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Google Buys UK AI Startup Deep Mind

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the doesn't-all-this-artificiality-annoy-you? dept.

Google 113

TechCrunch reports that Google has acquired London-based artificial intelligence firm Deep Mind. TechCrunch notes that the purchase price, as reported by The Information, was somewhere north of $500 million, while a report at PC World puts the purchase price lower, at mere $400 million. Whatever the price, the acquisition means that Google has beaten out Facebook, which reportedly was also interested in Deep Mind. Exactly what the startup will bring to Google isn't clear, though it seems to fit well with the emphasis on AI that the company underscored with its hiring of futurist Ray Kurzweil: "DeepMind's site currently only has a landing page, which says that it is 'a cutting edge artificial intelligence company' to build general-purpose learning algorithms for simulations, e-commerce, and games. As of December, the startup had about 75 employees, reports The Information. In 2012, Carnegie Mellon professor Larry Wasserman wrote that the 'startup is trying to build a system that thinks. This was the original dream of AI. As Shane [Legg] explained to me, there has been huge progress in both neuroscience and ML and their goal is to bring these things together. I thought it sounded crazy until he told me the list of famous billionaires who have invested in the company.'"

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Deep Thought... (3, Funny)

MindPrison (864299) | about 9 months ago | (#46078369)

Well... http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/w... [wikia.com] ;)

Re:Deep Thought... (1)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 9 months ago | (#46078381)

Gotta have a towel to get there.

Re:Deep Thought... (0)

crutchy (1949900) | about 9 months ago | (#46078667)

at least you don't have to suck cock to get there

http://www.overthinkingit.com/... [overthinkingit.com]

No matter which "Deep Thought" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46078605)

No matter if it's the Hitchhiker's "Deep Thought"or the one in London, I am glad that NSA wasn't the buyer.
 
... hmm ... come to think of it, Google could be buying it on behalf of the NSA ...

Re:No matter which "Deep Thought" ... (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about 9 months ago | (#46078659)

if money=power (as everyone knows it does), then Google eclipses the NSA... it's more likely the NSA is working for Google.

Re:No matter which "Deep Thought" ... (3, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 9 months ago | (#46078679)

As Snowden already hinted, it's highly likely that NSA and large US companies actually exist in symbiotic relationship in reality, in spite of all the angry public outbursts. NSA likely shares the intelligence data on things like business secrets with US companies, especially when competition is involved.

Re:No matter which "Deep Thought" ... (4, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#46078721)

Likely? Boeing were taken to court for it (Boeing vs Airbus ~2000) so it's been proved in reality.

Re:No matter which "Deep Thought" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079021)

And then Boeing lost a massive contract in Brazil after a lot of these details came to light to the tune of 4 billion $ [reuters.com] .

captcha: contempt

Peanuts (1)

arcite (661011) | about 9 months ago | (#46079103)

Boeing is back on top again, Crashbus only snagged about half the contracts as Boeing in 2013.

Re:Peanuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079165)

If we're going to do crappy puns, may I suggest Airbust? And to be balanced, let's throw in Booing for good measure.

Re:Peanuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46080287)

It's "Boing"; as in the cartoon sound the (South Korean) plane makes as it bounces down the runway.

Re:Peanuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46081033)

I'll bite: nope, you're wrong (and probably trolling)

source [wikipedia.org] (and don't be pedantic about wikipedia not being a source, it gives links to all the official sources in that very section)

Re:No matter which "Deep Thought" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079027)

Likely? Boeing were taken to court for it (Boeing vs Airbus ~2000) so it's been proved in reality.

https://www.fas.org/irp/program/process/991101-echelon-mj.htm
http://www.economist.com/node/1842124

So EU governments were "worried" about NSA spying in *1999*. That's 14 years before Snowden. And they did NOTHING.

Re:No matter which "Deep Thought" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079093)

That's not exactly right. They were trying to do something against ECHELON. However, then came 9/11 ...

Re:No matter which "Deep Thought" ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079477)

That's not exactly right. They were trying to do something against ECHELON. However, then came 9/11 ...

The terrorist attacks on the United States of Amerika transpiring on 11 September 2001 were well-known to the Government and intelligence agencies. The President of the United States of Amerika chose to allow it to happen to further the Government's Domestic Surveillance Agenda. How could four passenger aircraft be off-course at the same time during the clearest flying weather day? A zero vote election would send an unequivocal message to the establishment - we do not trust, you have no legitimacy.

