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How fast is AI progressing?

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Stanford publishes an AI index for an attempt to measure the progress in the development of Artificial Intelligence. It has a Volume of Activity metrics which looks into the amount of capital invested, no. of attendance at academic conferences, no. of papers published etc. It obviously shows a manifold increase in academic activity since 1996, an unimaginable growth in startups on AI and associated venture capital investment. This rapid pace is actually a matter of concern for some Tech experts. Personalities like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have already warned of a future where AI may reign supreme. Although, the time is probably not yet ripe to prove (or disprove) their concern, however, certainly keeping tabs on the growth rate of AI is necessary.

Artificial Intelligence is getting better

Well, there is no doubt that, AI is improving every day. A few notable examples are, Google’s game playing AI – AlphaGo, who is beating some of the best players around the world for some time now, which was thought impossible even a decade ago! The OpenAI developed by Elon Musk and his team are actually doing better by beating world’s greatest e-Sports player at DOTA 2, which is a more complex game and requires tricking the opponents. Microsoft publicly announced that they have set a new record for the accuracy of the transcription software. The software missed once in 20 words on a standard collection of phone call recording which matches the human ability for the same challenge.

What is the Exact Picture?

Multiple efforts are in place to monitor the progress, current and potential impact. One of them, the AI index has already been mentioned at the beginning. This is headed by SRI lab, a non-profit technological association. Another organization who is keeping the tab on the progress of AI is Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). EFF is gathering data on AI research and assembling them to an open source resource to show the progress of AI.

Maybe, at this point in time, no one is really sure about the value of these data but the chief computer engineer of EFF thinks that it’s used will become clearer as time goes by. He thinks that this tracking may one day be able to provide the answer to whether the development of AI will rob off the jobs from the human.

Speculation Vs Reality

However, with so much hype and speculation around AI, it is difficult to actually pinpoint the progress if the real version of AI. Both EFF and AI index depends on published papers on AI research. Though it is still not clear that how these will help the policy and lawmaker, it is certain that these data are already giving signals that, safety and security of AI system are of foremost importance and calls for urgent research.


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