We should be going for … radically new ideas.

WIRED: The recent boom of interest and investment in AI and machine learning means there’s more funding for research than ever. Does the rapid growth of the field also bring new challenges?

GH: One big challenge the community faces is that if you want to get a paper published in machine learning now it’s got to have a table in it, with all these different data sets across the top, and all these different methods along the side, and your method has to look like the best one. If it doesn’t look like that, it’s hard to get published. I don’t think that’s encouraging people to think about radically new ideas.

Now if you send in a paper that has a radically new idea, there’s no chance in hell it will get accepted, because it’s going to get some junior reviewer who doesn’t understand it. Or it’s going to get a senior reviewer who’s trying to review too many papers and doesn’t understand it first time round and assumes it must be nonsense.

Anything that makes the brain hurt is not going to get accepted. And I think that’s really bad.

What we should be going for, particularly in the basic science conferences, is radically new ideas. Because we know a radically new idea in the long run is going to be much more influential than a tiny improvement. That’s I think the main downside of the fact that we’ve got this inversion now, where you’ve got a few senior guys and a gazillion young guys.



Stephen Hawking’s Haunting Last Reddit Posts on AI Are Going Viral


In the hours since the news of his death broke, fans have been resurfacing some of their favorite quotes of his, including those from his Reddit AMA two years ago.

He wrote confidently about the imminent development of human-level AI and warned people to prepare for its consequences:

“When it eventually does occur, it’s likely to be either the best or worst thing ever to happen to humanity, so there’s huge value in getting it right.”

When asked if human-created AI could exceed our own intelligence, he replied:

It’s clearly possible for a something to acquire higher intelligence than its ancestors: we evolved to be smarter than our ape-like ancestors, and Einstein was smarter than his parents. The line you ask about is where an AI becomes better than humans at AI design, so that it can recursively improve itself without human help. If this happens, we may face an intelligence explosion that ultimately results in machines whose intelligence exceeds ours by more than ours exceeds that of snails.

As for whether that same AI could potentially be a threat to humans one day?

“AI will probably develop a drive to survive and acquire more resources as a step toward accomplishing whatever goal it has, because surviving and having more resources will increase its chances of accomplishing that other goal,” he wrote. “This can cause problems for humans whose resources get taken away.”

Source: Cosmopolitan


The idea that Silicon Valley is the darling of our markets and of our society … is definitely turning

“Personally, I think the idea that fake news on Facebook, it’s a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s company recently said it would turn over to Congress more than 3,000 politically themed advertisements that were bought by suspected Russian operatives. (Eric Risberg/AP

Nine days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg dismissed as “crazy” the idea that fake news on his company’s social network played a key role in the U.S. election, President Barack Obama pulled the youthful tech billionaire aside and delivered what he hoped would be a wake-up call.

Obama made a personal appeal to Zuckerberg to take the threat of fake news and political disinformation seriously. Unless Facebook and the government did more to address the threat, Obama warned, it would only get worse in the next presidential race.

“There’s been a systematic failure of responsibility. It’s rooted in their overconfidence that they know best, their naivete about how the world works, their extensive effort to avoid oversight, and their business model of having very few employees so that no one is minding the store.” Zeynep Tufekci

Zuckerberg acknowledged the problem posed by fake news. But he told Obama that those messages weren’t widespread on Facebook and that there was no easy remedy, according to people briefed on the exchange

One outcome of those efforts was Zuckerberg’s admission on Thursday that Facebook had indeed been manipulated and that the company would now turn over to Congress more than 3,000 politically themed advertisements that were bought by suspected Russian operatives.

These issues have forced Facebook and other Silicon Valley companies to weigh core values, including freedom of speech, against the problems created when malevolent actors use those same freedoms to pump messages of violence, hate and disinformation.

Congressional investigators say the disclosure only scratches the surface. One called Facebook’s discoveries thus far “the tip of the iceberg.” Nobody really knows how many accounts are out there and how to prevent more of them from being created to shape the next election — and turn American society against itself.

“There is no question that the idea that Silicon Valley is the darling of our markets and of our society — that sentiment is definitely turning,” said Tim O’Reilly, an adviser to tech executives and chief executive of the influential Silicon Valley-based publisher O’Reilly Media

Source: Washington Post


Artificial intelligence pioneer says throw it all away and start again

Geoffrey Hinton harbors doubts about AI’s current workhorse. (Johnny Guatto / University of Toronto)

In 1986, Geoffrey Hinton co-authored a paper that, three decades later, is central to the explosion of artificial intelligence.

