A YEAR IN REVIEW
As anticipated by experts,
2017 was a remarkable year
for Artificial Intelligence as
interest by industry and
government intensified and
funding for research
increased. Here’s a recap on
where AI went this year.
A Rand Corporation study released in November
warns that a delay in allowing autonomous vehicles
(AVs) on the road may result in thousands of
needless deaths. AV advocates argue that as soon as
machine drivers perform even marginally better than
humans, they should be allowed to replace humans in
order to statistically reduce crashes. Heeding this
reasoning, Congress unanimously approved
legislation to streamline the introduction of AVs
onto the nation’s freeways.
A scientific paper published in November announces
that an algorithm called CheXNet ” . . . can detect
pneumonia from chest X-rays at a level exceeding
practicing radiologists.” The paper reports that
average human radiologists were bested by AI in
specificity and sensitivity. Meanwhile, AI is helping
human diagnosticians keep their edge through
crowdsourcing via the smartphone app, Human Dx.
Though Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn
committed in 2010 to deploy one million robots in its
factories, it has only deployed 40,000 so far. To
accelerate the transition, Foxconn is teaming with
Landing.ai to make better use of advances in
artificial intelligence. Machine learning will be
implemented for such labor-intensive tasks as visual
inspection of printed circuit boards and adjusting the
configuration of injection-molding equipment.
Slaughterbots, a short video released by the Future of
Life Institute, portrayed swarms of AI-piloted mini-
drones dispatched to assassinate specific individuals,
targeting their victims by utilizing pattern recognition
algorithms to identify their faces. This isn’t far from
present-day reality, as already the military is testing
autonomous drone swarms released by fighter jets on
simulated anti-insurgency missions. Stuart Russell, a
computer science professor at Berkeley University,
warns that the window is “closing fast” for banning the
spread of autonomous killer robots.
In August, participants at NASA’s Frontier Development
Laboratory showcased an algorithm used to visually
identify meteor showers in order to locate undiscovered
comets; the AI agrees with human observers 90% of the
time. This is outdone by a neural net that is examining
lunar photos to classify craters; it agrees with human
experts 98% of the time.
Clearly there are many
developments that arose in
2017, and the buzz for artificial
intelligence is sure to only get
louder in the new year. Keep an
eye on my blog for new updates
on the industry and more
history on AI tech.
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THANKS FOR READING!