Daniel Rocha <danieldi...@gmail.com> wrote:

> There isn't,though, any meaningful advance in AI for decades. What happens
> is the massive feed of data for very repetitive tasks in a very narrow
> field of expertise.
>

Your information is out of date. It is true there was little progress for
many decades, and for a while in the 1990s and early 2000s, progress was
mainly from massive databases. That is how Google made progress in machine
translation, for example. However, in the last 5 or 10 years, there have
been breakthroughs in neural network technology. It has been improved with
multi-level networks, where one network produces output for another, which
passes output to another, and so on. This has resulted in things like AI
programs that recognize a photo of a cat taken from just about any angle,
and programs that can even synthesize a generalized image of a cat. These
programs work much better than previous ones. Previous ones would look at
something like a meaningless pattern of stripes or dots and indicate that
was a picture of a giraffe (or some other off the wall choice).

Neural networks go way back in AI research, but in previous implementations
they were only one layer deep. For a long time, the neural network approach
was more or less abandoned. Until someone thought of the multi-level
improvement.

The results of the new approach are dramatic. They include things like the
program that beat the world's best Go player, and a dramatic improvement in
the quality of Google translate. Do a search for:

google translate improved with neural networks

. . . and you will find many articles about this. Such as: "The Great AI
Awakening:"

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/14/magazine/the-great-ai-awakening.html

The article quotes a translation of this sentence in Spanish by Borges:

Uno no es lo que es por lo que escribe, sino por lo que ha leĆ­do.

The old Google translate system rendered this:

One is not what is for what he writes, but for what he has read.


The new one:

You are not what you write, but what you have read.


That's astounding.

- Jed

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