But Hinton says his breakthrough method should be dispensed with, and a new path to AI found.

… he is now “deeply suspicious” of back-propagation, the workhorse method that underlies most of the advances we are seeing in the AI field today, including the capacity to sort through photos and talk to Siri.

“My view is throw it all away and start again”

Hinton said that, to push materially ahead, entirely new methods will probably have to be invented. “Max Planck said, ‘Science progresses one funeral at a time.’ The future depends on some graduate student who is deeply suspicious of everything I have said.”

Hinton suggested that, to get to where neural networks are able to become intelligent on their own, what is known as “unsupervised learning,” “I suspect that means getting rid of back-propagation.”

“I don’t think it’s how the brain works,” he said. “We clearly don’t need all the labeled data.”

Source: Axios


Machines can never be as wise as human beings – Jack Ma #AI

zuckerger and jack ma

“I think machines will be stronger than human beings, machines will be smarter than human beings, but machines can never be as wise as human beings.”

The wisdom, soul and heart are what human beings have. A machine can never enjoy the feelings of success, friendship and love. We should use the machine in an innovative way to solve human problems.” – Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group, China’s largest online marketplace

Mark Zuckerberg said AI technology could prove useful in areas such as medicine and hands-free driving, but it was hard to teach computers common sense. Humans had the ability to learn and apply that knowledge to problem-solving, but computers could not do that.

AI won’t outstrip mankind that soon – MZ

Source: South China Morning Post



Google exec: With robots in our brains, we’ll be godlike

Futurist and Google exec Ray Kurzweil thinks that once we have robotic implants, we’ll be funnier, sexier and more loving. Because that’s what artificial intelligence can do for you.

“We’re going to add additional levels of abstraction,” he said, “and create more-profound means of expression.”

More profound than Twitter? Is that possible?

Kurzweil continued: “We’re going to be more musical. We’re going to be funnier. We’re going to be better at expressing loving sentiment.”

Because robots are renowned for their musicality, their sense of humor and their essential loving qualities. Especially in Hollywood movies.

Kurzweil insists, though, that this is the next natural phase of our existence.

“Evolution creates structures and patterns that over time are more complicated, more knowledgeable, more intelligent, more creative, more capable of expressing higher sentiments like being loving,” he said. “So it’s moving in the direction that God has been described as having — these qualities without limit.”

Yes, we are becoming gods.

Evolution is a spiritual process and makes us more godlike,” was Kurzweil’s conclusion.

Source: CNET by Chris Matyszczyk


Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Bold Plan For The Future Of Facebook

zuckerberg fastcompany cover The Facebook of today—and tomorrow—is far more expansive than it was just a few years ago.

It’s easy to forget that when the company filed to go public on February 1, 2012, it was just a single website and an app that the experts weren’t sure could ever be profitable.

Now, “a billion and a half people use the main, core Facebook service, and that’s growing.”

“But 900 million people use WhatsApp, and that’s an important part of the whole ecosystem now.” Zuckerberg says. “Four hundred million people use Instagram, 700 million people use Messen­ger, and 700 million people use Groups. Increasingly, we’re just going to go more and more in this direction.”

Zuckerberg is betting his company’s future on three major technology initiatives …  One is developing advanced artificial intelligence …  second is virtual reality …  the third is bringing the Internet, including Facebook, of course, to the 4 billion–plus humans who aren’t yet connected

Zuckerberg isn’t interested in doing everything—just the things he views as deeply related to his company’s central vision, and crucial to it. “There are different ways to do innovation,” he says, drawing a stark contrast without ever mentioning Page, Google, or Alphabet. “You can plant a lot of seeds, not be committed to any particular one of them, but just see what grows. And this really isn’t how we’ve approached this. We go mission-first, then focus on the pieces we need and go deep on them, and be committed to them.”

facebook use timeFacebook’s mission is “to give everyone in the world the power to share and make the world more open and connected,” as Zuckerberg says, explaining that he is now spending a third of his time overseeing these future initiatives. “These things can’t fail. We need to get them to work in order to achieve the mission.”

The mandate for the 50-person AI team is also vintage Zuckerberg: Aim ridiculously high, and focus on where you want to go over the long term. “One of our goals for the next five to 10 years, is to basically get better than human level at all of the primary human senses: vision, hearing, language, general cognition. Taste and smell, we’re not that worried about,” he deadpans. “For now.”

One of the company’s guiding principles is “Done is better than perfect.”

