Google's AI had an AI 'child' - and it's better than any built by humans

Mimi Launder
Sunday 03 December 2017 12:30
Science and Tech
Picture:(iStock / Just_Super)

Modern Artificial intelligence displays signs of racism, can compose music and threatens to soon have feelings. It is getting closer and closer to human by the day.

But at least we can be soothed that we remain the ultimate boss of AI - after all, we made it.

We are pretty much its god, right? Wrong.

In May, Google Brain announced the creation of AutoML, an AI that's capable of generating its own AIs.

The 'child', named NASNet - come on, there are weirder celebrity baby names out there - aced a test where it had to identify objects like people, cars and traffic lights in real time.

NASNet learned through 'reinforcement learning': training for the task and reporting back to its 'parent', which refined its child.

This strict yet effective parenting method was repeated thousands of times.

Eventually, Nasnet was outperforming its human-made counterparts - and became 1.2 per cent more accurate and 4 per cent more efficient than any previously published results.

The future looks simultaneously alarming and alluring.

A NASNet-like system could help create AI-powered robots, improve self-driving cars or even help visually impaired people regain sight, according to Science Alert.

However, the technology raises concerns for some.

Jesus Diaz wrote for Fast Company:

 I can imagine some dystopian applications, like automated surveillance, in which computers constantly analyze images to flag objects or activities that they consider suspicious.

That could be a boon to public safety or it could be the makings of a police state.

I can also imagine refining the system to recognize faces on the fly and follow anyone across a city.

HT Science Alert

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