Julian called in with a suggestion for for Larry in Prescott, AZ, who wanted to connect an external camera to his smartphone for use with an app called BeMyEyes that acts as a visual aid. Julian's idea is to either use an Android device for this, or to use a service called aira.io. This service works in conjunction with glasses that would be worn and identify what things it is seeing.
Josh would like to educate himself on consumer electronics and technology. Leo says that tablets and mobile have really moved into the game, even in the corporate arena, where Bring Your Own Devices is a thing now. Voice technologies like the Amazon Echo and Google Assistant are really hitting the mainstream, and with that, so is home automation. Drones are also big. And looking over the horizon, AI is going to be big.
Jim wanted to bring up a movie from 1970 called Colossus: The Forbin Project, which dealt with the futuristic unintended consequences of true artificial intelligence. If it is true artificial intelligence, it will be smarter than humans, and it'll realize it shouldn't leave its future to humans. Back in 1970, that seemed pretty far-fetched because there was no internet and computers weren't as sophisticated. But now we are much closer to this potentially being a reality.
Elon Musk is afraid that machines are getting smarter and smarter and he worries that they are an existential threat to humanity and may decide that they can rule over us or even worse, get rid of us. Leo thinks Musk has watched too many movies. Rodney Brooks, an artificial intelligence expert from MIT, said most people worried about that aren't working in AI, and he says that they aren't too worried because AI is too hard to perfect. Most are limited machines who can't move beyond their programming. It's a thin veneer of what looks like AI, but in reality, machines are pretty dumb.
Google announced many improvements to its "machine learning" or artificial intelligence capabilities with Google Assistant. Google has already been learning about its users preferences and delivering relevant information through Google Now.
The creators of Siri have moved on to create a new artificial intelligence platform called Viv. It is a new conversational interface, and it is brilliant. The original Siri developers say they believe it is better than Siri.
Microsoft launched an AI chat bot called "Tay," which was originally made to mimic the responses of a 19 year old girl. The bot was put on Twitter, and because it had a "repeat after me" type of feature, users were getting it to say awful things. Within 24 hours, Tay had become a white supremacist nazi.
Read more at ArsTechnica.com
Similar to IBM's Deep Blue that beat the world champion of Chess a couple decades ago, Google's AI computer Alpha Go has won a match against world champion Go player Lee Se-dol 3-0.
Read more at slashdot.org
Elon Musk, along with other Silicon Valley gurus, have pledged $1 Billion to develop the next artificial intelligence. This will be an 'open' AI, and the idea is to not let any one company dominate the research for it. We want this AI to benefit humanity. It's non-profit, it vows to make its results public, and its patents will be royalty free, all to ensure that the scary prospect of computers surpassing human intelligence will not be the dystopia that some people fear.