Artificial Intelligence in Industry with Dan Faggella
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

Brain Gains on the Road to Mapping a Personal Connectome

It goes without saying that the brain is difficult to understand, with the billions of neurons, fine individual synapses between each neuron, and the different regions responsible for the innumerable behaviors exhibited by human beings. A new burgeoning and promising intermediary field called Connectomics is making waves in mapping the brain and figuring out how these various connections work together to make us sentient. In this episode with Dr. Olaf Sporns, who is in part credited with coming up with the term Connectomics, we explore the progress that’s been made in this new field in the past decade, and take a tentative but hopeful look ahead at what the next decade might bring as the field progresses into its adolescence.

Direct download: Olaf_Sporns.mp3
Category:Neuroscience -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Deciphering the Discovery Engines that Decipher Our Digital Wants and Needs

Ever had the perfect book recommended to you by Amazon or gave a pleasantly-surprised thumbs up for a song selected for you by Pandora? Both services are powered by recommendation engines, which are gaining steam int he commercial space. In this episode, we speak with Entrepreneur Raefer Gabriel, who works for Delvv on the commercial applications of recommendation engines. We talk about how this technology works, and how it comes to learn from reviews, ratings, and consumer interactions. Gabriel also gives perspective on how these engines might be enhanced and applied in the future, a good topic for those of you in the startup world.

Direct download: Raefer_Gabriel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PDT

When Many Intelligent Agents are Better than One

The beauty of a platform like eBay is that you can set a price that you’re willing to spend and let eBay do the bidding long after you’ve left the site. What if, in similar fashion, your washing machine could turn on and serve up clean clothes once it had found the cheapest rate and time of day by autonomously communicating with local electricity providers?

In this episode, we discuss multi-agent intelligent systems with Computer Scientists Dr. Mehdi Dastani, who provides a perspective on how this emerging dynamic technology is changing the landscape of how and how companies and governments operate, allowing for greater systemic change that might not be possible otherwise.

Direct download: Mehdi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am PDT

A Global Call to Ban Autonomous Killer Robots for Good

Over the last decade, many first-world militaries have developed, and in some cases deployed, autonomous “killer”  robots. Some proponents believe that such robots will save human lives, but another side believes that an accidental arms race of this type would yield long-term detriments that outweigh any good. University of Sheffield’s Dr. Noel Sharkey stands by the latter argument.

As Cofounder for the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, he has spent a good part of the last decade trying to create an international ban on such robots. In this episode, he speaks about the developments in the domain of autonomous killer robots, as well as how groups of global leaders might come together to convince nations and other global policy platforms to adhere to such an agreement for the benefit of all humankind.

 

Direct download: NoelSharkey-_11616_2.10_PM.mp3
Category:Robotics -- 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

Have you ever seen a humanoid robot and felt creeped out? In this episode, we talk with Robotics Engineer Derek Scherer about the psychology of the uncanny valley and our relationships with robots. Scherer talks about the factors in robotics that tend to spook people and provoke a feeling of disgust, and how we might be able to move beyond this resistance as they become a more active part of the social fabric of our society.

Direct download: Derek_Scherer.mp3
Category:Robotics -- posted at: 8:00am PDT