O’Reilly says artificial intelligence is ‘going mainstream’

Tim_O'Reilly
Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media

Artificial intelligence has come out of the dark corners of science fiction and is ready to become ubiquitous in the real world, according to one of the most influential tech gurus of the internet era.

Writing on the company’s website, Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, say humanity is “at the beginning of an explosion of intelligent software” which could change everything.

O’Reilly says: “It’s easy to get excited about recent progress but much more difficult to understand what lies ahead. Researchers have built some excellent, but very specialized, systems. Still, we’re far from anything that looks like a general intelligence system.

“We have programs that can play Go, drive a car, chat, manage investments, and identify pictures; we don’t have programs that can do all of the thousands of things that humans do every day. Integrating many systems that can each do one very specific task is a challenging problem, if that’s even the right approach. What does the future hold, and how are we to get there?”  Continue reading O’Reilly says artificial intelligence is ‘going mainstream’

If AI ruled the world: Exclusive interview with Jane Zavalishina, CEO, Yandex Data Factory

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Jane Zavalishina, Yandex Data Factory

Some people say artificial intelligence will eventually take over the world, and make humans obsolete and useless in large parts of society, starting with firing us from all employment – low-skilled or high. Others say it’s already happened – that AI rules the world. 

From artificially intelligent assistants which answer your emails and manage your diary, to artificially intelligent industrial robots that can custom manufacture products to individual customer specifications and that can tell you when they need a little maintenance, not to mention the AI in the latest cars of today which can brake and change lanes to avoid you having an accident because you fell asleep at the wheel, AI is everywhere.

And like the concept of the omnipresent deities that many religious people believe in, AI – and its attributes of machine learning and deep learning and so on – has inspired a massive global following which is growing every day. Continue reading If AI ruled the world: Exclusive interview with Jane Zavalishina, CEO, Yandex Data Factory

Virtual assistants prepare to take over the world of work

Dennis Mortensen, CEO, x.ai,
Dennis Mortensen, CEO, x.ai, pictured in the Wall Street area of New York, US

Exclusive interview with Dennis Mortensen, founder and CEO of intelligent assistants technology developer x.ai 

Virtual assistants, or intelligent assistants, are multiplying by the day. Currently there are around a dozen really well-known ones, such as Siri and Cortana, and then there’s several dozen other reasonably well-known ones talking or otherwise communicating their way into the public consciousness.

These intelligent assistants can be placed in at least 10 different categories, such as text and chatbots, personal advisors, and employee assistants.

Of these, perhaps the most commercially profitable is the employee assistants category. And within this segment, the virtual assistance technology that arguably holds most promise is the one produced by x.ai – in part because among its investors is SoftBank, the Japanese communications giant behind Pepper, the cloud-connected humanoid robot which is claimed to be able to discern human emotions and communicate appropriately.  Continue reading Virtual assistants prepare to take over the world of work

Google boss downplays devices and talks up artificial intelligence

google sundar pichai

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, says the days of the ‘device’ are numbered 

The chief executive of Google, Sundar Pichai, says he can foresee the day when the “device” as we know it will be no more.

In a blog post on Google’s website, Pichai says: “Looking to the future, the next big step will be for the very concept of the ‘device’ to fade away.”

The reason, Pichai writes, is because artificial intelligence will make all devices work seamlessly and, therefore, make devices less important than the AI software behind them.

“Over time, the computer itself – whatever its form factor – will be an intelligent assistant helping you through your day,” says Pichai. “We will move from mobile first to an AI first world.”

Full story on Google’s blog.

An algorithm that makes music on the fly

Interview with Dr Kevin Curran, head of Ambient Intelligence, Ulster University

A computer science lecturer at Ulster University has invented a piece of software that composes music on the fly and is looking for someone to continue the work and eventually commercialise it. 

Dr Kevin Curran, who is also head of the Ambient Intelligence Group at Ulster and a senior member of the IEEE, has published more than 800 academic papers.

He says the paper about his algorithm which can create music dynamically is one if favourites.

The software was intended to fill any gaps in streaming media to mobile devices by actually generating a piece of music that actually fits in with the music.  Continue reading An algorithm that makes music on the fly

ICINCO conference to showcase global expertise in data science

The 13th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics – ICINCO 2016 

The Thirteenth International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics (ICINCO), will take place from 29 to 31 of July 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal.

Organized by the Institute for Systems and Technologies of Information, Control and Communication (INSTICC), the purpose of the conference is to bring together researchers, engineers and practitioners interested in the application of informatics to control, automation and robotics.  Continue reading ICINCO conference to showcase global expertise in data science

Human Brain Project gives public access to web-based simulation platforms

human brain project

HBP opens up all of its computing platforms to the wider research community as it looks to accelerate progress 

The Human Brain Project has released all six of its computing platforms to the wider research community and the general public in an attempt to accelerate progress.

People who are interested can now request access to any or all of the platforms, most of which are suitable for collaboration and accessible through the worldwide web.

The six platforms have the following titles: Neuroinformatics; Brain Simulation; High Performance Analytics and Computing; Medical Informatics; Neuromorphic Computing; and NeuroRobotics.  Continue reading Human Brain Project gives public access to web-based simulation platforms

Intel buys YogiTech to move into driverless car technology

Illustration of advanced driver assistance systems lane warning
Illustration of advanced driver assistance systems lane warning

Chipmaker finds a way into lucrative advanced driver assistance systems market 

An Intel senior executive has written a blog about how the company has bought its way into what is now one of the fastest-growing segments of the global auto technology market – advanced driver assistance systems.