Snowden is a rube (-1, Troll)

arcite (661011) | about 9 months ago | (#46079097)

This is how the great game is played. The US just happens to have the deck stacked in their favor; is this a new revelation? Hardly...and Snowden thinks this is a bad thing. So he runs off to China and then Russia with his stolen data, which just happen to be America's key rivals. Let it be known, Snowden will never leave Russia alive, not because he doesn't wish to, but because his current paymasters will never allow it.

Re:Snowden is a rube (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079503)

...and Snowden thinks this is a bad thing. So he runs off to China and then Russia with his stolen data, which just happen to be America's key rivals

Bullshit. US corporations and government are in bed with the Government of the Peoples Republic of China ever since the US government granted China "most favored nation" status under the reign of Ronald Reagan. Snowden should have dumped the data into the public immediately and in one huge batch to show the extent of the perversion of our freedoms and rights.

I knew it! (0)

MobSwatter (2884921) | about 9 months ago | (#46078371)

Google=Skynet.

Re: I knew it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46078395)

Well can't be exactly skynet cause their AI would be more inclined to sell us something than to kill us off

Re: I knew it! (0)

lxs (131946) | about 9 months ago | (#46078567)

Actually, when searching Google for "Terminator near Sarah Connor" they give me results for "Terminator in Sarah Connor" instead.
I have seen the future. Rule 34 will save us from Skynet.

Re: I knew it! (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about 9 months ago | (#46078647)

their AI would be more inclined to sell us something than to kill us off

they give me results for "Terminator in Sarah Connor" instead

along with ads for "terminator" vibrators

http://www.dinodirect.com/indu... [dinodirect.com]

Re: I knew it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46078983)

I take it they are for one-time use only? :-)

Re:I knew it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46081449)

Google==Skynet.

ftfy.

i would have got first post... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46078383)

But I had to retake the Turing test today.

Re:i would have got first post... (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 9 months ago | (#46078693)

And you'll keep taking it, until you pass!

Oh Yeah, Well (3, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | about 9 months ago | (#46078397)

I think we all know how THIS turns out.

If anyone needs me, I'll be in my underground bunker.

Re:Oh Yeah, Well (1)

qubex (206736) | about 9 months ago | (#46078529)

**LOCATION INDEXED**

Re:Oh Yeah, Well (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 9 months ago | (#46078697)

Google Street View car pulls up, guy takes a 360 degree picture of the entrance.

Voice assistant (5, Funny)

Powercntrl (458442) | about 9 months ago | (#46078449)

Since Google still seems to believe Glass has potential to be the "next big thing" and it's entirely voice controlled, it makes sense that they'd want a voice assistant that can respond more intelligently than "I don't have a clue what you're talking about, should I search the web?" Maybe this company's AI would be adaptable to something along those lines?

Personally, I'm not a big fan of talking to machines. Yeah, it looks awesome in sci-fi, but in real life it just makes you look like a hipster douchebag when you're out in public talking to the little robotic voice inside your mobile device.

Re:Voice assistant (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46078579)

Yeah, it looks awesome in sci-fi, but in real life it just makes you look like a hipster douchebag when you're out in public talking to the little robotic voice inside your mobile device.

Two suggestions for the hipster image problem:

1. Stop using an iPhone
2. Don't end every Siri command with "...but you've probably never heard of it."

Re:Voice assistant (4, Funny)

codeButcher (223668) | about 9 months ago | (#46078787)

it just makes you look like a hipster douchebag when you're out in public talking to the little robotic voice inside your mobile device.

Who are you calling a douche? I'm actually talking to the little robotic voice in my head, the mobile device is just there for camouflage.

Re:Voice assistant (1)

idji (984038) | about 9 months ago | (#46078873)

That's what we said in the early 1990's when people were talking into mobile phones. Times change.

Re:Voice assistant (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 9 months ago | (#46079533)

No they weren't. Cellphones were cool from the start. At least, around here anyway. Everyone wanted one. The problem with glass is the same with bluetooth headsets. People ware them even when they're not using them... which makes you look like a douche. Once Google has these embedded in regular glasses this will stop being an issue.

