90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Artificial Intelligence

A.I., artificial intelligence, is on the move again.  Deep learning.  Big strides.  It may change the world around you.

Gears. (chance.press/Flickr)

Gears. (chance.press/Flickr)

A.I., artificial intelligence, has had a big run in Hollywood.  The computer Hal in Kubrick’s “2001” was fiendishly smart.  And plenty of robots and server farms beyond HAL.  Real life A.I. has had a tougher launch over the decades.  But slowly, gradually, it has certainly crept into our lives.

Think of all the “smart” stuff around you.  Now an explosion in Big Data is driving new advances in “deep learning” by computers.  And there’s a new wave of excitement.

This hour, On Point:  Artificial intelligence, Big Data, and deep learning, lining up for a new era of A.I.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Yann LeCun, professor of Computer Science, Neural Science, and Electrical and Computer Engineering at New York University.

Peter Norvig, director of research at Google Inc.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “Using an artificial intelligence technique inspired by theories about how the brain recognizes patterns, technology companies are reporting startling gains in fields as diverse as computer vision, speech recognition and the identification of promising new molecules for designing drugs.”

New Yorker ” There is good reason to be excited about deep learning, a sophisticated “machine learning” algorithm that far exceeds many of its predecessors in its abilities to recognize syllables and images. But there’s also good reason to be skeptical. While the Times reports that “advances in an artificial intelligence technology that can recognize patterns offer the possibility of machines that perform human activities like seeing, listening and thinking,” deep learning take us, at best, only a small step toward the creation of truly intelligent machines.”

Mind Hacks “Most uses abstract statistical representations. For example, a face recognition system will not use human-familiar concepts like ‘mouth’, ‘nose’ and ‘eyes’ but statistical properties derived from the image that may bear no relation to how we talk about faces. The innovation of deep learning is that it not only arranges these properties into hierarchies – with properties and sub-properties – but it works out how many levels of hierarchy best fit the data.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 30, 2014
Soylent is a new meal-replacement substance meant to offer a complete nutritional alternative to traditional food. (Courtesy Soylent)

Soylent is a grey smoothie the consistency of pancake batter that claims it can replace all your food. On a crowded planet, is this the future of food? Plus: what does the Antares rocket crash mean for private space travel?

 
Oct 30, 2014
Realtor Helen Hertz stands in front of one of her listings in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Hertz, a real estate agent for more than three decades, has seen firsthand what has happened to the market in the wake of the recession and foreclosure crisis. (AP)

Home ownership rates are at a 20-year low. Millennials and more aren’t buying. We’ll look at what American’s think now about owning a home.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: October 31, 2014
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

We tumble for ya, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Tuco the Massachusetts K-9 Unit puppy in training.

More »
Comment
 
Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

More »
Comment
 
A Bit More On The History Of Quarantine
Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

So this whole quarantine thing — why to do it, when to do it, and when to just say no.

More »
Comment