Posted on November 4, 2017May 15, 2018 by adminLive Futurist.tech Feed from Facebook 1 week ago Google’s new mindblowing AI can negotiate your appointments for you with real people Hi Future Fans, Following on the theme of AI, this post will dig a little into the world of artificial personal assistants. It is, in part, inspired by the slightly-creepy-and-still-mind-blowing google duplex announcement & demo. In the demonstrations, google's intelligent assistant makes lifelike calls to real people to make appointments at hairdressers & restaurants (see the below links and listen to the audio). https://qz.com/1272755/googles-new-artificial-intelligence-duplex-can-negotiate-your-appointments-for-you-with-real-people/ https://ai.googleblog.com/2018/05/duplex-ai-system-for-natural-conversation.html Existing capabilities like the Amazon echo, google assistant, and Cortana are very much just the start of a capability that will clearly grow exponentially alongside many of the other technologies we discuss here at futurist.tech. In the future, we can expect that most of us will have one or even many digital personal assistants. These won't be peripheral to our lives; we will have a deep, personal, relationship with them and will depend on them heavily. We will share all of our basic information; credit cards, addresses, family details, birth dates, geo-location history, preferred cuisines, and travel preferences. In addition, we'll share our relationship history, our hopes, fears, phobias, love interests, political affiliations, and other deeply personal information that perhaps even our best friends / partners do not know. We'll first be drawn into information sharing in order to gain time and capability. That's clear and already happening. If my AI knows my location, then it can tell me my local weather and traffic conditions. Over time it will be nearly impossible to function in society without an AI doing this work for you. Calling a restaurant will be a ridiculous thing to do, even if they did actually still have a phone. Once we've already shared so much, our desire for better outcomes will also draw us towards ever deeper levels of sharing. An AI that knows of our introversion or extroversion might help us to avoid uncomfortable situations. An AI that knows our innermost desires will be much better able to find our life partner, guide us towards the perfect career, or find just the right training or therapy to reach that next level of self-fulfilment. Our AI will plan our day. Our AI will remind us who we are speaking to. Our AI will talk to us over breakfast, giving tailored news, reading through our messages, telling us jokes, giving us advice for the day ahead. Our AI will tailor our travel journeys and communicate with other AI, devices, and services on our behalf. There will be no need to enter navigation coordinates into our self-driving cars or press the button for the lights to change when crossing the road. Our AI will pay our bills, book time with our friends (via their AI, probably!), and order our groceries/takeout based on our tailored meal plan and current nutrient / calorie consumption. We'll barely need to pen our own emails and messages, since our AI will be able to predict what messages we might want to send and when. We will have the collective knowledge of humanity at our digital fingertips. Our AI will find us partners, friends, books, movies, and experiences that will delight us. Over time, we'll build shared experiences with our AI assistant and, in many cases, our AI may become our best friend. There is clearly the promise of a beautiful symbiosis that truly enriches our lives. Of course, with every great promise comes a balance of great risk. It's feasible that our AI and ourselves will become so heavily intertwined and symbiotic that separation is effectively impossible and, frankly, undesirable; a horrifying unpairing, only mildly less severe than separating one's right and left brain hemispheres. Our AI will have such immense control over our lives and actions, that we need to consider who or what has control over them. We've recently seen risks in terms of social media effectively modifying opinions, and personalised news algorithms skewing our perception of world events. I've posted previously about the profound effects that dating algorithms are having on our societal structure. A controller of our AI(s), if they exist, will weild immense power. As always, I remain optimistic. I see a world full of opportunities out there for ourselves and our AI(s) to tackle, together. ... See more Let my AI talk to you. 3 weeks ago Alphabet Hi Future Fans, I'm not going to comment too much on this, however will recommend that you read it. It's Alphabet's 'Founder's Letter' penned by Sergey (linked). https://abc.xyz/investor/founders-letters/2017/index.html He touches on the ever-increasing power of computation in its many forms, and refers to "the new spring in artificial intelligence (as) the most significant development in computing in my lifetime". He describes that we are truly in a technological renaissance, with transformative advances becoming commonplace. He also describes the weight of responsibility and the deep questions around how these technologies (and AI in particular) will impact the world. These are all topics that are close to the heart of any futurist! ... See more Alphabet Inc. is a holding company that gives ambitious