Watson, an artificial intelligence program created by IBM (and named after Thomas J. Watson, IBM's founder, not Sherlock Holmes's roommate), is designed as a question-and-answer bot, able to interpret and respond to questions posed in normal human language patterns. The natural use for such a program is, of course, the greatest game show that ever was or ever will be: Jeopardy!. In February, Watson will be facing off against two of Jeopardy!'s toughest competitors ever: Ken Jennings, whose 74-day winning streak was the longest in the show's history, and Brad Rutter, whose $3.3 million winnings are the show's highest.
Artificial intelligence has long been the overarching vision of computing, always the goal but never within reach. But using memristors from HP and steady funding from DARPA, computer scientists at Boston University are on a quest to build the electronic analog to a human brain. The software they are developing – called MoNETA for Modular Neural Exploring Traveling Agent – should be able to function more like a mammalian brain than a conventional computer.
Today, a company called Intellitar is set to release Virtual Eternity, a bit of software that purports to create a digital clone of a person for posterity's sake. Theoretically, you'll be able to create an interactive video of yourself that can answer questions and respond to conversation with an AI-powered personality based on your own.
Believe it or not, your robots may soon be lying to you. But you don’t have to take our word for it; Georgia Tech researchers, with funding from the Office of Naval Research, have been toying with algorithms that allow a robot to determine whether or not it wishes to deceive another robot or human, and then to carry out a deceptive strategy to that end.
Neural networks -- collections of artificial neurons or nodes set up to behave like the neurons in the brain -- can be trained to carry out a variety of tasks, often having something to do with pattern or sequence recognition. As such, they have shown great promise in image recognition systems. Now, research coming out of the University of Hong Kong has shown that neural networks can hear as well as see. A neural network there has learned the features of sound, classifying songs into specific genres with 87 percent accuracy.
The pursuit of machine intelligence means we have to come up with ways to communicate with our computers in a way both entities can understand. But while computers process verbal commands in a straightforward fashion, humans tend to use more sophisticated speech forms, employing slang or symbols to convey an idea. So an Israeli research team has developed a machine algorithm that can recognize sarcasm.
DARPA's ardent desire to realize every sci-fi concept ever dreamed of continues with a biologically-inspired computer project which aims for feline brain functionality. But this time it's pinning its hopes on memristor devices which can simulate the behavior of biological synapses in the brain.
Want to know what a jam session between Jack White and Stevie Ray Vaughan might have sounded like, or how Billie Holliday would interpret the latest dreck from Avril Lavigne? Advances in artificial intelligence are resurrecting musical legends of the past, tapping into old recordings to establish a musician's style and personality, then applying those attributes to newer recordings of old songs, or even to songs the musician never played before.
PopSci talks to the designer behind the game's dynamic AI and sandbox galaxies
By John Scott LewinskiPosted 01.29.2010 at 12:01 pm 10 Comments
Mass Effect 2
Bioware's Mass Effect 2 is amongst the handful of video games that generate the same buzz for hardcore players as a major feature film would for genre fans. As it rolls into stores around the world this week, the sequel to the popular blend of action shooter and role-playing game packs new features expanding the capabilities of the title, the genre and the game industry.
Many next-gen supercomputers try to imitate how brain cells communicate and build digital versions of neural networks. Now the BBC brings word of the most ambitious project yet -- a "wet computer" that will literally simulate neurons and signal processing on the chemical level.