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Artificial Intelligence


Analysis and insight on the ever-evolving advancements in artificial intelligence. Stay updated as Singularity Hub discusses the most important AI research.

Drugs, Robots, and the Pursuit of Pleasure: Why Experts Are Worried About AIs Becoming Addicts

In 1953, a Harvard psychologist thought he discovered pleasure—accidentally—within the cranium of a rat. With an electrode inserted into a specific area of its brain, the rat was allowed to pulse the implant by...

New Study Finds a Single Neuron Is a Surprisingly Complex Little Computer

Comparing brains to computers is a long and dearly held analogy in both neuroscience and computer science. It’s not hard to see why. Our brains can perform many of the tasks we want computers to handle...

Deep Learning Is Tackling Another Core Biology Mystery: RNA Structure

Deep learning is solving biology’s deepest secrets at breathtaking speed. Just a month ago, DeepMind cracked a 50-year-old grand challenge: protein folding. A week later, they produced a totally transformative database of more than 350,000...

OpenAI’s Codex Translates Everyday Language Into Computer Code

In the beginning, computer programmers translated their desires into the language of machines. Now, those machines are becoming conversant in the language of their programmers. OpenAI's newly released Codex, a machine learning algorithm that...

DeepMind’s Vibrant New Virtual World Trains Flexible AI With Endless Play

Last year, DeepMind researchers wrote that future AI developers may spend less time programming algorithms and more time generating rich virtual worlds in which to train them. In a new paper released this week on...

Protein Folding AI Is Making a ‘Once in a Generation’ Advance in Biology

Thanks to AI, we just got stunningly powerful tools to decode life. In two back-to-back papers last week, scientists at DeepMind and the University of Washington described deep learning-based methods to solve protein folding—the last...

A Nanowire Network That Mimics the Brain Could Inspire New Designs in AI

The neural networks that power today’s leading AI systems can vastly outperform the human brain when it comes to picking out patterns in large tracts of static data. But when there’s little data to...

The Four Stages of Intelligent Matter That Will Bring Us Iron Man’s ‘Endgame’ Nanosuit

Imagine clothing that can warm or cool you, depending on how you’re feeling. Or artificial skin that responds to touch, temperature, and wicks away moisture automatically. Or cyborg hands controlled with DNA motors that...

A Google AI Designed a Computer Chip as Well as a Human Engineer—But Much Faster

AI has finally come full circle. A new suite of algorithms by Google Brain can now design computer chips—those specifically tailored for running AI software—that vastly outperform those designed by human experts. And the system...

Google and Harvard Unveil the Largest High-Resolution Map of the Brain Yet

Last Tuesday, teams from Google and Harvard published an intricate map of every cell and connection in a cubic millimeter of the human brain. The mapped region encompasses the various layers and cell types of...

Google AI Researchers Are Dreaming Up a New Species of Search Engine

Imagine a collection of books—maybe millions or even billions of them—haphazardly tossed by publishers into a heaping pile in a field. Every day the pile grows exponentially. Those books are brimming with knowledge and answers....

AI Is Harder Than We Think: 4 Key Fallacies in AI Research

Artificial intelligence has been all over headlines for nearly a decade, as systems have made quick progress in long-standing AI challenges like image recognition, natural language processing, and games. Tech companies have sown machine...

The World’s Biggest AI Chip Now Comes Stock With 2.6 Trillion Transistors

The world's biggest AI chip just doubled its specs—without adding an inch. The Cerebras Systems Wafer Scale Engine is about the size of a big dinner plate. All that surface area enables a lot more...

‘Deep Nostalgia’ Uses AI to Make Old Photos of Your Relatives Wink, Nod, Dance, and More

Genealogy services have grown in popularity in recent years. Ancestry.com and 23andMe let users analyze their DNA to show their ethnic makeup, connect with relatives they didn’t know they had, create online family trees,...

There’s a New Nirvana Song Out, and It Was Written by Google’s AI

One of the primary capabilities separating human intelligence from artificial intelligence is our ability to be creative—to use nothing but the world around us, our experiences, and our brains to create art. At present,...

OpenAI’s GPT-3 Algorithm Is Now Producing Billions of Words a Day

When OpenAI released its huge natural-language algorithm GPT-3 last summer, jaws dropped. Coders and developers with special access to an early API rapidly discovered new (and unexpected) things GPT-3 could do with naught but...

