter everything we take for granted about the way our globalized economy functions, and the ways in which we as humans exist within it. The language is a new class of machine learning known as deep learning, and the "whispered word" was a computer's use of it to seemingly out of nowhere defeat three-time European Go champion Fan Hui, not once but five times in a row without defeat.