A Stanford Proposal Over AI's 'Foundations' Ignites Debate

A Stanford Proposal Over AI's 'Foundations' Ignites Debate

Thomas Dietterich, a professor at Oregon State University and former president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, says he has “huge respect” for the researchers behind the new Stanford center, and he believes they are genuinely concerned about the problems these models raise.

Dolphins Eavesdrop on Each Other to Avoid Awkward Run-Ins

Dolphins Eavesdrop on Each Other to Avoid Awkward Run-Ins

In their experiment, Curé’s team tested how dolphins responded when the researchers parked their boats overhead and played them social noises recorded from other groups.So to test how the animals respond, researchers play a recording of those sounds over a speaker and watch what happens.

A Field Guide for Nature-Resistant Nerds

A Field Guide for Nature-Resistant Nerds

In the natural world, bodies are inescapable.I don't like dirt.But as I read more about the physics of chips, I started to have a kind of acceptance of assembly language.You know, something like that.

‘Heaven’s Vault’: A Linguist’s Buried Treasure

‘Heaven’s Vault’: A Linguist’s Buried Treasure

Jon Ingold, cofounder and creative narrative director of Heaven’s Vault developer Inkle Studios, invented the unique translation mechanic, which puts the player in charge of deciphering a lost alien language called Ancient—bringing players the closest they can get to a linguistics and translation game.

This Chinese Lab Is Aiming for Big AI Breakthroughs

This Chinese Lab Is Aiming for Big AI Breakthroughs

Wen leads a team at the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence (BAAI), a government-sponsored research lab that’s testing a powerful new language algorithm—something similar to GPT-3, a program revealed in June by researchers at OpenAI that digests large amounts of text and can generate remarkably coherent, free-flowing language.

Can an AI Predict the Language of Viral Mutation?

Can an AI Predict the Language of Viral Mutation?

Last winter, Brian Hie, a computational biologist at MIT and a fan of the lyric poetry of John Donne, was thinking about this problem when he alighted upon an analogy: What if we thought of viral sequences the way we think of written language?

Behind the Paper That Led to a Google Researcher’s Firing

Behind the Paper That Led to a Google Researcher’s Firing

Earlier this year, Google artificial intelligence researcher Timnit Gebru sent a Twitter message to University of Washington professor Emily Bender.“This article is a very solid and well-researched piece of work,” says Julien Cornebise, an honorary associate professor at University College London who has seen a draft of the paper.

Pandemic Quiet Is Helping Humans Eavesdrop on Rare Dolphins

Pandemic Quiet Is Helping Humans Eavesdrop on Rare Dolphins

MMF scientists have studying the Burrunans for more than a decade, but the pandemic quiet has only just made it possible, via 3,000 hours of clear recordings of the animal’s noises, to begin to understand what the aquatic mammals have been saying.

Go Ahead, Try to Sneak Bad Words Past AI Filters—for Research

Go Ahead, Try to Sneak Bad Words Past AI Filters—for Research

Facebook’s project comes as more AI researchers, including the social network’s VP of artificial intelligence , say the field needs to broaden its horizons if computers are to become capable of handling complex, real world situations.

What Poetry Means for Doctors and Patients During a Pandemic

What Poetry Means for Doctors and Patients During a Pandemic

I think especially now, when we’re feeling in some ways estranged from our own bodies and disconnected, having that visceral experience of hearing the music and language is just compelling.

OpenAI’s Text Generator Is Going Commercial

OpenAI’s Text Generator Is Going Commercial

Last spring, artificial intelligence research institute OpenAI said it had made software so good at generating text—including fake news articles—that it was too dangerous to release .Machine-learning algorithms are directed to analyze vast collections of text scraped from the web to discover the statistical patterns in language use.

This Pandemic Is Lonely. But Don't Call Loneliness an ‘Epidemic’

This Pandemic Is Lonely. But Don't Call Loneliness an ‘Epidemic’

“When the language of loneliness emerged around about 1800, before then people did use the word lonely, but they meant being alone,” Alberti says.

A New Chatbot Tries a Little Artificial Empathy

A New Chatbot Tries a Little Artificial Empathy

A chatbot developed by artificial intelligence researchers at shows that combining a huge amount of training data with a little artificial empathy, personality, and general knowledge can go some way toward fostering the illusion of good chitchat.

The Python Programming Language Is More Popular Than Ever

The Python Programming Language Is More Popular Than Ever

That milestone is all the more significant given a sometimes rocky transition from the second version of Python, which the language's developers stopped supporting this year, to the third version.

Forget Chess—the Real Challenge Is Teaching AI to Play D&D

Forget Chess—the Real Challenge Is Teaching AI to Play D&D

This kind of spontaneous yet coherent storytelling is extremely difficult for artificial intelligence , even as AI has mastered more constrained board games such as chess and Go. The best text-generating AI programs too often produce confused and disjointed prose.

