My experience with StarCraft was probably the stupidest possible: I really liked the books.Sure, I played the games, but mostly I played single-player because I was not very good, and enjoyed the story.Anyway, I was, and still am, very dumb.Others actually enjoy playing the complex real-time strategy game (against human players) that puts alien races in conflict with one another.That’s because Facebook is now releasing an enormous AI-training data set, consisting of over 65,000 StarCraft replays broken into 1.5 billion frames, equalling 365GB of data, the largest set of StarCraft replays yet by a factor of ten.Meanwhile, Google’s DeepMind and Blizzard are releasing tools to train AI on its own large Starcraft II data set.
This mechanism for enabling outside creators into integrate their apps into StarCraft II is going to open up the competitive sci-fi strategy game to researchers working in the field of A.I.At the 2016 BlizzCon fan gathering in Anaheim, Blizzard revealed that it was working with DeepMind to test the same sort of learning algorithms that helped the company’s AlphaGo A.I.beat some of the top players of the complicated board game, Go.“On behalf of Blizzard Entertainment, the StarCraft II development team is very pleased to announce the release of the StarCraft II API,” reads a Blizzard blog post.“We recognize the efforts made by researchers over the years to advance AI using the original StarCraft.With the StarCraft II API, we’re providing powerful tools for researchers, gamers, and hobbyists to utilize the game as a platform to further advance the state of AI research.”
Artificial intelligence rolled over each of these games like a relentless tide.No one expects the robot to win anytime soon.DeepMind and Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind StarCraft, just released the tools to let AI researchers create bots capable of competing in a galactic war against humans.The bots will see and do all all the things human players can do, and nothing more.DeepMind applied machine-learning techniques to Go matchups to develop its champion-beating Go bot, AlphaGo.A new DeepMind paper includes early results from feeding StarCraft data to its learning software, and shows it is a long way from mastering the game.
Do you remember the adorable scene in Bambi where Thumper the rabbit teaches Disney’s lovable deer how to walk?Well, computer scientists from the University of British Columbia and National University of Singapore just did that with a bipedal computer model (read: essentially a pair of animated legs) — only instead of a cute cartoon rabbit, the teacher is a deep reinforcement learning artificial intelligence algorithm.Called DeepLoco, the work was shown off this week at SIGGRAPH 2017, probably the world’s leading computer graphics conference.While we have had realistic CGI that is capable of mimicking realistic walking motions for years, what makes this work so nifty is that it uses reinforcement learning to optimize a solution.Reinforcement learning, for those unfamiliar with it, is a school of machine learning in which software agents learn to take actions that will maximize their reward.Google’s DeepMind, for example, has used reinforcement learning to teach an AI to play classic video games by working out how to achieve high scores.
DeepMind, the London-based artificial intelligence (AI) lab owned by Google, is funding research being carried out by the National Health Service (NHS).DeepMind and Moorfields are working together to see if DeepMind's AI technology can be used to help spot early signs of eye conditions that human eye care experts might miss.Specifically, Moorfields is applying DeepMind's algorithms to 1 million anonymous OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) scans.The aim is to determine whether the algorithms can learn to spot early signs of age-related macular degeneration and sight loss that occurs as a result of diabetes.The payment from DeepMind to Moorfields "represents the costs incurred by the Trust," according to the FoI response.Moorfields has not paid any money to DeepMind.
Google's DeepMind is developing an AI capable of 'imagination', enabling machines to see the consequences of their actions before they make them.In two new research papers, the British AI firm, which was acquired by Google in 2014, describes new developments for "imagination-based planning" to AI.Its attempt to create algorithms that simulate the distinctly human ability to construct a plan could eventually help to produce software and hardware capable of solving complex tasks more efficiently.DeepMind's previous research in this area has been incredibly successful, with its AlphaGo AI managing to beat a series of human champions at the notoriously tricky board game Go.However, AlphaGo relies on a clearly defined set of rules to provide likely outcomes, with relatively few factors to consider."Even for the most intelligent agents, imagining in these complex environments is a long and costly process."
The uplift in revenue, accounting for a 21% year-on-year boost, should not really come as a huge surprise to many, however the cloud business has been quietly going about its business, making some serious cash in the process.The ‘other revenues’ segment in the results, which contains the cloud business unit as well as the Google Play app store, grew a massive 42% to $3.1 billion.The IaaS product offering is proving to be one of the strongest around, but the Deepmind AI proposition would be a clear market leader in some people’s eyes.It’s our focus on infusing our products and platforms with power of machine learning and AI that’s driving our success.”One area which seems to get forgotten within the Google armoury (amazingly so) is YouTube.It’s one of the most popular websites/apps on the planet, but seems to be subdued to the shadows when you look at the monumental numbers which are being thrown around the Google financial calls.
