If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Reza Bosagh Zadeh is Founder CEO at Matroid and Adjunct Professor at Stanford University. His work focuses on Machine Learning, Distributed Computing, and Discrete Applied Mathematics. Reza received his PhD in Computational Mathematics from Stanford University under the supervision of Gunnar Carlsson. His awards include a KDD Best Paper Award and the Gene Golub Outstanding Thesis Award. He has served on the Technical Advisory Boards of Microsoft and Databricks.
We have had many previous hype cycles around AI. As I wrote in Silicon Collar: "Since the 1950s! That is when Alan Turing defined his famous test to measure a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to that of a human. In 1959, we got excited when Allen Newell and his colleagues coded the General Problem Solver. In 1968, Stanley Kubrick sent our minds into overdrive with HAL in his movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
TWO letters can add up to a lot of money. No area of technology is hotter than AI, or artificial intelligence. Venture-capital investment in AI in the first nine months of 2017 totalled $7.6bn, according to PitchBook, a data provider; that compares with full-year figures of $5.4bn in 2016. In the year to date there have been $21.3bn in AI-related M&A deals, around 26 times more than in 2015. In earnings calls public companies now mention AI far more often than "big data".
The days of Amazon Web Services as an infrastructure provider are over as the company--and its customers--are going server less and moving up the stack to be a machine learning, data management and artificial intelligence platform. At re:Invent, AWS CEO Andy Jassy was pitching his company to data scientists as much as IT pros deploying Internet of things tools and various databases. AWS CTO Werner Vogels was outlining his vision of computing in the future and it all revolved around data. "The quality of the data you have will be the differentiator," said Vogels. "Data will have a crucial impact on how companies change behavior and build new systems."
While many observers consider Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) to be an unstoppable force that steamrolls the competition wherever it goes, most notably in retail and cloud computing, the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are particularly important areas where it lags, Bloomberg reports. Getting up to speed is vital for Amazon, Bloomberg adds, because the running of AI applications is likely to fuel much of the future growth in cloud computing. Global market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that sales of software for coding AI applications will increase by 40% through 2021, exceeding $8 billion, and that the growth will be even faster for these products in the cloud, Bloomberg says. Meanwhile, competitors Microsoft Inc. (MSFT) and Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), the parent of Google, have raced ahead in developing AI applications for their cloud computing clients, per Bloomberg.
You started off in e-commerce. You're now directly or indirectly in cloud computing, media and entertainment, logistics, payments and others as well. Your vision is that customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, which is pretty much everything. Where does the ambition end, and what's the unifying vision? TSAI: Since 1999, we started the company with a mission to make it easy to do business anywhere.
As we explore in our companion piece about AI as a service, the tech giants who have a cloud computing business are adding AI services on top in an effort to differentiate their offerings. "With Siri intelligence, it understands context. Although tech cognoscenti will also dismiss Siri as less advanced than rival voice assistants, it has several hundred million users and has done more to popularize AI in consumer tech than arguably anything else. The new iPhone's FaceID is a paradigmatic AI function (In 2016, Apple acquired a facial-recognition software startup called Emotient for a rumored $100 million), and HomePod purports to be able to adapt its settings based on a room's acoustics and where it's placed.
Google launched the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones in a move that shows how it aims to embed its artificial intelligence knowhow, be a serious hardware player, and ultimately compete with Apple's iPhone 8 and iPhone X as well as Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8. Read also: Google's new phones take on iPhone X (CNET) Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicked off the Google Pixel powwow talking about computer vision, machine learning and being AI first. Here's the problem: Google's Pixel and Pixel XL look like other smartphones, so a tech buyer will have to get out of spec mode when making a purchasing decision. Compared to recent Samsung and Apple flagship smartphone launches, Google barely mentioned specifications.
Google launched the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones in a move that shows how it aims to embed its artificial intelligence knowhow, be a serious hardware player and ultimately compete with Apple's iPhone 8 and iPhone X as well as Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8. CNET: Google's new phones take on iPhone X Google CEO Sundar Pichai kicked off the Google Pixel powwow talking about computer vision, machine learning and being AI first. Here's the problem: Google's Pixel and Pixel XL look like other smartphones so a tech buyer will have to get out of spec mode when making a purchasing decision. Compared to recent Samsung and Apple flagship smartphone launches, Google barely mentioned specifications.