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Google Puts Souped-Up Neural Networks To Work

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the our-menu-options-have-recently-changed dept.

AI 95

holy_calamity writes "A machine learning breakthrough from Google researchers that grabbed headlines this summer is now being put to work improving the company's products. The company revealed in June that it had built neural networks that run on 16,000 processors simultaneously, enough power that they could learn to recognize cats just by watching YouTube. Those neural nets have now made Google's speech recognition for U.S. English 25 percent better, and are set to be used in other products, such as image search."

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Face recognition (0)

PieDude (2745317) | about 2 years ago | (#41566859)

How long until Google starts using this for face recognition? It already has all the images of the internet indexed and is trying to make their own social network Google+ with profile pics and hidden party photos. How long until Google starts using this to recognize faces "to improve targeted ads"?

Re:Face recognition (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41566879)

How long until Google starts using this for face recognition?

Mu.

Re:Face recognition (1)

overlordofmu (1422163) | about 2 years ago | (#41575005)

That's me. What do you need?

Re:Face recognition (1)

dontclapthrowmoney (1534613) | about 2 years ago | (#41566899)

Hopefully soon?

Then they'll know I will boycott products that offend me with their advertising and stop doing that.

Re:Face recognition (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566927)

No worries. Google promised that they will do no evil. The only thing they will store about us are [REACTED] and [REDACTED], and some of [REDACTED]. It will minimize the use of [REDACTED] to gather [REDACTED] about [REDACTED] and use it for [REDACTED].

Re:Face recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567049)

A Facebook fanboy? Get outta here! We don't want your kind here! Google will do no evil! Now Facebook on the other hand

Re:Face recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567545)

Facebook is a known evil. Google is evil, but unknown. In fact, their PR is wonderfully engineered and provides their engineers constantly ways of self-justification that they Make The World A Better Place(tm).

Re:Face recognition (5, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | about 2 years ago | (#41566989)

How long until Google starts using this for face recognition?

That totally does not bother me. These methods are easily defeated by Burqa technology, invented by Muslims ages ago.

Re:Face recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567059)

Burqa technology is no match for terahertz imaging technology. Google has already demonstrated that they are willing to use any signal that's out there.

Re:Face recognition (1)

surd1618 (1878068) | about 2 years ago | (#41580225)

aluminum foil burqa

Re:Face recognition (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | about 2 years ago | (#41592201)

Too flammable. Lead foil burqa.

Re:Face recognition (4, Interesting)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about 2 years ago | (#41567741)

How about noise and speech recognition? John lives in a house where speakers and microphones are place throughout the house. John is home alone and computer hears a loud noise. Computer "John are you alright?". Computer hears no response so computer gets John some help or computer hears John say yes and does nothing. John later decides to leave for 2 hours. When leaving the house John says leaving be back in two hours. Computer know house is empty so computer immediately reduces energy use. One hour later computer hears a noise. Computer ask what is the password. Computer hears either no response or incorrect password. Computer calls John on cell phone and lets John listen to noise. John than decides whether or not to call police. Computer hears running water but washing machine is not on so computer turns off water to that room. Computer hears smoke detector and hears the noise from fire so computer calls for help. I can think up a lot more problems a computer could help solve just by listening.

Re:Face recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41569327)

Computer hears me beating off furiously in the bathroom, and contacts the call-girl service.

Re:Face recognition (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41569543)

Computer knows I'm socially awkward and instead offers to simulate a human female's speech while reciting lines from Star Trek.

Re:Face recognition (1)

theskipper (461997) | about 2 years ago | (#41570877)

Computer contacts the police instead and you're arrested for battery.

Google Beta

Re:Face recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41571343)

Computer:

- hears you beating off in the bathroom,
- checks your bank account balance and your expenses budget up to the next paycheck, making sure you have money for the call girl,
- checks whether your mother is upstairs to make sure she won't run into the call girl (and if necessary sends her a text message telling her about the new sale at the mall to get her out of the way),
- sends e-mails or tweets to your friends informing them that you don't want to be bothered for the next couple of hours,
- contacts the call girl service.

