Games and Game Theory appear to be the ruling paradigm for the current AI top dogs. Both Irina Higgins and Simon Lucas made clear cases for the choice of gaming environments as AI training grounds, and referenced Game Theory, too.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to argue with them – but I do think it is worth examining the assumptions that underlie gaming approaches and Game Theory, and considering these as they relate to the problem spaces which we dearly wish that AI could help us with. As you might guess, I am not sanguine… Continue reading “Games and Game-Theory – the trouble with paradigms…”→
Irina Higgins is a senior research scientist at DeepMind, and has a background in neuroscience.
The second presentation at this event largely focused on telling a story about DeepMind’s development of AlphaGo – using this as a vehicle to explain DeepMind’s approach and give insights into its culture.
She told us that DeepMind now has 300 scientists, and was keen to emphasise the high-minded aspirations of the organisation – from its mission statement;
to its ‘intentionally designed culture’, which aims to mesh the best aspects of industry and academia; the intense focus and resources of the former with the curiosity driven open-ended approach of the latter.
This was the foundation-laying talk of this event, and it was excellent – a rapid-fire but followable overview of the history and principal themes of AI research and development, and more detail on the approach currently producing the results that have been making headlines – neural networks. There was nothing here that some general reading wouldn’t get you, but it was engagingly and thoroughly presented at speed.
This New Scientist event was aimed at a general interest audience, rather than an expert one, but assumed a relatively high level of general understanding – the presentations were light on technicalities, but not shy of discussing complex ideas. I had booked without looking into the speaker’s details, trusting to New Scientist to deliver, and my trust was over-rewarded, as the presentations provided a wider range of views than I could have imagined.
These notes are provided mostly because a number of people I’ve spoken to since weren’t at the event, but were wishing they had been – they will be a poor substitute for having been there, but will hope to convey the key points and provide some links. I’ve split the event up into several posts – skim the headings and dip in to the parts that interest you – there is no grand overarching story here, folks!