- The field of artificial intelligence is 60 years old and it's had its ups and downs. What accounts for the rapid progress in the field in recent years? This lecture will look at the four catalysts of progress in AI since the beginning of the millennium. They are Moore's Law, big data, the internet and cloud computing, and improved algorithms. Let's look at them one at a time. Moore's Law was named for Gordon Moore, one of the founders of Intel, the big semiconductor company.
He predicted decades ago that improvements in manufacturing would allow the performance of computers to roughly double every 18 months or so, relative to cost or size. And he was right! This led to exponential growth in computing power. For example, current generations of microprocessors are four million times more powerful than the first single-chip microprocessor introduced in 1971. Moore's Law benefited all types of computing, including AI.
Years ago, researchers simply didn't have the computing power needed to try some of their ideas, and today they do. The second catalyst of progress is big data. We live in an era of exploding volumes of data, partly due to the internet, social media, mobile devices, and low cost sensors. The volume of data created and copied annually is expected to reach 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020, according to one analyst firm. In this era of big data, new techniques have been developed for managing and analyzing the data and this has been a boon to AI development.
Some AI techniques work best with access to large amounts of data. The third catalyst of progress is the internet and cloud computing. This supports the development of AI in two ways. First of all, it makes these vast data stores, in principle, available to any internet-connected device. Secondly, it makes it possible for people to collaborate to make AI systems smarter. For instance, the more we use Apple's Siri or Google's Voice Search, the better they work, because of a process known as machine learning.
The fourth catalyst is algorithms and open source. An algorithm is simply a procedure for performing some task and AI has many algorithms. In recent years, researchers have discovered ways of improving the performance of those algorithms dramatically, and this has led to rapid progress in machine learning and other areas. The open source movement has been an important contributor to this progress, because it allows researchers to share and build on each other's work, thereby accelerating progress even further. So just to summarize, the four catalysts of progress in artificial intelligence since the turn of the millennium are Moore's Law, big data, the internet and cloud computing, and advanced algorithms and open source.
- Artificial intelligence explained
- Cognitive technologies explained
- Supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning
- Machine learning models and algorithms
- Language, speech, and visual processing
- Business applications of cognitive tech
- The impact of cognitive technologies at work
- Future of cognitive technologies