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 tasks feel insurmountable, I have always retreated to a tried and true hack, the sort any self-help book worth the price of the Kindle it's living in will dispense: Break the big, scary thing into smaller tasks. The nice news is that, sometimes, the little task ends up being more interesting, more enlightening, more fun, and more doable than the scary, big thing. This week, WIRED Transportation spent some time with the people sweating the small stuff, the tinkerers making adjustments at the peripherals. The German carmakers running a curious mobility experiment in Seattle; the coders making it easier for cities to share the rules of the road with self-driving cars; the engineers coming up with a very special hook that should someday help autonomous drones deliver their wares. Turns out that work is vital, too.
Check out the "Decentralized data markets for training AI models" session at the Artificial Intelligence Conference in San Francisco, September 4-7, 2018. Hurry--early price ends July 20. In this post I share slides and notes from a keynote I gave at the Strata Data Conference in London at the end of May. My goal was to remind the data community about the many interesting opportunities and challenges in data itself. Much of the focus of recent press coverage has been on algorithms and models, specifically the expanding utility of deep learning.
High tech crime stopper changes the look of security. Robots are popping up at corporations, campuses, shopping malls and airports. A San Francisco Shell station has a robot as extra security for those at the pumps. A robot serves as a security guard at a Shell Station at 8th and Market streets in San Francisco. The robot has four cameras, and rolls at 3 mph, about the same pace as a person walking.
Every so often, WIRED gets to take a good, long sojourn behind the scenes, to observe what the people we write about are doing all day. This was one of those nice weeks. Editor Alex Davies hopped a plane to Winnemucca, an isolated mining town in northern Nevada that's hosting Alphabet's latest moonshot: its effort to spread the gospel of internet via broadcasting balloons. Senior writer Jessi Hempl got under Uber's hood after the announcement that HR chief Liane Hornsey--the woman brought in to fix the unicorn's culture--resigned for improperly handling allegations of racial discrimination. Contributor Wendy Dent got the scoop on Elon Musk's attempt to build some kind of vehicle that would help the Thai youth soccer team escape a cave complex.
Cameras and GPS navigation system gear are placed on a self-driving Mercedes car on display at an event to present a project on autonomous driving at former Tempelhof airport on July 10, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Discussion about autonomous driving tends to focus on the leading company in the field, Google, which back in October 2010 set the ball rolling. Following the restructure that led to the creation of Alphabet, a subsidiary was set up called Waymo, which already has fleets of self-driving cars without safety driver on the roads of Phoenix, Mountain View, San Francisco, Austin, Detroit, Atlanta and Kirkland, selected mainly for their geographic and meteorological conditions. Which is not to say other companies aren't actively pursuing their own autonomous vehicles. In Arizona and several other cities, Cruise, owned by GM, has a large fleet.
Arriving at Creator, a new restaurant located on the ground floor of an office building on downtown San Francisco's Folsom Street, feels like walking into a catalog. Sleek, wooden communal tables with high white stools line one end of the room, with a bookshelf full of hand-picked culinary books against the wall and modern light fixtures overhead. It's what you would have imagined a restaurant eventually looking like if you watched a lot of The Jetsons. Those machines, with large transparent glass casings and ingredients in cylindrical tubes, are Creator's burger-making robots. Each 14-foot device contains around 350 sensors and 20 microcomputers to produce the best, freshest, locally sourced cheeseburger that $6 can get you in America's most expensive city.
A protester holds up a sign targeting Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff outside the company's headquarters in San Francisco on Monday. A protester holds up a sign targeting Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff outside the company's headquarters in San Francisco on Monday. Tech workers from Salesforce, Microsoft, Amazon and Google have been putting pressure on their CEOs to cut ties and end contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, and other government agencies. It's a rare occurrence for employees to tell their bosses to turn away business. But there is a growing concern among tech workers that the cutting-edge tools they create can be used in immoral ways.
Artificial intelligence is truly changing the way we live and work. If you're interested in learning more about artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, virtual reality and ethics, we've listed some top influencers you'll definitely want to follow. Be sure to share your "must-follow" recommendations below. Pedro is a computer science professor at UW and author of arguably the most comprehensive book on machine learning--The Master Algorithm. Amber is the co-founder and CMO at Meshfire, an AI powered social media management platform.
Stop me if you've heard this one before. On June 11, a self-driving Cruise Chevrolet Bolt had just made a left onto San Francisco's Bryant Street, right near the General Motors-owned company's garage. Then, whoops: Another self-driving Cruise, this one being driven by a Cruise human employee, thumped into its rear bumper. According to a Department of Motor Vehicles report, the kind any autonomous vehicle tester must submit to the state of California after any incident, both vehicles escaped with only scuffs. "There were no injuries and the police were not called," Cruise reported.