April 04, 2017

Emergent // Future - Siri-ously, Neural Lace, AI #FAIL, and Deep Learning DDR

Issue 46
This week we check out
the future of work, why Elon's freaked out about AI, learn that we shouldn't let AI cook for us, and how deep learning is learning to dance. Plus our favorite reads and some projects to try at home.

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 Siri-ously, I welcome our robot overlords

You might have heard Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is "not worried at all" about robots displacing human jobs in the near future.

Mnuchin said he wasn't concerned about the effects of automation, both with physical machines and artificial intelligence, on jobs.

Others say the robots are coming whether Mnuchin says so or not.

But did you know... Elon Musk is on a billion-dollar crusade to stop the A.I. apocalypse? Musk is famous for his futuristic gambles, but Silicon Valley’s latest rush to embrace artificial intelligence scares him. And he thinks you should be frightened too.

Then again, Musk’s latest startup wants to merge human brains with computers. He’s pursuing "neural lace" technology, where tiny electrodes are implanting in the brain in order to (one day) upload and download thoughts.​


A scientist is trying to teach a neural network to cook. Janelle Shane started plugging in cookbooks to see if her neural network could learn food and cooking associations, like pasta goes in water, yogurt needs to be strained, and gelatinous dogs are gross.

The results are hilariously bad.

Sweatin' to the Oldies

A machine learning algorithm watched 35 hours of Dance Dance Revolution gameplay to understand the music and corresponding 350,000 dance steps in order to learn how to create dances of its own.

Researchers combined recurrent and convolutional neural networks to learn to predict steps based on the difficulty of the song.

What We're Reading

  • The High-Speed Trading Behind Your Amazon Purchase. Beneath the placid surface of product pages lies an unseen world of bots, algorithms, flash crashes and fierce competition. (Wall Street Journal)
  • A.I. versus M.D.  What happens when diagnosis is automated? (The New Yorker)
  • Cars and second order consequences. There are two foundational technology changes rolling through the car industry at the moment; electric and autonomy. (Benedict Evans)
  • Scaling Deep Learning on an 18,000 GPU Supercomputer. It is one thing to scale a neural network on a single GPU or even a single system with four or eight GPUs. But it is another thing entirely to push it across thousands of nodes. (The Next Platform)
  • Apple’s AI Director: Here’s How to Supercharge Deep Learning. Ruslan Salakhutdinov, who leads Apple’s AI efforts, says emerging techniques could make the most popular approach in the field far more powerful. (MIT Technology Review)​

Things To Try At Home

Emergent // Future is a weekly, hand-curated dispatch exploring technology through the lens of artificial intelligence, data science, and the shape of things to come. 

Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up to Emergent // Future here.

Follow @EmergentFuture for more on frontier technology

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Matt Kiser

Matt Kiser

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