All posts in Emergent Future

Terminating Tay – A Microsoft AI Experiment Gone Wrong

Tay, the Microsoft AI Bot for Twitter

You Might Have Heard: The Microsoft AI experiment with Tay, their machine learning Twitter bot, ended after a mere 24-hours. The company pulled the plug when she almost immediately turned into a sexist, racist Nazi. Tay was suppose to learn how to communicate like a human by engaging in conversations with Twitter users.

“This gets to the underlying problem,” Vice argues. “Microsoft’s AI developers sent Tay to the internet to learn how to be human, but the internet is a terrible place to figure that out.”

The New Yorker writes that “Tay’s breakdown occurred at a moment of enormous promise for A.I.” Earlier in the week, an AI-written novel passed the first round of a literary competition in Japan, and last week AlphaGo, the AI from Google’s DeepMind,defeated the top-ranked Go player in the world.

As information destined for humans is increasingly handled by AI’s, the need for an open dialogue about the ethics grows. Google and DeepMind still haven’t revealed who sits on their AI ethics board.

+ A question of lesser importance: why are AI’s like Siri and Cortana so clever, but so bad at empathy anyway? A recent study might hold the key.

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AlphaGo’s Historic Victory, The Brain vs Deep Learning, and more from the Department of Bots

You may have heard about AlphaGo: Go has officially fallen to machines, just like Jeopardy did before it to Watson, and chess before that to Deep Blue. Now that artificial intelligence has mastered Go, New Scientist asks what game should it take on next. Deep-Q is learning not only Pong with Tensorflow and PyGame, but also Flappy Bird. If that wasn’t enough, here’s a timeline of artificial intelligence victories from 1997-3041. You read that correctly.

Department of Bots
Motherboard argues that joke-telling robots represent the final frontier of A.I., since humor requires self-awareness, spontaneity, linguistic sophistication, and empathy. That’s not an easy task for a bot. Speaking of, why do developers love chatbots so much? Facebook’s Messenger Bot Store is coming, and it could be the most important launch since the App Store. We’re believers, but will robots take your job?

The Brain vs Deep Learning
Want to know why the singularity is anywhere but near? Read this great examination of the brain’s electrochemical and biological information processing pipeline as it relates to deep learning. There are a few problems with consciousness as it relates to superintelligence. The DeepMind founder has plans beyond just Go. He’s designing for healthcare, robots, and your phone. Use Neural Doodle to turn your two-bit doodles into fine artworks with deep neural networks. Very cool.

Point/Counterpoint
Harvard Business Review argues that you need an algorithm, not a data scientist. Not so fast, says Data Science Central. You need a data scientist, and then an algorithm. But, what you’re really looking for is the Algorithm Economy.

Debunking A.I. Myths
Thanks to the pioneering work of scientists, a clearer picture is emerging about A.I., and the most common misconceptions and myths. These are the 7 biggest myths about A.I., and 17 predictions about the future of big data.

The Internet of (Broken) Things
A security expert hacked a hotel’s Android-based light-switch tablet, and then gained control to the electronics in every single room. Oof. This is going to be a continual challenge for companies as they integrate digital technologies in meaningful ways to enhance homes and improve their lives. Here’s your chance to meet the 10 pigeons(!) live tweeting London’s air pollution. Oh, and by the way, they’re wearing tiny backpacks.


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Google vs Go

Google's DeepMind defeats legendary Go player Lee Se-dol in historic victory.
You might have heard: Se-dol finally won his first match, after losing three in a row in a best-of-five competition. The two meet for the final time Today.
+ ‘I’m in shock!’ How an AI beat the world’s best human at Go


The Future of Computing

The Economist weighs in now that the era of predictable improvement in computer hardware is ending.
+ Chris Dixon: What’s Next in Computing?


How To Think About Bots

In order to better comprehend the possibilities, and perils, of social bots we must ask about their design, implementation, regulation, and ethics.
+ Motherboard presents In Our Image, a week of stories on AI


Minecraft Will Soon Be Able to Play Itself

Microsoft is using Minecraft to train artificial intelligence to play the hugely popular game.
+ Microsoft invites artificial intelligence developers to test their creations within Minecraft's virtual landscapes.

Is This Year the Internet Finally Learns to See?

Initially, the Internet was built for text, and technology has learned how to read at a pretty advanced level. However, the web has become increasingly visual, and tech has not fully kept up: the Internet can read, but it can’t see.
+ Using Neural Networks to Combine Random Images