Maybe it’s my over active imagination but any mention of artificial intelligence still triggers the slight fear of the point of singularity and world domination from technically advanced artificial intelligence!
Ok, I’ll admit that’s a bit extreme (for now). Having being brought up watching and reading books like Short Circuit, Terminator, Robocop, A Space Odyssey, Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy, I-Robot, and more recently the incredibly thought-provoking Ex-Machina, and already seeing the monumental evolution of machine learning in day to day technology, I do find artificial intelligence / learning an incredibly fascinating and pertinent topic. Particularly the implications of intelligent ‘artificial’ tools and services within the marketing, business and customer service landscape.
Whilst I would say that I am across the more output element of current popular artificial intelligence tools such as Apples Siri, Microsofts Cortana, Amazons Alexa, and Google Now, and am excited about the near future implications of these ever evolving technologies along with web/social based customer service bots, I don’t really know how they work.
Stripping it back to the basics, how does something artificial know – like really know – that a bird is a bird, or a cloud is a cloud? How does it actually learn?
How computers are learning to create
This fascinating TED Talk by Blaise Aguera y Arcas gives you a bit of a deeper insight into some of those questions you may have on the ‘how’ of artificial intelligence, and just how much mathematics plays a role to bind the artificial neural pathways of distinguishing, ignoring, recognising, understanding, and acting on stimuli.
As per Blaise’s bio on the TED website “Blaise works on machine learning at Google. Previously a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft, he has worked on augmented reality, mapping, wearable computing and natural user interfaces…..Blaise works with deep neural networks for machine perception and distributed learning.” – his full biography can be found here.
Slightly slower than the usual Ted Talk but equally as interesting. Blaise makes a solid case that the Michelangelo made over 500 years ago that “perception and creativity are intimately related” and “any creature, any being that is able to do perceptual acts is able to create”.
Fancy a bit more artificial intelligence inspiration? Here are the Guardians top 20 AI films.