Six human skills Facebook’s AI is mastering


Facebook is a relative newcomer to the artificial intelligence race. IBM’s “Watson,” Apple’s “Siri,” and Microsoft’s “Cortana” all have a head start but Facebook is working hard to catch up. Their newly established artificial intelligence team consists of less than a hundred people for now but that number is expected to grow drastically in the coming years. Here’s a look at some of the human-like skills that Facebook’s iteration of artificial intelligence is already starting to master.

Language processing

One of the challenges in creating artificial intelligence is getting a computer to comprehend spoken language like humans do. Facebook’s artificial intelligence uses natural language processing similar to Apple’s “Siri” to understand and respond to questions or requests posed by humans. So far, the questions and requests it can respond to are quite limited but it’s progress.


Facebook’s artificial intelligence is also learning how to read. So in addition to comprehending spoken language, it’s also able to get meaning out of words on a page. Not only can it “read” a book, such as Lord of the Rings, but it is able to search within its data bank and answer questions about books it has read.


In the past, Facebook has relied on Bing’s translating tool to automatically translate posts and comments in a foreign language so that users can understand what those with different languages are saying online. Now, Facebook is working on its own real-time translating prototype. These auto-translator are often very inaccurate so they have a team of testers providing input and grading it’s accuracy in translating so that it can learn and improve.


Facebooks already has auto-captioning. It can see a two-dimensional image and automatically tag people in the image using facial recognition software. But the software Facebook is working on now will go a step further. It will be able to read aloud the names of people in photos which will be helpful to blind people who are commenting on photos in their newsfeed.


Facebook can do more than identify people in images. Facebook can also recognize a wide range of objects and identify them correctly. It can event differentiate between hundreds of animal species and correctly identify them, something that most humans can’t even do.


Finally, Facebook can watch sports footage and identify the sport being played in the video. This goes beyond just identifying something isolated in the footage like a baseball glove. Facebook’s artificial intelligence had to learn the rules of various sports and be able to recognize them in action in order to be able to correctly identify the sport.

Source: BizJournals

Google and Netflix moving forward with artificial intelligence


Netflix has its system of recommending other movies and shows for you to watch. I watch Captain America The First Avenger and a que asks me if I want to watch Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk or Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Google has an algorithm for speech recognition. What are these and other companies trying to simulate? They want these models to think like humans. It’s not likely that these artificial intelligence models can think like humans, but in some cases, they can actually think better than a human. For example, look at Watson, the famous computer who played Jeopardy and won against humans. Or if there is a database of CAT scans with a certain type of label for a tumor, the artificial intelligence model in that case can very quickly search all of the records and find the desired result.

Unsupervised Learning or Memory Foam

A new and exciting field of “unsupervised learning” is growing in the artificial intelligence world. Much like a human, this object is able to gain understanding as a whole, across many different domains. They are calling this “Memory Foam.”

Loughborough University in the UK

A team in the UK at Loughborough University has been working on the Memory Foam concept. A memory foam mattress, which is sometimes called newer generation foam, was actually developed by NASA in 1966 to improve their aircraft cushions. Memory Foam softens and molds in all kinds of ways to your body because of the heat your body gives off.  Just like the mattress memory foam, the UK team is trying to program computers in this model to be able to do the same kind of thing. The computer model will form like memory form, taking on the shape of the model that they need it to.

Mary Had a little Lamb

The UK team choose the familiar children’s nursery rhyme, “Mary had a little lamb” as the stimulus for their AI model. The computer was able to recognize the song, assimilate it and remembered the components of the song and the frequencies, which was a huge win for Loughborough University and to all of the AI hopefuls as the change that they are looking for.

The rise of the machines

In 1984, we were introduced to Artificial Intelligence in the file, The Terminator. James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced us to machines that could rise up against us, using artificial intelligence. The terminator was able to learn and adapt to the circumstances around us. I don’t think we have to worry about Mary and her little lamb turning on us, but like the Terminator said, as far as artificial intelligence and the growth it is going through, “I’ll be back.”