Google’s London-based AI outfit DeepMind has created two different types of AI that can use their ‘imagination’ to plan ahead and perform tasks with a higher success rate than AIs without imagination.Sorry if I made you click because you wanted AIs predicted flying cars.I promise this is cool too.In a post on their site, DeepMind researchers give a short review of “a new family of approaches for imagination-based planning.” The so-called Imagination-Augmented Agents, or I2As, use an internal ‘imagination encoder’ that helps the AI decide what are and what aren’t useful predictions about its environment.The researchers argue that giving AI imagination is crucial for dealing with real-world environments, where it’s helpful to test a few possible outcomes of actions ‘in your head’ to predict which one is best.Recently, DeepMind’s founder Demis Hassabis wrote a paper published in Neuron about how the development of general-purpose AI is dependent on understanding and encoding human abilities like imagination, curiosity, and memory into AI.
Peter Thiel's investment company owned more shares in artificial intelligence (AI) lab DeepMind than all three of the startup's cofounders when it was acquired by Google for around $600 million (£463 million).Analysis of an annual return document on UK company register Companies House showed that Thiel's "Founders Fund" owned 4,490,487 of DeepMind's 16,406,358 overall shares at the time of the Google acquisition in January 2014.That equates to more than 25% of DeepMind's shares.DeepMind cofounder and CEO Demis Hassabis owned 3,435,605 shares, while DeepMind cofounders Mustafa Suleyman and Shane Legg owned 867,672 and 736,406 respectively.Assuming DeepMind was acquired by Google for the reported $600 million (£463 million) sum, Thiel's fund would have gotten around $164 million (£127 million) from its shares.DeepMind is one of the UK's most successful startups in recent years and the company has made headlines for achieving a number of AI breakthroughs in recent years including mastering the Chinese board game Go.
Google's machine-learning gurus see promise in simulated creativityGoogle's AI boutique, DeepMind, known for dispelling human delusions of intellectual superiority by soundly beating the world's top Go players with computer code, has found that instilling its software agents with something like imagination helps them learn better.In two papers published this week – "Imagination-Augmented Agents for Deep Reinforcement Learning" and "Learning model-based planning from scratch" – the AI biz's brain boffins, based in Britain, describe novel techniques for improving deep reinforcement learning through what can generously be described as imaginative planning.Reinforcement learning is a form of machine learning.Deep learning is a form of machine that involves algorithms inspired by the human brain, called neural networks.Deep reinforcement learning may be done with models that incorporate rules under which software agents should operate.
Is AI chipmaker Graphcore out to eat Nvidia’s lunch?Co-founder and CEO Nigel Toon laughs at that interview opener — perhaps because he sold his previous company to the chipmaker back in 2011.“We started on this journey rather earlier than many other companies,” says Toon.In a supporting statement, Atomico Partner Siraj Khaliq, who is joining the Graphcore board, talks up its potential as being to “accelerate the pace of innovation itself”.“And it still gives us the option to raise more money next year to then really accelerate that ramp after we’ve got our product out.”The new funding brings on board some new high profile angel investors — including DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis and Uber chief scientist Zoubin Ghahramani.
Here’s this week’s newsletter: Last week, VentureBeat invited Amazon, Facebook, Google, IBM, and other giants of AI into a big tent with brands like Coca-Cola, The New York Times, Tumi, and Walmart, as well as such promising startups as Bark.us, Mezi, Visabot, and Octane AI.Walmart’s brick and mortar innovation is very similar to the Amazon Go concept store, which combines computer vision, machine learning, and sensors to bypass the checkout process entirely.The retail giant also recently launched an associate delivery program to conquer the last mile problem.For AI coverage, send news tips to Blair Hanley Frank and Khari Johnson, and guest post submissions to John Brandon — and be sure to bookmark our AI Channel.Please enjoy this video featuring Google’s DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, “Artificial Intelligence (AI) invents new knowledge and teaches human new theories.”CrowdFlower expands to help companies implement machine learning
DeepMind is one of the UK's most successful technology startups, having been acquired by Google for £400 million in January 2014.Before the artificial intelligence research lab was acquired, DeepMind took several million pounds from a host of big name investors to help it scale up, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Skype cofounder Jaan Tallinn."I remember the first time I pitched to him, he decided to invest within the first meeting," said Hassabis during a talk to entrepreneurs at Google Campus last month, which was uploaded onto YouTube last week."But it took about three months before it actually was closed because the main sticking point was he wanted us to move to Silicon Valley.Hassabis told Thiel that London, the UK, and Europe had an untapped talent pool that he and his cofounders — Mustafa Suleyman and Shane Legg — could exploit, citing universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, University College London, and Kings College London as prime examples."One of the things was I thought it [staying in London] was going to be a competitive advantage in terms of talent acquisition," said Hassabis.
Hampton Creek is in the news again — and not for the reasons it would like to be.Hampton Creek’s entire board of directors have left, except for CEO Josh Tetrick.Five board members left in the last month after some serious disagreement with how Tetrick was running things, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the departures.They include Bon Appétit Management Co. co-founder and CEO Fedele Bauccio, former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Google DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman, Khosla Ventures partner Samir Kaul and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Horizon Ventures representative Bart Swanson.Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff’s wife Lynne stepped down from the board last year.Though, Hampton Creek disputes the report, saying the departures were more of a transition to advisors and that Horizon and Benioff have “not been on the board for quite some time.”
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