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Posts Tagged ‘AI’

Chinese Growth Spurt

Posted by hkarner - 17. September 2018

September 14, 2018

So it is with China. We hear a lot about that vast country’s problems and challenges. They are very real and could have major consequences… which we will explore soon… but there’s good news, too. We reviewed some of it last week in China’s Command Innovation. Today, we’ll add a few more positive data points.

This letter will be a little different than most. Below you’ll read several short vignettes about positive events in China. They aren’t necessarily related and won’t build to any particular conclusion. My goal is simply to demonstrate that China has good news, and even some fabulously great news, much of it quite compelling. Whether it is enough to overcome the challenges is a different question we will address next time. And frankly, the manner in which they are growing clearly makes Western countries uncomfortable, as it is not our usual playground.

First, a quick aside. We have been making an aggressive effort to keep the main body of this letter around 3,000 words, a length most people can read in a few minutes. We’ve had good feedback on it, too. Then in my personal section, I share a great story from Art Cashin from last Monday night. So you can read either part of this letter, or both, as you wish. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Human Promise of the AI Revolution

Posted by hkarner - 16. September 2018

Date: 15-09-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Kai-Fu Lee

Artificial intelligence will radically disrupt the world of work, but the right policy choices can make it a force for a more compassionate social contract.

Artificial intelligence is a technology that sparks the human imagination. What will our future look like as we come to share the earth with intelligent machines? Our minds gravitate to extremes, to the sharply contrasting visions that have captured public attention and divided much of the technological community. As a longtime AI researcher and venture capitalist in China and the U.S., I’ve observed these two camps across continents and over many decades.

Utopians believe that once AI far surpasses human intelligence, it will provide us with near-magical tools for alleviating suffering and realizing human potential. In this vision, super-intelligent AI systems will so deeply understand the universe that they will act as omnipotent oracles, answering humanity’s most vexing questions and conjuring brilliant solutions to problems such as disease and climate change.

But not everyone is so optimistic. The best-known member of the dystopian camp is the technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, who has called super-intelligent AI systems “the biggest risk we face as a civilization,” comparing their creation to “summoning the demon.” This group warns that when humans create self-improving AI programs whose intellect dwarfs our own, we will lose the ability to understand or control them. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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AI may not be bad news for workers

Posted by hkarner - 16. September 2018

Date: 14-09-2018
Source: The Economist: Bartleby

A new report argues that it can help them with their jobs

A SPECTRE is haunting workers—the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). The fear is that smart computer programs will eliminate millions of jobs, condemning a generation to minimum-wage drudgery or enforced idleness. Never mind the robots, fear the software.

There is no need to be so gloomy, say Ken Goldberg of the University of California, Berkeley, and Vinod Kumar, the chief executive of Tata Communications, a unit of India’s biggest business house (which stands to profit from the spread of AI). They have produced a report* that is much more optimistic about the outlook for ordinary employees. In many cases, it says, job satisfaction will be enhanced by the elimination of mundane tasks, giving people time to be more creative.

Their views are backed up by a survey of 120 senior executives, conducted for the report, which found that more of them (77%) thought that AI would create new roles than believed it would replace existing positions (57%; respondents could choose both options). Extra skills may be needed to cope with the new technology and more than half of the bosses are already taking steps to train their workforces. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Joseph Stiglitz on artificial intelligence: ‚We’re going towards a more divided society‘

Posted by hkarner - 10. September 2018

Date: 09-09-2018
Source: The Guardian by Ian Sample Science editor

The technology could vastly improve lives, the economist says – but only if the tech titans that control it are properly regulated. ‘What we have now is totally inadequate’

Main image: ‘All the worst tendencies of the private sector in taking advantage of people are heightened by these new technologies’ … Joseph Stiglitz.

It must be hard for Joseph Stiglitz to remain an optimist in the face of the grim
future he fears may be coming. The Nobel laureate and former chief economist at the World Bank has thought carefully about how artificial intelligence will affect our lives. On the back of the technology, we could build ourselves a richer society and perhaps enjoy a shorter working week, he says. But there are countless pitfalls to avoid on the way. The ones Stiglitz has in mind are hardly trivial. He worries about hamfisted moves that lead to routine exploitation in our daily lives, that leave society more divided than ever and threaten the fundamentals of democracy.

“Artificial intelligence and robotisation have the potential to increase the productivity of the economy and, in principle, that could make everybody better off,” he says. “But only if they are well managed.”

On 11 September, the Columbia University professor will be in London to deliver the latest lecture in the Royal Society’s You and AI series. Stiglitz will talk about the future of work, an area where predictions have been frequent, contradictory and unnerving. Last month, the Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, warned that “large swathes” of Britain’s workforce face unemployment as AI and other technologies automate more jobs. He had less to say about the new positions AI may create. A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers in July argued that AI may create as many jobs as it destroys – perhaps even more. As with the Industrial Revolution, the misery would come not from a lack of work, but the difficulty in switching from one job to another. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Notes from the frontier: Modeling the impact of AI on the world economy

Posted by hkarner - 6. September 2018

Artificial intelligence has large potential to contribute to global economic activity. But widening gaps among countries, companies, and workers will need to be managed to maximize the benefits.

The role of artificial intelligence (AI) tools and techniques in business and the global economy is a hot topic. This is not surprising given that AI might usher in radical—arguably unprecedented—changes in the way people live and work. The AI revolution is not in its infancy, but most of its economic impact is yet to come.

