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 Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Megvii (Face) yesterday on establishing a joint laboratory on artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision. The lab will be dedicated to improving people's living and advance knowledge frontiers through researches in AI and image recognition and analysis, marking a new milestone in the collaboration between HKUST and Megvii. Artificial Intelligence is an indispensable part to our future development. As a pioneer in computer vision and deep learning, Megvii, commonly known as Face, possesses world leading hardware technology and algorithm – including "Paying with Face" and "City Skynet" which were widely used in the mainland. Complementing its strength, HKUST also has an internationally recognized profile in computer vision research, in particular its work in object and environment recognition, adding on to HKUST's competency in robotics and autonomous systems as one of the University's five research focuses, the two parties are set to create more innovative applications in AI and computer vision.
Chris Bishop is the director of Microsoft Research Cambridge. The global war for artificial intelligence (AI) talent is raging, with tech giants fighting it out to hire the brightest minds in the field and use them to take their platforms into unchartered waters. Finding the top people isn't easy. There's currently a shortage of people with the skills and experience needed to make breakthroughs in machine learning, a field of computer science that gives machines the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Fortunately, many of the top minds in the field are going to be concentrated in one place this week when they descend on a conference in Long Beach, California, called NIPS, which stands for neural information processing systems.
"The Computer Society's predictions, based on a deep-dive analysis by a team of leading technology experts, identify top-trending technologies that hold extensive disruptive potential for 2018," said Jean-Luc Gaudiot, IEEE Computer Society President. "The vast computing community depends on the Computer Society as the provider for relevant technology news and information, and our predictions directly align with our commitment to keeping our community well-informed and prepared for the changing technological landscape of the future." Dejan Milojicic, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Distinguished Technologist and IEEE Computer Society past president, said, "The following year we will witness some of the most intriguing dilemmas in the future of technology. Will deep learning and AI indeed expand deployment domains or remain within the realms of neural networks? Will cryptocurrency technologies keep their extraordinary evolution or experience a bubble burst?
AI also raises the prospect of affordable healthcare for all. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 400 million people do not have access to one or more essential health services, and 6% of those in low and middle-income countries are pushed further into extreme poverty because of health spending. In the future, we will see physicians working in partnership with AI – enabling technology to free up their time to concentrate on treatment of the disease as opposed to the diagnosis. Here we look at areas where AI promises to have a real impact on chronic and infectious diseases, from diagnosis and treatment plans to containing the global outbreaks of the likes of SARs and Ebola. Nearly 18 million people die each year from cardiovascular disease, according to WHO.
The first Institute for Machine Learning will be implemented at the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site. The institute will build on world-leading research in machine learning and artificial intelligence, helping to deliver what is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution -- the transformation of the global economy through artificial intelligence. The University of Adelaide has signed a long-term lease which will see the old Women's Health Centre used for the site. The facility will become home to more than 200 creative thinkers, researchers and start-ups attracting the world's best and brightest to come to work and study in South Australia. "The University of Adelaide is already a world leader with the Australian Centre for Visual Technologies, and the transition to this new institute will build further on the work being done as well as Adelaide's reputation as an incubator of innovation," said Science and Information Economy Minister Kyam Maher.
Professor of Artificial Intelligence Wolfgang Faber comments on Google announcing that its AlphaGo Zero artificial intelligence program has triumphed at chess against world-leading specialist software within hours of teaching itself the game from scratch and considers where humans will start losing their jobs to intelligent computers and machines. "'Google's'superhuman' DeepMind AI claims chess crown' has been a headline on the BBC recently. What does it mean, and are our jobs, or even our lives in danger? First, let us have a look at what caused this headline: A few days ago, a manuscript by a group around David Silver, Thomas Hubert, and Julian Schrittwieser of London-based, Google (or rather Alphabet)-owned DeepMind was uploaded to arXiv, in which the system AlphaZero is described and very impressive results in learning how to play three traditional board games (chess, shogi, Go) well are reported. The setup allowed for learning very successful (superhuman) strategies in a few hours only.
IBM is ready to open the doors to the first customers for its commercial quantum-computing services. Sometimes the most profound solution is to change the entire problem. JPMorgan Chase, Daimler, and Samsung will be among the first group of businesses to gain access to IBM's new 20 quantum bit (qubit) IBM Q quantum system to help uncover commercial, industrial and scientific quantum computing applications. While IBM is playing catchup with artificial-intelligence breakthroughs made by Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, it has taken a lead in the race to build a practical quantum computer thanks to its recently demonstrated prototype 50-qubit processor. The companies joining the IBM Q Network gain access to the 20-qubit system, which is capable of producing qubits with a record 90 microsecond'coherence', the time a single qubit -- representing both 1 and 0 simultaneously -- survives in this state before dissolving into a conventional bit's single state of either 1 or 0. That means 50 qubits can represent more than one thousand trillion values.
The tech is increasingly becoming ubiquitous across all industries from the automotive industry, fintech, social media, ecommerce to even entertainment. We are living in the age of big data, as increasingly more enterprises invest in AI and machine learning -- a branch of AI which is in its simplest definition is a form of data analysis -- startups are taking notice and disrupting whole industries by employing that tech. With that in mind, here's everything you need to know about the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tech ecosystem in South Africa. There are a large number of South African startups using AI-related technologies in their software solutions. Here below is a list of some of the more well-known startups -- some of which have developed cutting AI solutions, or potentially disruptive technologies using AI.
Josh Tenenbaum, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, directs research on the development of intelligence at the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines, a multiuniversity, multidisciplinary project based at MIT that seeks to explain and replicate human intelligence. Presenting their work at this year's Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, Tenenbaum and one of his students, Jiajun Wu, are co-authors on four papers that examine the fundamental cognitive abilities that an intelligent agent requires to navigate the world: discerning distinct objects and inferring how they respond to physical forces. By building computer systems that begin to approximate these capacities, the researchers believe they can help answer questions about what information-processing resources human beings use at what stages of development. Along the way, the researchers might also generate some insights useful for robotic vision systems. "The common theme here is really learning to perceive physics," Tenenbaum says.
The world needs more energy. Governments and companies are investing billions of dollars in technologies to harvest, convert and store power1. And as silicon solar cells approach the limit of their performance, researchers are looking to alternatives based on perovskites and quantum dots2. The batteries that store the energy must get cheaper, more efficient and longer-lasting3. And devices need to be manufactured from safe and abundant materials such as copper, nickel and carbon rather than from lead, platinum or gold.