projects the resources, freedom, and focus to make their ideas happen — and will be the parent company of Google, Nest, and other ventures. Alphabet supports and develops companies applying technology to the world’s biggest challenges. ... See more 4 weeks ago The Power of the Algorithms: Pedro Domingos on the Arms Race in Artificial Intelligence - SPIEGEL ONLINE - International Hi Future Fans, I've been quiet for a couple of weeks due to work, so now is a good time to launch into some good old-fashioned AI commentary! Clearly everyone will be aware of AI by now, and we're seeing AI driving huge progress in language translation, voice recognition, autonomous navigation, image recognition, disease diagnosis (e.g. radiology) and endless other fields. Over the next couple of posts, I'll look at some specific exciting applications of AI, and will balance this with some cautionary tales. Today, however, is about the AI arms race! The linked article is an interview between DER SPIEGEL (a German News outlet) and Pedro Domingos, who is the author of 'The Master Algorithm'. This book is a critically-acclaimed attempt to bring various learning algorithms together into a kind of 'algorithm to rule them all'. The first item to comment on here, is the notion that the first company / organization / entity to develop 'real' AI will immediately be far superior to all others. From that point, they will additionally accelerate themselves exponentially faster than their competition, resulting in an unassailable advantage. That leads us to the question of who is winning so far and what their motives might be. The countries that are furthest along are the US, Russia, and China. China has specifically announced a nationwide focus on AI and is expected to surpass all other countries by 2025 unless something else changes. European countries, and the powerhouses of Germany and France in particular, seem lacking in a recognition of the power of AI and the fundamental imperative to enter this competition in force. The race may well be won by a company or companies however. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon are leading from the West. Google looks to be the furthest ahead and is investing very heavily. In the East, Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu are all significant players. If we expect that one of these entities will effectively 'win' and rapidly move to 10x, 100x, 1000x superiority, then we need to question motives. You may have heard of the saying "absolute power corrupts, absolutely" and that's the worry. Clearly, the governments of China and Russia will have immediate authoritarian agendas and, potentially, even more benign countries or companies will find it difficult to remain benign when holding such power. The current AI race is probably an order of magnitude more potent than the race to nuclear weapons. Domingos uses the phrase "Any sufficiently advanced AI is indistinguishable from God", which is a spin on Athur C Clark's "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". AI and / or those who wield it will likely dominate the world. Let's hope that wise and kind minds dominate in the end; artificial or otherwise. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/pedro-domingos-on-the-arms-race-in-artificial-intelligence-a-1203132.html ... See more In an interview, best-selling author and machine-learning expert Pedro Domingos discusses the global competition to take the lead in artificial intelligence, the advance of autocrats and the threats modern technology presents to Western democracies. ... See more 1 month ago Nanobots Glide Through Living Cells Hi Future Fans, The future promises personally-tailored desease & gene therapies, and a world of tiny machines in our blood and cells that will enhance their capabilities. The linked article is fantastic. It outlines a new method whereby scientists have controlled the movement of a nano-scale machine INSIDE A CELL. The control was capable enough that they could move in the shape of the letters "N" and "M". Whilst tracing letters isn't all that helpful, this particular capability is mind-blowing and a good signpost of things to come! https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/biomedical/devices/nanobots-glide-through-living-cells ... See more Rotating magnetic fields precisely steer the nanomachines, tracing letters in cytoplasm 1 month ago Baidu shows off its instant pocket translator Hi Future Fans, This one is a relatively light post! There continue to be announcements around language translation, and a lot of this is due to AI/Neural networks. Microsoft announced a breakthrough in Chinese to English (text) translation, which has matched human translation for the first time. https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/14/microsoft-announces-breakthrough-in-chinese-to-english-machine-translation/ Microsoft, of course, also offers real time language translation via Skype, which I still find amazing. Secondly, Baidu has released a new pocket translator that will translate between English and Chinese at the push of a button. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610623/baidu-shows-off-its-instant-pocket-translator/ Language, it seems, should not be a barrier for much longer. ... See more The Chinese internet giant says it’s made significant strides in machine translation thanks to neural networks. 