Zuckerberg has earned the right to trust his gut. “At the beginning of Facebook, I didn’t have an idea of how this was going to be a good business,” he tells me. “I just thought it was a good thing to do.” He pauses. “Very few people thought it was going to be a good business early on, which is why almost no one else tried to do it.”

Today, everyone understands: Not worrying about whether Facebook was a good business turned out to be a great way to do business. Zuckerberg has recalibrated his ambitions accordingly. As Andreessen tells me, “This is a guy who’s 31. He’s got a 40- or 50-year runway. I don’t even know if there’s a precedent.”

Source: FastCompany  (it’s a very in-depth article)

Click here to learn about Google’s approach to AI


Yann LeCun on AI systems as an extension of our brains

AI Quote

Yann LeCun, director of Facebook AI Research
Photo by Randi Klett - Deep Learning expert Yann LeCun leads Facebook's AI research lab

Photo by Randi Klett – Deep Learning expert Yann LeCun leads Facebook’s AI research lab

AI systems are going to be an extension of our brains, in the same way cars are an extension of our legs. They are not going to replace us – they are going to amplify everything we do, augmenting your memory, giving you instant knowledge.”

Source: Bt.com


Geoff Hinton on “AI as a friend”

AI Quotes

geoff hinton

Geoff Hinton – Google, Distinguished Researcher, University of Toronto as a Distinguished Emeritus Professor

He [Geoff Hinton] painted a picture of the near-future in which people will chat with their computers, not only to extract information, but for fun – reminiscent of the film, Her, in which Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his intelligent operating system.

“It’s not that far-fetched,” Hinton said. “I don’t see why it shouldn’t be like a friend. I don’t see why you shouldn’t grow quite attached to them.

Source: The Guardian – Thursday 21 May 2015



Maciej Ceglowski on “Everywhere I look there is this failure to capture the benefits of technological change”

AI Quotes

Maciej Ceglowski is the founder of Pinboard among other things
Maciej Ceglowski - photo webstock flicr

Maciej Ceglowski – photo webstock flicr

Everywhere I look there is a Failure to capture the benefits of technological change.

So what kinds of ideas do California central planners think are going to change the world? 

Well, right now, they want to build space rockets and make themselves immortal. I wish I was kidding.

Source: AVC.com (VC blog)


Dr. Richard Terrile on “introduce morality into these machines.”

AI Quotes

Dr. Richard Terrile, Dir. of Center for Evolutionary Computation & Automated Design at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab

richard.j.terrile“I kind of laugh when people say we need to introduce morality into these machines. Whose morality? The morality of today? The morality of tomorrow? The morality of the 15th century? We change our morality like we change our clothing.”

Source: Huffington Post

Dr. Richard Terrile is an astronomer and the director of the Center for Evolutionary Computation and Automated Design at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  He uses techniques based on biological evolution and development to advance the fields of robotics and computer intelligence. 


The great disconnect at Google about ‘people needs’

Eric Schmidt: AI Progress Is Just Starting

ericschmidtWhen AI becomes useful in practical matters, it gets utilized more and more. Schmidt thinks that the inflection point of AI use is just about here and that it will take off soon. He thinks that practical things will lead the way in the utilization curve of AI.

Schmidt wants society’s use of AI to “keep thinking first and foremost about people’s real needs, and the real world we all inhabit.”

An expert vacation planner, a supersmart email filter, and music services that predictively analyze what you want to listen to next are the some functions that he sees AI being used for.

AI will be solving practical, everyday problems, and doing well enough at it that AI use will seem the best way to solve such problems.

PL – Okay, we can’t let this one go. Google “keeps thinking first and foremost about people’s real needs?” And then Schmidt lists: A vacation planner? An email filter? Music filter? That’s cool. And useful, don’t get us wrong.

But, we think “real needs” of people should include, first and foremost, personal growth, relationships, parenting, well-being, jobs, careers, conflicts … These are real-world needs in the real world we inhabit. 

We think HUMAN BEHAVIOR is the elephant in the room for the tech world. 

Source: Information Week


Ray Kurzweil on “Don’t Fear Artificial Intelligence”

AI Quotes

Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google
Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil

“We have the opportunity in the decades ahead to make major strides in addressing the grand challenges of humanity. AI will be the pivotal technology in achieving this progress. We have a moral imperative to realize this promise while controlling the peril.”