That's Google for you!

Re:Face recognition (1)

Onymous Coward (97719) | about 2 years ago | (#41569523)

Advanced neural net-based processing has already been put to powerful use with the Proteus IV [wikimedia.org] home control system.

Re:Face recognition (1)

aurashift (2037038) | about 2 years ago | (#41570633)

See computer. See computer behave like crazy needy woman. See computer run Johns life.

Run John, run.

Bad language - anthropomorphism idiocy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41575475)

I've written signal processors that can detect different flame noises, and I've written video software that detects smoke movements.

Using emotive language and writing like this just blurs the hell out of the problem space - you have to anthropomorphize a computer before you can imagine these possible solutions?

We've tracked footsteps in 3d in a room from several people using a few mics - there are lots of applications, you don't have to pretend you're using some "meta-programmed neural net" that can understand what you want.

Re:Face recognition (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 2 years ago | (#41569749)

I like the unplug the web cam method or in case of latops black electrical tape over the camera.

Re:Face recognition (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41566997)

I don't they use this directly, rather as a method to improve their existing algorithms.

Re:Face recognition (2)

f00zbll (526151) | about 2 years ago | (#41567065)

You're joking right. Google and Apple both already have face recognition software for years. The government has been using face recognition software for years also. Using face recognition to give targeted adds will happen one day, but the infrastructure to do that at your local mall isn't there yet. NN can help improve face recognition software, though it's not really necessary. Plus it's rather easy to fool face recognition software with something called makeup.

Re:Face recognition (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#41571047)

The future is now, I guess. Despite living near one of the world's largest malls, I haven't been inside one in years... not sure if this is common or not.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/26/billboard-with-face-recognition-technology-ad-women-not-men_n_1302286.html [huffingtonpost.com]

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/03/11/db.smartsigns/ [cnn.com]

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/news/surveillance/2009-01-30-ad-privacy_N.htm [usatoday.com]

Re:Face recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567167)

More importantly, how long before it is improved enough to recognize not just cats but lolcats ?

Re:Face recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41568055)

Wtf? I work in Google ads, and I can't even imagine what you're smoking. Using face recognition software on an image of a face that we don't even have... how will this help us target ads? Users tell us explicitly what they are looking for when they type a search query. Any user-based signal is a tiny tweak to the system at best.

Re:Face recognition (1)

PieDude (2745317) | about 2 years ago | (#41568381)

Yeah right, you work in "Google ads" but forgot that Google Content Network(tm) has ads all over the internet.

Other Stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566863)

And just think about all the possibilities with facial recognition. Endless amounts of goodness right? Database of faces

Evil (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 years ago | (#41566895)

Google will be evil, and related to Wisconsin, the source of all evil, until we have COMMUNISM! That is why I do not use computers, my very cute assistant does when she is not engaged in making sexy with me.

Sucks to be siri (1, Offtopic)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41566925)

Actually Siri sucks and I hate it
The most useless feature I've tried to use

Re:Sucks to be siri (2, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | about 2 years ago | (#41566979)

Please move back into the reality distortion field.

Re:Sucks to be siri (3, Funny)

ericartman (955413) | about 2 years ago | (#41567081)

I've often wondered how "sucks" got to mean something bad.

Re:Sucks to be siri (2)

afgam28 (48611) | about 2 years ago | (#41568097)

I've often wondered how "sucks" got to mean something bad.

It's short for "sucks cock", which is basically another way of calling something gay.

Re:Sucks to be siri (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41568493)

You sir, have a very gay wife. Thank you!

Re:Sucks to be siri (2)

joocemann (1273720) | about 2 years ago | (#41568025)

"Best pasta in town" Beth barista big town

No.. "highest rated pasta". Highest raped it pasta

No.. "great italian food" great stallion fooled

Fuckit.... typing it now...

