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Watch Daniel Bruhl Build A Robot Child In This Eva Trailer

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We’re about to be up to our waists, maybe higher, in artificially intelligent robot movies. Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie drops next week, Alex Garland’s directorial debut Ex Machina hits in April, and Marvel gets in on the act in May with Avengers: Age of Ultron wreaking havoc all over the globe. While those films are all getting relatively wide releases (Age of Ultron’s release is obviously going to be massive), Eva, a similarly themed film is flying in under the radar, but looks no less intriguing than the others. And a new trailer has surfaced for the film.

Daniel Bruhl (Inglorious Basterds, A Most Wanted Man, and he’ll also appear in Captain America: The Winter Soldier) plays a near-future engineer who, while working on an artificially intelligent robot child, reunites with his former lover, who is now shacking up with his estranged brother. From this trailer you get a good sense of the film’s mixture of hard science fiction and interpersonal, familial, relationship drama.

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Google’s Brainy Software Can Identify And Describe Objects In Photos

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pizzagoogleGoogle is one of the companies whose artificial intelligence and computing algorithms involve something called “deep learning.” Whereas we usually think of software, AI, and computer algorithms as being programmed, deep learning goes a step further, integrating brain-like systems into software so it can learn as it feeds on data. Google has established itself as a leader in this burgeoning field, and its new experimental software shows why.

GFR has already reported on Google’s ability (and Facebook’s) to identify objects in photos. But until now, the deep learning software has only been able to identify discrete objects — perhaps a television in a photo, or a soccer ball. But now, Google’s software can identify multiple objects in context. In the image above, the program didn’t simply recognize pizza or the stove. It recognized “two pizzas sitting on top of a stove top oven.” This means the software can count and situate — it can also articulate what it sees in complete sentences.

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Elon Musk Thinks Wayward AI Is The Greatest Threat To Humanity, Here’s Why

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elon muskIf movies and TV are to be believed—and why wouldn’t they tell us the truth, they’ve never steered us wrong, right?—one of the biggest threats to the continued existence of humanity is artificial intelligence gone wild. From HAL 9000 to Skynet to Cylons and even this year’s Transcendence, tales of human creations that overflow their bounds and evolve beyond our control fill the annals of science fiction. Hell, that’s exactly what happened to Tony Stark in that Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, his creation took on a life of its own and starts wrecking up the joint. Creating technology we can’t control may be a problem, and billionaire Elon Musk is concerned.

The subject came up when the founder and CEO of SpaceX and electric sports car manufacturer Tesla spoke at MIT recently. That’s where he unveiled that he thinks the most significant threat to humanity is AI. He said, “I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So, we need to be very careful with artificial intelligence.”

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BabyX: An AI That Learns Like A Toddler, Minus The Potty Training

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BABYXI remember the first moment I saw real-time evidence of my niece’s developing brain. She was about three years old and asking my brother for a puzzle she wanted to play with. He started to get up to get it for her, and then paused. “Do you think you can get it yourself if I tell you where it is?” He asked her. She was up for the challenge. He gave her the directions slowly: “Go upstairs—be careful—and go into my office. Open the closet and on the second shelf on the right side you’ll see your puzzle.” She listened to him, mind almost visibly cranking away as she tried to remember and visualize these steps. After a few seconds she nodded and left the room. A few minutes later, she came back with the puzzle, beaming. I remember thinking how amazing it was to see her receive and follow a fairly complicated set of instructions, and how she’d be honing those skills for the rest of her life. The brain of a toddler, in all its glorious plasticity, is really nothing short of miraculous, so it’s not surprising to learn that researchers are using it as a model for artificial intelligence.

A team from the Laboratory for Animate Technologies at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute is developing a virtual infant called BabyX. Like a real toddler, it can read and identify symbols, interact and respond appropriately to feedback, and make its pleasure or displeasure known via facial expressions. The purpose of this “computer generated psychobiological simulation” is to provide a platform for experimenting with “neural systems involved in interactive behaviour and learning.” The algorithms used in BabyX allow it to respond as a real toddler would For example, praise triggers something akin to a dopamine boost. But BabyX’s learning abilities are what make it particularly interesting.

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New AI Will Transcend Siri’s Limitations

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siriJust yesterday, my boyfriend I were driving home from New Hampshire and he asked me to send a text message to our friend. As I fumbled around for his phone, he said, “Wait! Let’s have Siri do it.” I don’t own a smartphone and will avoid doing so as long as possible, but I fully admit to the convenience of pretty much everyone I know having one. I get to satisfy my curiosity (and often raise my ire) by playing with friends’ smartphones — it’s kind of like bumming a cigarette here and there without ever buying a pack. To be honest, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard my boyfriend use Siri, so I was excited to give it a whirl. But it turns out that Siri wasn’t available in our current location, which wasn’t far from civilization at all. I guess Siri isn’t a fan of the White Mountain region? I got to think about how realistic Her felt, but how far we actually are from developing AI with anything approaching that level of intelligence and awareness. And apparently I’m not the only one with those thoughts — Viv Labs, a startup created by three of Siri’s creators, is set to release an AI that blows Siri out of the water.

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Stephen Hawking Warns Against Artificial Intelligence

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hawkingWhen Stephen Hawking issues a warning about something, we generally listen carefully. This time he’s not talking about black holes or time travel or telling us that the human race has to expand to other planets to prevent our extinction. This time, he’s warning us against developing artificial intelligence and predicting that if we do, the consequences could be disastrous.

In an article for the Independent, Hawking refers to Transcendence as a movie that, despite its grim technological consequences, may make us less inclined to take the ramifications of artificial intelligence seriously. He refers to a number of recent developments, such as driverless cars, Siri, Google Now, and Watson as examples of how quickly AI is progressing. While none of these are particularly threatening, he says that they’re “symptoms of an IT arms race fuelled by unprecedented investments and building on an increasingly mature theoretical foundation,” and that these advancements are only the beginning. He doesn’t specifically mention the deep learning software used by Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, nor does he mention Google and Facebook racing to bring the Internet to everyone, though I imagine these thoughts may not have been far from his mind when he noted the “IT arms race.”

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