'Baby Talk' Can Help Kids Learn Language (Oh Yes It Can !)

'Baby Talk' Can Help Kids Learn Language (Oh Yes It Can !)

But it’s not all about instinct: a paper published in PNAS this week suggests that parents can be trained to improve their parentese and that this training gives their babies’ language a boost.

Tinder Swipes Right on AI to Help Stop Harassment

Tinder Swipes Right on AI to Help Stop Harassment

Now, Tinder is turning to artificial intelligence to help people dealing with grossness in the DMs. The popular online dating app will use machine learning to automatically screen for potentially offensive messages.

Why the Tesla Cybertruck Looks So Weird

Why the Tesla Cybertruck Looks So Weird

Zammit says he and other automotive designers teach students to add a little extra something to make the vehicle look stable, to look strong—even if it doesn’t add much to the engineering.

Computers Are Learning to Read—But They're Still Not So Smart

Computers Are Learning to Read—But They're Still Not So Smart

In an April 2018 paper coauthored with collaborators from the University of Washington and DeepMind, the Google-owned artificial intelligence company, Bowman introduced a battery of nine reading-comprehension tasks for computers called GLUE (General Language Understanding Evaluation).

Actually, Gender-Neutral Pronouns Can Change a Culture

Actually, Gender-Neutral Pronouns Can Change a Culture

He writes about science and miscellaneous geekery for WIRED.Importantly, the people being tested, upwards of 2,000 of them, were all native speakers of Swedish, an old language that has learned a new trick.

Bridging the Internet's Digital Language Divide

Bridging the Internet's Digital Language Divide

At the same time, corporations like Google have built programs that make it easier to access online content in different languages, like Google Translate.

Like Game of Thrones Languages? Here's How to Make Your Own

Like Game of Thrones Languages? Here's How to Make Your Own

Like Game of Thrones Languages? Those languages on Game of Thrones sound so, so cool. Peterson, the man behind the languages on Game of Thrones just how he does it.

Don’t See Yourself on Your Emoji Keyboard? She Can Help

Don’t See Yourself on Your Emoji Keyboard? She Can Help

Until then, Lee will be on Slack with her people and in the Unicode meetings with the bureaucrats, shepherding new emoji proposals through committee and onto keyboards.

Why a Geocode Is Not an Address

Why a Geocode Is Not an Address

According to the Puerto Rican government's recovery plan, the lack of 911-compliant addresses "makes it difficult for emergency responders to locate homes and businesses." So it is unsurprising that Puerto Ricans are resisting exclusively using a geocode addressing system, no matter what problems it can solve from a technical perspective.

Nobody Knows What ‘Troll’ Means Anymore—Least of All Mueller

Nobody Knows What ‘Troll’ Means Anymore—Least of All Mueller

The ideal(istic) future of the word troll is this: If “troll” is a term so meaningless and expansive that people like the perpetrator of the Christchurch massacre can hide within it under cover of a million teenage pranksters, let’s strike it.

Tristan Harris: Tech Is ‘Downgrading Humans.’ It’s Time to Fight Back

Tristan Harris: Tech Is ‘Downgrading Humans.’ It’s Time to Fight Back

Harris thought Zuckerberg’s embrace of the phrase was a step in the right direction, and he was even more pleased when Apple and Google —which he calls “the central banks of the attention economy”—rolled out features to try to help people limit their addictions to their screens.

Heaven's Vault Is a Rare Videogame About the Art of Translation

Heaven's Vault Is a Rare Videogame About the Art of Translation

Heaven's Vault is an elegant, simple system wrapped in a truly beautiful game. Heaven's Vault is about the thrill and uncertainty of lost knowledge—about connecting to the past and to other people. Heaven's Vault is one of the most enthralling narrative-driven adventure games I've played in a long time.

Coding Is for Everyone—as Long as You Speak English

Coding Is for Everyone—as Long as You Speak English

When you put translating code in terms of the billions of the people in the world who don't speak English, access to high-paying jobs and the ability to tinker with your own device is no longer a hypothetical benefit.

How the Brain Links Gestures, Perception, and Meaning

How the Brain Links Gestures, Perception, and Meaning

More than a century ago, the psychologist Walter Pillsbury wrote: “There is nothing in the mind that has not been explained in terms of movement.” This concept has its modern incarnation in the mirror neuron theory, which posits that the ability to glean meaning from gesture and speech can be explained by the activation of single cells in key brain regions.

Tracking Readers’ Eye Movements Can Help Computers Learn

Tracking Readers’ Eye Movements Can Help Computers Learn

Last year she developed a dataset that combines eye tracking and brain signals gathered from EEG scans, hoping to discover patterns that can improve how neural networks understand language.