This is a popular introduction to AI by Ashley Vance, especially as it figures in Canada, as part of his Hello World series for Bloomberg. I can’t say I like the presenter’s dumbed-down style much, but because of the information the film gives it is worth watching.
It is interesting to find that Canada is at the forefront on the AI revolution and to hear from the likes of Geoffrey Hinton and Richard Sutton, besides many other younger entrepreneurs who are coming up at this time. Hinton is credited with being the daddy of AI, at least as we understand it now, and his story is interesting: he could have gone to the US, but most contracts were linked to ‘defence’ which he didn’t want to be a part of. Sutton has a similar story, born in the US, he left for Canada when the attack on Iraq took place.
This aside, the film looks at how the early pioneers had the right ideas, but didn’t have the hardware nor the big data they needed to make things work. Now, of course, they have both, and possibilities are available beyond what was even imagined.
With the beginning of machine learning we are entering a new era, where machines don’t just follow instructions, but can actually learn to do things better as they get more feedback. In nearly every case they start outstripping their initial human teachers very quickly.
The ethics of this revolution are touched on only lightly, but there are certainly questions asked about how far and in what direction this will take us. Machines can now learn to speak like us in a very short time, and together with CGI creation in films becoming more and more lifelike the worries about deep fakes must be there.
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