Eric Schmidt Says Artificial Intelligence Making “Real Progress”

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erby Angela Guess

Micah Singleton recently wrote for The Verge, “Eric Schmidt is all in on artificial intelligence. In an op-ed for the BBC, the highly opinionated Google — and soon to be Alphabet — chairman wrote that we’re closer than ever before to true artificial intelligence, and that continued research into its development will have positive side effects that will benefit the public. In his piece, Schmidt notes that AI-related research hit an inflection point a few years ago, after a team led by Geoff Hinton, a leader in artificial neural networks, was able to dramatically improve on speech recognition, and helped improve Google’s efforts by 25 percent, a jump that would’ve taken years of research. Schmidt also noted that consumer interest in technologies that could actively solve real-world issues gave way to increased research into AI.”

Schmidt reportedly wrote, “And it’s been accelerated by tackling real-world problems: how do you build a system that recognizes speech in 58 languages? How do you find someone’s first photo of their golden retriever when it’s never been labelled? (These aren’t just rhetorical questions; the Google app and Google Photos do this, and many other companies are working on similar real-world applications of machine learning). In other words, the same consumer needs that gave rise to the web and the cloud computing that powers it – people wanting to get any question in the world answered or communicate effortlessly across languages – were what refreshed and refocused the basic research in AI.”

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photo credit: Flickr/ dsearls

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