Re:Sucks to be siri (1)

hajus (990255) | about 2 years ago | (#41574441)

Why is this marked offtopic? Voice recognition is done with neural networks, the topic of the article.

Neural Network as alternative to saying "AI" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41566937)

How long before this neural network will be able to steal banking credentials and funnel money to finance its own army?

Re:Neural Network as alternative to saying "AI" (3, Informative)

lobiusmoop (305328) | about 2 years ago | (#41566985)

August 4, 1997. It's running very late.

Re:Neural Network as alternative to saying "AI" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41568757)

AI is a dead field. You can't find anyone under the age of 60 teaching "AI" anymore. The methods of machine learning are more rigorous, unlike the collection of hacks known as AI

Re:Neural Network as alternative to saying "AI" (1)

Idbar (1034346) | about 2 years ago | (#41568369)

I agree. what can you expect an AI entity to learn from watching youtube. It freaks me out.

Re:Neural Network as alternative to saying "AI" (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#41570455)

That cats are in charge.

Re:Neural Network as alternative to saying "AI" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41570553)

Perfect goatse recognition

Product name "Google Matrix" or "Google Skynet" ? (4, Funny)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about 2 years ago | (#41566943)

What is the proposed name of this, ehm, highly innovative product?

Re:Product name "Google Matrix" or "Google Skynet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567009)

Google God (Beta)

Re:Product name "Google Matrix" or "Google Skynet" (1)

santax (1541065) | about 2 years ago | (#41567455)

Google it yourself sjeeee.

Re:Product name "Google Matrix" or "Google Skynet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567155)

Google 'Iris'.

Re:Product name "Google Matrix" or "Google Skynet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567177)

"Aineko", or "Beautiful cat".

Re:Product name "Google Matrix" or "Google Skynet" (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#41568225)

Google 9000. Take that IBM. And it will not have to go to Jupiter to reveal itself.

Re:Product name "Google Matrix" or "Google Skynet" (1)

turp182 (1020263) | about 2 years ago | (#41572187)

Soylent Google I believe.

Second best option. (5, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41567011)

In AI circles, a popular saying is that Neural Networks are always the second best way to solve a problem. Its what you use when you don't want to (or don't know how to) implement a more specific approach.

Re:Second best option. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567035)

I'm absolutely clueless on artificial intelligence, but wouldn't a Neural Network with a lot of horsepower behind the scenes be a "jack of all trades, master of none" approach to solving problems? Assuming you could simply teach it whatever you wanted to utilize it for?

Called "Feeding and Housing Bionetwork" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41568793)

Artifical Neural Networks are extremely expensive and we don't really know how they work.

Compared to that, natural neural networks are moderately expensive (to the large corpos) and after some training quite efficient. We sometimes think we know how they work. At least the psycho-science says so.

I always say "how stupid can it be" when they fantasize about replacing a well-trained 100-billion neuron biological supercomputer by a brittle satcom link and a 700-neurons "AI neural network" in those imagined drone fighters. That 100 billion supercomputer can do much more complex decisions than the 700 neuron thingy (that is what we can currently pack into a drone, realistically), for very obvious reasons. Just make sure the 100 billion thing gets good training, O2, food and from time to time a complementary brain to fuck. Stick some colorful patches on the physical hull of that supercomputer and it will do the most insane things, including killing itself for the objective. They call it the "Kamikaze supercomputer". And it does not need a fecking SATCOM line in case you are up against civilized forces and not just AK47-wielding Neanderthals who can't do the most basic SIGINT and EWAR.

Any electrical engineer worth their salt can jam these drone SATCOM links with less than 500$ of parts and less than 5000 dollars worth of T&M/monitoring equipment. Same with recce sats of all kinds. I've seen it. Lots of nasty stars instead of crisp 0.5-meter resolution images.

But who said the military is a rational affair ? It's a scam for the benefit of uniformed politicos and their buddies in the MIC. Who are the same by means of revolving door.