This AI Uses Your Brain Activity to Create Fake Faces It Knows You’ll Find Attractive

Looks aren’t everything. But they must be something, otherwise dating apps like Tinder and Bumble wouldn’t be having nearly as much success as they are. Unfortunately, you can’t tell just from someone’s appearance whether...

Quantum Computing and Reinforcement Learning Are Joining Forces to Make Faster AI

Deep reinforcement learning is having a superstar moment. Powering smarter robots. Simulating human neural networks. Trouncing physicians at medical diagnoses and crushing humanity’s best gamers at Go and Atari. While far from achieving the flexible,...

This AI Thrashes the Hardest Atari Games by Memorizing Its Best Moves

Learning from rewards seems like the simplest thing. I make coffee, I sip coffee, I’m happy. My brain registers “brewing coffee” as an action that leads to a reward. That’s the guiding insight behind deep...

This ‘Quantum Brain’ Would Mimic Our Own to Speed Up AI

Unless you’re in the lithium battery or paint business, you’re probably not familiar with cobalt. Yet according to a new paper, it may be the secret sauce for an entirely new kind of computer—one...

New ‘Liquid’ AI Learns Continuously From Its Experience of the World

For all its comparisons to the human brain, AI still isn’t much like us. Maybe that's alright. In the animal kingdom, brains come in all shapes and sizes. So, in a new machine learning...

How an Israeli Startup Is Using AI to Help People Make Babies

The first baby conceived using in-vitro fertilization (IVF) was born in the UK in 1978. Over 40 years later, the technique has become commonplace, but its success rate is still fairly low at around...

A Language AI Is Accurately Predicting Covid-19 ‘Escape’ Mutations

For all their simplicity, viruses are sneaky little life forces. Take SARS-Cov-2, the virus behind Covid-19. Challenged with the human immune system, the virus has gradually reshuffled parts of its genetic material, making it easier...

How Mirroring the Architecture of the Human Brain Is Speeding Up AI Learning

While AI can carry out some impressive feats when trained on millions of data points, the human brain can often learn from a tiny number of examples. New research shows that borrowing architectural principles...

China Wants to Be the World’s AI Superpower. Does It Have What It Takes?

China’s star has been steadily rising for decades. Besides slashing extreme poverty rates from 88 percent to under 2 percent in just 30 years, the country has become a global powerhouse in manufacturing and...

How Explainable Artificial Intelligence Can Help Humans Innovate

The field of artificial intelligence has created computers that can drive cars, synthesize chemical compounds, fold proteins, and detect high-energy particles at a superhuman level. However, these AI algorithms cannot explain the thought processes behind...

2021 Could Be a Banner Year for AI—If We Solve These 4 Problems

If AI has anything to say to 2020, it’s “you can’t touch this.” Last year may have severed our connections with the physical world, but in the digital realm, AI thrived. Take NeurIps, the crown...

New IBM Research Means We Could Soon Train Neural Networks on a Smartphone

The neural networks that power today’s AI are incredibly powerful, but training them can require entire server farms and huge amounts of energy. A new approach from IBM suggests we may be able to...

2020 in Neuroscience, Longevity, and AI—and What’s to Come

Covid-19 sucked most of the oxygen out of science this year. But we still had brilliant wins. The pandemic couldn’t bring rockets or humans down: multiple missions blasted off to the red planet in the...

Algorithms for Love: Japan Will Soon Launch an AI Dating Service

Every year for the last 13 years, Japan’s population has shrunk. The country has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, and not enough babies are being born to replace an aging...

DeepMind’s AlphaFold Is Close to Solving One of Biology’s Greatest Challenges

DeepMind may just have cracked one of the grandest challenges in biology. One that rivals the discovery of DNA’s double helix. It could change biomedicine, drug discovery, and vaccine development forever. The actual achievement sounds...

New Deep Learning Method Helps Robots Become Jacks-of-all-Trades

One of the biggest things standing in the way of the robot revolution is their inability to adapt. That may be about to change though, thanks to a new approach that blends pre-learned skills...

