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Saturday, July 08, 2017

The AI revolution in science | Science Magazine

Photo: Tim Appenzeller
"Big data has met its match. In field after field, the ability to collect data has exploded—in biology, with its burgeoning databases of genomes and proteins; in astronomy, with the petabytes flowing from sky surveys; in social science, tapping millions of posts and tweets that ricochet around the internet" inform Tim Appenzeller, News Editor for Science magazine.

A conceptual illustration evokes a node in a neural network, which “learns” as connections between simulated neurons change in response to inputs.
KIYOSHI TAKAHASE SEGUNDO/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO 

The flood of data can overwhelm human insight and analysis, but the computing advances that helped deliver it have also conjured powerful new tools for making sense of it all. 

In a revolution that extends across much of science, researchers are unleashing artificial intelligence (AI), often in the form of artificial neural networks, on the data torrents. Unlike earlier attempts at AI, such “deep learning” systems don’t need to be programmed with a human expert’s knowledge. 

Instead, they learn on their own, often from large training data sets, until they can see patterns and spot anomalies in data sets that are far larger and messier than human beings can cope with. 

AI isn’t just transforming science; it is speaking to you in your smartphone, taking to the road in driverless cars, and unsettling futurists who worry it will lead to mass unemployment. For scientists, prospects are mostly bright: AI promises to supercharge the process of discovery...

Artificial intelligence, in so many words Just what do people mean by artificial intelligence (AI)? The term has never had clear boundaries. When it was introduced at a seminal 1956 workshop at Dartmouth College, it was taken broadly to mean making a machine behave in ways that would be called intelligent if seen in a human. An important recent advance in AI has been machine learning, which shows up in technologies from spellcheck to self-driving cars and is often carried out by computer systems called neural networks. Any discussion of AI is likely to include other terms as well.
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How AI detectives are cracking open the black box of deep learning by Paul Voosen,  staff writer.

Source: Science Magazine 


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