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Robots, technology and such rescuing the irony thread

#101 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2013-May-13, 09:54

Winning at Jeopardy is just like building a machine that understands what is happening in the global economy and what will happen next. Excerpt from Steve Lohr's interview of David Ferrucci, hedge fund guy famed for contributions to the IBM Watson Jeopardy project:

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Much of artificial intelligence today, he said, focuses on mining vast amounts of data to make predictions. Those predictions are based on statistical probabilities and patterns — a certain symptom is highly correlated with a certain disease, for example.

“But in a purely data-driven approach, I can’t explain my decisions,” Dr. Ferrucci said. “People are so enamored with the data-driven approach that they believe correlation is sufficient.”

The Big Data formula, he noted, has proved to be “incredibly powerful” for tasks like natural-language processing — a central technology behind Google search, for instance.

WatsonPaths, by contrast, builds step-by-step graphs, or paths, that trace possible causes rather than mere statistical correlations. In the case of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic project, for example, the paths go from an observation of symptoms to a conclusion about the diagnosis of a disease and treatment.

That approach is a hybrid of the Big Data tools, which sift through troves of medical literature, and logic tools to identify likely chains of inference — what humans see as logical explanations for the “why” of things. The approach is also a step in the direction of classic artificial intelligence, which relied on knowledge rules and relationships, to create so-called expert systems. The blend combines elements of what Dr. Ferrucci termed “my 30-year journey in A.I.”

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#102 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2013-May-13, 10:15

Big Data works when the thing it's analyzing inherently follows relatively straightforward rules. Most of nature is like that, which is why the brain has evolved to detect patterns and automatically assume "correlation implies causation". Statistical analysis of data works well in many application domains.

But if a domain is very chaotic, with complex feedback loops, purely statistical analysis can fail. Nate Silver's book explains how this has generally failed in economic analysis. Statistical analysis is how we get nonsensical results like the direction of the economy correlating with the winner of the Super Bowl.

#103 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2017-October-23, 07:52

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“I’m not too worried about machines replacing cartoonists,” the artist R. Kikuo Johnson says, about his cover for the Money Issue. Johnson may have switched from drawing with ink, brushes, and paper to using a stylus and a digital tablet, but he isn’t worried that computers will take over the rest of his cartooning process. “When robots are advanced enough to be neurotic, then maybe I’ll be concerned,” he said, “though I don’t think too many of us choose this field for job security, anyway.”

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#104 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2017-October-23, 08:21

From Tech Giants Are Paying Huge Salaries for Scarce A.I. Talent by Cade Metz:

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Tech’s biggest companies are placing huge bets on artificial intelligence, banking on things ranging from face-scanning smartphones and conversational coffee-table gadgets to computerized health care and autonomous vehicles. As they chase this future, they are doling out salaries that are startling even in an industry that has never been shy about lavishing a fortune on its top talent.

Typical A.I. specialists, including both Ph.D.s fresh out of school and people with less education and just a few years of experience, can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in salary and company stock, according to nine people who work for major tech companies or have entertained job offers from them. All of them requested anonymity because they did not want to damage their professional prospects.

At the top end are executives with experience managing A.I. projects. In a court filing this year, Google revealed that one of the leaders of its self-driving-car division, Anthony Levandowski, a longtime employee who started with Google in 2007, took home over $120 million in incentives before joining Uber last year through the acquisition of a start-up he had co-founded that drew the two companies into a court fight over intellectual property.

Salaries are spiraling so fast that some joke the tech industry needs a National Football League-style salary cap on A.I. specialists. “That would make things easier,” said Christopher Fernandez, one of Microsoft’s hiring managers. “A lot easier.”

There are a few catalysts for the huge salaries. The auto industry is competing with Silicon Valley for the same experts who can help build self-driving cars. Giant tech companies like Facebook and Google also have plenty of money to throw around and problems that they think A.I. can help solve, like building digital assistants for smartphones and home gadgets and spotting offensive content.

Most of all, there is a shortage of talent, and the big companies are trying to land as much of it as they can. Solving tough A.I. problems is not like building the flavor-of-the-month smartphone app. In the entire world, fewer than 10,000 people have the skills necessary to tackle serious artificial intelligence research, according to Element AI, an independent lab in Montreal.

Man I hope they don't lure away BBO robot programmers. It would really suck to have a car that likes to play in 5 card fits.
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