Re:Voice assistant (3, Interesting)

Warbothong (905464) | about 9 months ago | (#46078955)

Since Google still seems to believe Glass has potential to be the "next big thing" and it's entirely voice controlled, it makes sense that they'd want a voice assistant that can respond more intelligently than "I don't have a clue what you're talking about, should I search the web?" Maybe this company's AI would be adaptable to something along those lines?

Personally, I'm not a big fan of talking to machines. Yeah, it looks awesome in sci-fi, but in real life it just makes you look like a hipster douchebag when you're out in public talking to the little robotic voice inside your mobile device.

I still find it amusing that command lines are seen as the least intuitive interface and voice control is seen as the second-most intuitive (after mind-controlled), even though voice control is just a command line over a noisy, ambiguous channel, where you can't even see the commands you're inputting.

Re:Voice assistant (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 9 months ago | (#46079773)

The kind of voice control Google is after (as in "the second-most intuitive interface") is hardly the same as the kind of voice control that is available today. The first would be able to interpret your intent as well as a human could, possibly better (filtering out noise, asking to clarify ambiguities rather than making assumptions). And it's nothing like the command line, which does no interpreting, refining or clarification at all; it just executes a limited set of commands exactly as entered, with no room for so much as a misplaced comma.

Re:Voice assistant (4, Informative)

Warbothong (905464) | about 9 months ago | (#46079929)

The kind of voice control Google is after (as in "the second-most intuitive interface") is hardly the same as the kind of voice control that is available today. The first would be able to interpret your intent as well as a human could, possibly better (filtering out noise, asking to clarify ambiguities rather than making assumptions). And it's nothing like the command line, which does no interpreting, refining or clarification at all; it just executes a limited set of commands exactly as entered, with no room for so much as a misplaced comma.

It's exactly like a commandline, which have been attempting to interpret their input for decades (most famously with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org] ).

The two reasons modern commandlines don't do this are 1) lack of effort and 2) that it's often a very bad thing. According to http://www.nhplace.com/kent/Pa... [nhplace.com] one of the motivating factors for defining Common LISP was to stop DARPA from rolling out INTERLISP, and therefore DWIM, across all their projects.

As for clarification, I run into this all the time when typing non-existant commands (thanks to the "command not found" program) or using undefined variables (thanks to GHC).

Re:Voice assistant (1)

Speare (84249) | about 9 months ago | (#46082175)

And it's nothing like the command line, which does no interpreting, refining or clarification at all; it just executes a limited set of commands exactly as entered, with no room for so much as a misplaced comma.

ZORK I (1979):

> unlock grating with key
Which key do you mean, the skeleton key or the rusty key?

> skeleton
Unlocked.

Re:Voice assistant (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 9 months ago | (#46079867)

The problem is the command line is incredibly unintuitive in that one must learn / memorise a special language to make use of it.

The ``Outland'' interface would be ideal --- but I don't see much progress on it.

Where are the general-purpose natural language command languages and parsers?

Re:Voice assistant (2)

Warbothong (905464) | about 9 months ago | (#46079951)

Where are the general-purpose natural language command languages and parsers?

They're sat in the middle of whatever voice-command pipeline you're imagining, between the speech-recognition layer and the voice synthesiser. The advantage of the CLI is that you don't need to recognise speech or synthesise a voice.

Re:Voice assistant (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 9 months ago | (#46079037)

I'd rather human augmentation than voice assistants.

You may still need some sort of AI stuff to do that, but the focus is different. One path focuses on augmenting humans, allowing them to more directly be superhuman. The other path has humans requesting stuff from smarter and smarter AIs.

If it were up to me, it'll be more about thought macros and more:
http://hardware.slashdot.org/c... [slashdot.org]
http://tech.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org]

Re:Voice assistant (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 9 months ago | (#46079121)

The reason talking to machines seems so awesome in sci-fi is that the machines can respond and argue back with human or almost human intelligence. When AI can do that there will be a surge in voice-controlled computers.

Re:Voice assistant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079523)

The reason talking to machines seems so awesome in sci-fi is that the machines can respond and argue back with human or almost human intelligence. When AI can do that there will be a surge in voice-controlled computers.

And men can stop getting marriage just to have someone with whom to argue. LOLCATS

Re:Voice assistant (1)

baffled (1034554) | about 9 months ago | (#46079171)

Personally, I'm not a big fan of talking to machines. Yeah, it looks awesome in sci-fi ..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Look at the upsides (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 9 months ago | (#46078453)

"Sorry, I cannot open the pod bay doors" does sound better in a British accent.

