Microsoft’s CTO lays out the 2 tech trends he believes will change the world: ‘People haven’t wrapped their heads around this yet’

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Microsoft’s chief technology officer, Kevin Scott, sees two big things coming down the pipeline in the tech industry, he told Business Insider.

  • The first is an explosion of cheap, powerful silicon processors coming in the next five to eight years, leading to every device, everywhere, getting a microprocessor capable of running advanced artificial intelligence.
  • The second, related trend Scott sees is the increased importance of reinforcement learning, the style of machine learning that helps power Google DeepMind’s famous game-playing software bots.
  • Combined, the explosions of software and hardware will give developers everywhere the tools they need to easily solve computing problems once thought impossible in a way that’s cheap and efficient enough for every car, toy, and appliance manufacturer to take advantage.
  • A big part of Microsoft’s role in this is making it easier for developers to take advantage of these trends in their own software, Scott said Continue reading… “Microsoft’s CTO lays out the 2 tech trends he believes will change the world: ‘People haven’t wrapped their heads around this yet’”
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This AI outperformed 20 corporate lawyers at legal work

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Technology is revolutionizing the work we do and how we do it. Increasingly, artificial intelligence (AI) and robots are taking over menial and repetitive tasks, leaving humans to concentrate on work that requires critical thinking.

But as machines become better at imitating human intelligence, they’re beginning to do more and more thinking for us.

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Machine-learning system tackles speech and object recognition, all at once

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MIT computer scientists have developed a system that learns to identify objects within an image, based on a spoken description of the image.

Model learns to pick out objects within an image, using spoken descriptions.

MIT computer scientists have developed a system that learns to identify objects within an image, based on a spoken description of the image. Given an image and an audio caption, the model will highlight in real-time the relevant regions of the image being described.

Unlike current speech-recognition technologies, the model doesn’t require manual transcriptions and annotations of the examples it’s trained on. Instead, it learns words directly from recorded speech clips and objects in raw images, and associates them with one another.

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Can AI have good taste? Auction giant Sotheby’s is counting on it

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Sotheby’s acquired startup Thread Genius, whose machine learning tech can discern clients’ artistic and style leanings–and suggest customized purchases.

Just a few doors down from its CEO and the wood-paneled cubicles where sharply dressed professionals sit, the eighth floor of Sotheby’s New York takes on a very different vibe.

Suddenly, it’s more Silicon Valley than Upper East Side as staid formality gives way to a group of millennials, some in T-shirts with their sneakered feet on desks. Computer code is scrawled on whiteboards and the room’s glass wall. It is here where the storied auction house–founded in 1744–meets its future.

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Will AI ever become conscious?

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When science-fiction worlds introduce robots that look and behave like people, sooner or later those worlds’ inhabitants confront the question of robot self-awareness. If a machine is built to truly mimic a human, its “brain” must be complex enough not only to process information as ours does, but also to achieve certain types of abstract thinking that make us human. This includes recognition of our “selves” and our place in the world, a state known as consciousness.

One example of a sci-fi struggle to define AI consciousness is AMC’s “Humans” (Tues. 10/9c starting June 5). At this point in the series, human-like machines called Synths have become self-aware; as they band together in communities to live independent lives and define who they are, they must also battle for acceptance and survival against the hostile humans who created and used them.

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Five myths about artificial intelligence

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Artificial intelligence is the future. Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple are all making big bets on AI. (Amazon owner Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.) Congress has held hearings and even formed a bipartisan Artificial Intelligence Caucus. From health care to transportation to national security, AI has the potential to improve lives. But it comes with fears about economic disruption and a brewing “AI arms race .” Like any transformational change, it’s complicated. Perhaps the biggest AI myth is that we can be confident about its future effects. Here are five others.

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Who’s a good AI? Dog-based data creates a canine machine learning system

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We’ve trained machine learning systems to identify objects, navigate streets and recognize facial expressions, but as difficult as they may be, they don’t even touch the level of sophistication required to simulate, for example, a dog. Well, this project aims to do just that — in a very limited way, of course. By observing the behavior of A Very Good Girl, this AI learned the rudiments of how to act like a dog.

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Paul Allen wants to teach machines common sense

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“To make real progress in A.I., we have to overcome the big challenges in the area of common sense,” said Paul Allen, who founded Microsoft in the 1970s with Bill Gates.

Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday that he was pumping an additional $125 million into his nonprofit computer research lab for an ambitious new effort to teach machines “common sense.”

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Disney has begun populating its parks with autonomous, personality-driven robots

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The process of making a Disney park feel alive is most easily encapsulated in animatronic figures. These hydraulic, pneumatic and now electric figures have been a fixture at Disneyland since the 60s. Since then, massive advancements have been made in control systems, movement architecture and programming. The most advanced animatronic figures like the Na’Vi Shaman in Disney World’s Na’vi River Journey are plain and simply robots. And very sophisticated ones at that.

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Keeping robots friendly: Meet the woman teaching AI about human values

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Anca Dragan has a cool name, an impressive CV and an important job. While many roboticists focus on making AI better, faster and smarter, Dragan is also concerned about robot quality control. In anticipation of robots moving into every area of our lives, she wants to ensure our interactions with robots are positive ones. The computer scientist and robotics engineer is a principal investigator with UC Berkeley’s Center for Human-Compatible AI. “One particular area of interest is the problem of value alignment,” says Dragan. “How do you ensure that an artificially intelligent agent–be it a robot a few years from now or a much more capable agent in the future–how do you make sure that these agents optimize the right objectives? How do we teach them to optimize what we actually want optimized?”

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