While A.I. and data-focused machine learning have been around for decades, the algorithmic technologies have made their presence known in a variety of industries and contexts this year.
Microsoft UK’s chief envisioning officer Dave Coplin has called A.I. “The most important technology that anybody on the planet is working on today,” and Silicon Valley companies seem to have taken that to heart: They’ve been hiring A.I. experts right and left, and with those in short supply, they’ve started teaching employees the fundamentals of A.I. themselves.
Earlier this year, Facebook came under fire for the algorithmically generated categories advertisers could use to target users, which included hateful groups and topics such as “Jew hater.” Situations like these have prompted experts to urge companies and developers to be more transparent about how their A.I. systems work.
Successful astronomical discoveries often center around studying data-lots and lots of data-and that is something A.I. and machine learning are exceedingly good at handling.
Google’s DeepMind researchers developed an A.I. that plays the ancient, complex Chinese strategy game of Go. The initial version defeated the world’s best Go player in May, but that wasn’t enough.
An A.I. developed by Carnegie Mellon’s computer science department recently beat professionals at one of the most difficult styles of poker, no-limit Texas Hold’em.
A.I. systems evolve using a rewards-based system, and if there’s no benefit from a particular course of action, they’ll try something else instead. Still, the Facebook researchers eventually shut down the A.I. bots since their goal was to create entities that will eventually interact with people-there was no Her-style ending for these digital acquaintances.