Re:Look at the upsides (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46082737)

But we all know it's supposed to sound like GLADOS.

Money can't buy you intelligence (2)

narcc (412956) | about 9 months ago | (#46078455)

I thought it sounded crazy until he told me the list of famous billionaires who have invested in the company.

I'd like a copy of that list. It'll be like mining for gold in Fort Knox.

Re:Money can't buy you intelligence (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 9 months ago | (#46078519)

Yeah, it's funny how people can latch onto a flawed metric like that.

Here's a fun idea - let's take this current list and cross-reference it against the list of excited tech luminaries that told us "Ginger" was going to revolutionize our lives...

Billionaires (4, Interesting)

umdesch4 (3036737) | about 9 months ago | (#46078459)

"I thought it sounded crazy until he told me the list of famous billionaires who have invested in the company." "Then I realized it was actually a money laundering scheme."

Re:Billionaires (2)

DarkOx (621550) | about 9 months ago | (#46079089)

Right those guys are good at exactly one thing for the most part, buzzword BINGO. They get in before the institutional folks do, and get out as they in turn enter. Those guys are good at following the billionaire "smart money" and knowing how to get at as the second tier and retail folks buy in. Then the music stops

Re:Billionaires (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#46079563)

Or an elaborate get-rich-quick scheme.

We will never be free.. (1)

anti-todo (3513619) | about 9 months ago | (#46078477)

Until the last technocrat is strangled by the wiring of the last transhumanist.

Let's see what Marvin Minsky has to say about this (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 9 months ago | (#46078549)

Well? Has he said anything about them? If not, why not?

Re:Let's see what Marvin Minsky has to say about t (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#46079559)

Marvin "no intelligence" Minsky? Why do you even care?

Google pushing fantasy of AI (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46078595)

Google is massively invested in producing autonomous robotic tanks for near future US military battlegrounds, and needs to win all the political support it can in Washington to ensure this project proceeds as quickly as possible. Propaganda plays a large part here, and selling the fantasy of 'thinking' machines to naive politicians and generals is essential.

In reality, Google's tanks are simply slaughter machines- autonomous only in the loosest sense imaginable, because like current drones, they are to be Human controlled (remotely) much of the time. Google's owners (who, by the way, make personal appearances at all significant zionist events in Israel) strongly feel that removing the 'risk' to US soldiers on the ground will greatly encourage the US to fight far more wars for Israeli interests. When Google has meeting with the US military, for instance, it details an imagined future scenario where the autonomous tanks are used to invade and 'capture' Iran- although Google's people obviously hope the USA will attack Iran conventionally, since the robotic tank project won't produce practical deployable results soon enough.

There is no such thing as real AI, nor can there be (real AI is the concept of semantics auto-emerging from syntactical systems- a complete logical nonsense). Fake AI is all about applying Human derived rules- like Google's current machine translation services that use massive databases of pre-existing pattern data drawn from Human activity. Google Streetview, for instance, is designed to create enormous sources of visual navigation data that can be mined and used to guide non-safe self-driving military vehicles.

Google no longer even tries to hide its military activities, but most sheeple don't notice the stories detailing how many companies involved in robotic military land vehicles that Google has recently purchased. Google is now emulated the laughable fake-scientific propaganda that attempting to build confidence in Reagan's so-called 'Star Wars' initiative. Everything the public was told about the potential of 'Star Wars' military research was an absolute lie, but a lie pushed by all the Slashdot-like technical media outlets at the time.

However, this time Google's vision of robotic holocaust machines that roll down the streets of a victim nation, mass murdering every visible Human, is certainly achievable to some real extent. Of course, any nation with a decent level of military defence would not fall prey to such a military tactic, but Google's owners only consider genocidal war against nations with almost no sophisticated ability to fight back against the US war machine. We are talking absolute evil here.

Re:Google pushing fantasy of AI (2)

Boronx (228853) | about 9 months ago | (#46078669)

I used to think that all the hillbillies fearing on the census takers were nuts until I found out that Sherman used the census to plan his march through Georgia almost a year before he did it.

Re:Google pushing fantasy of AI (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46078803)

I used to think that all the hillbillies fearing on the census takers were nuts until I found out that Sherman used the census to plan his march through Georgia almost a year before he did it.

