For most of my adult life, I have been maniacally focused on my work. I would answer emails instantly during the day, and even get up twice each night to ensure that all the emails were answered. Yes, I would spend time with my family members—but just so they didn’t complain, and not an hour more.
GOOGLE’S ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE can play the ancient game of Go better than any human. It can identify faces, recognize spoken words, and pull answers to your questions from the web. But the promise is that this same kind of technology will soon handle far more serious work than playing games and feeding smartphone apps. One day, it could help care for the human body.
GENERAL ELECTRIC BUILDS jet engines and wind turbines and medical gear. But the 124-year-old industrial giant is also transforming itself for the digital age. It’s fashioning software that pulls data from all this hardware, hoping to gain an insight into industrial operations that was never possible in the past. The problem is that analyzing all this data is difficult, and the talent needed to make it happen is scarce. So GE is going shopping.
DEEP NEURAL NETWORKS are remaking the Internet. Able to learn very human tasks by analyzing vast amounts of digital data, these artificially intelligent systems are injecting online services with a power that just wasn’t viable in years past. They’re identifying faces in photos and recognizing commands spoken into smartphones and translating conversations from one language to another. They’re even helping Google choose its search results. All this we know. But what’s less discussed is how the giants of the Internet go about building these rather remarkable engines of AI.
Google, a company whose primary business is advertising, also does some pretty incredible things with the technology it has developed.