Source: Time
Don’t Fear Artificial Intelligence
by Ray Kurzweil
Dec. 19, 2014


Dr. Lynne Parker on “AI has to be holistic”

AI Quotes
 Lynne Parker, a professor at the University of Tennessee 

Dr Lynn Parker, University of Tennessee

“We’ve made a lot of deep advances in many focused areas, but we need one big system to pull a lot of these systems together into one machine,” [Lynne] Parker said. “To have a household robot that can obey your commands, we’re still pretty far from that. I would say 10 to 20 years. It’s not about the glue. When you build one subsystem, it affects how another subsystem should be designed. You can’t build them in isolation and just glue them together. It has to be holistic.”

Lynne Parker, a professor at the University of Tennessee and a division director in Information and Intelligent Systems with the National Science Foundation

Source: Computer World


Sonia Chernova on “Reasoning is just really hard”

AI Quotes

Sonia Chernova, Assistant Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Sonia Chernova, Assistant Professor. Computer Science Department Robotics Engineering Program, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

“I think repeatedly we’ve not met the estimates that we keep making about where we’d be in the future,” said Sonia Chernova, an assistant professor of computer science and the director of the Robot Autonomy and Interactive Learning lab at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. “Reasoning is just really hard, and dealing with the real world is very hard.… But we’ve made amazing gains.”

Computer World: AI is Getting Smarter

Sonia Chernova, an assistant professor of computer science and the director of the Robot Autonomy and Interactive Learning lab at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass.



Bill Gates: AI definitely important to worry about

From a Backchannel interview with Bill Gates

Steven Levy: Let me ask an unrelated question about the raging debate over whether artificial intelligence poses a threat to society, or even the survival of humanity. Where do you stand?

bill and melinda gatesBill Gates: I think it’s definitely important to worry about. There are two AI threats that are worth distinguishing. One is that AI does enough labor substitution fast enough to change work policies, or [affect] the creation of new jobs that humans are uniquely adapted to — the jobs that give you a sense of purpose and worth. We haven’t run into that yet. I don’t think it’s a dramatic problem in the next ten years but if you take the next 20 to 30 it could be. Then there’s the longer-term problem of so-called strong AI, where it controls resources, so its goals are somehow conflicting with the goals of human systems. Both of those things are very worthy of study and time. I am certainly not in the camp that believes we ought to stop things or slow things down because of that. But you can definitely put me more in the Elon Musk, Bill Joy camp than, let’s say, the Google camp on that one.

Source: Backchannel
Steven Levy

View at Medium.com


Larry Page on “it seems like a crime to me”

AI Quotes

“It’s unsatisfying to have all these people, and we have all these billions we should be investing to make people’s lives better. If we just do the same things we did before and don’t do something new, it seems like a crime to me.”
Source: ft.com
FT interview with Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page
by Richard Waters
October 31, 2014



David Brooks on “two divergent A.I. futures”

AI Quotes


“Two big implications flow from this. The first is sociological. If knowledge is power, we’re about to see an even greater concentration of power …

“To put it more menacingly, engineers at a few gigantic companies will have vast-though-hidden power to shape how data are collected and framed, to harvest huge amounts of information, to build the frameworks through which the rest of us make decisions and to steer our choices …

“The second implication is philosophical. A.I. will redefine what it means to be human

I could paint two divergent A.I. futures, one deeply humanistic, and one soullessly utilitarian …”  DavidBrooks


Read the complete OP-ED piece here:
Source: Our Machine Masters
October 30, 2014


Elon Musk on “summoning the demon”

AI Quotes

I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that.
So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. Increasingly scientists think there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure thelon musk 2at we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out.
Source: bigthink.com
Elon Musk: “We should be very careful about artificial intelligence.”
by Robert Montenegro
October 26, 2014

Vivek Wadhwa on “older entrepreneurs are going to better the world.”

AI Quotes

VIVEK WADHAWA, distinguished scholar at Singularity and Emory universities

Vivek-Wadhwa-1A technology shift is happening that will dramatically alter the entrepreneurial landscape in the next few years. Several technologies — involving medicine, robotics, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, 3D printing, and nanomaterials — are advancing at exponential rates and are converging.

These technologies will make it possible to create the next trillion-dollar industries and to better our lives. But they require knowledge of fields such as medicine, biotechnology, engineering, and nanotechnology. They require experience, an understanding of the problems people face, and cross-disciplinary skills. All of these come with age and experience, which middle-aged entrepreneurs have in abundance. That is why we need to get beyond the stereotypes and realize that older entrepreneurs are going to better the world.

