The article presents an analysis on what’s trending in the world of artificial intelligence thereby providing food for thought for the developers if they would want to bet on engineering field such as artificial intelligence and develop their expertise around that.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software, and the branch of computer science that develops machines and software with human-like intelligence. Read further on the Wikipedia page. In this article, we shall primarily focus upon the software that could have human-like intelligence.
Following are some of the characteristics of AI-based software:
- Maintain ontology of knowledge representing concepts and their relationships.
- Should have algorithms focusing upon deduction, reasoning, problem solving based on the data fed into the system and take appropriate action etc.
- Should be able to learn based on the data fed into the system and update ontology and related algorithms for future actions.
- Should be able to plan and take the action based on the learning and data fed into the system
Following are some of the areas where AI is getting applied by companies such as Google, Facebook etc:
- Natural language processing to process search queries and present accurate results
- Face recognition
- Analyzing social graph
- Cyber security (many US universities such as Arizona have off late been funds from federal agencies in this field)
- Robotics (Google is doing big time investment)
AI-related Projects & Acquisitions in Recent Time
Following are some of the relevant acquisitions in the recent past that could be seen as positive movement in the area of artificial intelligence:
- Google acquired DeepMind: As reported by Techcrunch, Google acquired DeepMind to consolidate its portfolio related with deep learning where others such as IBM Watson, and Facebook’s DeepFace
- Google acquired Boston Dynamics: As reported in Techcrunch, Google acquisition of Boston dynamics can be related to strengthening their robotics portfolio. Interestingly, it also mentions that this was their 8th acquisition in the area of robotics.
- Facebook acquired Face.com: Facebook acquired Face.com and further the technology to develop a newer technology that they codenamed as “Deepface” with an objective to to detect whether two faces in unfamiliar photos are of the same person with 97.25% accuracy, regardless of lighting conditions or angles. This would consolidate Facebook position in the area of deep learning.
- Yahoo acquired LookFlow: As reported in the Techcrunch, Yahoo acquired a photo analysis/ image recognition company, Lookflow, thereby making a move the area of deep learning.
- IBM Watson: Watson is an artificially intelligent computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, developed in IBM’s DeepQA project by a research team led by principal investigator David Ferrucci. Read it further on Wikipedia page. Also, access the details on DeepQA project on its home site.
There are many more acquisitions that have happened in the recent past which I have not mentioned. But, the point that I am trying to make is the belief that all big companies (Google, Facebook, IBM, Yahoo etc) are having on artificial intelligence due to which they are putting significant investment in related areas to make sure they do not miss the bus when it arrives.
AI-related Startups & VCs
There are startups which have started showing up in the field of artificial intelligence such as deep learning. Following are some of them:
- AlchemyAPI: As per their website, they claim to be world’s most popular natural language processing service. As reported by TechCrunch, last year, they have raised a funding of $2 million to extend the capabilities of its deep learning technology that applies artificial intelligence to read and understand web pages, text documents, emails, tweets, and other forms of content.
AI-related Admissions in Top Universities
There are several students who are lining up to take AI related courses from top universities across the world. Check the post in washington-post where it is mentioned that a Stanford MOOC signed up more than 150,000 students to learn the basics of AI in 2011.