Ken Caviasca, vice president and general manager of platform engineering and development in the Internet of Things (IoT) Group at Intel talks of the acquisition of YogiTech, and how it will bring IoT-related market opportunities to the chipmaking giant.  Continue reading Intel buys YogiTech to move into driverless car technology

Toyota turbo-charges AI and robotics operations in the US. Looks to hire 50 experts

Akio Toyoda Dr Gill Pratt at the launch of Toyota Research Institute
Akio Toyoda and Dr Gill Pratt at the launch of Toyota Research Institute a few months ago

Toyota has decided to boost its activities in artificial intelligence and robotics in the US.

Dr Gill Pratt, CEO of Toyota Research Institute (TRI), said the company will establish its third TRI facility in the US.

The new facility will be located in Ann Arbor, near the University of Michigan (U-M) campus where it will fund research in artificial intelligence, robotics and materials science.  Continue reading Toyota turbo-charges AI and robotics operations in the US. Looks to hire 50 experts

Darktrace launches machine learning network security system

darktrace antigena threat-visualizer

A company called Darktrace has launched what it calls “a ground-breaking new product that uses machine learning to allow networks to automatically self-defend”. 

Darktrace Antigena spots and inoculates against unknown threats, as they germinate within organizations in real time, according to the company.

In this exclusive interview, Dave Palmer, director of technology at Darktrace, tells Robotics and Automation News that artificial intelligence, specifically machine learning, will become a central component of cybersecurity strategies going forward.  Continue reading Darktrace launches machine learning network security system

Alex Jones channel claims robots want to ‘destroy humans’

alex jones
Talk show host Alex Jones has been railing against what he sees as anti-human robots and artificial intelligence used by technocratic elites in a scientific takeover of the world

Outspoken American talk show host Alex Jones has been on a verbal rampage against what he calls “anti-human robots” in the hands of the “technocracy” – a mysterious cabal secretly controlling society. 

In his latest tirade against what he has dubbed a “breakaway civilisation” of elite groups bent on enslaving the rest of humanity, the influential commentator says the present political and economic situation on Earth is equivalent to an “alien invasion”.

His television/radio channel, Infowars.com, has been consistently broadcasting reports for more than a year about the  “robot takeover”, with Jones condemning what he says is a “metric, scientific, mathematic algorithm of tyranny” that humanity faces today.  Continue reading Alex Jones channel claims robots want to ‘destroy humans’

Robot musicians, artists and writers could be the superstars of tomorrow

An interesting possibility, nay probability… no, delete that… It’s an absolute certainty that robots will soon join the stage with the biggest stars in entertainment and the creative arts if the current trend of accelerated advancement in artificial intelligence continues. 

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We googled Doctor Steel, but we’re not sure if his band of robots exists

That’s not really a surprise when you consider that a young Ray Kurzweil showed how a computer program could “write” music way back in the 1960s, and the tune wasn’t too bad either.

And radio stations have long been using computers to help them choose what music to play. That’s not to say today’s DJs have nothing to do, that’s just the way it is.

And recently, Lady Gaga performed on stage with the aid of a robot. There’s probably been a few other artists who have generously shared the stage with robots in recent times, but some of us haven’t really noticed because we still have the old Kraftwerk classics from the first electronic era on infinite loop in our minds (see video).  Continue reading Robot musicians, artists and writers could be the superstars of tomorrow

Kuka to build global deep learning AI network for industrial robots

Kuka, one of the world’s biggest industrial robotics companies, is to develop a smart manufacturing platform in collaboration with Chinese communications giant Huawei. 

Kuka and Huawei signed a deal to develop what could be a global network – built on the industrial internet of things – to enable the connection of robots across many factories. The companies say they plan to integrate artificial intelligence and deep learning into the system.

In the new manufacturing era, robots will play an increasingly important role in helping manufacturing businesses remain agile and drive growth, say the two companies.

Under the new agreement, Huawei and Kuka will collaborate in the areas of cloud computing, big data, mobile technology, and industrial robots to help manufacturing customers transform and embrace smart manufacturing. Continue reading Kuka to build global deep learning AI network for industrial robots

More than a Go game to Demis

demis hassabis and lee seedol

The creator of the artificial intelligence AlphaGo computer software, which beat the world’s best Go player – Lee Seedol – 4-1 last week, has spoken of what the development means to him, saying that trouncing humanity is more than just a game. 

Demis Hassabis, CEO and founder of DeepMind, says the “man versus machine showdown” was a vindication of the years spent developing a virtual robot which would be superior to humans, so they can take over the world and solve all known and unknown problems.

Writing on Google’s blog, Hassabis says: “Our public test of AlphaGo … was about more than winning at Go. We founded DeepMind in 2010 to create general-purpose artificial intelligence (AI) that can learn on its own – and, eventually, be used as a tool to help society solve some of its biggest and most pressing problems, from climate change to disease diagnosis.”

Read the full blog post by Demis Hassabis. 

Google open sources TensorFlow Serving

Tensor_Flow_Diagram1_Serving_FINALAfter releasing its deep learning or machine learning library TensorFlow as open source software a few months ago, Google has now followed up by open sourcing TensorFlow Serving, which the company says makes it easier to take models into production.

Noah Fiedel, Google software engineer, writes on his blog: “TensorFlow Serving makes the process of taking a model into production easier and faster.

“It allows you to safely deploy new models and run experiments while keeping the same server architecture and APIs.”

TensorFlow Serving is written in C++ and supports Linux. Fidel says the software requires minimal overhead. “In our benchmarks we recoded approximately 100,000 queries per second per core on a 16 vCPU Intel Xeon E5 2.6 GHz machine, excluding gRPC and the TensorFlow inference processing time.”