Visit additional Tabor Communication Publications
January 16, 2013
It's the ultimate pairing. American inventor and renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil has joined forces with Google. As Director of Engineering, Kurzweil will lead an "ambitious" artificial intelligence project that will seek to both understand intelligence and recreate it.
While Internet innovator Google has famously reorganized the world's information, this information has semantic content that remains largely elusive to computers, notes Kurzweil.
The primary goal of the Kurtzweil-led Google project is to develop and apply machine learning advances to Google's core efforts: "search, question and answering, and getting to know you."
When asked about specific product plans, Kurzweil paints a picture of a "cybernetic friend" that understands your needs and responds to them with very little input – like Apple's Siri on steroids.
"It will know at a semantically deep level what you're interested in, not just the topic…[but] the specific questions and concerns you have," explains Kurzweil.
As for how this lines up with Google's agenda:
"I envision some years from now the majority of search queries will be answered without actually you asking. It'll just know this is something that you're going to want to see," said Kurzweil.
The size of the new team is unclear at this point, but Kurzweil is confident that he will have the resources he needs, and he expects the group to expand as the project evolves.
Kurtzweil has authored seven books, including bestsellers The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity Is Near. His latest work, How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, explores the potential of reverse-engineering the human brain.
What Kurzweil is after is not your usual brute-force algorithm-based machine intelligence, but some kind of "real" understanding that is closer to human cognition. If this sounds impossibly far-fetched, the stuff of science fiction, there's a reason for that.
Like other Singularity supporters, Kurzweil contends that when it comes to the kind of exponential returns that technology confers (like computers that are roughly 1000x faster ever 10 years), human intuition breaks down. There's a built-in tendency to vastly underestimate the forward march of technical progress.
Kurzweil responds to such skepticism in his employment announcement:
"In 1999, I said that in about a decade we would see technologies such as self-driving cars and mobile phones that could answer your questions, and people criticized these predictions as unrealistic. Fast forward a decade – Google has demonstrated self-driving cars, and people are indeed asking questions of their Android phones. It's easy to shrug our collective shoulders as if these technologies have always been around, but we're really on a remarkable trajectory of quickening innovation, and Google is at the forefront of much of this development."
The video is only 10-minutes long, but jam-packed with interesting tidbits from one of the greatest thinkers of our time.
In a recent solicitation, the NSF laid out needs for furthering its scientific and engineering infrastructure with new tools to go beyond top performance, Having already delivered systems like Stampede and Blue Waters, they're turning an eye to solving data-intensive challenges. We spoke with the agency's Irene Qualters and Barry Schneider about..
Large-scale, worldwide scientific initiatives rely on some cloud-based system to both coordinate efforts and manage computational efforts at peak times that cannot be contained within the combined in-house HPC resources. Last week at Google I/O, Brookhaven National Lab’s Sergey Panitkin discussed the role of the Google Compute Engine in providing computational support to ATLAS, a detector of high-energy particles at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
The Xeon Phi coprocessor might be the new kid on the high performance block, but out of all first-rate kickers of the Intel tires, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) got the first real jab with its new top ten Stampede system.We talk with the center's Karl Schultz about the challenges of programming for Phi--but more specifically, the optimization...
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
04/15/2013 | Bull | “50% of HPC users say their largest jobs scale to 120 cores or less.” How about yours? Are your codes ready to take advantage of today’s and tomorrow’s ultra-parallel HPC systems? Download this White Paper by Analysts Intersect360 Research to see what Bull and Intel’s Center for Excellence in Parallel Programming can do for your codes.
In this demonstration of SGI DMF ZeroWatt disk solution, Dr. Eng Lim Goh, SGI CTO, discusses a function of SGI DMF software to reduce costs and power consumption in an exascale (Big Data) storage datacenter.
The Cray CS300-AC cluster supercomputer offers energy efficient, air-cooled design based on modular, industry-standard platforms featuring the latest processor and network technologies and a wide range of datacenter cooling requirements.