AI is eating the world

Not in the oh-god-the-nanobots-are-coming way, though. Marc Andreessen famously said that “software is eating the world”. If we take this as true, then AI is eating software.

In February, Viv.ai by Siri’s creators has raised a $10 million series A. Wit.ai raised $3 million last October and was acquired by Facebook in January. Google acquired DeepMind for $500 million last year. Google, Apple, and Microsoft all have their own virtual assistants. Almost all big software companies have an AI lab and have poached top researchers like Ray Kurzweil, Geoffrey Hinton, and Andrew Ng. The use of Deep Learning has allowed groundbreaking advances in image and speech recognition.

Even the media seems to catch up to the trend: 2015 seems to be the year of cinemantic sentient AI with big-budget movies like The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Terminator: Genisys, Chappie, and Ex Machina putting the singularity at the forefront of people’s minds.

Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and others warn about the dangers of AI, Sam Altman published two controversial blog posts about its pitfalls and prospects of AI, and Elon Musk donated $10 million to research for beneficial AI.

AI penetrates every aspect of our lives: be it finding food (Luka); finding symptoms of a flu (Medwhat); designing webpages (The Grid); media and marketing (Aylien); or flirting on Tinder.

These are interesting times we’re living in. Our generation didn’t go to the moon; we won’t be going to the stars. We won’t be needing to welcome our new AI overlords just yet, as AI is ready to guide the world’s fortunes without human intervention as depicted in Asimov’s The Evitable Conflict. Instead, the Internet and AI will enable us to improve the lives of many people on our planet.

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Originally published at blog.sebastianruder.com.

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