Artificial intelligence Stories December 12, 2017
Artificial intelligence Stories August 14, 2017
Earlier this year, the creator of the Swift language and head of Xcode developer tools left Apple to join Tesla. However, by June, Chris Lattner departed as lead of the car maker’s self-driving Autopilot software. The longtime Apple employee today revealed that he is now joining the Google Brain research division to work on AI.
Artificial intelligence Stories July 26, 2017
Google launches new accelerator program for artificial intelligence, machine learning startups
After launching an artificial intelligence-focused venture capital fund earlier this month, Google is today announcing a new program that helps machine learning-centered startups by providing tuned mentorship and support.
Artificial intelligence Stories July 10, 2017
The shift from “mobile first to AI first” will require a major rethink of how people use and interact with technology. To ensure that this change benefits all, Google is launching a new initiative called PAIR (People + AI Research).
Artificial intelligence Stories July 5, 2017
Late last year, DeepMind began more closely collaborating with fellow Alphabet-owned company Google by founding a Mountain View-based team. The AI research company is now opening its first international AI division in Canada.
Artificial intelligence Stories June 3, 2016
In the past year alone, Google-owned Deep Mind has made great strides in artificial intelligence. The company has long kept an eye towards safety with the establishment of an ethics board as part of the 2014 acquisition, and now a new paper (via BI) from DeepMind and the University of Oxford describes the creation of a “big red button” method that can be used to stop AI from causing harm…
Artificial intelligence Stories May 17, 2016
Artificial intelligence Stories March 10, 2016
As achievements go, learning how to pick up objects doesn’t sound quite as impressive as twice beating the world Go champion – it is, after all, something the average toddler can do. But it’s the fact that the robots themselves figured out the best way to do it using neural networks that makes this notable.
A recent Google report spotted by TNW explains how the company let robot arms pick up a variety of different objects, using neural networks to learn by trial-and-error the best way to handle each. Some 800,000 goes later, the robots seemed to have it figured out pretty well …
Google’s AI system AlphaGo, part of its DeepMind project, has again beaten world champion Lee Sedol – and looks like it may be on track to take the title in the next game. Engadget reports Sedol saying that he was left speechless by his defeat.
“I’m quite speechless,” said Lee in the post-match conference. “It was a clear loss on my part. From the beginning there was no moment I thought I was leading.”
DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis tweeted that AlphaGo “played some beautiful creative moves in this game” …
Artificial intelligence Stories January 27, 2016
In 2014, Google bought UK startup DeepMind, considered to be the premier lab working on artificial intelligence. Today, head Demis Hassabis announced that they built an AI that can beat a human being at the ancient Chinese game of Go. The game is widely considered to be a benchmark for an AI’s ability to think.
Artificial intelligence Stories January 21, 2016
Founded by the developers of Apple’s Siri, Viv Labs is a startup working on creating a personal AI assistant that can understand and automate what a user wants. The Information is reporting that Google and Facebook have tried and failed to purchase the company within the past year.
Artificial intelligence Stories January 11, 2016
Speaking at a conference in New York today, Google chairman Eric Schmidt discussed how he believes artificial intelligence could one day help the world solve its “hard problems,” including issues like population growth, climate change, human development, and education. Schmidt explained that because of the fast pace at which AI technology is being developed, it can help scientists determine the relationship between the cause and effects of such issues by quickly analyzing large amounts of data (via Bloomberg).
Artificial intelligence Stories December 22, 2015
Hangouts is widely criticized in the Android community for being slow and buggy. According to a rumor last week, SMS support is being stripped out of Hangouts in order to make the app a better chatting service. Perhaps on a related note, The Wall Street Journal is today reporting that Google has grander ambitions for the chat field and plans to infuse their artificial intelligence technology into it.
Artificial intelligence Stories November 9, 2015
Google hasn’t been shy about sharing how it uses advanced neural networks (informally known as AI) in some of its products. The company has been teaching its machine learning tools a slew of new tricks in recent months. Google Photos uses it to easily find specific images based on your search, they equipped YouTube with the ability to better select thumbnails, reply to your emails from Gmail and made Google Translate far better at reading signs. And now, it wants to share its machine learning engine with developers, to make it even better…
Artificial intelligence Stories October 26, 2015
It’s no surprise that Google employs artificial intelligence to help parse search queries, but it did surprise me to learn that a full 15% of Google searches are ones its systems have never seen before. It’s these that the company has been decoding with the help of an AI system called RankBrain, reports Bloomberg.