New research from the McKinsey Global Institute attempts to simulate the impact of AI on the world economy. First, it builds on an understanding of the behavior of companies and the dynamics of various sectors to develop a bottom-up view of how to adopt and absorb AI technologies. Second, it takes into account the likely disruptions that countries, companies, and workers are likely to experience as they transition to AI. There will very probably be costs during this transition period, and they need to be factored into any estimate. The analysis examines how economic gains and losses are likely to be distributed among firms, employees, and countries and how this distribution could potentially hamper the capture of AI benefits. Third, the research examines the dynamics of AI for a wide range of countries—clustered into groups with similar characteristics—with the aim of giving a more global view.

The analysis should be seen as a guide to the potential economic impact of AI based on the best knowledge available at this stage. Among the major findings are the following:

  1. There is large potential for AI to contribute to global economic activity
  2. A key challenge is that adoption of AI could widen gaps among countries, companies, and workers Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Models Will Run the World

Posted by hkarner - 22. August 2018

Date: 21-08-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Steven A. Cohen and Matthew W. Granade

The software revolution has transformed business. What’s next? Processes that constantly improve themselves without need of human intervention.

Marc Andreessen’s essay “Why Software is Eating the World” appeared in this newspaper Aug. 20, 2011. Mr. Andreessen’s analysis was prescient. The companies he identified— Netflix , Amazon, Spotify—did eat their industries. Newer software companies—Didi, Airbnb, Stripe—are also at the table, digging in.

Today most industry-leading companies are software companies, and not all started out as such. Aptiv and Domino’s Pizza, for instance, are longstanding leaders in their sectors that have adopted software to maintain or extend their competitive dominance.

Investors in innovative companies are now asking what comes next. We believe a new, more powerful, business model has evolved from its software predecessor. These companies structure their business processes to put continuously learning models, built on “closed loop” data, at the center of what they do. When built right, they create a reinforcing cycle: Their products get better, allowing them to collect more data, which allows them to build better models, making their products better, and onward. These are model-driven businesses. They are being created inside incumbents and startups across a range of industries. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The World Economic Forum warns that AI may destabilize the financial system

Posted by hkarner - 16. August 2018

Date: 16-08-2018
Source: Technology Review

Increased use of machine learning and cloud services could make the financial world more vulnerable.

Artificial intelligence will reshape the world of finance over the next decade or so by automating investing and other services—but it could also introduce troubling systematic weaknesses and risks, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Compiled through interviews with dozens of leading financial experts and industry leaders, the report concludes that artificial intelligence will disrupt the industry by allowing early adopters to outmaneuver competitors. It also suggests that the technology will create more convenient products for consumers, such as sophisticated tools for managing personal finances and investments.

But most notably, the report points to the potential for big financial institutions to build machine-learning-based services that live in the cloud and are accessed by other institutions. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Artificial intelligence tool ‚as good as experts‘ at detecting eye problems

Posted by hkarner - 14. August 2018

Date: 13-08-2018
Source: The Guardian

Machine-learning system can identify more than 50 different eye diseases and could speed up diagnosis and treatment

The AI system developed by DeepMind with Moorfields eye hospital and University College London is capable of referring patients with 94% accuracy.

A new machine-learning system is as good as the best human experts at detecting eye problems and referring patients for treatment, say scientists.

The groundbreaking artificial intelligence system, developed by the AI-outfit DeepMind with Moorfields eye hospital NHS foundation trust and University College London, was capable of correctly referring patients with more than 50 different eye diseases for further treatment with 94% accuracy, matching or beating world-leading eye specialists.

“The results of this pioneering research with DeepMind are very exciting and demonstrate the potential sight-saving impact AI could have for patients,” said Prof Sir Peng Tee Khaw, the director of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields eye hospital and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Real Payoff From Artificial Intelligence Is Still a Decade Off

Posted by hkarner - 10. August 2018

Date: 10-08-2018
Source: Foreign Policy By  Edoardo Campanella

The robot revolution hasn’t started yet.

It has been 21 years since IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer checkmated chess champion Garry Kasparov, marking a historic moment in the development of artificial intelligence technologies. Since then, artificial intelligence has invaded everyday objects, such as cell phones, cars, fridges, and televisions. But the world economy seems to have little to show for the proliferation of smartness. Among advanced economies, productivity growth is slower now than at any time in the past five decades. National GDPs and standards of living, meanwhile, have been relatively stagnant for years.

This situation poses something of a riddle: Previous waves of technical innovation have come with rising productivity and, in turn, leaps forward in economic growth and well-being. For example, once electricity became widespread in the United States in the 20th century, labor productivity started growing at an annual rate of 4 percent—almost four times higher than the current rate.

There are two schools of thought about today’s productivity puzzle. On the one hand are techno-pessimists, such as Northwestern University professor Robert Gordon, who believe that today’s technologies are the issue. The six innovations that powered economic growth from 1870 to 1970—electricity, urban sanitation, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, the internal combustion engine, and modern communications technologies—the thinking goes, were simply more transformative than, say, Siri. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Google’s Duplex AI Scares Some People, but I Can’t Wait for It to Become a Thing

Posted by hkarner - 9. August 2018

Date: 08-08-2018
Source: Scientific American

Google’s new assistant sounds almost scarily human

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” Arthur C. Clarke famously wrote. That line must have zoomed through 5,000 audience brains when, at Google’s developer conference in May, CEO Sundar Pichai demonstrated a new artificial-intelligence product called Google Duplex.

What Duplex does is to make reservations at restaurants and hair salons—by placing a phone call to their human receptionists. It perfectly impersonates a human voice, complete with “ums,” hesitations and realistic inflections. Here’s an excerpt from the demo:

Duplex AI: “Hi. I’m calling to book a woman’s haircut for a client. Um, I’m looking for something on May 3?”

Human receptionist: “Sure. Give me onnne second….”

AI: “Mm-hmm.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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