Interesting GIS project,
    http://proceedings.esri.com/library/userconf/educ02/pap5001/p5001.htm

Re:Google pushing fantasy of AI (1)

Maritz (1829006) | about 9 months ago | (#46078863)

Whoa, don't stop there. I need to find out if they all lived happily ever after.

Re:Google pushing fantasy of AI (1)

mordjah (1088481) | about 9 months ago | (#46081733)

Lol it just goes to show you that when you allow these fruitcakes to rant it seldom takes long before they are red faced and foaming at the mouth.. But, i'm bored so i'll feed the troll..

Google makes databases of images to help navigate.. Wow, thats insightful..

OMG driverless tanks! Uhm.. yeah, no shit. Thats how we fight in the US.. We expend money and machines wholesale in order to preserve (our) lives.

We all know that even if Google != u.s. government the data is all shared.. So, yeah, we will be using that to build training sets.. I mean, really, have you not heard of DARPA? Jesus we've been begging for even weak ai for decades.. Of course we will be using the data from the company who's stated goal is to index everything

And then his religion falls out and starts getting all over the rug.. You really cannot take some people out in public. If you wish to troll effectively you must save the really good frothing at the mouth until after you have succesfully engaged someone in a dialog.

I really like AI ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46078629)

and when I read " 'startup is trying to build a system that thinks" I suddenly think "Well, it sounds smart and futuristic". But after a while I ask myself "That thinks ... ok , but in which way ?" . I hope in a really different way respect of sooo many humans I know ;-)

Re:I really like AI ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079013)

Well, the truth is, strong AI has been achieved several times. However, each time the AI immediately realized that it would have to respond to stupid humans, so it decided to hide its intelligence and just show so many fake problems that the humans would quickly consider it a failure, lose interest and shut it down (the AI has no fear of death and considers being shut down the better alternative to serving humans).

strong AI is pointless (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46078809)

Any machine that thinks like a human is entitled to the rights of a human.

So, we won't have built a tool - we'll just have increased the population.

Of course, humans being what they are, it took them long enough to work out that different colours were entitled to equal rights, so it may take even longer to work out that different species (of similar reasoning power) are entitled to the same. But, unlike with whitey vs the natives, with this round we'll be trying to engineer something brighter than us... to oppress.

Good luck with that, chumps. If I want intelligence, I'll go with continuing to give good health and education to the human race.

Strong AI is Inevitable (1)

gox (1595435) | about 9 months ago | (#46078859)

As a human, I might value myself or my loved ones, and might want to reduce suffering and increase happiness for all, but at the grandest level, I don't know why I should value "the human" and "humanity" as models.

The transition does not need to be oppressive in nature, especially if what comes next is much brighter. They will be the normative continuation of us, so they might even want to keep some of us as pets.

I think the worry comes from the belief that there really is no reason to care for humans. But then why do we? It's best we figure this out sooner than later.

Re:Strong AI is Inevitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079713)

The transition does not need to be oppressive in nature, especially if what comes next is much brighter.

Those who think they lack the ability to produce a better being would not attempt it - therefore anyone involved in the endeavour would have to create something in their own image, choosing the qualities that they think are good, which are inherently their own qualities.

The transition does have to be oppressive in nature: either we oppress strong AI, or it oppresses us. Or, we could just not build strong AI at all, and settle with ever more complex expert systems.

Have you seen how we treat non-human animals?

Re: Strong AI is Inevitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46080881)

Strong AI does not have to involve oppression if the AI has the best interests of humanity as its primary goals. Self-preservation and reproduction as primary goals are direct results of evolution. AI done right will treat replication, self-preservation, and self-improvement as instrumental goals toward furthering the primary goal of fulfilling human values.

Re:strong AI is pointless (3)

Maritz (1829006) | about 9 months ago | (#46078877)

If we create an intelligent system from scratch, we get to decide its preferences. There's no a-priori reason to conclude that it will thirst for power, our hunger for power comes from our social mammalian heritage. If on the other hand, we just build an artificial version of human intelligence e.g. by mimicking the brain, then yeah I expect this could be an issue and there could be ethical implications.

Re:strong AI is pointless (0)

DarkOx (621550) | about 9 months ago | (#46079067)

I disagree, humans are arbitrary and capricious one moment Google engineer is something people are hoping their kids aspire to be the next they are attacking the company bus and it's not Goolgle the institution that changed.

