Archive for January, 2015

Rumsfeld Conundrum- Finding the Unknown Unknown

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Since we began the process of building applications using our AI engine, we have order generic zoloft been focused on working with ideas or concepts. With BrainDocs we built intelligent agents to find and score similarity for ideas in paragraphs, but still fell short of the vision we have for our solution. Missing was an intuitive and visual UI to explore content interactively using multiple concepts and  metadata (like dates, locations, etc). We want to give our users the power to create a rich and personal context to power through their research. What do I call this?

Some Google research led me to a great visualization and blog by David McCandless on the Taxonomy of Ideas. While the words in his viz are attributes of ideas, not the ideas themselves, it got me thinking in different ways about the problem.

Taxonomy of Ideas

If you substitute an idea (product or problem) in David’s matrix and add the dimension of time, you create a useful framework. If the idea above was “car”, then the top right might be Tesla and bottom left a Yugo (remember those?). Narrow the definition to “electric car” or generalize to “eco-friendly personal transportation” and the matrix changes. But insert an unsolved problem and now you have trouble applying the attributes. You also arrive at an innovator’s dilemma (not the seminal book by Clayton Christensen), the challenge of researching something that hasn’t been labeled and categorized yet.

Ideas begin in someone’s head. With research, debate, and engineering, they become products. Products have labels and categories that facilitate communication, search and commerce. The challenge for idea search on future problems is that the opposite occurs: products are not yet ideas and the problems they solve may not have been defined yet. If I may, Donald Rumsfeld nailed the problem with this famous quote:

“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

And if it’s an unknown unknown, it certainly hasn’t been labeled yet so how do you search for it? Our CEO Walt Diggelmann used to say it this way, “ai-one gives you an answer to a question, you did not know that you have to ask….!

Innovators work in this whitespace.

If you could build and combine different intelligent (idea) agents for problems as easily as you test different combinations of words in a search box, you could drive an interactive and spontaneous exploration of ideas. In some ways this is the gift of our intelligence. New ideas and innovation are in great part combinatorial, collaborative and stimulated by bringing together seemingly unrelated knowledge to find new solutions.

Instead of pumping everything into your brain (or an AI) and hoping the ideas pop out, we want to give you the ability to mix combinations of brains, add goals and constraints and see what you can create. Matt Ridley termed this “ideas having sex”. This is our goal for Topic-Mapper (not the sex part).

So what better place to apply this approach than to the exploration of space? NASA already created a “taxonomy of ideas” for the missions of the next few decades. In my next blog I’ll describe the demo we’re working on for the grandest of the grand challenges, human space exploration.

Tom

AI, AGI, ASI, Deep Learning, Intelligent Machines.. Should you worry?

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

If the real life Tony Stark and technology golden boy, Elon Musk, is worried that AI is an existential threat to humanity, are we doomed? Can mere mortals do anything about this when the issue is cloaked in dozens of buzzwords and the primary voices on the subject are evangelists with 180 IQs from Singularity University? Fortunately, you can get smart and challenge them without a degree in AI from MIT.

There are good books on the subject. I like James Barrat’s Our Final Invention and while alarmist, it is thorough and provides a guide to a number of resources from both sides of the argument. One of those was the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI) founded by Eliezer Yudkowsky. This book was recommended on the MIRI website and is a good primer on the subject.

Smarter Than Us by Stuart ArmstrongSmarter Than Us – The Rise of Machine Intelligence by Stuart Armstrong can also be downloaded at iTunes.

“It will sharpen your focus to see AI from a different view. The book does not provide a manual for Friendly AI, but its shows the problems and it points to the 3 critical things needed. We are evaluating the best way for ai-one to participate in the years ahead.” Walt Diggelmann, CEO ai-one.

In Chapter 11 Armstrong recommends we take an active role in the future development and deployment of AI, AGI and ASI. The developments are coming; the challenge is to make sure AI plays a positive role for everyone. A short summary:

“That’s Where You Come In . . .

There are three things needed—three little things that will make an AI future bright and full of meaning and joy, rather than dark, dismal, and empty. They are research, funds, and awareness.

Research is the most obvious.
A tremendous amount of good research has been accomplished by a very small number of people over the course of the last few years—but so much more remains to be done. And every step we take toward safe AI highlights just how long the road will be and how much more we need to know, to analyze, to test, and to implement.

Moreover, it’s a race. Plans for safe AI must be developed buy generic zoloft before the first dangerous AI is created.
The software industry is worth many billions of dollars, and much effort (and government/defense money) is being devoted to new AI technologies. Plans to slow down this rate of development seem unrealistic. So we have to race toward the distant destination of safe AI and get there fast, outrunning the progress of the computer industry.

