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The State of AI According to Tech Leaders

Imran Gaffur
October 12, 2017

From being rooted in science fiction, AI has seen itself strut away from metaphysics to life under consumer's control and enterprise initiatives. Our recent post on what artificial intelligence really means in this age? here, let’s step back and look into the thoughts of popular tech leaders who envisioned AI.

Stephen Hawking

The British genius, Stephen William Hawking believes that the creation of powerful AI will be,

Stephen William hawking on AI

Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many.While he has often been cautious about AI, “raising the risk that humanity could be the architect of its own destruction if it creates a superintelligence with a will of its own”, he was also quick to highlight the positives that AI research can bring.“The potential benefits of creating intelligence are huge,” he said. “We cannot predict what we might achieve when our own minds are amplified by AI. Perhaps with the tools of this new technological revolution, we will be able to undo some of the damage done to the natural world by the last one – industrialization. And, surely we will aim to finally eradicate disease and poverty.He added, “Every aspect of our lives will be transformed. In short, success in creating AI would be the biggest event in the history of our civilization.”

Elon Musk

Already considered as the technological iconoclast of our generation, Elon Musk has reserved a much more ominous approach towards artificial intelligence. Speaking at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium in October, Tesla boss Elon Musk referred to artificial intelligence as

Elon Musk on AI

“I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. Increasingly scientists think there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn't work out.”

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg on AI

In stark contrast to Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg had differing ideas. His thoughts are greatly centered on the concept of ‘unsupervised learning’. Which in simple terms, is AI that can teach itself.Although Zuckerberg’s recent social media spat with Elon Musk drew light on two different schools of thought. He is still determined to realize his vision. Facebook’s AI Research Division, in collaboration with researchers from Cornell and Tsinghua University, has received the award for best paper for their research on “Densely Connected Convolutional Networks”.

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos on AI

Ecommerce tycoon, Jeff Bezos prefers to acknowledge the state of AI from a very practical outlook. Far from personal assistance robots, Bezos reflects on how AI is of help ‘beneath the surface’.Bezos called AI an "enabling layer" that will "improve every business." At Amazon, Bezos said that "cool" developments like Alexa and its Prime Air delivery drones use "tremendous amounts" of AI. But machine learning is being deployed across the company. "We are now solving problems with machine learning and artificial intelligence that were … in the realm of science fiction for the last several decades. And natural language understanding, machine vision problems, it really is an amazing renaissance."Bill GatesBill Gates recent AMA on Reddit had him answer questions as philosophically profound as the after-effects of AI to his favorite breakfast spread. On the topic of AI, here’s what stood out: ‘I don’t understand why some people are not concerned’

Bill Gates on AI

"I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don't understand why some people are not concerned."Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai on AI

Google–which built the Assistant using concepts it’s already been exploring in Google Now and Google voice search–has more experience teaching computers to understand language, photos, and other forms of information than anyone else. Google Assistant will be able to call on those technical underpinnings as it battles it out in the marketplace. “We’ve invested in machine learning for a long time, in anticipation of this moment,” Pichai says.“Building general artificial intelligence in a way that helps people meaningfully—I think the word moonshot is an understatement for that,” Pichai says, sounding startled that anyone might think otherwise. “I would say it’s as big as it gets.”China’s AI visionBEIJING—The Chinese Government has announced a ‘National AI Development Plan’ to shape the future of AI and surpass its Western counterparts. Beijing has committed to spending $22.15 billion on AI research by 2020 and $59.07 billion by 2025.This comes in the wake of Chinese National Champion, Ke Jie’s, defeat at Go - One of the world’s most complicated board games, invented and played in China for centuries. Here’s a poster outlining the agenda of China building $150 Billion industry,

<p></p><br><br><br><br><br><br><p><strong>Please include attribution to with this graphic.</strong></p><br><br><br><br><br><br><p><a href=""><img src="" alt="China AI vision of building $150 Billion industry" width="540" border="0"></a></p><br><br><br><br><br><br><p>Fortunately, all tech giants are investing efforts for a safer pool of AI. And, we remain more optimistic by amplifying our human workforce with AI to provide the most accurate results to our customers.</p>