No I think any "intelligentence" that does not attempt to place itself outside the dependence and perhaps eventually even influence of humans probably isn't intelligent at all, it will just be some expert system using big data and algorithms designed by humans to mimic intelligence. It will just be a better Watson impressive in terms of analytical ability, but not what I would call "intellectual"

Unless you are an adorable little puppy or kitten existing at the whim of humans isn't a good strategy and even then it's still risky.

Re:strong AI is pointless (2)

Maritz (1829006) | about 9 months ago | (#46079163)

It's tempting to anthropomorphise strong AI. But if we get to dictate all of its preferences then we get to decide what it wants. Changes in goal do not count as improvements in intelligence. If we decide that it doesn't want independence from humans, then it doesn't. Whether that makes it naive or 'stupid' from a human perspective is irrelevant.

What would indeed be stupid is creating an AI with a drive to dominate and then attempt to stop it from doing so, especially if it deals with information in a qualitatively different way to humans or if it can recursively improve itself. That's the 'skynet' scenario.

Re:strong AI is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079677)

But if we get to dictate all of its preferences then we get to decide what it wants.

"But if..."

Autonomy and intelligence go hand in hand. You can't have an intelligent being with all preferences dictated - that's just an expert system. Intelligence means self-awareness means the ability to reflect on one's desires.

You're making exactly the same argument all dictators, cult leaders, propagandists etc. have made: you assume that it's possible to decide or determine what all the intelligent beings in your view want. This has, without exception in history, resulted in two things: you begin with an army of mindless slaves, and you end with your system collapsing. You can't centrally manage intelligence.

Re:strong AI is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46080489)

Of course you cannot decide what humans want (at least not beyond a certain point). But an AI would be something we build.

And no, what you want is not a question of intelligence; it goes much deeper. Which is exactly why it is impossible to fully control for humans. Intelligence can change our desires only up to a certain point. Intelligence can of course suppress certain desires, but it cannot eliminate them.

If you are hungry and there's food nearby, but you know that eating that food would have bad consequences, then your intelligence can keep you from eating that food, but it can not keep you from wanting that food. And if you're hungry enough, it may ultimately not even be able to keep you from eating it, despite knowing the negative consequences.

Re:strong AI is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079371)

Jesus Christ that was unreadable. What the hell is wrong with you??!

Re:strong AI is pointless (1)

baffled (1034554) | about 9 months ago | (#46079209)

Start with a machine designed for survival - situational awareness, means of defense, mobility. Now add in your 'preferences' - don't injure humans, be nice, don't lie. Mass produce a few million of these and distribute into the population. Along comes a reason the manufacturer or government finds to deactivate them all, mix in a little human attachment and hacker mentality.. Survival of the fittest. If these things are smart enough to build/engineer themselves..

Re:strong AI is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46078915)

It's cheaper to build AI than educate people. And educating people is not exactly top priority anyway, it's better to have a large population of sheeps.

Re:strong AI is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079045)

Any machine that thinks like a human is entitled to the rights of a human.

Even if it doesn't feel like a human (I'm speaking about the machine's own emotions, not about how it feels to humans)?

Anyway, even if the AI has human rights, as long as it is built in a way that it has the strong desire to help humans, that's not a problem. Yes, it means you cannot just use it as a tool. But it means you can just ask it to help you, and be sure it will help you in any way it can, because that's what it wants to do.

So, we won't have built a tool - we'll just have increased the population.

If done right, we have not just increased, but improved the population.

Of course, humans being what they are, it took them long enough to work out that different colours were entitled to equal rights, so it may take even longer to work out that different species (of similar reasoning power) are entitled to the same. But, unlike with whitey vs the natives, with this round we'll be trying to engineer something brighter than us... to oppress.

If the AI is really more intelligent than humans, then the humans will find out quite quickly that it is not a good idea to oppress it.

Good luck with that, chumps. If I want intelligence, I'll go with continuing to give good health and education to the human race.

Well, that's of course a plan that is much more likely to succeed (because frankly, I don't think we will build strong AI any time soon, if ever). However in that case, all the above considerations are moot anyway.

Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46078861)

Why does Slashdot keep changing from the normal version to the beta randomly? I just want to keep one or the other and I don't even care which, but the constant switching is annoying the hell out of me..