For the past few months, a “very large fraction” of the millions of queries a second that people type into the company’s search engine have been interpreted by an artificial intelligence system, nicknamed RankBrain, said Greg Corrado, a senior research scientist with the company, outlining for the first time the emerging role of AI in search.
As you’d expect, Google uses literally hundreds of different ‘signals’ to make sense of searches, and the vast majority of these are based on discoveries and insights that people in the team have had – but RankBrain is the first system that genuinely learns … expand full story
Artificial intelligence Stories September 14, 2015
Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, has made a thinly-veiled attack on Apple Music in a BBC op-ed on artificial intelligence. He described human-curated music selections as a decade out of data and an elitist approach.
A decade ago, to launch a digital music service, you probably would have enlisted a handful of elite tastemakers to pick the hottest new music.
Today, you’re much better off building a smart system that can learn from the real world – what actual listeners are most likely to like next – and help you predict who and where the next Adele might be …
Artificial intelligence Stories December 2, 2014
The MIT Technology Review does a profile on DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis who sold his company to Google for $600+M earlier this year. The guy is clearly a genius and has degrees in both neuroscience and computer science and typical Google acquihire. But what caught my attention after looking at what DeepMind does and what Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking worry about:
Hassabis’s reluctance to talk about applications might be coyness, or it could be that his researchers are still in the early stages of understanding how to advance the company’s AI software. One strong indicator that Hassabis believes progress toward a powerful new form of AI will be swift is that he is setting up an ethics board inside Google to consider the possible downsides of advanced artificial intelligence. “It’s something that we or other people at Google need to be cognizant of. We’re still playing Atari games currently,” he says, laughing. “But we are on the first rungs of the ladder.”
That all these smart people are afraid of what AI can do to humanity is chilling. It is slightly reassuring that Google is thinking seriously about the implications.
A video of Hassabis explaining his work follows: expand full story
Artificial intelligence Stories October 27, 2014
Robin Labs, the developmental team behind mobile assistant platform Robin.AI, has today unveiled their latest project, an app that responds to emails for you. Dubbed Less.Mail, the app handles routine email responses by automatically replying to emails based on how it interprets the message’s initial text.
Artificial intelligence Stories May 28, 2014
Google uses artificial intelligence to boost efficiency of its data centers
Google has been using artificial intelligence for a wide range of tasks, ranging from delivering search results to speech recognition, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that Google’s latest AI product was figuring out how to improve the energy efficiency of the very servers used to do all that other stuff.
A Google blog entry spotted by Engadget describes how a Google engineer used his 20 percent time to apply machine learning to predict the real-time energy efficiency of its data centers. Google uses a measure known as Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE): a ratio of total power used to power actually used for computing. In simple terms, if cooling used as much power as computing, the PUE would be 2. The closer to 1 Google can get, the more efficient the energy usage.
Google has already got its PUE down to 1.12 – about twice as efficient as a typical data center – but is using the AI project to try to further reduce the number. By using machine learning to predict the impact of variables like outside air temperature, Google can tweak the setup to minimize power usage.
The days of self-aware machines grow ever closer …
Artificial intelligence Stories January 26, 2014
First they created self-driving (and maybe flying) cars. Then they created a new robotics division and put Android’s Andy Rubin in charge. And who could forget that they recently bought Boston Dynamics, the firm responsible for several DARPA-funded robotics projects?
Now, Re/code reports that Google is planning to purchase DeepMind, a London-based AI company that specializes in games and e-commerce algorithms. While Google could possibly put the company’s work on e-commerce to good use, Re/code indicates that Google is likely acquiring the firm for its talent, not so much for its technology. The site pegs the purchase price at round $400 million, but The Information says the number is actually closer to $500 million.
