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) …
Brave is probably best known among hardcore geeks as one of Chrome's challengers. But for awhile now, the company has offered more than just a privacy-minded browser. A year ago, it launched the beta for a search engine, too--and now, on its first anniversary, Brave Search has hit a milestone of 2.5 billion queries, with a peak of 14.1 million queries in one day. For a nascent search engine, these numbers are big. As Brave claims in a blog post, it's won this achievement faster than Google (who took over a year to meet the same goal), plus run circles around DuckDuckGo. Its privacy-oriented rival took four years to cross the same threshold.
Google on Thursday shared a few ways it's using machine learning to improve the Chrome browser, including reducing the number of annoying notifications that pop up. All of the latest updates are all powered by on-device machine learning models, so user data doesn't have to leave the device. For a less disruptive web browsing experience, Google is using ML to determine when a user may want to interact with a notification permission prompt. In the next release of Chrome, the browser will use an on-device model to predict how a person is likely to respond to a permission prompt. If the user is likely to reject it, the browser will silence it.
While teaching myself the basics of neural networks, I was finding it hard to bridge the gap between the foundational theory and a practical "feeling" of how neural networks function at a fundamental level. I learned how pieces like gradient descent and different activation functions worked, and I played with building and training some networks in a Google Colab notebook. Modern toolkits like Tensorflow handle the full pipeline from data preparation to training to testing and everything else you can think of - all behind extremely high-level, well-documented APIs. The power of these tools is obvious. Anyone can load, run, and play with state of the art deep learning architectures in GPU-accelerated Python notebooks instantly in the web browser.
If images begin to look sharper on Microsoft Edge compared to other browsers, there's a reason for that. Microsoft is building in what it calls a "Turing Image Super Resolution engine" into Microsoft Edge, "upscaling" low-resolution images with higher fidelity. In effect, Edge will create a higher-resolution image using artificial intelligence, where it didn't exist before. Upscaling isn't new; Adobe Lightroom's Super Resolution allows you to upscale a 12 megapixel image to 48MP, for example, to print larger prints. TopazLabs' Gigapixel AI is a dedicated, paid tool to do the same, and there are other free services available on the Web that will perform the same services with varying results.
One of the coolest parts of building machine learning models is sharing the models we built with others. No matter how many models you've built, if they stay offline, only very few people will be able to see what you've accomplished. This is why we should deploy our models, so anyone can play with them through a nice UI. Flask is a Python framework that lets us develop web applications easily. After following this guide, you'll be able to play with a simple machine learning model in your browser as shown in the gif below.
We've been promised the end of password-based logins on the internet for a very long time, but now it seems that promise may finally be fulfilled. The FIDO Alliance, an industry group aimed at standardizing authentication methods online, announced that its passwordless sign-on method has received support from the big browser builders: Apple, Microsoft, and Google. That means that later this year you will be able to sign in to your various web accounts across the internet without using a password in all the major browsers. If you use a modern smartphone, you'll recognize how this works. Instead of asking you to enter a password, websites will push a notification to your phone that prompts you to verify your identity.
The Echo Show 15 is Amazon's biggest Alexa smart display and is designed to be a command centre or digital noticeboard for all the family. It is considerable larger than the rest of Amazon's Echo Show devices, which were recently given a motorised screen and small desk-ready displays. That illusion is furthered by its wall-mountable form – it is designed to be hung in a central place like the digital equivalent of the pinboards common to kitchens of homes of the 1980s, and can be mounted in landscape or portrait orientation. It can be bought with a stand for £30 more if you would rather not screw 2.2kg of technology into your wall. The 1080p touchscreen is bright and crisp when viewed at arm's reach.
Vizy is a Linux-based "AI camera" based on the Raspberry Pi 4 that uses machine learning and machine vision to pull off some neat tricks, and has a design centered around hackability. I found it ridiculously simple to get up and running, and it was just as easy to make changes of my own, and start getting ideas. I was running pre-installed examples written in Python within minutes, and editing that very same code in about 30 seconds more. Even better, I did it all without installing a development environment, or even leaving my web browser, for that matter. I have to say, it made for a very hacker-friendly experience.