Neal: Hello, hello! Thanks for filling in for Ken this week, Chris, he’s hitting the Jersey beach for some fun in the sun!
Chris: Thanks for having me, Neal!
Neal: Pleasure is all mine!
This week, there were reports that Facebook had to shut down an artificial intelligence (A.I.) engine that they created once they ‘discovered’ the A.I. had created their own language. As with all media, in general, you have to be skeptical of what you read. Pro-A.I. researchers slammed those reports saying it’s normal for two A.I. machines to invent some non-English languages in their exchange, as it’s commonplace. Fascinating read.
I haven’t heard your stance on the whole “A.I. has the potential to overrun humans argument,” Chris. So I’m curious to know what you take from these reports.
Chris: It does seem like the reports of this study were greatly exaggerated. The articles definitely took things out of context in the study and (correctly) assumed most readers would take them at face value.
Still, this doesn’t make being careful with A.I. irrelevant. The reality is that we don’t have proper “shut down’s” on A.I., it could develop much quicker than we are prepared to handle
The quote from Hawking in the Forbes article sums it up perfectly: “It would take off on its own and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”
Neal: I guess you can say you reap what you sow. In some lighter A.I. news, Janelle Shane used a neural network (a computing system made up of highly interconnected parts, inspired by the neural networks in our brains), to invent some clever craft beer names (if you’re a craft beer fan, you know there are some unique ones out there).
Neural networks are intelligent machines, which, once fed large datasets, allows them to make their own predictions. For example, you can show a machine a hundred thousand pictures of moles, as this study did, and it will be able to predict which moles are cancerous, on par with your dermatologist.
I love brains, so, by default, I love neural networks. Some of my favorite ‘predicted’ craft beer names are La Cat Tas Oo Ma Ale and The Vunker The Finger.
Chris: The study with moles is amazing and a great example of the positive force A.I. can and should be. In the abstract, they mention mobile devices can be used for testing the moles for cancer, which can be ground breaking. If everyone can have an accurate way to scan a mole for cancer in their pocket, we could save a lot of lives.
The beer names is an entertaining test for what an A.I. can do for sure. I’m a craft beer fan and still can’t figure out why my favorite I.P.A. is called Space Race, but it’s really interesting that when tasked with naming craft beer, A.I. ends up with equally ridiculous names.
A.I. is undoubtedly going to change how a lot of businesses function. Especially in marketing, A.I. can be used to predict purchasing trends and help businesses who utilize it well to get ahead of the curve versus their competitors.
Neal: You’ve been a great guest blogger this week, can’t wait to have you on again soon! I’ll be heading out for a phone-free week of vacation. So we’ll have another special guest blogger next week. Farewell, my friend!
Chris: It was a pleasure, Neal! Enjoy the much-deserved vacation!