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) …
The blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) are two cornerstones of the new computing movement. The blockchain offers a secure yet transparent way of handling big data. Moreover, the blockchain points the way toward a decentralized computing future, where power is held in the hands of the masses rather than a few ultra-powerful computing elites. AI, on the other hand, seeks to replace traditional human intervention or clumsy handwritten algorithms with smart coding that can learn and adapt from the information it collects. The synergy between these two powerful computing movements is turning out to be greater than the sum of its parts.
Now that the basic appeal of cloud computing has been established -- compute and storage resources managed by your vendor instead of your employees -- those cloud vendors are looking at higher-level services. Artificial intelligence remains one of the most promising, according to Microsoft Azure CTO Mark Russinovich. Speaking at our GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit last week, Russinovich outlined several areas where Microsoft's cloud division is making bets, including blockchain technology and edge computing. But, like competitors Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, Russinovich and Azure think machine-learning services will allow application developers to build things we can't yet conceive of that will seem obvious in five years. "We think it's going to transform every industry," Russinovich said.
In the 1970s, when Microsoft and Apple were founded, programming was an art only a limited group of dedicated enthusiasts actually knew how to perform properly. CPUs were rather slow, personal computers had a very limited amount of memory, and monitors were lo-res. To create something decent, a programmer had to fight against actual hardware limitations. In order to win in this war, programmers had to be both trained and talented in computer science, a science that was at that time mostly about algorithms and data structures. The first three volumes of the famous book The Art of Computer Programming by Donald Knuth, a Stanford University professor and a Turing Award recipient, were published in 1968–1973.
Existing research highlight the myriad of benefits realized when technology is sufficiently democratized and made accessible to non-technical or novice users. However, democratizing complex technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) remains hard. In this work, we draw on theoretical underpinnings from the democratization of innovation, in exploring the design of maker kits that help introduce novice users to complex technologies. We report on our work designing TJBot: an open source cardboard robot that can be programmed using pre-built AI services. We highlight principles we adopted in this process (approachable design, simplicity, extensibility and accessibility), insights we learned from showing the kit at workshops (66 participants) and how users interacted with the project on GitHub over a 12-month period (Nov 2016 - Nov 2017). We find that the project succeeds in attracting novice users (40\% of users who forked the project are new to GitHub) and a variety of demographics are interested in prototyping use cases such as home automation, task delegation, teaching and learning.
There are many simulation and optimization problems that are difficult or impossible to solve using your existing computing resources. You do not have a quantum computer, which may be able to solve them, and you do not expect your company to get one soon. You are not alone, but don't worry IBM will let you use their quantum computing resources to make a start in formulating their solutions. For years, quantum computing was little more than an idea that fascinated computer scientists. Now it is offering direct utility for researchers and engineers even before the promise of a large-scale universal quantum computer is fulfilled.
Developer conference season is in full flow, with Facebook's F8 last week and Microsoft Build, Google I/O and Amazon Web Services holding a London Summit this week, and they all had one thing in common: the goal of making AI technology more accessible for developers on their platforms. The big three cloud vendors made a slew of announcements this week, although AWS holds back most of its good stuff for re:Invent in Las Vegas later on in the year, all centring on machine learning and AI technologies. The idea is that by simplifying complex and powerful AI technology like computer vision, natural language understanding and deep learning models, these tech giants can lock developers into their ecosystem and milk them for cash as they consume infrastructure and services. So what did each of these companies say regarding AI this week? CTO Werner Vogels said: "Our mission is to make machine learning available and put it into the hands of every developer."
Well-known technology companies including Google, Facebook and Microsoft are making strides in artificial intelligence. But with the rare exception of skunkworks projects from big companies, most artificial intelligence (AI) work will happen on silicon designed by chip companies, as has been the case with computing for decades. Nvidia NVDA, -2.15% is the leader in both AI compute performance and in mindshare with developers. Intel INTC, -0.56% still the biggest technology provider for servers and enterprise computing, knows that it needs to accelerate its development in AI and a subset called machine learning or risk losing out on the largest growth opportunity in enterprise computing in the past 10 years. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang has successfully shifted the company from a gaming and graphics provider to an AI company.
I am fortunate today to be in Washington with leaders from three dozen companies, including many of our close partners, to discuss with administration officials how the U.S. can continue to lead the world in research, development and the adoption of artificial intelligence. I'd like to thank the Office of Science and Technology Policy for convening this important meeting. AI is becoming the world's most important computational tool -- applicable to a wide variety of industries including transportation, energy and healthcare. But AI is enormously demanding in terms of computation -- it requires processing hundreds of millions of data points to extract insight. Therefore, it's important for us to discuss how to improve our nation's computing infrastructure to support AI and maintain leadership in this space.
I am fortunate today to be in Washington with leaders from three dozen companies, including many of our close partners, to discuss with administration officials how the U.S. can continue to lead the world in research, development, and the adoption of artificial intelligence. I'd like to thank the Office of Science and Technology Policy for convening this important meeting. AI is becoming the world's most important computational tool -- applicable to a wide variety of industries including transportation, energy and healthcare. But AI is enormously demanding in terms of computation -- it requires processing hundreds of millions of data points to extract insight. Therefore it's important for us to discuss how to improve our nation's computing infrastructure to support AI and maintain leadership in this space.
Microsoft's annual Build conference for software developers kicks off on Monday, giving the company an opportunity to offer updates on its computing platforms and services. The three-day event in Seattle features sessions on cloud computing, artificial intelligence, internet-connected devices and virtual reality. It comes as Microsoft faces off with Amazon and Google to offer internet-connected services to businesses and organizations. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will speak Monday to more than 6,000 people, mostly developers who build apps for Microsoft's products. Facebook had its F8 developers' gathering last week.