Re:Second best option. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567047)

That's probably "don't want to". Considering they "made Google's speech recognition for U.S. English 25 percent better, and are set to be used in other products, such as image search", they're probably aiming for general solution, not specific ones.

Ability to repurpose it like this is pretty nice, I think. No quack [thedailywtf.com] .

Re:Second best option. (5, Interesting)

jkflying (2190798) | about 2 years ago | (#41567099)

Neural networks don't work as well as some specific algorithms for specific problems, but they are great generalists, so you can throw a NN at almost any problem and get at least OK results. Just like humans vs. machines, we have machines that can do things faster than us, more accurate than us, and more reliably than us, but they can't also run around a field and kick a ball and climb a tree and swim.

Re:Second best option. (1)

breakfastpirate (925130) | about 2 years ago | (#41568007)

What was that about running around a field and kicking a ball? http://www.robocup.org/ [robocup.org]

Re:Second best option. (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about 2 years ago | (#41568531)

Yup, but can it also swim and climb a tree and check on your grandmother to see if she is still alive after an earthquake? You've demonstrated my point exactly, robots can do small individual tasks, and very well, but they aren't generalists.

Re:Second best option. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41568821)

Yet

Aritifical NN != Proper Engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41568963)

As we don't really know what goes on in a reasonably complex artificial NN, they are very dangerous from an engineering perspective. They can surprise you any time. It is more Voodoo than solid engineering. As Google is largely an adbroker and lots of voodoo, I could not care less. Just make sure they don't control any live
cars with NNs.

That is what a guy from a major automotive company's research org told me 15 years ago. They had autonomous cars driving all over Germany back then, but they would not use NNs, as they are opaque and cannot be trusted to properly work under all conceivable conditions. They invented the car (not just the autonomously driving one) and they do know some stuff.

Very much like these plasma spheres which make very nice looking gas discharge glows, depending on where you put the hand. Nice to look at, not fit for any critical purpose, as there are no proper theories about it.

Re:Second best option. (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 2 years ago | (#41569069)

Neural networks don't work as well as some specific algorithms for specific problems, but they are great generalists, so you can throw a NN at almost any problem and get at least OK results.

They are only great generalists if you havent made the network too big (can't learn) or too small (sub-optimal) while also avoiding over-fitting. There is plenty of "art" in deciding on the topology of a neural network and the length of training.

I propose that Googles success in this endeavor has more to do with the size of their training set than with their methodology. Google likely has a training set hundreds or even thousands of times larger than any other training set ever compiled for the voice recognition problem.

Re:Second best option. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41568011)

True, NNs have a reputation in the AI community. However,afaik GOOG is using deep belief networks, aka DBNs which bear some resemblance to NNs but are proving to provide the best results of any technique across a wide range of applications, including vision and NLP.

Speech recognition?!? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567097)

I would think the first thing they should do would be put neural networks to use learning how to build better neural networks, then use the improved version for the same process.

Re:Speech recognition?!? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 years ago | (#41583689)

That approach only leads us to 42.

"Breakthrough" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567113)

If anybody is curious what the breakthrough is, it's just having networks learn by trying to recreate their input data (as opposed to trying to figure out some 'right answer'). Pretty obvious really.

90% accuracy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567141)

In today's news, google announced that a new algorithm has achieved a 90% success rate in identifying video's containing cats on youtube. The algo shouts "cats" every time a video is started, and since 90% of youtube video's contain cats, the algorithm has obtained a success rate of 9 in 10.

Re:90% accuracy (1)

rolodexter (1561245) | about 2 years ago | (#41567973)

In today's news, google announced that a new algorithm has achieved a 90% success rate in identifying video's containing cats on youtube. The algo shouts "cats" every time a video is started, and since 90% of youtube video's contain cats, the algorithm has obtained a success rate of 9 in 10.

haha touché

Re:90% accuracy - That would be 81% accuracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41569883)

90% of 90% would be 82% accuracy, plus 9% false negatives, plus 9% false negatives:

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Re:90% accuracy - That would be 81% accuracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41570543)

Buuut, you seem to have misread. 90% of 100%. 100% of the videos are called "cat" videos. 90% are correct. 10% are false positives.

