Thursday, November 05, 2015

Learning about AI at the British Museum and Red 362

Almost as difficult to resolve as Western Civilisation the subject of AI was in the forefront of  what I like to consider as my mind yesterday.

On Wednesday Evening I attended a lecture given by former child Chess prodigy and successful video games creator Dr Demis Hassabis.
The British Museum -A significant venue for an important subject

The last Royal Television Society/IET joint lecture I went to of similar significance was given by Michael Lynch last year and this event held at the splendid and historic British Museum was even more mind stretching.

I learnt several things and most importantly I thought about the amazing future/s that could lie ahead.

The overwhelming ambition of Demis's ideas were at first shocking but hearing him describe the steps taken and the realisation that (of course) other companies are also working to achieve similar gains made it seem just about credible.

What was hypothesised was the outsourcing of human intelligence and solving 'big' problems but for me the real interest was finding out more about the mind.

Creativity and I suppose what we think of as intelligence in the human brain is associated with the Hippocampus and Demis a former computer games creator, who made big money and then went to study for a Phd in Neuroscience  at UCL  is leading a team of 100+ scientists to develop AI knowledge as part of GoogleDeepMind.

Demis who sought to define the problem also demonstrated that already some progress has been made using 'baby steps' to move forward.

One of the points that I found especially enthralling was the realisation of rats dreaming, using their dreams to rehearse and to an extent solve problems.

It felt like quite a treat to hear this incredibly clever man talk about his work and listen to him relating his having had ethical discussions with Dr Stephen Hawking on developments around AI

DeepMind is not the only AI game in town or even the only AI game in Google, I was reminded  when I got home of how the field is alive and of commercial significance when I saw a news story about GoogleMail being able to draft automatic replies to emails.

This is surely something many could benefit from as are clever tools to assist in customising searches for individual users which was highlighted in the talk.

As well as watching videos of  'games' being mastered by the AI agent we were shown the party trick of photographs processed 'a la' Van Gogh and Seurat.

[ here are my reflections around  this].

Red 362

My first car was Fiat 500 it was red, If I had a mini it'd be red too

And it's got a Union Jack too
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