#441 December 17, 2015 – AI Just Got a Lot Smarter

This week’s headline story: AI Just Got a Lot Smarter

robotToday’s artificial intelligence may not be that clever, but it just got much faster at learning. A program designed by a trio of researchers can now recognize and draw handwritten characters after seeing them only a few times, just as a human can. And can do it so well that people can’t tell the difference. The findings, published in the journal Science, represent a major step forward in developing more powerful computer programs that learn in the ways that humans do. “For the first time, we think we have a machine system that can learn a large class of visual concepts in ways that are hard to distinguish from human learners,” states study coauthor Joshua Tenenbaum from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Humans Take Note: Artificial Intelligence Just Got a Lot Smarter [NewsFactor]

Other Headline News…

  • XPRIZE Offers $7M Purse to Unlock Mysteries of the Sea [ National Geographic]
    XPRIZE, the non-profit foundation whose lofty mission is to “design and manage public competitions” that better mankind, has just launched a new ocean challenge which will likely draw the attention of marine scientists, geologists and hobbyists everywhere with its $7,000,000 prize. Participants must complete a series of tasks through devices which must be launched from the shore or the air, and can operate at a depth of up to 4,000 meters. These tasks include making a high-resolution map of the sea-floor, taking high-definition images of specific objects, and identifying key features in a type of “treasure hunt.”
  • Gartner Says Mobile Payments Set for Massive Takeoff by 2018 [NewsFactor]
    Do you use your cell phone to make payments at the register? If not, you will likely be doing to soon! Research firm Gartner predicts that half of consumers in mature markets are likely to be tapping smartphones or wearables to make mobile payments by 2018.

in Information Security News…

  • See Headline Story

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Google Said To Make Driverless Car Project an Alphabet Company [NewsFactor]
    You may recall that Google is now part of a suite of companies owned by a new entity named Alphabet which is headed by Google’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. This week Alphabet announced that it plans to launch a new business to provide passenger rides in autonomous vehicles next year. While California law doesn’t currently allow general use of self-driving cars on public roads, Alphabet might be able to offer such a service on private properties and college campuses.
  • Google Wallet Lets You Send Money by Text [NewsFactor]
    Move over, Western Union, there’s an easier way to send money now. According to Google’s Commerce blog, the tech company will soon let you send money to others simply by texting them. The new cash-transmitting feature comes courtesy of an update — due to be released in a few days — to the Google Wallet app.
  • Facebook at Work for Enterprises To Launch Next Year [newsFactor]
    Currently being tested by several hundred companies, including the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Club Med, Facebook at Work is expected to see a wider rollout next year. Available for desktop and mobile devices, the app will function much like the regular Facebook, except that posts, messages and other content will be visible only to users with company work accounts.

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