1 month ago NVIDIA Unveils Beastly 2 Petaflop DGX-2 AI Supercomputer With 32GB Tesla V100 And NVSwitch Tech (Updated) | HotHardware Hello Future Fans, I've not posted for a while, since I've been travelling. Today I want to re-connect with one of my favourite topics, being the exponential nature of computing; in terms of power, size, and architectural advancements. I'm surely going to be a little guilty of confirmation bias (a tendency to find information that confirms one's own world view), however the raw numbers can't be denied! Firstly, I wanted to touch on nvidia's 'DGX-2' announcement. This is basically an AI-focused supercomputer-in-a-box. It can be yours for only $399,000. The DX-2 is remarkable for a few reasons. Firstly, the claimed 2-petaflop (quadrillion calculations) per second puts it in the class of the world's fastest supercomputers just about 9-10 years ago. IBM's roadrunner supercomputer, based at Los Alamos National Laboratory, cost $120 million to build and broke the 1-petaflop barrier back in 2008. These things aren't directly comparable for various reasons; however, the pace of change is both evident and exceptional. https://hothardware.com/news/nvidia-unveils-dgx-2-32gb-tesla-v100-powered-machine-learning-beast https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Roadrunner Another thing that makes the DX-2 remarkable, is that it is achieving 10x AI model performance and up to 160x performance in very specific tasks versus their own DX-1 that was released just LAST YEAR. That's partly due to more powerful hardware and, more importantly, is driven via architectural changes. They have developed technologies called NVSwitch and NVLink, which basically allow the internal computational devices to communicate together much much faster; this is a critically important aspect of computation. Staying on the supercomputer topic for a little while, it's always nice to the supercomputer page on Wikipedia. There's a table on this page that shows the raw power of the fastest supercomputers over time. Looking at that chart, you'll see that it's pretty common for our fastest supercomputers to double or triple performance every 1-3 years. That's a simply ridiculous pace. Back when we were doubling the performance of largely incapable machines, that wasn't particularly relevant to the world. Now we're talking about doubling and tripling the performance of machines that are already delivering almost 100 QUADRILLION calculations per second, and there's no end in sight. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_supercomputing Changing tack, I wanted to drill into the very small and mention the recent IBM announcement of a computer the size of a grain of salt. It's claimed to be about as powerful as a standard computer from 1990 and, of course, this only costs 10 cents & sips a tiny, tiny fraction of the power that was required in 1990. Note that the picture on the page of the device on a finger is actually 64 of these computers. Individually, they are only 1mm x 1mm! https://hothardware.com/news/ibm-made-blockchain-computer-smaller-grain-salt So, what does this all mean? It's the same as we've always known, but I think that it's important to keep coming back to this. We're rapidly moving deeper into a computationally-driven world. Almost all decisions will be taken via machines over time, not human minds. Yes, smarter-than-human AI will emerge (as much as I've already pointed out that this is a rubbish goal). That smarter-than-human AI will likely become 2-3x more capable every 1-3 years, and will inevitably expand into a globally-connected computational web. Everything around us will have some computation and/or data in it. Cars will very clearly become mobile supercomputers in their own right, and also every can of beans will be chipped; the roads will have tiny sensors; our shoes, socks, plants, blood, soil, sand, and probably even the air will end up packed with tiny information and computational machines. Our best and only option will be to directly interface our minds with these machines, else we risk being largely irrelevant; a curious & quaint historical footnote. This interfacing will squash the equivalent of a billion-years-worth of organic evolution into a small number of decades ... a shift of epic proportions where we all become part of an interconnected consciousness. On a less serious note to wrap up, it's gong to be quite cool to order pizza directly from our brains! ... See more NVIDIA claims the new DGX-2 is the world’s first 2 Petaflop Machine Learning system and it’s comprised of serious array of technology in support of its Tesla V100 32GB GPUs. 2 months ago New brain computer interfaces lead many to ask, is Black Mirror real? | Robohub Hello Future Fans, Today I’ll continue briefly on the topic of brain-computer / brain-Internet / brain-to-brain interfaces. I’ve linked a great robohub article below. It talks about a tech concept called neurograins. These are tiny, sophisticated, wireless devices that will be designed to sit around the cerebreral cortex. They will detect, and possibly directly influence, neural activity i.e. they could read and then influence thoughts. Sitting inside the skull will greatly improve the capability of these devices to detect the activity of neurons vs the usual external sensors. This kind of technology is entirely new and, frankly, mostly speculative at this point. The embedded video, however, runs