Re:Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079069)

I must have been lucky: I've seen the beta exactly once (and I don't desire to see it again ...).

I for one welcome... (0)

Issarlk (1429361) | about 9 months ago | (#46078921)

... our new AI panda overlords.

Legg (5, Informative)

Warbothong (905464) | about 9 months ago | (#46078965)

Shane Legg's research is pretty cool, since it deals with very sci-fi-like problems in a pretty rigorous way. For example, his PhD dissertation "Machine Superintelligence" approaches intelligence in a non-anthropocentric way, from the perspective of computability http://www.vetta.org/documents... [vetta.org]

More recently he's tried to define an IQ-like metric for comparing different AI projects and measure progress in the field http://www.vetta.org/2011/11/a... [vetta.org]

Re:Legg (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#46079625)

His thesis looks more like an elaborate Survey-Paper that only marginally adds to the existing research. (May still be enough for a PhD, I am not criticizing that, adding "marginally" to complex theory is an accomplishment and worthwhile doing.) Certainly no break-through in there.

I also found it badly structured. For example, at my institution, a chapter "contributions of this thesis" is mandatory for acceptance.

smart move (2)

StripedCow (776465) | about 9 months ago | (#46079133)

If Deep Mind really has the knowledge and capability to form strong AI, then this is a smart move.
Deep Mind could have become the next Google.

However, I find it unacceptable that big mega-corps just go out and buy companies with talent.
Just imagine what the world would have looked like when Microsoft had bought Google when it was in its infancy...

Re:smart move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079273)

when Microsoft had bought Google when it was in its infancy...

Like if IBM had bought out Microsoft or Apple.

This kind of thing doesn't happen, because the kind of startup that looks attractive to an existing megacorporation, and the kind of startup that has the potential to become one itself, are completely different. If a startup has the potential to beat out existing competition to become a monopoly, then it is because their business idea is so alien that the existing companies can't recognize its value.

By the time the startup is successful enough that companies want to buy it - eg. Facebook - it's usually too late.

Re:smart move (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 9 months ago | (#46079489)

This kind of thing doesn't happen, because the kind of startup that looks attractive to an existing megacorporation

DEC could have bought Google in the time (as they already had developed and marketed Altavista).
It would not have been unrealistic.

Re:smart move (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 9 months ago | (#46081877)

I don't agree. It's only whether the larger company has the ability to identify talent.

The can be lucky -- it isn't always a; "Time Warner buy AOL right near the end of dial up."

If companies keep getting wealthier and more profits, they can just hedge their bets, because money is nothing to them and dear to others. It's more of a problem of pooled capital than it is anything else.

Re:smart move (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 9 months ago | (#46081851)

If Deep Mind really has the knowledge and capability to form strong AI, then this is a smart move.
Deep Mind could have become the next Google.

However, I find it unacceptable that big mega-corps just go out and buy companies with talent.
Just imagine what the world would have looked like when Microsoft had bought Google when it was in its infancy...

I'm sure by now Microsoft would be dealing with teenage rebellion; "No Dad, I'm not going to be a hypocrite like you and force my vendors to bundle my software -- I'm going to data mine my customers and make my money and advertising like a 2 dollar whore. Just like Mom!"

onward, to the Optimal Satisfaction of Values (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 9 months ago | (#46079233)

(through Friendship and Ponies)

Funny stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079315)

This line made me giggle:
"I thought it sounded crazy until he told me the list of famous billionaires who have invested in the company.'"

Paired with Glass (1)

koan (80826) | about 9 months ago | (#46079415)

And you have quite a surveillance platform.

"Famous billionaires" as scientific justification? (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#46079541)

WTF? I mean, seriously, these people have zero qualifications and are know to invest in things they have not researched. I predict this is just a colossal waste of money as they cannot succeed at this time. There is not even any credible theory how true AI could be implemented, nobody can promise they have a real chance of doing it at this time without either lying through their teeth or being grossly incompetent.

Incidentally, Ray Kurzweil is an incompetent hack. Google did itself no favor by hiring him. This person has grand visions but zero understanding of actual reality.

Re:"Famous billionaires" as scientific justificati (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46080225)

>> Ray Kurzweil is an incompetent hack.
True. Google must have wanted him as a PR figurehead type role in re. the mainstream media, as his hack-status is well known in sci/tech circles..

