Artificial Intelligence in Industry with Dan Faggella (artificial intelligence)
Is Embodied Intelligence a Necessity for Flexible, Adaptive Thinking?

What is intelligence? For some researchers, it may be quite possible to create an intelligent machine ‘in a box’, something without physical embodiment but with a powerful mind. Others believe general intelligence requires interaction with the outside world, inferring information from gestures and other features of functioning in an environment. Dr. Vincent Müller is of the belief that intelligence may involve more than just mental algorithms and may need to include the capacity to sense rather than just run a program. Vincent focuses on cognitive systems as an approach to AI, and in this episode he talks about what this means and implies, how this approach is different from classical AI, and what this might permit in the future if the field is developed.

Direct download: Vincent_Mueller.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 11:42am PDT

The Rise of Neural Networks and Deep Learning in Our Everyday Lives

How do neural networks affect your life? There’s the one that you walk around with in your head of course, but the one in your pocket is an almost constant presence as well. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Yoshua Bengii about how the neural nets in computer software have become more ubiquitous and powerful, with deep learning algorithms and neural nets permeating research and commercial applications over the past decade. He also discusses likely future opportunities for deep learning in areas like natural language processing and individualized medicine. Bengio was a researcher at Bell Labs with Yann LeCun and Geoffrey Hinton, now at Facebook and Google respectively, and was working on neural nets before they were the "cool" new AI technology that they're seen as today.

Direct download: Yoshua_Bengio.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

Fear Not, AI May Be Our New Best Creative Collaborators

Statements about AI and risk, like those given by Elon Musk and Bill Gates, aren’t new, but they still resound with serious potential threats to the entirety of the human race. Some AI researchers have since come forward to challenge the substantive reality of these claims. In this episode, I interview a self-proclaimed “old timer” in the field of AI who tells us we might be too preemptive about our concerns of AI that will threaten our existence; instead, he suggests that our attention might be better  honed in thinking about how humans and AI can work together in the present and near future.

Direct download: Jim_Hendler.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Open-Minded Conversation May Be Our Best Bet for Survival in the 21st Century

Few astrophysicists are as decorated as Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, who was a primary contributor to the big-bang theory and named to the honorary position of UK's astronomer royal in 1995. His work has explored the intersections of science and philosophy,  as well as human beings’ contextual place in the universe. In his book "Our Final Century", published in 2003, Rees warned about the dangers of uncontrolled scientific advance, and argued that human beings have a 50 percent chance of surviving past the year 2100 as a direct result. In this episode, I asked him why he considers AI to be among one of the foremost existential risks that society should consider, as well as his thoughts around how we might best regulate AI and other emerging technologies in the nearer term.

Direct download: Martin_Rees.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 9:12pm PDT

Putting the Art in Artificial Intelligence with Creative Computation

When we think about AI, we often think about optimizing some particular task. In most circumstances through computation there is an optimal chess move, or an optimal way to determine pattern in data, or solve a math problem, or route info through servers. Most of us are aware of these uses, but what about creative tasks? Can these also be optimized? If we want to give a computer information and tell it to create powerpoint slides, is there an optimal way to create such slides? Dr. Philippe Pasquier’s computational research is focused on artificial creativity. In this episode, we talk about how to define a very new field, train machines in this area, and also discuss trends and developments that might permit such technology to thrive in the next 10 years.

Direct download: Philippe_Pasquier_1.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 4:00am PDT

AT&T Predicts Future, Save Service with Machine Learning

We’ve featured a number of artificial intelligence researchers on the show, but today we switch gears and dive into the business side of the industry. In this episode, Dr. Mazin Gilbert (who earned his PhD in Engineering) breaks down AT&T’s efforts to make more intelligent systems large-scale. How do they train their network to route traffic through the right nodes on holidays, when certain areas of traffic are overloaded? How can a system know, based on signals from hardware, which pieces might be going bad and need replacing and send out a message to alert the company? Making a network ‘aware’ is a large challenge, but Mazin gives an insider’s perspective as to how economic and business pressures are driving AT&T to implement machine learning technologies in order to remain profitable.

 

Direct download: Mazin_Gilbert.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Snuggle up with Technology, But Don't Leave Empathy in the Cold

Are we losing something with technology? There are two sides to every argument, including this one. Dr. Sherry Turkle is of the belief that there’s enough mounting scientific evidence that points toward loss of empathy and self knowledge due to increasing interaction with machines. In this episode, we discuss Dr. Turkle’s research and her subtle fears for the future, particularly of those about machines that replicate emotions or conversation but that don’t actually feel anything - is the ability to form real connections between two beings at risk of being lost?

Direct download: Sherry_Turkle.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Putting the Horse Before the Cart May Lead the Way to Artificial General Intelligence

A lot of AI applications are not really “smart”, at least not in the sense of the word as most humans might envision a true artificial intelligence. If you know how Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov, for example, then you may not believe that Watson is a legitimate thinking machine. Our guest this week, Dr. Pei Wang, is of the belief that building a Artificial “General” Intelligence (AGI), what researchers define as an entity with human-like cognition, is a separate question from figuring out AI applications in the more narrow sense. In this episode, Dr. Wang lays out three differentiating factors that separate AGI from AI in general, and also talks about three varied and active approaches being taken to try and accomplish AGI.

Direct download: PeiWang.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

Seeing the World through Machine Eyes - with Dr. Irfan Essa

Most of us forget that just about a decade ago, Facebook’s software was incapable of tagging people in a photo, but today can so without difficulty, sometimes without us even knowing. Machine vision has progressed to the point where it’s also common for computers to be able to pick out dogs from cats in images, another task that was not possible 10 years ago.

In this episode, we talk with Dr. Irfan Essa, an expert in Computer Vision at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech), about progress made in machine vision over the last 10 years, related projects in the works today, and where machine vision may be headed in the next decade.

Direct download: Irfan_Essa.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 6:00am PDT