through many real life steps that have already been taken on this journey. It then ends by looking at some of the potential risks (having one’s mind controlled!) as per Bobby's comment on my last post. http://robohub.org/new-brain-computer-interfaces-lead-many-to-ask-is-black-mirror-real/ ... See more New brain computer interfaces lead many to ask, is Black Mirror real? 2 months ago What are YOU looking at? Mind-reading AI knows Hi Again, future-curious folks, Today I'll move away from imminent developments like 5G and will instead cast into the more distant future. It's a bit dense; hope you like it! I was talking with my father in law recently (hi Rob!) about the Singularity. There are a few definitions of this and, in summary, it's an assumed period ~30 years away where technological change will be so substantial that the fundamental nature of humanity & life will have shifted so dramatically as to be unrecognizable from today. That's my own definition really, and others will refer to superintelligent AI, us merging with machines, etc. I instead think back to Arthur C Clark's famous 3rd law; any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. If we were to cast our current technology back to stone age, or even medieval times, our ability to fly anywhere on earth, video call anyone in the world, send probes to distant worlds, or correct genetic diseases, would simply be magic. This is what the Singularity means to me; if we could see that future world from our perspective today, it would be so fundamentally different & advanced, that it may as well be magic. There's going to be a string of truly meaningful advances in the coming decades, and I think the most meaningful of these will likely be the connection of the human brain to the cloud / Internet / everything else. This shift is so utterly significant that it will change everything (once it really works!). Consider that our interactions with computers today are massively restricted because of the need to use keyboards or voice. This is fundamentally restrictive, old, technology; it's like trying to suck up an ocean through a straw. Even our interactions with other people are restricted. We can use voice, of course, and then we have rich non-verbal communication via body language, tone, facial expressions, etc. When these are layered together, our ability to communicate is still fundamentally restricted and imprecise. A direct brain interface will connect us to infinite information, and to each other, at the speed of thought and at such immense bandwidth that it's really impossible to fathom right now. Rather than destroying our humanity, as some would predict, I see this as breaking us out of our fundamental physical chains; a kind of ascension to a higher plane of existence. This direct inter-connectivity is not far-fetched. We've been able to play basic games like pong with brain controllers for a long time already. Certain paralysed patients can type by moving a cursor with their brain. There are already many advancements towards understanding actual thought too, based on brain scans. The below article from futurism.com is an example of the latter. We already have the early Internet, the early cloud, and early mobile connectivity. All we need to do is fast-forward these exponential technologies into the future, and it's easy to envision seamless devices that are interfacing our brain with the world. It's going to happen, and it will be magic. If you like this kind of content, then go ahead & follow this futurist.tech Facebook page. Don’t forget to turn on notifications! The content can also be found at the futurist.tech website. Thanks for listening, Damien Healy out. Here’s that futurism.com link: https://futurism.com/mind-reading-ai/ ... See more This AI isn't exactly Professor X, but it's getting there. 2 months ago 5G’s secret weapon will be low latency, empowering next-gen VR and gaming Hi Followers, Two posts ago, I bought some attention back to the truly remarkable step-change promised by 5G mobile connectivity. I mentioned that this step change is related both to the outright speed and also (importantly!) the low latency across the network. I spotted this venturebeat article drilling into the latency area a little more, and describing some of the real applications that this will unlock, like wireless high fidelity VR/AR and remote guidance capabilities for autonomous vehicles. The eagle-eyed among you will spot reference to ‘extended-reality’ (XR) glasses. I will undoubtedly come back to that topic soon! https://venturebeat.com/2018/03/02/5gs-secret-weapon-will-be-low-latency-empowering-next-gen-vr-and-gaming/ ... See more As the 2018 Mobile World Congress wound down this week, next-generation 5G wireless technology was clearly the show’s biggest story, promising dramatically faster data speeds. But 5G’s … 2 months ago California to allow testing of self-driving cars without a driver present The march towards autonomous vehicles has taken another step, with California’s approval for them to operate / test further without a human backup driver. There is of course some small print. https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/27/california-to-allow-testing-of-self-driving-cars-without-a-driver-present/ ... See more California's Department of Motor Vehicles established new rules announced Monday that will allow tech companies and others working on driverless vehicle..