Vivek Wadhwa is a fellow at the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke’s engineering school and distinguished scholar at Singularity and Emory universities. His past appointments include Harvard Law School and University of California Berkeley.

Source: VentureBeat

Elon Musk
“potentially dangerous”

AI Quotes

Elon Musk,CEO and Chief Product Architect of Tesla Motors

elon musk“I like to just keep an eye on what’s going on with artificial intelligence. I think there is potentially a dangerous outcome … we should try to make sure the outcomes are good, not bad.”

Source: CNBC Interview June 17, 2014



Masayoshi Son
on “joy of the robot”

AI Quotes

Masayoshi Son, CEO SoftBank
Masayoshi Son“We want to have a robot that will maximize people’s joy and minimize their sadness … Pepper is a baby step in making robots with emotion. Our vision is to create affectionate robots that understand people’s feelings and then autonomously take action. So the joy of a family will become the joy of the robot.”

Source: Computer World, June 5, 2014


Stephen Hawking
on success, risks of AI

AI Quotes

Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist, cosmologist

Stephen Hawking 2“Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks,” says Stephen Hawking, and a group of leading scientists.

Source: The Independent, May, 1, 2014
Stephen Hawking: ‘Transcendence looks at the implications of artificial intelligence – but are we taking AI seriously enough?’  
Stephen Hawking, Stuart Russell, Max Tegmark, Frank Wilczek



Colin Angle
on “What is human?”

AI Quotes

Colin Angle, CEO iRobot

Colin Angle“Long before we have a robot uprising, we’re going to deal with much more interesting problems. This idea that we’re going to build a robot that has human cognition and appreciation for morals and values, that’s super-hard stuff

“The more important question is “What is human?” ” 

Source: Business Insider, Dylan Love, June 1, 2014
A Q&A With iRobot’s Colin Angle, The CEO Of The Only Consumer Robotics Company That Matters


Jeff Siskind on “It took evolution a billion years”

Jeff Siskind, professor at Purdue University

jeffrey siskindThe field of AI is trying to understand human-level intelligence, something that took evolution a billion years and more to develop, and it’s unreasonable to expect humans to recapitulate that process even in a few decades. That said, I think we’re making a huge amount of progress.

Jeff Siskind, professor at Purdue University

Source: ComputerWorld



 Satya Nadella
on “software-powered world”

AI Quotes

Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft


“I believe over the next decade computing will become even more ubiquitous and intelligence will become ambient …

“This is a software-powered world. 

“It will better connect us to our friends and families and help us see, express, and share our world in ways never before possible. It will enable businesses to engage customers in more meaningful ways.”

Source: Excerpt from email to employees on first day as CEO, Feb. 4, 2014


Peter Lee
on cost of (AI) talent

AI Quotes

Peter Lee, Head of Microsoft Research

Peter Lee 2010

We would have more if the talent was there to be had. Last year, the cost of a top, world-class deep learning expert was about the same as a top NFL quarterback prospect. The cost of that talent is pretty remarkable.”

Business Week, January 27, 2014


David Galenson
on inconspicuous “late bloomers”

AI Quotes

David Galenson, author; professor of economics, University of Chicago

David_Galenson“In today’s hyperkinetic world of instant internet links and television sound bites we’ve become conditioned — I would say brainwashed — into believing that the innovative people who make important contributions to our culture and our economy are all whiz kids — prodigies — fresh from the most prestigious art schools and institutes of technology who leap to sudden dramatic discoveries and quickly become rich and famous.

“A really wonderful book.” — Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink

“In fact, however, these young geniuses may be matched in both number and importance by much less conspicuous late bloomers who spend much of their lives working patiently and tirelessly in obscurity only gradually arriving at the achievements that ultimately gain them recognition.”

Source: Old Masters and Young Geniuses



Point of this blog on Socializing AI

Artificial Intelligence must be about more than our things. It must be about more than our machines. It must be a way to advance human behavior in complex human situations. But this will require wisdom-powered code. It will require imprinting AI’s genome with social intelligence for human interaction. It must begin right now.”
— Phil Lawson
(read more)


Herbert Simon
on psychology computerized

AI Quotes

Herbert Simon, political scientist, economist, sociologist, psychologist

Portrait by Richard Rappaport

In 1957, computer scientist and future Nobel-winner Herbert Simon predicted that, by 1967, psychology would be a largely computerized field.

Source: Popular ScienceThe End is A.I.: The Singularity is Sci-Fi’s Faith-Based Initiative, Erik Sofge, May 28, 2014