News

Embodied AI: Genetic vs. Experience Based Intelligence

Posted by Peter Rudin on 17. January 2020 in News No Comments

In a recent debate about the future of AI between Gary Marcus, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at NYU and Yoshua Bengio, Professor at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Montréal, the question came up of how much information the human genome can encode.

This is a hot topic in AI these days, as people debate how much prior knowledge needs to be pre-wired into AI systems, in order to get them to achieve something more akin to natural intelligence.

Making a true AI may require building something that has to do more than solve some specific computational problems.  It must be embodied.

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Do You Want to Create an AI-Copy of Yourself?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 3. January 2020 in News No Comments

“We each have more potential than ever to solve humanity’s biggest challenges and leave meaningful legacies through the power of AI. But our AI must be controlled and owned by individuals – not a few corporations”.

“By making it possible for everyone to have their own AI, we’re putting control back in the hands of individuals and unlocking the limits of humanity”.

The potential impact of these statements, posted on the Website of the AI-Foundation, can be experienced by an App that is being released in 2020. Eventually, the Foundation plans to release a tool for anyone to record and build their own AI.

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How AI Can Transform Psychiatry

Posted by Peter Rudin on 20. December 2019 in News 1 Comment

The rapid embracing of artificial intelligence in psychiatry has a flavor of being the current “wild west”; a multidisciplinary approach that is very technical and complex yet seems to produce findings that resonate.

Explainability, transparency, and generalizability are critical for establishing the viability of using artificial intelligence in psychiatry. Defining these three issues helps towards building a framework to ensure trustworthiness.

“We found that the computer’s AI models can be at least as accurate as clinicians,” says Peter Foltz, a researcher from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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How Does Language Emerge?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 6. December 2019 in News No Comments

How did the almost 6,000 languages of the world come into being? Researchers have tried to simulate the process of developing a new communication system in an experiment — with surprising results.

People create reference to actions and objects via signs that resemble things. The prerequisite for this is a common ground of experience between interaction partners. Partners also coordinate by imitating each other such that they use the same signs for the same things.

The studies demonstrate that communication cannot be reduced to words alone. When there is no way to use conventional spoken language, people find other ways to get their message across.

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A Catalogue of Skills AI Can Handle Today

Posted by Peter Rudin on 22. November 2019 in News No Comments

(AI) being an increasingly present part of our everyday lives. But, many of us would be quite surprised to learn of some of the AI-skills that are designed to provide convenience or improve human functionality:

Read and write; hear, understand and speak;
see, touch and move; play games, debate and create;
understand emotions and read your mind.

Many of these skills are steadily improved by ongoing AI-research. However, the human capacity to associate and to cross-relate skills remains unchallenged so far. Going from ‘Narrow AI’ to ‘Artificial General Intelligence’ will create new scenarios and challenges for our society at large.

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The Search for Secrets of the Human Brain

Posted by Peter Rudin on 8. November 2019 in News 1 Comment

Large-scale national research projects hope to reveal how the brain learns, how it controls behavior and how it goes wrong.

Along with the goal of describing in detail just how the brain works at various levels, from the cellular to the behavioral, the hope is that these projects will lead to new ways to treat brain diseases and mental-health conditions, as well as advance artificial-intelligence (AI) technologies.

Investors are providing the projects with billions of dollars in new funding, creating career opportunities for not only neuroscientists but also physicists, mathematicians, chemists, materials scientists and medical specialists.

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Brain Scientists compete to understand Consciousness

Posted by Peter Rudin on 25. October 2019 in News 1 Comment

Brain scientists can watch neurons fire and communicate. They can map how brain regions light up during sensation, decision-making, and speech. What they can’t explain is how all this activity gives rise to consciousness.

The Templeton World Charity Foundation hopes to narrow the debate with experiments that directly pit theories of consciousness against each other.

The first two contenders are the global workspace theory (GWT), championed by Stanislas Dehaene and the integrated information theory (IIT), proposed by Giulio Tononi.

To test the schemes, six labs will run experiments with a total of more than 500 participants.

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Inventing a Quantum Internet

Posted by Peter Rudin on 11. October 2019 in News No Comments

Fifty years after the current internet was born, the physicist and computer scientist Stephanie Wehner is planning and designing the next internet — a quantum one.

Wehner is the coordinator of the Quantum Internet Alliance, a European Union initiative to build a network for transmitting quantum information throughout the continent.

“Using such a network, we gain information about creativity and social sciences. If you look at the classical internet, people thought we would use it to send around some files. That’s great. But people have gotten more creative”, Wehner says.

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The Potential of Brain-Computer Interfaces

Posted by Peter Rudin on 27. September 2019 in News No Comments

Neural interfaces, brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and other devices that blur the lines between mind and machine have extraordinary potential.

A new Royal Society report is for the first time systematically exploring whether it is “right” or not to use neural interfaces – machines implanted in or worn over the body to pick up or stimulate nervous activity in the brain or other parts of the nervous system.

The dangers of commercializing this field are obvious, not only in the area of leveraging BCIs to read others’ thoughts even when the subject is not willing, but if Big Tech companies manage to obtain monopolistic access to human thoughts and ideas.

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Can AI Systems Understand Human Values?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 13. September 2019 in News No Comments

Machine learning (ML) algorithms can already recognize patterns far better than the humans they’re working for. This allows them to generate predictions and make decisions in a variety of high-stakes situations. However, for ML systems to truly be successful, they need to understand human values.

Researchers still need to answer empirical questions related to things like how values evolve and change over time. And once all the empirical questions are answered, researchers need to contend with the philosophical questions that don’t have an objective answer, like how those values should be interpreted and how they should guide an AGI’s decision-making.

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