After shocking the world by defeating Lee Se-Dol—one of the greatest modern players of the ancient board game—in their opening match on Wednesday, the AlphaGo computer proved it was no fluke with another victory after a gruelling four-and-a-half-hour encounter. "I am quite speechless. I admit it was a very clear loss on my part," Lee told reporters after the match, adding he had found "no weakness" in AlphaGo's performance during Thursday's match. "AlphaGo played a near perfect game today... I will try my best so that I will win at least one game," said an ashen-faced Lee, who had earlier predicted that he would beat the supercomputer by a "landslide". The 33-year-old must prevail in all three remaining matches—held on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday—to win the series that has a cash prize of $1 million. AlphaGo's creators have described Go as the "Mt Everest" of AI, citing the complexity of the game, which requires a degree of creativity and intuition to prevail over an opponent. The most famous AI victory to date came in 1997 when the IBM-developed supercomputer Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov, the then-world class chess champion, in its second attempt. But a true mastery of Go, which has more possible move configurations than there are atoms in the universe, had long been considered the exclusive province of humans—until now. AlphaGo first came to prominence with a 5-0 drubbing of European champion Fan Hui last October, but it had been expected to struggle against 33-year-old Lee who has topped the world rankings for most of the past decade. The computer uses two sets of "deep neural networks" that allow it to crunch data in a more human-like fashion—dumping millions of potential moves that human players would instinctively know were pointless. It also employs algorithms that allow it to learn and improve from matchplay experience. Hailed as the "match of the century" by local media, the showdown at the Four Seasons Hotel in Seoul is being closely watched by AI experts as well as tens of millions of Go fans mostly in East Asia. The matches are being as broadcast live on major TV and cable channels in South Korea, Japan and China, with many Go fans rooting for Lee. "He is fighting alone against dozens of the world's top scientists and computers with massive processing power... I can't imagine how much pressure Lee is under," one online commentator wrote during Thursday's game. Lee appeared to struggle early on after AlphaGo made several moves that were "shockingly unconventional", said Kim Seong-Ryong, a Go commentator and professional player. "If you conducted a survey of all the 1,300 professional Go players in the South, Japan and China, not a single person would have chosen that move," Kim said after one of the computer's unexpected plays. Explore further: Human champion certain he'll beat AI at ancient Chinese game
News Article | August 18, 2016
A new iPhone 7 leak is making rounds on the internet, and if it's anything to go by, the anticipated handset won't be hitting the shelves as early as previously expected. According to 9to5Mac, the Apple smartphone will go official on Sept. 23, one week later than the first speculated release date. That detail comes from none other than AT&T, where the major U.S. carrier's retail schedule just got out to the public. Before this piece of news made the headlines, the iPhone 7 launch was originally believed to kick off on Sept. 16, with preorders starting on Sept. 9. At the time, many already assumed that was the real deal, as the ol' reliable tipster Evan Blass or @evleaks was the one who spread the word. To clear things up, these release dates are likely based on the past schedules of earlier iPhone models. In the case of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, they went up for preorder on Sept. 12 and rolled out on Sept. 19, Friday, back in 2014. That's a seven-day gap. Meanwhile, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus became available for preorder on Sept. 12 and landed on storefronts on Sept. 25, Friday, back in 2015. That there is a 13-day gap. Assuming that preorders for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus indeed get off the ground on Sept. 9, the history-backed release dates are naturally on a Friday either Sept. 16 or Sept. 23. To boil things down, because of the recent leak, there's a strong possibility that the next Apple flagship is going to launch on Sept. 23 instead of Sept. 16. However, nothing's set in stone just yet until the Cupertino brand itself announces anything, not to mention that the company hasn't said that the Sept. 7 event is official just yet. In other words, it's recommended to take this news with the proverbial grain of salt. It's also worth pointing out that an iPhone 7 Plus sporting a Deep Blue color has been spotted, providing another option to consider before shipping gets into gear. Are you one of the fans who can't wait to get their hands on the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus? If so, feel free to hit us up in the comments section below and let us know. This goes without saying, but hat tip to 9to5Mac for getting the word out. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | August 30, 2016
