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AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Machines simulating human characteristics and intelligence.
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Solving Flappy Bird with Deep Reinforcement Learning [31:48]

I'm relatively familiar with Machine Learning at this point, but I had never heard of Reinforcement Learning until I watched this excellent talk by Kaleo Ha'o at ML4ALL. I knew it was going to be good as soon as he laid out this comparison: if Machine Learning is teaching computers by example, then Reinforcement Learning is teaching computers by experience. Fascinating stuff!


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OpenAI Fellows — Fall 2018 (now open)

As we gear up for the launch of Practical AI and more AI/ML/DS related news coverage, I wanted to bring to your attention to this 6-month apprenticeship (compensated) in AI research at OpenAI. We’re now accepting applications for the next cohort of OpenAI Fellows, a program which offers a compensated 6-month apprenticeship in AI research at OpenAI. We designed this program for people who want to be an AI researcher, but do not have a formal background in the field. Applications for Fellows starting in September are open now and will close on July 8th at 12AM PST. Apply here.


James Vincent The Verge

Google’s AI sounds like a human on the phone — should we be worried?

Ok, so I'm equally excited and concerned by this AI demo. James Vincent writes for The Verge: The most impressive demo at Google I/O was a phone call to book a haircut. This call wasn’t made by a human, but by the Google Assistant, which did an uncannily good job of asking the right questions, pausing in the right places, and even throwing in the odd “mmhmm” for realism. You have to hear this AI phone call for yourself! There's a video of the demo embedded in this post.


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Preparing for malicious uses of AI

Elon Musk -- SpaceX, Tesla, and co-creator of OpenAI -- says this in a related video on YouTube: I am concerned about certain directions AI could take that would be not good for the future. I think it would be fair to say that not all AI future's are benign. If we create some artificial super intelligence that supersedes us in every way by a lot, it's very important that that be benign. Elon goes on to talk more specifically about his fears of AI and that if we have this incredible power, that it not be concentrated in the hands of a few. He doesn't exactly say Google, but everyone knows that's who he means. From OpenAI: We’ve co-authored a paper that forecasts how malicious actors could misuse AI technology, and potential ways we can prevent and mitigate these threats. This paper is the outcome of almost a year of sustained work with our colleagues at the Future of Humanity Institute, the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, the Center for a New American Security, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and others.


Medium Icon Medium

Announcing AI Fund

Andrew Ng shared his plans for his newly created AI Fund — with investments including NEA, Sequoia, Greylock Partners, SoftBank Group, and others. Andrew Ng: I am excited to announce the formation of the AI Fund. We have raised $175 million, and will be sequentially initiating new businesses that use AI to improve human life. In the early days of electricity, much of the innovation centered around slightly different improvements in lighting. While this was an important foundation, the really transformative applications, in which electric power spurred massive redesigns in multiple industries, took longer to be grasped. AI is the new electricity, and is at a similar inflection point. Given Andrew Ng's prominence and success in bringing AI to industry, and his partnership with some of the world's premier technology investment firms, this announcement may well signal the next wave of capitalization for AI-oriented startups.

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