Gaetan Hadjeres and Francois Pachet at the Sony Computer Science Laboratories in Paris created DeepBach, then entered Bach's 352 chorales. The resulting composition is certainly in the style. So why does this work better than some other attempts? Read the rest
My friend and Cool Tools business partner Kevin Kelly spoke at TEDSummit about the rapid rise of artificial intelligence. The talk is based on his excellent bestselling book, The Inevitable.
Read the rest
"The actual path of a raindrop as it goes down the valley is unpredictable, but the general direction is inevitable," says digital visionary Kevin Kelly — and technology is much the same, driven by patterns that are surprising but inevitable. Over the next 20 years, he says, our penchant for making things smarter and smarter will have a profound impact on nearly everything we do. Kelly explores three trends in AI we need to understand in order to embrace it and steer its development. "The most popular AI product 20 years from now that everyone uses has not been invented yet," Kelly says. "That means that you're not late."
Lip-reading algorithms have all sorts of real-world applications, and LipNet shows great promise in machine-learning lipreading of constructed sentences from the GRID sentence corpus. Read the rest
Google's neural net is amazingly good at figuring out what you draw. In this game, it correctly guessed five out of six doodles I drew: cookie, saw, scissors, beach, grass. It missed watermelon. Read the rest
Subscribe to the IFTF podcast on iTunes | RSS | Soundcloud | Download MP3
In his 1854 book, Walden, Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Men have become the tools of their tools.” Thoreau’s assertion is as valid today as it was when he made it over one hundred and sixty years ago. Whenever we shape technology, it shapes us, both as individuals and as a society. We created cars, and cars turned us into motorists, auto mechanics, and commuters.
Over the centuries we’ve populated our world with machines that help us do things we can’t or don’t want to do ourselves. Our world has become so saturated with machines that they’ve faded into the background. We hardly notice them. We are reaching a new threshold. Our machines are getting networked, and enabling new forms of human machine symbiosis. We’re entering a new era where fifty billion machines are in constant communication, automating and orchestrating the movement and interactions among individuals, organizations, and cities.
Institute for the Future (IFTF) is a non-profit think tank in Silicon Valley, that helps organizations and the public think about long term future plans to make better decisions in the present. Mark Frauenfelder, a research director at IFTF interviewed Rod Falcon, IFTF’s Director of the Technology Horizons Program, which combines a deep understanding of technology and societal forces, to identify and evaluate these discontinuities and innovations in the near future. Rod discussed Tech Horizon’s recent research into how machine automation is becoming an integrated, embedded, and ultimately invisible part of virtually every aspect of our lives. Read the rest
The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), funded by billionaire Paul Allen's, is developing projects like an AI-based search engine for scientific papers and a system to extract "visual knowledge" from images and videos. According to Scientific American, another goal of AI2 is "to counter messages perpetuated by Hollywood and even other researchers that AI could menace the human race." SciAm's Larry Greenemeier interviewed AI2 CEO and computer scientist Oren Etzioni:
Read the rest
Why do so many well-respected scientists and engineers warn that AI is out to get us?
It’s hard for me to speculate about what motivates somebody like Stephen Hawking or Elon Musk to talk so extensively about AI. I’d have to guess that talking about black holes gets boring after awhile—it’s a slowly developing topic. The one thing that I would say is that when they and Bill Gates—someone I respect enormously—talk about AI turning evil or potential cataclysmic consequences, they always insert a qualifier that says “eventually” or this “could” happen. And I agree with that. If we talk about a thousand-year horizon or the indefinite future, is it possible that AI could spell out doom for the human race? Absolutely it’s possible, but I don’t think this long-term discussion should distract us from the real issues like AI and jobs and AI and weapons systems. And that qualifier about “eventually” or “conceptually” is what gets lost in translation...
How do you ensure that an AI program will behave legally and ethically?
If you’re a bank and you have a software program that’s processing loans, for example, you can’t hide behind it.
At this week's London Design Festival, design firm Uniform displayed Solo Radio. Stand in front of the device and it scans your face for input into software that assesses your emotions. Then it plays a song via Spotify algorithms with the appropriate mood. Read the rest
A group of some of the most powerful technology companies on the planet have formed a partnership on artificial intelligence.
