A dozen AI-related forecasts for 2017

Machines will equal or surpass human performance in more cognitive and motor skills. For instance, speech recognition in noisy environments, and aspects of NLP – Natural Language Processing. Google subsidiary DeepMind will be involved in several of the breakthroughs. Unsupervised learning in neural networks will be the source of some of the most impressive results. In silico models of the brains of some very small animals will be demonstrated. Some prominent AI researchers will predict the arrival of strong AI – Artificial General Intelligence, or AGI – in just a few decades. Speech will become an increasingly common way for...

AI in 2016: a dozen highlights

March: AlphaGo combines deep reinforcement learning with deep neural networks to beat the best human player of the board game Go.  [Article] April: Nvidia unveils a “supercomputer for AI and deep learning”. With a price tag of $129k, it delivers 170 teraflops, and is 12 times more powerful than the company’s 2015 offering. Nvidia’s share price continues its skyward trajectory.  [Article] April: Researchers from Microsoft and several Dutch institutions create a new Rembrandt. Not a copy of an existing picture, but a new image in the exact style of the master, 3-D printed to replicate his brush-strokes.  [Article] September: DeepMind...

Reviewing last year’s AI-related forecasts

This time last year I made some forecasts about how AI would change, and how it would change us. It’s time to look back and see how those forecasts for 2016 panned out. Not a bad result: seven unambiguous yes, four mixed, and one outright no. Here are the forecasts (and you can see the original article here.) AlphaGo is the big one: it caught most people by surprise, and is still seen as one of the major landmarks in AI development, along with Deep Blue beating Kasparov in 1997 and Watson beating Jennings in 2011. Admittedly AlphaGo had already...

Future Bites 1

The first in what may or may not become a series of un-forecasts*, little glimpses of what may lie ahead in the century of two singularities. It’s 2025 and self-driving trucks, buses, taxis and delivery vans are the norm. Almost all of America’s five million professional drivers are out of work. They used to earn white-collar salaries for their blue-collar work, which means it is now virtually impossible for them to earn similar incomes. A small minority have re-trained and become coders, or virtual reality architects or something, but most are on welfare, and / or earning much smaller incomes...