Just what does Google plan to do with all of these purchases? Some have previously speculated that the company is working on an intelligent delivery system to rival Amazon’s futuristic delivery drones. Andy Rubin has said that he has an interest in revolutionizing industries that have not yet been impacted by the precision of robotics technology, such as the assembly of electronics.
Or maybe they just want an army of terminators. But hey, who wouldn’t?
Artificial intelligence Stories August 13, 2013
When Google announced (and later began rolling out) conversational search back in May, the company saw that as only the start. The company’s plans for the feature take us all the way into the realms of a true virtual personal assistant.
If you haven’t yet tried conversational search in Chrome, the feature as it stands is useful but basic. Speak a search like “How old is Barack Obama?” and Chrome will speak the answer. With a person, you could then ask a series of follow-up questions like “How tall is he?”, “Who is his wife?” and “How old is she?” and they would know who you were referring to in each question. That’s the functionality Google is rolling out, remembering who or what you just asked about and interpreting pronouns appropriately.
But Google’s long-term plans are far more ambitious. In an interview with TechFlash, Google Research Fellow Jeff Dean talked to Jon Xavier about his team’s work on machine learning and neural nets to expand Google’s abilities in conversational search … expand full story
Artificial intelligence Stories May 8, 2013
What does Samsung’s S-Voice assistant think of Siri?
Despite having access to a pretty powerful voice-enabled, predictive search engine with Google Now, Samsung is still pushing ahead with its own ‘S Voice’ app to try and provide a unique Siri-like experience on its devices. We’ve seen many comparisons of how Samsung might have borrowed from Apple for its own voice-controlled assistant, but today a post from AndroidCentral got us curious about how S Voice reacts when asked about Siri.
The screenshot we grabbed above speaks for itself with the Galaxy S4 returning snappy answers when asked about the iPhone and Siri. When asked, “Have you ever used an iPhone?,” S Voice responded, simply, “No, I have standards.” Another question, “Are you Siri?,” returns the answer, “I think that I am, but I’m a little biased.”
Results appear to vary for users, but it’s certainly an easter egg that Samsung has intentionally included in the app at some point. Siri isn’t free of its own clever responses with users finding several easter eggs and controversial remarks since the app first launched on iPhone 4S. Asking Siri about Samsung or its devices, however, usually just provides a vague response or directs users to Apple’s website or the web.
Some answers Siri gives are amusing, such as responding to marriage questions with “My End User License Agreement does not cover marriage”. People are more amused by the silly stuff, like when you say “call me an ambulance” and she responds by acknowledging “From now on, I’ll call you ‘an ambulance’”.
Artificial intelligence Stories April 22, 2013
It’s no surprise that Google would bring its voice search to the web, as it already offers the service on Android and plans to bring it to iOS (Google Search for iOS currently offers real-time voice search but doesn’t support Google Now cards), and tends to have a cross-platform approach to its services as opposed to Apple’s ownership approach to its services.
Sure, Apple does have limited iCloud functionality on Microsoft’s Windows operating system and allows users to manage iCloud from a nicely designed web interface, but Apple only offers Siri on the iPhone 4S and 5, as well as the iPad mini, iPad 3 and 4, and latest iPod touch, though the upcoming release of OS X 10.9 could bring Siri to the Mac just in time to compete with Google Now on the web.
Artificial intelligence Stories December 14, 2011
Android and Me reports on a secret Google project aimed at adding a little conversational flare to Android Voice Actions. Dubbed Project Majel after Majel Barrett-Roddenberry – the voice of Star Trek‘s Federation Computer – it’s thought to be motivated by the success Apple’s seen with its clever marketing of the voice-controlled digital assistant Siri that debuted as an iPhone 4S exclusive on October 4.
According to the blog:
Majel is an evolution of Google’s Voice Actions that is currently available on most Android phones with the addition of natural language processing. Where Voice Actions required you to issue specific commands like ‘send text to…’ or ‘navigate to…’ Majel will allow you to perform actions in your natural language similar to how Siri functions.
Google is apparently working on Majel at clandestine Google X, the company’s top-secret lab headed by Sergey Brin. Majel should debut for Google search queries first. It’s unknown at this stage whether the technology incorporates some of the artificial intelligence traits exhibited in Apple’s Siri. expand full story