Read the rest
Human biases exposed by Implicit Association Tests can be replicated in machine learning using GloVe word embedding, according to a new study where GloVe was trained on "a corpus of text from the Web." Read the rest
My friend and Cool Tools partner Kevin Kelly was interviewed about his book, The Inevitable. In this video, he discuss what will happen when artificial intelligence is sold like electricity, as a utility.
Previously: In the future you will own nothing and have access to everything Read the rest
NPR has a quiz that invites you to guess which of six poems were written by a computer program, and which were written by humans. A group of 10 judges weren't fooled, but I had trouble correctly guessing all of them. I appreciated the computer-generated poems as much as the human-written ones.
Read the rest
The dirty rusty wooden dresser drawer.
A couple million people wearing drawers,
Or looking through a lonely oven door,
Flowers covered under marble floors.
And lying sleeping on an open bed.
And I remember having started tripping,
Or any angel hanging overhead,
Without another cup of coffee dripping.
Surrounded by a pretty little sergeant,
Another morning at an early crawl.
And from the other side of my apartment,
An empty room behind the inner wall.
A thousand pictures on the kitchen floor,
Talked about a hundred years or more.
Researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) trained a neural network to recognize materials (e.g., metal grate, plants, concrete sidewalk) being hit with a drumstick, and synthesize sounds to accompany the actions. It did well enough to fool humans into thinking the sounds were real.
From the abstract:
Objects make distinctive sounds when they are hit or scratched. These sounds reveal aspects of an object's material properties, as well as the actions that produced them. In this paper, we propose the task of predicting what sound an object makes when struck as a way of studying physical interactions within a visual scene. We present an algorithm that synthesizes sound from silent videos of people hitting and scratching objects with a drumstick. This algorithm uses a recurrent neural network to predict sound features from videos and then produces a waveform from these features with an example-based synthesis procedure. We show that the sounds predicted by our model are realistic enough to fool participants in a "real or fake" psychophysical experiment, and that they convey significant information about material properties and physical interactions.
[via] Read the rest
Meet Saqib, a Microsoft dev in London who lost the use of his eyes at age 7. Here's a neat little profile of his artificial intelligence development work from Microsoft Cognitive Services:
Read the rest
This 'Trump Deep Nightmare' video is insane. Insanely accurate, that is. Don't watch while using psychedelic drugs, unless highly experienced.
Read the rest
“Learning from Tay’s introduction,” a blog post dated March 25, 2016 by Microsoft Research Corporate VP Peter Lee:
Read the rest
MIT professor Marvin Minsky, a "founding father" of the field of artificial intelligence whose work opened up new vistas in computer science, cognitive psychology, philosophy, robotics, and optics, has died of a brain hemorrhage. He was 88.
In 1959, Minsky co-founded MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (now the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) and dedicated his career to exploring how we might replicate the functions of the human brain in a machine, a research journey he hoped would help us better understand our own minds.
"No computer has ever been designed that is ever aware of what it's doing," Minsky once said. "But most of the time, we aren't either."
(New York Times)
Read the rest
What if we could automate the writing of clickbait headlines, thus freeing up clickbait writers to do useful work? That's the question Lars Eidnes wanted to answer when he programmed a recurrent neural network to generate "formulaic and unoriginal" headlines like these:
Top Yoga Songs For Halloween
How To Make A Classic Cold Cheese Cake
Are You Living Without A 5,000-Year-Old Style?
Jimmy Kimmel And David Beckham Play A Girl At The San Francisco Comic Con
Eidnes trained the network by feeding it two million headlines scraped from Buzzfeed, Gawker, Jezebel, Huffington Post and Upworthy.
How realistic can we expect the output of this model to be? Even if it can learn to generate text with correct syntax and grammar, it surely can’t produce headlines that contain any new knowledge of the real world? It can’t do reporting? This may be true, but it’s not clear that clickbait needs to have any relation to the real world in order to be successful. When this work was begun, the top story on BuzzFeed was “50 Disney Channel Original Movies, Ranked By Feminism." More recently they published “22 Faces Everyone Who Has Pooped Will Immediately Recognized." It’s not clear that these headlines are much more than a semi-random concatenation of topics their userbase likes, and as seen in the latter case, 100% correct grammar is not a requirement.
After training the neural network, Eidnes concludes, "It surprised me how good these headlines turned out. Most of them are grammatically correct, and a lot of them even make sense."
Take a look at the results on his site, Click-o-Tron, "possibly the first website in the world where all articles are written in their entirety by a Recurrent Neural Network. Read the rest