Deep Learning: Teaching Computers To Tell Things Apart

NPR:

WhatsApp may be Facebook’s latest prize, but it’s not the company’s most ambitious investment. In recent months, the social networking giant has begun funding something potentially far more revolutionary: artificial intelligence.

And it’s not alone. Google and as of last week, Netflix, are all getting into a new kind of AI known as . Deep learning programs are able to perceive their world in a way unlike any other computer program, and these companies hope that deep learning programs will one day be able to sort your photos, recognize your voice, and do a whole lot more.

Computers can already recognize some things. Take the scanner at the supermarket. You swipe your block of cheese, and the scanner reads the bar code. Not that you would ever do this, but try scanning something it doesn’t expect — like a cat — and the machine will be hopelessly confused.

Deep learning “really doesn’t look like a computer program,” says Gary Marcus a psychologist and AI expert at New York University who doesn’t work with LeCun.

He says ordinary computer code is written in very strict logical steps. “But what you’ll see in deep learning is something different; you don’t have a lot of instructions that say: ‘If one thing is true do this other thing,’ ” he says.

Read the whole story: NPR

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