Good day, my little cyborgs!
Welcome to this week’s review of the latest news from the world of artificial intelligence.
It’s been perhaps one of the busiest weeks of the year over here at Casa Baker. Tuesday was, of course, Halloween, so I had a mini Harley Quinn running around the neighbourhood with all her schoolmates trick or treating, whilst I, dressed as a witch (which turned out simply looking like Robert Smith meets Edward Scissorhands) handed out sweets. Kudos to the kid down the street who rocked a serious Donald Trump costume this year.
Then Friday was my daughter’s 10th birthday, closely followed by last night’s party. I had ten kids in the house belting out karaoke pop tunes and stuffing themselves with pizza and popcorn, and six staying over. I’m a bit tired today after getting up at 3.45am to tell them to go to sleep. But anyway, enough about my parenting fun…
Along with all my home-grown chaos, on Thursday I was up in Shoreditch on a panel at We Are Robots, a fantastic week-long event exploring music tech.
Despite initially feeling like a sore thumb for being a technologist rather than a musician, I thoroughly enjoyed the panel discussion I was on along with Joe Henson, Alexis Smith, Lydia Gregory, Martyn Ware, and Henrik Oppermann, and our host, Tony Nwachukwu from CDR Projects.
I’ve given a full rundown over here, exploring a lot of the issues about the interference of AI and big data in music that were discussed. Lots of food for thought.
I was not the only one at TDMB writing about the use of AI, and machine learning in particular, in the arts this week. Will also put together a fantastic piece on Wednesday. Will is a musician (whilst I am not) so his insight is particularly pertinent on this point:
Whilst we are on the subject of articles from TDMB this week, I can also recommend James‘s dissection of that news about Sophia the Robot and Saudi Arabia’s mega-city plans:
Okay, with all that to get through, let’s now move on to the top AI news of the week.
Is the ringing in of the new AI era simultaneously a death knell for Apple? This fascinating piece from Fortune explores the trajectory of the mobile phone to date, and predicts that Apple may be the next Blackberry, washed away in a tide of AI-powered devices from (probably) Google and Amazon.
Grab your tinfoil hat and get comfy…
You may remember Geoff Hinton recently proclaiming that we have done AI all wrong and need to start again. He reckons that we need to start using what he calls capsule networks, which he claims show promise to far outdo the performance of current machine learning systems. As always, Wired goes beautifully in-depth into the subject with Hinton, his papers, and his perspectives. A highly recommended piece this week.
Ahh… it’s this one. I’ve come across this news a few times this week. NVIDIA has developed a GAN system that can accurately create a realistic human face. Using CelebA-HQ’s database of celebrity photos, the system came up with its own, make-believe celebrities that are so realistic that you find yourself wondering why you don’t recognise these A-list looking folk. In this era in which the non-existence of objective fact dominates the cultural consciousness, NVIDIA’s GAN acts almost like a work of social commentary; a piece of art for our times.
My view, without even reading this? No. Of course not. Lock up your kids and lock up yourselves. Skynet is coming for us all!
Well, there you go. As always, I am very keen to hear what you think about this week’s news. Do feel free to tweet me, email me (email@example.com), or DM me on LinkedIn. And if you haven’t already, fill in the box below to subscribe to this review by email.
Have an outstanding week, my dears. I’m off for a quick bite at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.