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Smart Panel Ponders AI's Future

Artificial intelligence may be 5-10 years out
12/9/2014 07:40 AM EST
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TanjB
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Re: Other use cases
TanjB   12/10/2014 8:46:25 PM
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@Jessica, back to your question about use cases.

What passes for AI today is still quite rudimentary, maybe about the complexity of an insect although with quite different abilities.  There are specialized areas of competence such as voice recognition, image anaysis, search, vehicle driving, flying, task completion, puzzle solving, maths and physics, etc.  Each of these little islands, which are quite complex and usually proprietary (algorithms may be known, but training sets are not shared), tends to get wired together to solve what one company or another hopes will be enough of a patchwork to satisfy some real world scenario.  And some do.  You can get reasonable help from Alpha on your physics or math homework, Watson might be able to give medical insights, and several of them can do tasks like juggle your schedule, or understand your probable references in a question about what restaurant to book for dinner on your anniversary.  A few companies (Google, Mercedes, Toyota, Tesla, ...) have pretty interesting autonomous vehicle capabilities.

We are a long way though from anything as versatile, adapted, or useful as Jeeves in Ironman.  Or Cortana in her future role saving the universe.  It isn't just a question of scale.  We really have little traction in unsupervised learning, which is key to versatility and dealing with the real world.  The advances in this area have been technically great but nothing an ordinary person would find interesting or useful.  Until then, we will probably continue to see just increasing numbers of fairly constrained scenarios addressed where the markets suspect there is money to be made on a mixture of curated cores, human designed workflows, and augmented by learning from lots of user activity so long as the activity can correctly be evaluated for scoring how to improve.

Most of these scenarios are ones where the user community is eager enough to jump in and provide that experience learning curve.  As in so many other parts of the Web these days, the user is often the product.

krisi
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Re: Other use cases
krisi   12/10/2014 2:23:13 PM
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Very good point @TanjB...my apologies to Cortana...I guess I would need to have a MIcrosoft phone to try it out and this is not going to happen

TanjB
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Re: Other use cases
TanjB   12/10/2014 2:17:06 PM
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Well, you should try something before you claim to know about it.  Otherwise, no "perhaps" is deserved.

Cortana technology is defintely modern AI.  The AIs in the market now have different goals.  Watson and Cortana are not competing at present.  Maybe Watson overlaps a little with Wolfram Alpha, although Alpha stands alone in trying to work with a heavy investment in covering only human trained answers and rules.  All the rest mix a core of supervised learning used to anchor broad unsupervised content.  Cortana, Siri, and Now are quite similar in goals but have very different training sets and will have differences in the scenarios which they cover best.

It is still early days.

krisi
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Re: Other use cases
krisi   12/10/2014 1:40:03 PM
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I have not tried Cortana as I try to stay away from Microsoft products as much as I can being burned very badly in teh past...so perhaps I am biased here...but I have much more faith in IBM or Apple products...could be just my perception not expression of the actual product value

Jessica Lipsky
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Re: Other use cases
Jessica Lipsky   12/10/2014 1:24:35 PM
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I guess it depends on how you define intelligence/how much marketing BS you can slog through.

IBM and Apple products are better, surely, but Cortada is a more effective "intelligent" personal assistant, wouldn't you agree? Siri still can't get me home through traffic effectively...

krisi
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Re: Other use cases
krisi   12/9/2014 6:51:00 PM
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I am sorry Jessica but Microsoft or any of its products will never belong to the class of inteliggent devices ;-)...IBM Watson, Apple Siri, Sentien Computers, maybe...but not Microsoft, they will be still trying to sell us Microsoft office 10 years down the road

Jessica Lipsky
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Other use cases
Jessica Lipsky   12/9/2014 12:37:24 PM
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I'm curious what a consumer-facing use of AI would be. Microsoft would like to poise its Cortada system as intelligent - and it's pretty smart! - but is that enough?

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