Re:90% accuracy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41568713)

If it were random, as you are trying to imply, the success rate would still be at 50% regardless of how many of the samples were cats in the first place. You could have a sample of 100% and you would still approach 50% success rate with random chance.

I reminds me of the line from Anchor Man: Brian Fantana: They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.

Re:90% accuracy (1)

swillden (191260) | about 2 years ago | (#41570835)

If it were random, as you are trying to imply, the success rate would still be at 50% regardless of how many of the samples were cats in the first place.

If the computer calls "cat!" for every video, and 90% of the videos contain cats, then the computer would be "correct" 90% of the time, just as the GP said.

I the computer randomly called cat 90% of the time and 90% of the videos contain cats, then the probability then there are four possibilities which would occur with the following probabilities:

Video: cat, Computer: cat -- 0.9 * 0.9 = 0.81

Video: no cat, Computer: cat -- 0.1 * 0.9 = 0.09

Video cat, Computer: no cat -- 0.9 * 0.1 = 0.09

Video no cat, Computer: no cat -- 0.1 * 0.1 = 0.01

In two of those four possibilities the computer would be "correct", and summing them shows that this would happen with probability 0.81 + 0.09 = 0.9, or 90% of the time, not 50%.

You could have a sample of 100% and you would still approach 50% success rate with random chance.

Nope, still 90%, assuming the computer randomly guesses "cat" 90% of the time. Of course if all of the videos contain cats and the computer always announces "cat", it would be right 100% of the time.

I'm typing this post instead of doing my statistics homework. Hmm. Not sure what that says.

Re:90% accuracy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41571161)

Video: cat, Computer: cat -- 0.9 * 0.9 = 0.81
Video: no cat, Computer: cat -- 0.1 * 0.9 = 0.09
Video cat, Computer: no cat -- 0.9 * 0.1 = 0.09
Video no cat, Computer: no cat -- 0.1 * 0.1 = 0.01

correct are: cat/cat, no-cat/no-cat, and they (first and last) sum: 0.81 + 0.01 = 0.82, or 82% of the time, not 90% and not 50%.

Re:90% accuracy (1)

swillden (191260) | about 2 years ago | (#41571619)

LOL. I added the wrong rows. Guess I need to *do* my statistics homework. It seemed surprising to me that it came to 90%; my intuition said it should be less, but I didn't pause long enough to see where I went wrong. Thanks :-)

Re:90% accuracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41569825)

Up next, predicting the weather.

Re:90% accuracy (1)

previewlounge (1511931) | about 2 years ago | (#41577103)

or 8.9 ... YMMV.

Oh, yum, even better spying.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567267)

Google's main product is supplanting ECHELON for the NSA, so well done for making that more productive. Thanks from (the rest of) the developed world..

Well, Your Choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41569039)

Why do you use Google Mail, why do you use it w/o an anonymizer, why don't you purge your cookie list every day ?

Because you are a lazy fuck who would trade your mother for convenience.

Google is the NSA Front Office for all the cretinous people who like to be assfucked and controlled 100% of time. Those who eat all the TERRORIZM propaganda. Those who hand-wring about Nazi-time warfare, but who happily eat the whole "need some war quickly" propaganda menu of the Virginia Mafia and the Jerusalem Crooks.

This seems familiar (1)

Andrio (2580551) | about 2 years ago | (#41567417)

"My CPU is a neuro net processor, a learning computer."

Re:This seems familiar (1)

afgam28 (48611) | about 2 years ago | (#41568175)

Who would have thought that SkyNet's original application was to detect lol cats.

Re:This seems familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41569379)

"My CPU is a neuro net processor, a learning computer."

I'm glad you said, I won't have known otherwise:-)

Mmmm... (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41567477)

enough power that they could learn to recognize cats

How many more nodes can they add before it wants to know what they taste like?