As Algorithms Take Over More of the Economy, We Should Cede Control (Very) Carefully

Algorithms play an increasingly prominent part in our lives, governing everything from the news we see to the products we buy. As they proliferate, experts say, we need to make sure they don't collude...

If a Robot Is Conscious, Is It OK to Turn It Off? The Moral Implications of Building True AIs

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Measure of a Man,” Data, an android crew member of the Enterprise, is to be dismantled for research purposes unless Captain Picard can argue that...
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OpenAI’s GPT-3 Wrote This Short Film—Even the Twist at the End

OpenAI’s text generating AI has gotten a lot of buzz since its release in June. It’s been used to post comments on Reddit, write a poem roasting Elon Musk, and even write an entire...

How Future AI Could Recognize a Kangaroo Without Ever Having Seen One

AI is continuously taking on new challenges, from detecting deepfakes (which, incidentally, are also made using AI) to winning at poker to giving synthetic biology experiments a boost. These impressive feats result partly from...

Hey Google … What Movie Should I Watch Today? How AI Can Affect Our Decisions

Have you ever used Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, or Amazon Alexa to make decisions for you? Perhaps you asked it what new movies have good reviews, or to recommend a cool restaurant in your...

Can We Trust AI Doctors? Google Health and Academics Battle It Out

Machine learning is taking medical diagnosis by storm. From eye disease, breast and other cancers, to more amorphous neurological disorders, AI is routinely matching physician performance, if not beating them outright. Yet how much can...

How Machine Learning Made Hops-Free Hoppy Beer (and Other SynBio Wonders) Possible

Synthetic biology is like a reality-altering version of Minecraft. Rather than digital blocks, synthetic biology rejiggers the basic building blocks of life—DNA, proteins, biochemical circuits—to rewire living organisms or even build entirely new ones....

How a Memory Quirk of the Human Brain Can Galvanize AI

Even as toddlers we’re good at inferences. Take a two-year-old that first learns to recognize a dog and a cat at home, then a horse and a sheep in a petting zoo. The kid...

Microsoft’s New Deepfake Detector Puts Reality to the Test

The upcoming US presidential election seems set to be something of a mess—to put it lightly. Covid-19 will likely deter millions from voting in person, and mail-in voting isn’t shaping up to be much...

Algorithms Workers Can’t See Are Increasingly Pulling the Management Strings

“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” HAL’s cold, if polite, refusal to open the pod bay doors in 2001: A Space Odyssey has become a defining warning about putting too much...

Facebook Wants to Make Smart Robots to Explore Every Nook and Cranny of Your Home

“Hey Alexa, turn on the kitchen light.” “Hey Alexa, play soothing music at volume three.” “Hey Alexa, tell me where to find my keys.” You can ask an Alexa or Google home assistant questions about facts, news,...

The Deck Is Not Rigged: Poker and the Limits of AI

Tuomas Sandholm, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, is not a poker player—or much of a poker fan, in fact—but he is fascinated by the game for much the same reason as the...

This AI Could Bring Us Computers That Can Write Their Own Software

When OpenAI first published a paper on their new language generation AI, GPT-3, the hype was slow to build. The paper indicated GPT-3, the biggest natural language AI model yet, was advanced, but it...

Cars Will Soon Be Able to Sense and React to Your Emotions

Imagine you’re on your daily commute to work, driving along a crowded highway while trying to resist looking at your phone. You’re already a little stressed out because you didn’t sleep well, woke up...

A New Brain-Inspired Learning Method for AI Saves Memory and Energy

Despite the frequent analogies, today’s AI operates on very different principles to the human brain. Now researchers have proposed a new learning method more closely tied to biology, which they think could help us...

DeepMind’s Newest AI Programs Itself to Make All the Right Decisions

When Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, it may have seemed artificial intelligence had finally arrived. A computer had just taken down one of the top chess players of all...

This Russian Firm’s Star Designer Is an AI—but No One Knew That for a Year

Imagine discovering a new artist or designer—whether visual art, fashion, music, or even writing—and becoming a big fan of her work. You follow her on social media, eagerly anticipate new releases, and chat about...

How AI Will Make Drug Discovery Low-Cost, Ultra-Fast, and Personalized

If you had to guess how long it takes for a drug to go from an idea to your pharmacy, what would you guess? Three years? Five years? How about the cost? $30 million?...

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