Humanity’s New Brains.
Today I celebrate the state of AI and how fast it seems to be moving in recent years.
Did you know you can now send Google a picture, and its AI will tell you whats in it? (along with its degree of confidence)
You can test the system for free on that site, but if you want
to use it for bulk requests, they charge for the service.
Go on, try it now.
It recognized most, but not all, stuff I chucked at it – including drawings and CG artwork I made myself.
Its not perfect but it is very impressive.
Now whats particularly interesting is this service is a API. If you can afford it, you can write software that makes use of its recognition powers.
It will enable robot builders to give their creations some knowledge about whats in their environment. Not just the size or shape of a object – but what the object actually is.
AR apps would benefit similarly by this increased context. Whats being looked at? (is this a appropriate place for this type of Pokemon?)
Google Alphabet isn’t the only company in this space. Pretty much any company with any sense is working on machine learning of some sort.
To my knowledge though, this is first public API for this usage.
Additionally google have also recently used a AI to reduce their energy usage;
They are sharing the results with other tech firms, which is a pleasingly common trend. (almost as if smart companies realize that the condition of the world is more important then tiny competitive edges)
The details of the AI implementation isn’t so important here, but it shows we are starting to see a wide range of practical applications for machines that have been trained, rather then programmed.
I see a lot of what humanity invents as force multipliers.
Devices that let us have bigger results for less effort.
These AI’s I thus see as a force multiplayer for thinking – allowing correlations and deductions to be made automatically, with little or no effort from humans needed once set up.
As the use-cases spread further I see AIs being used to solve more and more of the worlds problems, the potential is vast.
And while of course there will be dangers too, they don’t come from the AIs themselves, but rather from humans training them for nefarious purposes. So we might well one day face a stock market crash due to AI activity, or a power grid shut down.
We will also, however, have deceases cured, Co2 levels reduced, and all manor discoveries and inventions we cant yet conceive of today.
Humanity has expanded its memory with writing, its sight with telescopes and microscopes, and “its voice” with telecommunications. Now, soon humanity will expand its thinking in the same way – and the effects might be just as far reaching.