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Google Chairman: Artificial Intelligence will replace traditional approaches

LeWeb 11 @ Les Docks Paris (Official Leweb Photos_Flikr)

Some of the leading technology industry giants are competing with each other over the “artificial intelligence”market, that has the potential to change the way a person interacts with digital devices. Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman, penned his opinion on the subject in an article published on BBC.

It has taken decades of research on machine learning as usually is the case with technology revolutions and we are just starting to see real progress. Quoting one such example, he says that Geoff Hinton worked for 20 years and in 2009 he and his students beat the state of the art for speech recognition.

“Google quickly adopted their methods (and later hired the team) and cut errors in speech recognition on the Google app by around 25% - the equivalent of about ten years of research all at once”, he added.

He believes that in the next generation of software, machine learning won't just be an add-on that improves performance a few percentage points; it will really replace traditional approaches.

Discussing the application of artificial intelligence in the music industry, he said, “To give just one example: a decade ago, to launch a digital music service, you probably would have enlisted a handful of elite tastemakers to pick the hottest new music.”

Although he did not mention any names but by this example he seems to be targeting Apple Music. He continued, “Today, you're much better off building a smart system that can learn from the real world - what actual listeners are most likely to like next - and help you predict who and where the next Adele might be."

“As a bonus, it's a much less elitist taste-making process - much more democratic - allowing everyone to discover the next big star through our own collective tastes and not through the individual preferences of a select few.”

He said that more and more research directed towards real-world application should be undertaken in order for AI to fulfil its long-term potential for society.

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