Must read article on MIT Technology Review on Yann LeCun’s quest to improve Deep Learning at Facebook. LeCun guesses that virtual helpers with a mastery of language unprecedented for software will be available in just two to five years. He expects that anyone who doubts deep learning’s ability to master language will be proved wrong even sooner. “There is the same phenomenon that we were observing just before 2012,” he says. “Things are starting to work, but the people doing more classical techniques are not convinced. Within a year or two it will be the end.”
A reincarnation of one of the oldest ideas in artificial intelligence could finally make it possible to truly converse with our computers. And Facebook has a chance to make it happen first.
Facebook and other companies, including Google, IBM, and Microsoft, have moved quickly to get into this area in the past few years because deep learning is far better than previous AI techniques at getting computers to pick up skills that challenge machines, like understanding photos. Those more established techniques require human experts to laboriously program certain abilities, such as how to detect lines and corners in images. Deep-learning software figures out how to make sense of data for itself, without any such programming. Some systems can now recognize images or faces about as accurately as humans.
Yann LeCun, Director at Facebook AI Research is a computer scientist with contributions in machine learning, computer vision, mobile robotics and computational neuroscience. He is well known for his work on optical character recognition and computer vision using convolutional neural networks, and is a founding father of convolutional nets. He now leads a group at Facebook trying to create software that understands text and can hold conversations.
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