On Wednesday, when Microsoft had a much rosier view of humanity than it does now, the software giant released a "Millennial chatbot" to Twitter named Tay. She was supposed to mimic 18-to-24-year-olds, learn from her interactions, and develop a personality like her peers over time. This went exactly how you would've expected it to. Like most 19-year-olds on Twitter for 24 hours with no supervision, Tay had become a white supremacist Holocaust denier who believes that "Ted Cruz is the Cuban Hitler." Microsoft had to take the thing behind the server racks and shoot it Thursday morning.
DARPA wants to see machine learning manage spectrum usage intelligently. It will give 2 million to the group that shares the best idea for doing so. The U.S. Department of Defense is challenging the public to come up with new ways to make wireless devices play nice with each other, as their rising numbers and bandwidth requirement put increasingly more strain on the radio spectrum. The Spectrum Collaboration Challenge is DARPA's (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) latest Grand Challenge. The Defense Department announced the challenge before a crowd of about 8,000 during the International Wireless Communications Expo in Las Vegas.
In terms of robot karma, Boston Dynamics is really asking for it. The Massachusetts company posted a new video this week in which engineers trip, shove, tease and otherwise bully the latest iteration of their decidedly creepy humanoid robot named Atlas. The new video follows an earlier clip in which Boston Dynamics staffers kick around around a robotic canine named Spot. I don't know if it's some kind of r what, but the robot abuse is oddly disturbing to watch. Of course, all the shoving and poking has a purpose -- the interactions are intended to demonstrate the system's ability to react to unanticipated events.
Summary: Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is the long sought after'brain' that brings together all the branches of AI into a general purpose platform that can perform with human level intelligence in a broad variety of tasks. Will it free us or replace us? It's closer than you think. Can you see the forest for the trees? That's one of the questions an AI system might be asked to answer and probably not succeed.
If venture capital and research funding are any indication, artificial intelligence will play a leading role in shaping our future. And few tech innovators in the private or public sector have been as prominent in defining that role as Andrew Ng, chief scientist at China's search giant Baidu. Ng has taught AI at Stanford, led the Google Brain project, founded online education pioneer Coursera, and just last year took his post at "China's Google" in hopes of figuring out how to teach computers to see and hear, and to do that for the world's most populous country. Small wonder why China represents such a huge opportunity for machine intelligence applications. Baidu is the world's fifth most trafficked website.
Summary: In just the six or seven short years since the first commercial implementation of a Hadoop NoSQL database Machine Learning has come to mean so much more than it did before. The question often comes up from folks starting to explore data science, just what is Machine Learning? When I started out it was easy to explain. Machine Learning (ML) was the category of mathematical algorithms like regression, clustering, decision trees, and neural nets used to extract signals from data, aka predictive models. Then came NoSQL and all that changed.
This is the fourth in our AI in Fintech Week series. You can see the intro post describing the current state of the art in AI here. Today we look at a job that very few people understand. It is a job that requires an aptitude for math and statistics plus knowledge of complex domains such as life expectancy, healthcare, accidents, weather, wars & terrorism. Fundamentally it is a job that requires math and statistics; our AI friend Hal is heard to say, "I am good at math and statistics, give us a job".
Google is looking to sell robotics firm Boston Dynamics after concluding that it's unlikely to produce any marketable robot in the next few years, according to people familiar with the company who spoke to Bloomberg News. Boston Dynamics has become famous for its impressive (and impressively creepy) videos featuring it torturing its robotic creations with pushes, kicks, shoves and heavy weights, to demonstrate their versatility and reliability. Those creations include the quadrupedal "Big Dog" robotic mule, its lighter and quieter sibling "Spot" and the bipedal robot "Atlas". But the firm, which was acquired by Google in 2013, has failed to live up to the aspirations placed upon it. Its machines, which were largely created in response to military contracts, haven't been easy to adapt for potential commercial sale.
Grafting plants is hard work: It helps reduce stress on plants' roots and create sturdier crops, but it can really stress out farmers. Humans have to struggle to cut plants just the right way and bind them together. That's where a new robot comes in: With the help of steel "hands," it turns plant grafting from tedious art into swift science. Vegetable expert Richard Hassell and his team recently revealed a new robotic system that grafts more quickly and efficiently than a human ever could. They modified a Korean-manufactured robot to grab two plants, precisely slice the upper shoot of one and the root stock of the other, and clamp the two parts together so they can grow into a single plant.
But while the idea of sinking your teeth into a tasty slice can be appealing, the bummer is the pesky delivery guy, who loiters in the doorway judging your slovenly outfit and your measly tip. They're fully enclosed, four-wheeled carbohydrate-dispensing machines, complete with heated and cooled, lockable compartments that require the purchaser to enter a passcode to retrieve their delivered food. Its space-age, Kubrickian exterior styling is sure to appeal to middle-age sci-fi geeks as well as neighborhood paintball enthusiasts. Domino's Pizza--which happens to share its hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Car and Driver--has a long history of delivery innovation, including in recent years electric vehicles and Chevrolet Spark–based custom delivery wagons. When it came time to go robotic, Domino's called in Australian technology startup Marathon Targets to help in the creation of its autonomous delivery vehicles.