Google Wants Better A.I.

Google's director of research, Alfred Spector, explains why artificial intelligence is crucial to the search company's future in areas like natural language, machine learning and speech recognition. 

What's the Latest Development?

When Google recently hosted a National Academy of Engineering meeting, the head of the company's research department, Alfred Spector, sat down to discuss Google's long-term vision of search and what the company needs to keep innovating. In a few words, better artificial intelligence (A.I.). The Google approach to A.I. uses hybrid artificial intelligence, augmenting computer capabilities with the power of crowd sourcing. With voice, for example, crowd sourcing is used to confirm that a computer has correctly recognized an utterance. 

What's the Big Idea?

One example of a practical tool that has resulted from Google's work with A.I. is its translation service. "Our translation tools can now use parsing—understanding the grammatical parts of a sentence. We used to train our translation just statistically, by comparing texts in different languages. Parsing now goes along with that, so we can assign parts of speech to sentences. Take the sentence 'The dog crossed the road': 'the dog' is the subject, 'crossed' is a verb, 'the road' is the object. This makes our translations better," says Spector. 

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

Keep reading Show less

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
  • The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
  • According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less