Apple is widely expected to launch a new Space Black color choice when it announces the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Newly leaked images appear to show both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in both Space Black and Blue aluminum cases. According to early reports, Samsung is seeing high demand for its latest flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note 7. The new Blue Coral color the company introduced with the launch of the Note 7 is in short supply, with many customers reporting having to face up to three weeks of wait time when placing an order. The company also just announced that its Pink Gold Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are now available for purchase in the United States. When Samsung announced the Pink Gold Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in April, many saw the move as being influenced by Apple's Rose Gold iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. It now looks like Apple could be gaining inspiration from Samsung's Blue Coral Galaxy Note 7, as images of what are reportedly the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in both Space Black and metallic Blue color choices. In June, an image of what was believed to be an iPhone 7 in a Deep Blue color leaked and it was said to replace the Space Gray color in Apple's iPhone 7/7 Plus lineup. Reports quickly surfaced claiming Apple was actually going to introduce a new Space Black hue that matches the Space Black Apple Watch. The new images show a much lighter Blue metallic tone than the Deep Blue iPhone 7 leaked in June. As you can see in the image above, the iPhone 7 Plus features a similar design to that of the iPhone 6s Plus with a few tweaks. The antenna bands that run across the rear of the iPhone 6/6s series have been relocated to the top and bottom of the handset to create a cleaner look. The iPhone 7 Plus' 12-megapixel dual-lens rear camera protrudes slightly. A Blue iPhone 7 is also shown next to a Blue iPhone 7 Plus, showing the smaller handset's reported 12-megapixel rear camera, which is expected to also include OIS (optical image stabilization). It's unclear if Apple is going to launch both a new Space Black and Blue color options for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus or stick to its usual move of introducing one new color. Several images of the Space Black iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have leaked and considering that the Space Black color is already an Apple Watch color option and likely Apple Watch 2 choice, chances are good we'll see it announced on Sept. 7. We'll keep you posted on all iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus news as we head into next week's event. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Go: a game of complexity and a symbol for unity of contradiction. Credit: Chinese Association of Automation On March 15, 2016, Lee Sodol, an 18-time world champion of the ancient Chinese board game Go, was defeated by AlphaGo, a computer program. The event is one of the most historic in the field of artificial intelligence since Deep Blue bested chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov in the late 1990s. The difference is that AlphaGo may represent an even bigger turning point in AI research. As outlined in a recently published paper, AlphaGo and programs like it possess the computational architecture to handle complex problems that lie well beyond the game table. Invented over 2500 years ago in China, Go is a game in which two players battle for territory on a gridded board by strategically laying black or white stones. While the rules that govern play are simple, Go is vastly more complex than chess. In chess, the total number of possible games is on the order of 10100. But the number for Go is 10700. That level of complexity is much too high to use the same computational tricks used to make Deep Blue a chess master. And this complexity is what makes Go so attractive to AI researchers. A program that could learn to play Go well would, in some ways, approach the complexity of human intelligence. Perhaps surprisingly, the team that developed AlphaGo, Google Deep Mind, did not create any new concepts or methods of artificial intelligence. Instead, the secret to AlphaGo's success is how it integrates and implements recent data-driven AI approaches, especially deep learning. This branch of AI deals with learning how to recognize highly abstract patterns in unlabeled data sets, mainly by using computational networks that mirror how the brain processes information. According to the authors, this kind of neural network approach can be considered a specific example of a more general technique called ACP, which is short for "artificial systems," "computational experiments," and "parallel execution." ACP effectively reduces the game space AlphaGo must search through to decide on a move. Instead of wading through all possible moves, AlphaGo is trained to recognize game patterns by continuously playing games against itself and examining its game play history. In effect, AlphaGo gets a feel for what Go players call "the shape of a game." Developing this kind of intuition is what the authors believe can also advance the management of complex engineering, economic, and social problems. The idea is that any decision problem that can be solved by a human being can also be solved by any AlphaGo-like program. This proposal, which the authors advance as the AlphaGo thesis, is a decision-oriented version of the Church-Turing thesis, which states that a simple computer called a Turing machine can compute all functions computable by humans. AlphaGo's recent triumph therefore holds a lot of promise for the field of artificial intelligence. Although advances in deep learning that extend beyond the game of Go will likely be the result of decades more research, AlphaGo is a good start. Explore further: Human champion certain he'll beat AI at ancient Chinese game
