If We Want Humane AI, It Has to Understand All Humans


THE FIRST PICTURE flashes on the screen. “A man is standing next to an elephant,” a robotic voice intones. Another picture appears. “A person sitting at a table with a cake.” Those descriptions are obvious enough to a person. What makes them remarkable is that a human is not supplying the descriptions at all. Instead, […]

Microsoft has created an AI that can spot a joke … in a New Yorker cartoon


Such AIs could eventually help build better personal assistants and translations. Move over Watson. Microsoft has trained an artificial intelligence program that can pick through the thousands of submissions to the New Yorker’s cartoon caption contest to help find a winner. Bloomberg writes that Microsoft researchers worked with Bob Mankoff, the cartoon editor at the […]

​Google’s machine learning helping it catch 99.9 percent of spam


Google says it now blocks 99.9 percent of spam from reaching Gmail inboxes while whittling down false positives to 0.05 percent. Those stats are, according to Google, the result using its artificial neural network to sift through billions of incoming emails to weed out unwanted messages and phishing attacks. Were Google not doing everything it […]

The meaning of life, according to Google’s chatbot AI


Conversations with chatbots are interesting, in a short-lived sort of way. If you take Cleverbot for a spin, for example, you quickly run into issues. It’s very easy to notice that the software is programmed to respond to certain keywords in a certain way, it doesn’t respond as well to statements as it does to […]

Move over, Siri. Cortana is coming to the iPhone


Microsoft announced Tuesday that its digital personal assistant Cortana will be available for Android and iOS devices this year. Until now, Cortana has only been available on Windows Phones. It will soon come to desktops with the release of Windows 10, the next version of Windows that launches later this year. Like Apple’s Siri and […]

What Experts Think About the Existential Risks of Artificial Intelligence


In January, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and other sundry academics and researchers wrote an open letter calling for safety standards in industries dealing with artificial intelligence. In particular, they called for the research and development of fail-safe control systems that might prevent malfunctioning AI from doing harm — possibly existential harm — to humanity. “In any of […]

Artificial Intelligence Experts Are in High Demand


When the University of Washington’s computer-science department wanted to poach artificial-intelligence expert Carlos Guestrin from Carnegie Mellon, it turned to Amazon.com Inc. The Seattle-based tech giant ponied up $2 million to fund two professorships: one for Mr. Guestrin, and another for his wife, who also works in the field. To seal the deal, Amazon Chief […]

Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer


In january, the British-American computer scientist Stuart Russell drafted and became the first signatory of an open letter calling for researchers to look beyond the goal of merely making artificial intelligence more powerful. “We recommend expanded research aimed at ensuring that increasingly capable AI systems are robust and beneficial,” the letter states. “Our AI systems […]

Facebook AI Director Yann LeCun on His Quest to Unleash Deep Learning and Make Machines Smarter


Artificial intelligence has gone through some dismal periods, which those in the field gloomily refer to as “AI winters.” This is not one of those times; in fact, AI is so hot right now that tech giants like Google, Facebook, Apple, Baidu, and Microsoft are battling for the leading minds in the field. The current […]

Google Brain’s Co-inventor Tells Why He’s Building Chinese Neural Networks


To chat with Andrew Ng I almost have to tackle him. He was getting off stage at Re:Work’s Deep Learning Summit in San Francisco when a mob of adoring computer scientists descended on (clears throat) the Stanford deep learning professor, former “Google Brain” leader, Coursera founder and now chief scientist at Chinese web giant Baidu. […]