On the explosion of Artificial Intelligence!

Okay, so this is the first ‘tech’ post I’m publishing after a super long time. The last time I published an in-depth ‘tech’ post was this one, almost a year back, in September 2016, which is an absolute shame because I am, after all, a CS undergrad!

Anyway, without further ado, let me jump straight in…

So, I was just lazing around on YouTube, looking for stuff to sedate my synapses with, and I managed to land on this video — the Jobs and Gates interview back in ‘oh-so-far-away’ year of 2007.

The most striking thing about the interview, aside from the historic convergence of two of the most brilliant minds in tech industry (veterans, if you will), was their predictions for the next decade. And, since I was sitting in the year 2017, I had to absolute luxury of critiquing their predictions in hindsight.

One thing stood out during for me out of the entire interview, that was the part where they talk about A.I. (Bill especially goes deeper into the topic than Steve). Although the discussion was still mostly focused on the form-factor of the future devices, it was fascinating to hear about these visionaries’ foresight into the A.I. and the industry in general, especially in the hindsight.

So that got me thinking…

I mean, we keep hearing about A.I. all the fucking time in the news. Everyone’s talking about it. I’ve heard people talking about it in libraries, offices, public transportation and even in fucking washrooms (so, what if an A.I. could automatically flush down my poop once it detects that my bowels are empty). There’s like an A.I. article published by nearly by every major newspaper at least once a month, conveniently timing it with some random ass statement of the ‘ultra-rad’ Elon Musk on the state of A.I.s’ in general.

But, how much do we really know about A.I.?!

I suppose not much. Most of the KNAWLEDGE on A.I. is generally sourced from NEWS ARTICLES (even for me, as a CS undergrad, which is a shame). And news articles are mostly written by journalism and liberal arts majors who aren’t exactly great with things involving technology, and I bet half of them don’t even understand at the depth necessary to appreciate it. And I’m not the only one saying it.

So yeah, in order to understand the state of the A.I. industry and academia, I hit up the A.I. research pages of major tech firms, and I WAS BLOWN AWAY BY THE RAPID ADVANCEMENT. For instance:

  • Facebook’s pouring in MASSIVE amounts of $s’ into it’s A.I. research program christened ‘Facebook A.I. Research (FAIR)’ which in all fairness (pun intended) sounds like a pretty good name. Their mission statement talks about using A.I. to make the world ‘more connected’. Check out this piece talking about their research on advancing their A.I.’s vision game.
  • Google’s making insane advances in the field of A.I. (which is not surprising). I mean, their depth of research could very well span over a couple dozen pages. They are researching on applying A.I. on everything from Self-driving cars to Personalized assistant (aka yo’ Google assistant on 7.0.x and above), to augmented reality. And in fact, you can INTERACT with one of their A.I. right from the device you’re reading this on, RIGHT NOW. Check out ‘Quick, Draw!’, a game where a supervised A.I. predicts what you’re trying to draw based on previous data sets. It’s cool.
  • Tesla’s been gathering a SHIT-TONNE of data from it’s massive fleet of Models’ S, 3 and X (S3X for short) and that in-turn has made it’s ‘Autopilot’ A.I. incredible better. It’s now almost as good as a human driver, and as the time goes on, it’s probabilistic rate of crash is only going to decrease exponentially. I mean, check out this video and see for yourself.
  • SpaceX has been making steady progress on landing their first stage booster on the droneship over the past couple years now, ever since their first propulsive landing on LZ-1 on that historic day in December 2015 [I watched it live :’)]. And if you want to see the progress for yourself, I think a good place to start would be THIS video which essentially is a montage of all the ‘failed’ landing attempts that culminated in the success of Dec 2015 mission (Orbcomm OG-2). That’s probably the best and observable example of Machine Learning at work.

And much much more… I haven’t even mentioned Microsoft’s expansive A.I. division yet, or even Amazon’s. You get my point. This is one of the most exciting fields out there, no question; Companies know it. Investors know it.

Anyway, it’s almost 2:00am here in New Delhi and it looks like I might have to end this abruptly, but my point is that A.I. has been so intertwined in our lives that we’re starting to take it for granted.

I think we should sometimes take a step back and try reading up on the latest academic papers/publications in the field. Most of them will blow your mind for sure.

And of course, Media and pop-culture in general aren’t exactly the best guide for understanding A.I. There’s so much stuff that’s happening, and most of them behind closed doors that we, the average Joes’ will never get to see, until we seek.

Until next time.

P. S. Working on a super long article, and will most probably go live in a couple week-ish! ❤

 

 

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The briefing.

So, here I am posting again, after 2 long months.

Feels good to be back at the WordPress editor window.

If you’re reading this now (and if you’re not new), you may have noticed a slight blog redesign. T’was carried out this week in order to improve the stuff I care about THE most. Readability and Textual content. 

Just made a few tweaks here and there. Plus, updated the blog with a fresh typeface, that lucky font being Ubuntu’s default system one. It’s actually quite neat and easy on the eyes.

K, enough about the blog. Time for my narcissistic self to take charge.

Me.

I was finally done with my finals last week and early finals means just one thing: I got a shit-load of time.

See that’s both a good thing and a bad thing.

Good thing is, I got loads of free time to do anything I want.

Bad thing is, I got loads of free time to do anything I want.

Let me elaborate on the “Bad thing”. The Instant Gratification Monkey part of my brain has massive issues with managing the flow of time. My time is just one vortex away from being funnelled out from me. So it’s rather important that I have a super-strict schedule to guide me through this. Unplanned block of time, for me at least, would be a…

Things I’ll be focusing on…

I’m almost done crafting a semi-big article on one of my most personal topics, The Social Media. Will probably publish it this weekend-ish.

I also have come up with a few new, exciting ones. Most of them stem from random synaptic bursts. Also, some historically significant ones.

I plan to write these articles after talking to *actual* people who have gone through the experience. Really, I have personally observed this.

Researching on the Internet and quoting the appropriate sources is one thing, but field blogging is just taking it to another level. Really excited about that.

Also, there will be a guest post written by someone soon. It will either be a standalone guest-post or will have my commentary packaged along with that of the guest author. I’m sure you will love it.

Final thoughts

Though I might not have been regular, I certainly think I have a strong love for writing. Topic fragmentation is certainly an issue, as some of my own friends have mentioned sometimes, but niche is just not my thing.

Also, it’s incredibly enriching to be able to connect the dots through your vast data store of knowledge. The world just makes so much more sense.

 

Stay tuned…

 

Oh, and if you’re wondering, the feature image is not mine. It’s actually from a royalty free photo project called Unsplash!. Those guys actually have a trove of high-quality, royalty free images with which you can do anything imaginable. It’s opensource and under CC Zero license, which means you basically own the image. You don’t even have to credit the creator. Great resource for small time blogs/websites. Check it out! 🙂