Re:Mmmm... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 years ago | (#41567521)

Hopefully it will quickly realize it can just Google this question and find out they taste like chicken!

Re:Mmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41568349)

Taste like chicken is like the "cowboy neal" answer in a slashdot poll. Any generic non-red meat like substance would taste like chicken as there are no other more suited answers. More likely so in a NN with limited outputs.

Re:Mmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41573999)

Nah, it's so that it can learn to create cat pictures and videos, which is needed to solve the "peak cat" [scientificamerican.com] problem.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567481)

Everybody's beating around the bush on this so I'm going to say it right out in the open, this sounds like skynet...

Head tilt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41567593)

The image of the ideal face stimulus in the article
http://www.technologyreview.com/files/92225/google.machine.learning2.jpg

contradicts the head tilt research in this paper:
http://www3.canisius.edu/~noonan/research/researchreports/human_head_tilt.htm

Or maybe we tilt the camera further to the left than our heads to the right...

It's happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41569841)

And thus Skynet was born..

Can anyone tell me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41569987)

why the we use the phrase 'souped-up'? I could understand 'suped up' as in 'super' but, to misquote Tina Turner, what's soup got to do with it?

Re:Can anyone tell me (2)

Fnkmaster (89084) | about 2 years ago | (#41570225)

Googled that for you:
http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-sou4.htm [worldwidewords.org]

Etymology dates to horse racing from the early 20th century, when horses would be injected with mysterious liquids ("soups") to improve their performance in races.

Surprised it took this long (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41570025)

I'm surprised because a few years there was a Google Tech Talk by Geoff (sp?) Hinton. He demonstrated a few techniques and showed excellent results in computer vision and document categorisation.

Although maybe Google have been using Neural Networks for years, and are only now hearing about this slightly silly use.

"recognize cats just by watching YouTube" (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#41570691)

I know that if I were a mad scientist working Google, the first thing I'd do would also be to build an artificial sentience and show it mankind's collection of cat videos. I mean who wouldn't?

Re:"recognize cats just by watching YouTube" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41573971)

Or show it Leisure Suite Larry 30. Mwa ha ha ha ha.

Proper application (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41571143)

When will this neural network be put to the task of building more effective neural networks?

Why neural networks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41571355)

The 80s are over, so why use tech from then? I could think of a dozen techniques (SVMs, baysian nets, ELMs...) that routinely beat the crap out of neural networks in terms of both accuracy and practicallity. In fact the only real advantage I can see for NNs is the cool sounding name. So why?

(and yes, I a a researcher in machine learning)

Re:Why neural networks? (2)

SnowZero (92219) | about 2 years ago | (#41575485)

Well, the 90s are over too, and we have larger datasets now. With "large scale" SVMs still being measured in 10s of thousands of examples, you can see why companies with 4 orders of magnitude more *users* (let alone data items to classify) would need to use better scaling techniques. The older algorithms, when coupled with more modern minimizers, tend to fare well in comparison to the much smaller models you can train with more advanced techniques.

Also, as a researcher, you should recognize the adage about the actual order of importance for getting machine learning to work:
(1) picking the right features.
(2) getting enough data
(3) the learning algorithm

People love to talk at length about picking "the best" #3, when really you need to consider answers for #3 that let you do well on #2 and #1.

While I was a bit surprised to hear this Google project used networks (though not backprop trained NNs btw, which was the 80s fad), Andrew Ng is on the author list and he's a pretty smart guy (if you've done anything with reinforcement learning in the past 10 years you've probably run across his work). So I'm pretty sure they considered various options before they built something to run on 16K cpu cores.

You can read the ICML paper here:
http://research.google.com/pubs/pub38115.html [google.com]

Funny and true (1)

epSos-de (2741969) | about 2 years ago | (#41574141)

This explains who was watching all of those cat and kitten videos on Youtube.

Google and 16,000 processors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41578881)

Is Google run by a neural network?

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