Algorithmia Blog - Deploying AI at scale

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.

Did you enjoy this? Consider joining Emergent Future, a weekly, hand-curated dispatch exploring technology through the lens of artificial intelligence, data science, and the shape of things to come. Emergent Future is powered by Algorithmia, an open marketplace for algorithms, enabling developers to create tomorrow’s smart applications today

Why Algorithms as Microservices are Changing Software Development

We recently wrote about how the Algorithm Economy and containers have created a fundamental shift in software development. Today, we want to look at the 10 ways algorithms as microservices change the way we build and deploy software.

10 ways the algorithm economy and containers are changing how we build and deploy software today

Peter Sondergaard from Gartner has been the main thought leader of the Algorithm Economy, and how companies can use algorithms to extract value from their data.

Peter Sondergaard Senior Vice President, Gartner “Data is inherently dumb. Algorithms are where the real value lies.”

Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and others are using algorithms to create value, and impact millions of people a day.

Algorithmic intelligence is at the core of today’s most important companies

The algorithm economy and containers allow developers to run algorithms as microservices, which means code can be written in any programming language, and then seamlessly united across a single API.

Three fundamental shifts in technology: ● The Algorithm Economy ● Containers ● Microservices

The algorithm economy enables a marketplace where easy-to-integrate algorithms can be made available and easily stacked together to manipulate data, extract key insights, and solve problems efficiently. 

The Algorithm Economy The next wave of innovation, where developers can produce, distribute, and commercialize their code

Containers wrap applications, services, and their dependencies into a lightweight package that runs like a virtual machine. 

Containers Lightweight virtualization that bundles all the application logic, dependencies, libraries, etc. into a single package running in the cloud

Microservices decouple modules from a monolithic codebase, reducing fragility in the codebase, and ensuring each service acts a smart endpoint.

Microservices An architecture where the various functions of an app are unbundled into a series of decentralized modules, each organized around a specific business capability

When algorithms run as microservices, we ensure code is dependency-free, interoperable, and composable.

Algorithms as containerized microservices ensure interoperability

Code is always live, and available to use without ever having to manage or provision servers. 

Code is always “on,” and can auto-scale in the cloud without ever having to configure, manage, or maintain servers and infrastructure

By running algorithms as microservices, we also allow companies to focus on their data, while the algorithm economy supplies the algorithms needed.

The algorithm economy allows for the building blocks of algorithmic intelligence to be made accessible, and discoverable through marketplaces and communities

The fundamental shift of container technology, the algorithm economy, and algorithms packaged as microservices creates an environment where rapid prototyping has never been easier due to a reduction in the infrastructure needed to build and deploy apps.

Containerizing algorithms as microservices makes code accessible via an API, and hosted on scalable, serverless infrastructure in the cloud

Liked this? Get our Algorithms as Microservices deck here.

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.

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.

Emergent Future is a weekly, hand-curated dispatch exploring technology through the lens of artificial intelligence, data science, and the shape of things to come. Subscribe below.

The Emergent Future and the Shape of Things to Come

We’ve started a newsletter called the Emergent Future, which is a weekly, hand-curated dispatch exploring technology through the lens of artificial intelligence, data science, and the shape of things to come. EF is published every Tuesday and goes out to Algorithmia subscribers. Stay on top of emerging trends by subscribing to Emergent Future today. 

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


Algorithmia is now free, forever

Algorithmia has grown rapidly since we launched last year. We now have more than 16,000 developers using the Algorithmia library of algorithms to help them build smart apps in just five lines of code. Over the past year we’ve consistently heard from developers that they need a free tier so they can try, experiment, and integrate Algorithmia worry-free.

Today, we’re excited to announce a new, free tier to make access to Algorithmia even easier: all users now receive 5,000 free credits to use every month. Forever.

Free Forever pricing with Algorithmia makes getting started even easier. Algorithmia is about giving developers access to world class algorithms. With our new Free Forever tier, we’ll help more developers get started faster. This is perfect for researchers, hackers, and hobbyists looking to get started using state-of-the-art algorithms in their projects. Focus on building your apps without worry of running out of credits. Upgrade to a paid plan only when you’re ready to scale. All new accounts you also receive 5,000 bonus credits to be used at any time. Ready to get started? Sign-up here to start for free.

When you’re ready to upgrade, we have a pay as you go plan to fit the needs of your growing business. Packages start at $20 for 200,000 credits. We offer a 10% volume discount starting at $100 for 1.1MM credits. Our pay as you go plan includes the ability to purchase credits on demand, and auto-reload when you run out – all without minimum monthly fees, or contracts. You only pay for what you use. All pay as you go accounts also receive the 5,000 free monthly credits.

It has been a pleasure building Algorithmia with you, and it’s incredible to see the amazing apps the community has built with us. More features are coming soon, including support for more programming languages.

To recap: Algorithmia is free forever. No contracts. Upgrade when you’re ready.

Happy Coding!

–Team Algorithmia

What’s Changed 

Your dashboard now features a thermometer of the number of free credits remaining in your cycle, and when the cycle next resets. We also provide a rollup of your total credits remaining (granted + earned + purchased credits). Learn more here.

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 4.35.48 PM

On your account page, we display a 30-day account balance history to help you better understand your usage.

Algorithmia account details page

Pricing FAQ

Can I get started for free?
Yes! All accounts receive 5,000 free credits that reload automatically every 30-days. In addition, we offer all new users an additional 5,000 credits to use at anytime.

Do I need a credit card to sign up?
Nope. Simply sign-up and started making API calls today.

What’s the cost to run an algorithm?
All algorithms are charged a fee of 1 credit-per-second of execution time. Algorithm developers may charge an additionally royalty per call, which is specific to the version of the algorithm and guaranteed in perpetuity.

What is a credit worth?
The exchange rate for credits is 10,000 credits to $1 USD.

What happens if I run out of credits?
If you’ve purchased credits and have enabled auto-reload, you will be billed when your account balance reaches zero remaining credits.

If you don’t enable auto-reload or are on our Free Forever plan, you’ll receive alerts that your account balance is insufficient. To resume making API calls, simply purchase additional credits, or wait until your free credits reload at the end of your cycle.

Can I rollover unused credits?
Credits you’ve purchased never expire, and can be used at anytime. The 5,000 free credits you receive every 30-days do not rollover or accumulate in any way.

How do I buy credits?
From your Account page, select Purchase Credits. We offer two base packages: 200,000 credits for $20, and 1MM credits with a 10% bonus for $100.

Need volume pricing? Contact us.

How do I get billed?
We charge your credit card at the time of purchase. If you enable auto-reload, you will be billed when your account balance reaches zero remaining credits, so that your API calls continue uninterrupted.

I’m an algorithm developer, can I spend the credits I earn?
Yes! Earned credits can be used to call any algorithm at anytime.

Where can I see my usage metrics?
A detailed transaction log, available credits, and more are available under the Account tab on your Profile page.

Do you have academic researcher or student discounts?
Yes! Contact us about Algorithmia for Academia.

More questions?
Contact us at any time via email.