As we continue to expand our client offerings, some InRhythmers are beginning to consider the implications of machine learning and AI on our business. It’s brought up a lot of important conversations and great ideas, and I’m excited about the possibilities for our company. I’m even more excited for all of you, who in the coming years will be contributing in some way to this revolution, which is certain to affect how software is built and delivered.
In this issue of our newsletter, we’re going to look at a few trends in Artificial Intelligence, beginning with a cautionary tale from our Web Engineering Practice Lead, Sandro Pasquali. Are we heading to a future dominated by AI overlords, or is the intelligence we “create” just as prone to mess up as we are? Share your vision of the future on social media—or build a bot to do it for you—@GetInRhythm or here on our blog.
Thanks and Keep Growing,
How Can I Help? Good (And Not so Good) AI Design InRhythm.com (3 min.)
“The AI tools we build, like live chat options on mobile apps, can be fantastically helpful. They can also be frustratingly inept. As AI continues its explosive development and new tools pop up every day, Sandro Pasquali recounts a recent run-in with a chatbot, and spells out why our AI isn’t quite so sophisticated…yet.”
The State of Artificial Intelligence Andrew Ng (29 min.)
“Stanford professor Andrew Ng is one of the leading thinkers on AI. He’s responsible for building the AI labs at both Google and Baidu; in this brief talk, he presents a tremendously useful framework for thinking about what makes a company an AI company. Hint: just throwing a neural network at an internet company doesn’t cut it. Well worth your time.”
The Most Human Human Brian Christian (78 min.)
In this highly-entertaining talk, best-selling author Brian Christian lays out some of his thoughts around what it means to be human, providing an update around how we’re doing on the “Turing Test.” I’ve watched it several times and each time I find something new to think about. If you have to take away just one thing from this video, the discussion around Moravec’s Paradox makes clear what may be the key difference between our brain and (current) artificial brains (relax…you’re still smarter).
Information and Artificial Intelligence Daniel Dennett (25 min.)
“Daniel Dennett (one of our favorite thinkers on the subject of AI) has a lot to say about information. As the author of “Consciousness Explained” and many other titles on the mind, religion and, well, thinking, Dennett has a lot to say about how we should think about “what a mind is” and what “intelligence” really means. This is a great talk that clearly summarizes the history and importance of many of the questions—and some of the answers—scientists, philosophers, engineers, and others are grappling with as we stumble into an artificially intelligent(?) future. Always provocative, Dennett will challenge many of your assumptions.”
The State of Conversational Artificial Intelligence Mariya Yao (45 min.)
“There’s a lot of buzz around chat and chatbots, and venture capital has been pushing billions into some pretty wild ideas. In this talk, Mariya Yao, CTO at TopBots, does a great job laying out a wide-ranging survey of the “state of bots” from past to present. If you want to start thinking about new ideas for bots you should start by getting clear on what has already been tried, what’s new, and what’s working. There should be a bot for that, right?”
How Convolutional Neural Networks Work Brandon Rohrer (26 min.)
“InRhythm is an engineering company and thought leader employing more than 100 of the best engineers around. Engineers aren’t afraid of a little math and science, right? How about convolutional neural networks? Don’t be afraid! In this excellent introduction video, Facebook data scientist Brandon Rohrer walks us through the landscape, doing a great job breaking down a complex subject into understandable bites. Learn all about inputs, outputs, and the convolutions in between.”