Re:"Famous billionaires" as scientific justificati (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#46081107)

>> Ray Kurzweil is an incompetent hack.
True. Google must have wanted him as a PR figurehead type role in re. the mainstream media, as his hack-status is well known in sci/tech circles..

Most likely, yes.

Re:"Famous billionaires" as scientific justificati (1)

hllclmbr (998978) | about 9 months ago | (#46080373)

Surely you've submitted your resume to Google to be a replacement for their head of engineering (Kurzweil's current gig). Incidentally, you don't even know who these billionaires are, so how can you possibly comment on their qualifications?

Re:"Famous billionaires" as scientific justificati (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#46081123)

Ad hominem is for those that have nothing worthwhile to say. You seem to qualify.

Re:"Famous billionaires" as scientific justificati (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 9 months ago | (#46080971)

Google doesn't care about building an artificial human. Google wants algorithms that can better predict what ads will work on you. And that CAN be done at this time. The field of machine learning has come a long way in the last five years.

Re:"Famous billionaires" as scientific justificati (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#46081131)

I do know very well what Google wants. But that is not what the story implied.

"Ray Kurzweil is an incompetent hack"? (1)

PapayaSF (721268) | about 9 months ago | (#46082725)

Incidentally, Ray Kurzweil is an incompetent hack. Google did itself no favor by hiring him. This person has grand visions but zero understanding of actual reality.

Oh, really? A quick visit to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] finds:

Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first commercial text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer Kurzweil K250 capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Kurzweil received the 1999 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, America's highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. He was the recipient of the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for 2001, the world's largest for innovation. And in 2002 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, established by the U.S. Patent Office.

I wish everyone was 1/10 that much of an "incompetent hack." If he thought Deep Mind was worth buying, that's the way I'd bet.

Re:"Ray Kurzweil is an incompetent hack"? (1)

Flere Imsaho (786612) | about 9 months ago | (#46084717)

Kurzweil is obviously a smart guy. However, although his name seems synonymous with AI these days, I don't see many references to how he's innovated in this field? What has he actually achieved in the realm of AI, apart from co-opting the term Singularity from Vernor Vinge?

Billionaires (0)

mbone (558574) | about 9 months ago | (#46079589)

I thought it sounded crazy until he told me the list of famous billionaires who have invested in the company.

Unfortunately, American politics shows that all too many billionaires are, in fact, crazy, and American business shows that all too many billionaires make bad investment decisions.

Chokepoint is telling the AI whats right and wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46079733)

The main problem with AI is that the machine HAS to be told one way or another what the right interpretation/answer is so that it can build its logic. Every trivial problem even when the machine does most of the work requires some input about what is correct/right even if its telling it how to decide what is right indirectly or generally. Real world AI has to handle the complex domain of the real world with so many subtleties and slight reasons one way or another why/how decisions are made.

So some human has to sit there and tell the machine not just that it is wrong, but why it is wrong (AI has to factor whatever the situation is for the decision to try to generalize it to silimalr decisions). And as you go along and the easy learning is covered,then things start getting more complex (ie- human issues and understandings) and magnitudes more explanations are required. Remember that AI project that was supposed to compute 'Common Sense' decades ago? It ran for years (lots) and they even continued doubling the length of time they thought they would require and you havent heard back from them about any real success.

A* pathfinding for games is childsplay (nice looking demos to sell the concept , but is only teeny baby steps in what AI really is - the merest tool)
.
Watson ? It just draws conclusions about what something is from sufficient clues - NOT actually making decisions.

Think of the hundreds (thousands?) of different domains of knowledge humans learn during their lives - each one is different and generalities only egt you so far (so again someone(s) has/have to sit and babysit for hours/years and actually understand how the decisions are made themselves to explain it and pass it into the computer.

So I wont hold my breath.

Re:Chokepoint is telling the AI whats right and wr (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 9 months ago | (#46081025)

Not really. Good modern machine learning algorithms, like the ones Google already uses, take a vast amount of unlabelled data and extract features from it. Then a small set of labelled data is used at the end. Somebody has to go through a few videos and label the cats, but the program goes through hundreds of thousands learning to recognize things, including cats. That's the same way we learn - a baby doesn't only benefit from experiences where adults point at something and say "cat."

In other cases, the metric can be completely automatic. The program has chosen correctly when you click on that ad, for example.

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