Google Scientists recently... wait.... what? Google Scientists? Google is employing scientists now?
Anyway, Google Scientists recently created a "brain", an AI system that is capable of "learning". What's the first thing the AI taught itself? Finding cat pics online. Yup....
Google Brain Teaches Itself to Recognize — What Else? — Cats
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Google scientists created one of the largest neural networks for machine learning by connecting 16,000 computer processors, which they turned loose on the Internet to learn on its own. Presented with 10 million digital images found in YouTube videos, what did Google’s brain do? What millions of humans do with YouTube: looked for cats.
The neural network taught itself to recognize cats, which, John Markoff of The New York Times reports, is actually no frivolous activity. This week the researchers will present the results of their work at a conference in Edinburgh. The Google scientists and programmers will note that while it is hardly news that the Internet is full of cat videos, the simulation nevertheless surprised them. It performed far better than any previous effort by roughly doubling its accuracy in recognizing objects in a challenging list of 20,000 distinct items.
The research is representative of a new generation of computer science that is exploiting the falling cost of computing and the availability of huge clusters of computers in giant data centers. It is leading to significant advances in areas as diverse as machine vision and perception, speech recognition and language translation.
Google scientists said that the research project had now moved out of the Google X laboratory and was being pursued in the division that houses the company’s search business and related services. Potential applications include improvements to image search, speech recognition and machine language translation.