News Article | May 11, 2015
Agenda Posted For Xconomy Napa Summit on June 2—Request Your Invite We are just three weeks away from the Napa Summit 2015: The Xconomy Retreat on the Economy, Jobs, and Growth. Quite simply, it is my favorite event of the year. Beyond the incredible setting, this exclusive, invitation-only conference features some of the world’s leading innovators and investors in a uniquely intimate format—offering an unprecedented view of some of the key advances that will shape our society for decades to come. Think Dave McClure of 500 Startups and Scott Sandell of NEA on investing. Computer pioneer Gordon Bell, Siri co-inventor Dag Kittlaus, and Microsoft EVP for technology and research Harry Shum on computing, AI, and more. Long Tail author Chris Anderson on drones. Stephen Quake of Stanford and Jennifer Doudna from UC Berkeley on genomics. And that is just some of the action (more on this below). We limit this event to under 100 extremely special guests. We are ahead of pace, so if you want to reserve your spot, request your invitation right away. You can do that by writing to us at Napa2015@xconomy.com and telling us a bit about yourself and what you do. (If you are a service provider and would like to sponsor, we still have a few great packages available. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org). The dates are June 1 and 2. It all starts the evening of Monday, June 1, with a tour, wine tasting, and dinner at the legendary Silver Oak Cellars, home of arguably the best cabernet in California. Then we get down to business in earnest the next day with the summit itself at the nearby Villagio Inn & Spa. You can find all the details on our event page. Registration is $1,495, which includes the dinner at Silver Oak, and breakfast and lunch at Villagio, and we have discounts for startups and government/non-profits (lodging and travel are separate). We’ve posted the agenda here. But here are some more details about the program to help you make up your mind. Dinner chat with Dave McClure of 500 Startups, one of the most dynamic young investors in Silicon Valley. I will be moderating the conversation. But you can ask him yourself why he spreads his investments across a multitude of companies in a multitude of fields—and countries—and what he thinks the hot new trends are. The day starts off with a look at major economic forces and trends in technology, biotech, and in the workplace. After that, we will bring things up close and personal with leaders in genomics, computing, robotics, AI, connected devices, education, and a whole lot more. Here are some of the highlights: —Capturing Everything: A chat with computer pioneer Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell, co-founder of Trov, a startup focused on, well, capturing everything. Ask Bell about his LifeBits effort and both of them about how to track everything you own and do. —Your Genomics Future : A unique session featuring Jennifer Doudna of UC Berkeley and Stephen Quake of Stanford. Yes, we have brought the Bears and the Cardinal together for this incredible conversation. Doudna is a main inventor of Crispr-Cas9 technology that is revolutionizing aspects of biotechnology and medicine by allowing the editing of genes. Here is Xconomy national biotechnology editor Alex Lash’s Q&A with her. And here is a New York Times article about the potential—and the potential worry—of the powerful technology she has helped spread around the world. Both she and microfluidics expert Quake (think precision measurement for biology) have spawned startups. Both are top scientists. This is as powerful a duo as it gets. —Future of AI with Harry Shum and Dag Kittlaus. You may not know these names, but they are two of the planet’s most knowledgeable experts on the future of computing. Shum, former head of Microsoft’s Beijing research lab and of Bing product development, now oversees all of Microsoft Research worldwide. Kittlaus is one of the inventors of Siri. He and Siri co-founders Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham have a new artificial intelligence startup, Viv Labs. Viv’s moniker is “The Global Brain: Viv radically simplifies the world by providing an intelligent interface to everything.” Sounds good to me. These are just a few of the plenary sessions. You can find the rest on our agenda page. In addition to the plenary program, we will have special Deep Dives—more in-depth, breakout-type sessions on Connected Cars, The Future of Money (think bitcoin and new payment technologies), and Internet of Things. Deep Dives are smaller group sessions intended to allow more in-depth conversation than plenaries. We do them all back to back so every attendee can go to two of the three. After the last plenary chat, which will feature NEA partner and chairman of the National Venture Capital Association Scott Sandell, we’ll hold a special wine tasting as is our custom. This year we will be sampling some wines from Ackerman Family Vineyards, owned by venture capitalist Bob Ackerman of Allegis Capital. Again, you can find more of the details on our event site. We have limited space available for this invitation-only event—so request your invitation now by writing to Napa2015@xconomy.com.