A look at how the world’s leading tech companies are using AI

Artificial intelligence is the biggest thing to happen in the world of technology since the invention of computers. AI market spending has gone through the roof. This year it’s an $8 billion market. By 2020, the market will reach $47 billion. Exciting things are coming. Here are some of the ways the world’s top tech companies are going to introduce AI into our daily lives.

Google

Google is currently leading the self-driving vehicle market and is probably going to be the first to have a fully autonomous vehicle in the hands of consumers. They also own TensorFlow, an open source AI software library that anyone can use to experiment with creating machine learning programs.

Apple

Apple’s digital assistant, Siri, relies heavily on machine learning to accurately provide information and assistance for iPhone and iPad users.

Microsoft

Microsoft has its own version of Siri called “Cortana.” If Microsoft’s claims are to be believed, Cortana is about to get a major update that would make her the most accurate speech recognition machine in existence.

Intel

Intel recently purchased chipmaker, Movidius and Nervana Systems, a deep learning AI startup. Intel is trying to create the first line of CPUs that use neural computer architectures.

Don’t let big companies have all the fun

The year 2016 has been an unprecedented one for artificial intelligence startups which have raised a record amount of funding. Expect to see a number of exciting AI startups in the coming years that do big things.

Source: Tech Vibes

AI is here, but what do everyday people think of it?

Now that AI is making its way into our everyday lives, there has been a lot of attention paid to the various ways that it will affect society. While we’ve heard official statements from the white house as well as requests for more information, and statements from AI developers and companies, we haven’t heard much from everyday people and their thoughts about artificial intelligence. One research company decided to conduct a survey of 2,100 consumers from five different countries to gauge their feelings about AI. Here are some of the results:

  • 45% of consumers reported that they felt AI’s impact on society would be positive compared to just 7% who felt it would be negative.

  • 52% of consumers said that they felt AI would impact their personal life positively compared to just 7% who felt it would affect their personal life negatively.

  • Though two thirds of respondents said they knew something about artificial intelligence, just 18% said they knew a lot. 22% of people said their first impression of AI was “robots” suggesting that they knew very little.

  • 92% of people believe that general artificial intelligence will eventually arrive compared to just 8% who say AI is science fiction and will never materialize. Understanding and acceptance of AI is not surprisingly correlated with age with millennials being the most likely to desire faster development of AI and baby boomers being the least likely to desire faster AI development.

  • The number one concern that consumers have regarding AI is the potential for job loss. Only 18% said they thought the development of AI would lead to job creation. Other fears include an increase in cyber-attacks, stolen data, and invasion of privacy.

Though these fears aren’t completely unjustified, history and current data tell us that these fears may be blown out of proportion. Perhaps President Obama said it best in a recent interview: “I tend to be optimistic—historically we’ve absorbed new technologies, new jobs are created, and standards of living go up.”

It’s been a huge year for ai startups which have raised a record amount of funds for AI technology development. This suggests that the job market will see net gains rather than losses in the long run.

Source: HBR

Will AI cause a rise in crime?

AI has many implications for society. Most are good, but some are bad. For instance, some are predicting that AI can soon be used to commit smarter crimes. Though using software to commit crimes is nothing new, it could become a larger problem when AI opens up new possibilities for the commission of crimes.

For example, imagine if a computer could create a synthesized voice that sounds just like a close relative? Imagine the potential for crime when a computer can pose as your mother or grandmother on the phone to request sensitive information such as banking login information or bank account numbers? Though it may sound like science fiction, it isn’t exactly far-fetched. AI companies are already working on AI programs that can mimic human speech that sounds surprisingly natural. In just a few years such technology may be readily available and affordable for anyone who wants to take advantage of it to commit crime.

This is just one example of how AI could be used to commit a crime. AI can also be used to create more sinister malware that could wreak havoc on our current antivirus programs.

In 2003, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University created Captcha—a kind of Turing Test that prevents computers from stealing online accounts. Now programs are being developed that are smart enough to fool Captcha and essentially pass for humans in order to gain access to sensitive account information.

If there’s any consolation, it’s that law enforcement and cyber-security companies will have the same technologies available to combat such crimes. Better cyber-security and improved monitoring systems will help law enforcement and cyber-security companies to keep up with smarter cyber-criminals.

The potential for increased crime exists as AI is developed. Artificial intelligence companies and especially machine learning startups, need to anticipate this and prepare accordingly, because there’s going to be a big market for such technologies.

Source: The New York Times

AI technology must be available to all

The tremendous growth of the artificial intelligence industry in such a short period of time has prompted more than 8,000 AI researchers and scientists, including prominent names such as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, to sign an open letter warning the public about the danger of AI. To clarify, these researchers and scientists aren’t so worried about the technology itself—fears that machines will overthrow humanity falls into the realm of sci-fi and isn’t supported by the research. But what they are worried about is how the technology can be abused.

The letter

One of the points raised in the letter is that AI represents a third revolution in weaponry—gunpowder and nuclear technology being the first and second. They urge policy makers and developers to look beyond profits and to think about uses for AI that will be beneficial to humanity as a whole. Of especial concern is that a handful of the most powerful companies will hold all the technology and sell it to the highest bidders.

Open-sourced AI

AI researchers are pushing for open-sourced AI software that opens up the technology for everyone to use and benefit from.

OpenAI is a nonprofit artificial intelligence company with a goal of making AI safe and equally available to all people.

Google’s TensorFlow is open-source software that anyone can buy a license to in order to begin experimenting with AI intelligence.

Source: TechCrunch