Artificial Intelligence in Industry with Dan Faggella (artificial intelligence)
Technology Meta-trends and a Bird's Eye View of the Singularity

Today we have a guest who has interviewed more futurists than anyone else I know. While at TechEmergence a lot of our interviews focus on executives in AI, Nikola Danaylov has had the pleasure of interviewing some of the finest futurists and forward-thinking minds in the world, including Ray Kurzweil, Verner Vinge, Marvin Minsky, and many others. We speak today about the trends he’s seen aggregated (if any) amongst futurists, and about how technology may be dragging us farther into a transhuman future, whether that be closer to a utopia or a dystopia.

Direct download: Nikola_Dana_Mixed.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 7:58pm PDT

Machine Learning Not a Crystal Ball, But It Brings Clarity to Investment Decisions

Tad Slaff is the founder of Inovance, the creator of TRAIDE - a strategy creation platform that use machine learning algorithms to help traders uncover patterns in assets and indicators and build more reliable trading strategies. In this episode, Tad speaks about the state of machine learning in finance today, and touches on how future applications of machine learning and trends may alter what gives an edge to one hedge fund or institutional investor over another.

Direct download: Tad_Slaff.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

How Gaming Could Win Us More Adaptable Artificial Intelligence

It’s more common to ask what AI can to do to win at games, but it’s less common to ask what games can do to help develop AI. This is a particularly fitting topic after Google’s DeepMind’s defeat of Go, and in this episode we talk with New York University’s Julian Togelius about his research in how games can help us develop AI. We discuss how simple AI has been used in more common video games; the ‘smoke and mirrors’ effect that is more often used to mimic AI; and the more innovative ways that AI are being used in gaming at present, setting precedents for the future role of AI in gaming.

Direct download: Julian_Togelius_new.mp3
Category:Artificial Intelligence -- posted at: 4:03pm PDT

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