artificial intelligence

Alexa, never play songs by James Taylor

Me: Alexa, play 70s folk music.

*Alexa starts playing a James Taylor song*

Me: Alexa, never play songs by James Taylor.

Alexa: Shuffling James Taylor playlist, on Amazon Music.

Humans don’t want to be controlled by machines (or Apple)

“Human beings don’t want to be controlled by machines. And we are increasingly being controlled by machines ... This is likely to be the narrative of the next thirty years.”

This quote from Fred Wilson’s What happened in 2017 article makes me think of Apple’s recent dumb software design decisions as much as it makes me think of algorithms that control my news feeds. As just one example, Apple’s decision to make the “turn off bluetooth” button mean “turn off bluetooth ... well, just until tomorrow” makes me want to switch to Samsung. So, yeah, if I don’t want to be controlled by Apple’s poor design decisions, I sure don’t want to be controlled by robots.

Industrial robot costs to drop 65%

According to ARK Invest, the cost of industrial robots will drop 65% by 2025. As they write, “Combined with advances in machine learning and computer vision, this drop in costs should cause an inflection point in the demand for robots as they infiltrate new industries with more provocative use cases.” (Image from the ARK Invest website.)

AlphaZero generalized to learn more games by itself

From this Cornell University page, Google’s AlphaZero algorithm has been generalized to learn new games given only the game rules: “In this paper, we generalise this approach into a single AlphaZero algorithm that can achieve, tabula rasa, superhuman performance in many challenging domains.