Source: Extreme Tech

IBM is growing its Artificial Intelligence group with Watson

business-man-1552426We all remember Watson from Jeopardy, right? It’s not just Jeopardy that Watson is used for. Watson is famous for its cognitive computing system. Cognitive computing is another name for artificial intelligence. In other words, Watson learns. Watson is self-learning. Watson takes vast amounts of information and analyzes that information for whatever purpose necessary, better than mere humans can. Watson can think so much better than humans that he has written a recipe book and even has assisted oncologists, which are cancer doctors, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  Now, 2000 employees at IBM have been formed into a group to advise companies how to use the artificial intelligence software in Watson to their advantage. Can you imagine using Watson in medicine, oil and gas exploration, financial management?

The announcement of Cognitive Business Solutions

Tuesday is a gathering of executives in the information technology world in Orland, Florida. Virginia Rometty will be on hand to announce the new team, with Stephen Pratt at the helm, running the new group at IBM called Cognitive Business Solutions. Stephen Pratt worked for TPG, an investment firm then an Indian outsourcing firm, Infosys and now IBM.


IBM sees Watson as something every business can use. Their Global Business Services is getting ready to start passing along Watson’s information. Watson cost IBM over $1 billion of its $17 billion budget in its analytics business. At this point it is unclear how much Watson is making IBM but IBM plans to make over $1 billion each year, beginning in 2018 with Watson.

One way IBM makes money from Watson is that if a developer wants to base its programs on the Watson Developer Cloud, IBM collects a percent of the revenue generated. There are over 350 partners using the Watson Developer Cloud and that is expected to grow.

IBM is ready to help small businesses to large businesses analyze their needs and then tailor Watson’s software to help them meet those needs. They also answer twitter questions and support personnel in any way necessary. They also work with security, internet issues and business analytics.

Artificial Intelligence is growing. Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon are all advancing using artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is used in voice and image recognition and as a virtual assistant. There will be a lot of competition in the next few years and Watson is waiting to take center stage.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Artificial Intelligence to aid in the search for cancer treatments

U.S. Company, Berg and England are joining forces using Artificial Intelligence to find treatments for serious illnesses and cancers. This is a huge breakthrough, and it will hopefully lead to answers in the medical community that we’ve been waiting for.

Who is Berg?

Berg is an artificial Intelligence U.S. company out of Boston, founded by Carl Berg, that is working with the Department of Defense, the Parkinson’s Institute Clinical Center and others, to discover new medications to help different serious illnesses and cancers.

By looking at patterns in the biology of diseases, Berg is able to identify areas that can be focused on to come up with treatments for diseases.

England’s Genomics 100,000 Genomes Project

England’s genomics project searches through health records and DNA from citizens in England, primarily with rare diseases and cancers, especially gastric, esopohageal, pancreatic, liver cancers and renal cell sarcomas, to work to find treatments that will work for these diseases. The Genomics project works with pharmaceutical companies Roche, Biogen, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKlin.

Why DNA Sequencing?

Collection of DNA and medical records is used to help researchers identify genetic mutations in an effort to find treatments for illnesses. The first human genome was sequenced in 2003 at a cost of $3 billion dollars and 13 years. Today, the ability to sequence genomes is much more affordable at $1,500 per genome. In just over a year, with the genomes of 35,000 volunteers, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. has been able to use the data it collected to target drugs for cholesterol and triglycerides as well as several new gene targets, including an obesity gene.

Pfizer’s lung has been able to use genomes research to come up with a cancer treatment that targets the mutations in tumors, Xalkori. Cystic fibrosis’ treatment has changed using the genomes research with a new medication called Kalydeco, that targets the underlying genetic cause.

Even the government has caught on to the importance of DNA Sequencing. President Obama said in January that he is asking Congress, as part of a precision medicine initiative, for $130 million to collect genetic data from a million volunteers.

Betsy and BPM 31510

Betsy is Berg’s supercomputer which can look inside cells at the proteins, lipids and metabolization. 1900 patients’ blood samples were analyzed by Betsy in the past 7 months to work on treatments.

BMP 31510 is an experimental cancer drug in trials with Berg that is working to shrink solid tumors by reversing changes in the metabolism of cancer cells. BPM 31510 was developed based on Betsy’s predictions.

Berg and England’s Genomics Project hope to work together to develop new treatments and new hope to those suffering from serious illness and disease.

Source: Fox News