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) …
When I published the article "Understanding Blockchain" many of you wrote me to ask me if I could make one dedicated to Artificial Intelligence. The truth is that I hadn't had time to get on with it and before sharing anything, I wanted to finish some courses in order to add value to the recommendations. The problem with Artificial Intelligence is that it's much more fragmented, both technologically and in use cases, than Blockchain, making it a real challenge to condense all the information and share it meaningfully. Likewise, I have tried to make an effort in the summary of key concepts and in the compilation of interesting sources and resources, I hope it helps you as well as it did to me! Let's start with a little history. The timeline you see is taken from this article and it shows the most important milestones of Artificial Intelligence.
From high-tech tablets to powerful new cameras, it's never been a better time to be a gadget fan. Here are some of our favorite gizmos of the year, including a gaming controller for disabled players and a hair styler that promises to do less damage to your do. Gamers with disabilities have few options in terms of accessible games, which makes Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller a huge boon for those unable to play using traditional means. The oversized and adaptable gamepad, which works with Xbox One and Windows 10 devices, is equipped with a pair of gigantic buttons, 19 3.5mm ports for external inputs like joysticks, and mounting holes for attaching it to accessories like stands or wheelchairs. With its faster processor and slimmed-down design, Apple's latest smartwatch is everything the Apple Watch should have been from jump.
The ethical dilemma swirling around facial recognition technology has prompted Google to hit pause on selling its own system to the public. On Thursday, Google's Cloud business said it was holding off on offering a facial recognition system for general-purposes, citing the potential for abuse. "We continue to work with many organizations to identify and address these challenges, and unlike some other companies, Google Cloud has chosen not to offer general-purpose facial recognition APIs before working through important technology and policy questions," company Vice President of Global Affairs Kent Walker wrote in a Thursday blog post. Walker's statement was likely a subtle jab toward Amazon, which has been offering a facial recognition system to customers, including US law enforcement. Amazon's system, dubbed Rekognition, can identify people's faces in digital images and videos, making it useful for police to quickly look up suspects in criminal investigations.
The challenges of making the technology industry a more welcoming place for women are numerous, especially in the booming field of artificial intelligence. To get a sense of just how monumental a task the tech community faces, look no further than the marquee gathering for AI's top scientists. Preparations for this year's event drew controversy not only because there weren't enough female speakers or study authors. The biggest debate was over the conference's name. The annual Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems, formerly known as NIPS, had become a punchline symbol about just how bad the gender imbalance is for artificial intelligence.
In a blog post promoting Google's "AI for social good" initiative, Google SVP of Global Affairs Kent Walker on Thursday outlined various ways Google's AI tools are being used to solve problems -- as well as one way Google is trying to keep its tools from creating problems. "Unlike some other companies, Google Cloud has chosen not to offer general-purpose facial recognition APIs before working through important technology and policy questions," Walker wrote. "Like many technologies with multiple uses, facial recognition merits careful consideration to ensure its use is aligned with our principles and values, and avoids abuse and harmful outcomes," he explained. "We continue to work with many organizations to identify and address these challenges." The commitment comes amid growing concern over the use of facial recognition.
"We may be in the eternal spring of AI," says Andrew Ng, a luminary in the field of machine learning. Ng, a co-founder and former director of Google's AI team, sat down for an interview with ZDNet to discuss his just-published "playbook" for how to use the technology, which is available as a free download. He dismissed worries that artificial intelligence technology may be entering another one of its periodic "winters," when interest, and funding, drops off sharply. Andrew Ng explains the five principles of his "Playbook for AI." Machine learning, in the form of "connectionist" theories that model computing loosely along the lines of neurons in the brain, has gone through boom and bust cycles, flowering initially with Frank Rosenblatt's "perceptron" in the late 1950s, cooling in the late 60s, emerging again in the late 1980s only to again fall out of favor, and now suddenly back in vogue in the last several years. Those periodic coolings have been termed an "AI winter."
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, head of one of the world's leading artificial intelligence companies, said in an interview this week that concerns about harmful applications of the technology are "very legitimate" - but the tech industry should be trusted to responsibly regulate its use. Speaking with The Washington Post on Tuesday afternoon, Pichai said that new AI tools - the backbone of innovations such as driverless cars and disease-detecting algorithms - require companies to set ethical guardrails and think through how the technology can be abused. "I think tech has to realise it just can't build it, and then fix it," Pichai said. "I think that doesn't work." Tech giants have to ensure that artificial intelligence with "agency of its own" doesn't harm humankind, Pichai said.
Today, Google shared information about some of the AI work it's doing in Asia, but in a blog post about the work, it also made a pretty clear statement about how its facial recognition technology will and won't be used for the time being. The company noted that while facial recognition systems stand to be quite useful in a variety of situations, from assistive technologies to locating missing people, they also comes with risks. "Like many technologies with multiple uses, facial recognition merits careful consideration to ensure its use is aligned with our principles and values, and avoids abuse and harmful outcomes," Google said. "We continue to work with many organizations to identify and address these challenges, and unlike some other companies, Google Cloud has chosen not to offer general-purpose facial recognition APIs before working through important technology and policy questions." Facial recognition technology has come under the spotlight in recent years, with everyone from local law enforcement to Taylor Swift employing it in some way.