Funds are the magical ingredient that will make all of this needed research.
In applied philosophy, ethics, AI itself, and implementing all these results—a reality. Consider donating to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI), the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI), or the Center for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER). These organizations are focused on the right research problems. Additional researchers are ready for hire. Projects are sitting on the drawing board. All they lack is the necessary funding. How long can we afford to postpone these research efforts before time runs out? “

About Stuart: “After a misspent youth doing mathematical and medical research, Stuart Armstrong was blown away by the idea that people would actually pay him to work on the most important problems facing humanity. He hasn’t looked back since, and has been focusing mainly on existential risk, anthropic probability, AI, decision theory, moral uncertainty, and long-term space exploration. He also walks the dog a lot, and was recently involved in the coproduction of the strange intelligent agent that is a human baby.”

Since ai-one is a part of this industry and one of the many companies moving the field forward, there will be many more posts on the different issues confronting AI. We will try to keep you updated and hope you’ll join the conversation on Google+, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. AI is already pervasive and developments toward AGI can be a force for tremendous good. Do we think you should worry? Yes, we think it’s better to lose some sleep now so we don’t lose more than that later.

Tom

(originally posted on www.analyst-toolbox.com)

ai-one and the Machine Intelligence Landscape

Monday, January 12th, 2015

In the sensationally titled Forbes post, Tech 2015: Deep Learning And Machine Intelligence Will Eat The World, author Anthony Wing Kosner surveys the impact of deep learning technology in 2015. This is nothing new for those in the field of AI. His post reflects the recent increase in coverage artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and companies are getting in business and mainstream media. As a core technology vendor in AI for over ten years, it’s a welcome change in perspective and attitude.

We are pleased to see ai-one correctly positioned as a core technology vendor in the Machine Intelligence Landscape chart featured in the article. The chart, created by Shivon Zilis, investor at BloombergBETA, is well done and should be incorporated into the research of anyone seriously tracking this space.

Especially significant is Zilis’ focus on “companies that will change the world of work” since these are companies applying AI technologies to innovation and productivity challenges across the public and private sectors. The resulting solutions will provide real value through the combination of domain expertise (experts and data) and innovative application development.

This investment thesis is supported by the work of Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in their book “The Second Machine Age”, a thorough discussion of value creation (and disruption) by the forces of innovation that is digital, exponential and combinatorial. The impact of these technologies will change the economics of every industry over years if not decades to come. Progress and returns will be uneven in their impact on industry, regional and demographic sectors. While deep learning is early in Gartner’s Hype Cycle, it is clear that the market value of machine learning companies and data science talent are climbing fast.

This need for data scientists is growing but the business impact of AI may be limited in the near future by the lack of traditional developers who can apply them. Jeff Hawkins of Numenta has spoken out on this issue and we agree. It is a fundamentally different way to create an application for “ordinary humans” and until the “killer app” Hawkin’s speaks about is created, it will be hard to attract enough developers to invest time learning new AI tools. As the chart zoloft online shop shows, there are many technologies competing for their time. Developers can’t build applications with buzzwords and one size fits all APIs or collections of open source algorithms. Technology vendors have a lot of work to do in this respect.

Returning to Kosner’s post, what exactly is deep learning and how is it different from machine learning/artificial intelligence? According to Wikipedia,

Deep learning is a class of machine learning training algorithms that use many layers of nonlinear processing units for feature extraction and transformation. The algorithms may be supervised or unsupervised and applications include pattern recognition and statistical classification.

  • are based on the (unsupervised) learning of multiple levels of features or representations of the data. Higher level features are derived from lower level features to form a hierarchical representation.
  • are part of the broader machine learning field of learning representations of data.
  • learn multiple levels of representations that correspond to different levels of abstraction; the levels form a hierarchy of concepts.
  • form a new field with the goal of moving toward artificial intelligence. The different levels of representation help make sense of data such as images, sounds and texts.

These definitions have in common (1) multiple layers of nonlinear processing units and (2) the supervised or unsupervised learning of feature representations in each layer, with the layers forming a hierarchy from low-level to high-level features.

While in the 4th bullet this is termed a new field moving toward artificial intelligence, it is generally considered to be part of the larger field of AI already. Deep learning and machine intelligence is not the same as human intelligence. Artificial intelligence in this definition above and in the popular press usually refers to Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). AGI and the next evolution, Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI) are the forms of AI that Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk are worried about.

This is powerful stuff no question, but as an investor, user or application developer in 2015 look for the right combination of technology, data, domain expertise, and application talent applied to a compelling (valuable) problem in order to create a disruptive innovation (value). This is where the money is over the new five years and this is our focus at ai-one.

Tom