Google is on the brink of AI capable of natural conversation and even flirtation – scientist

by: Bogdan PetrovanMay 22, 2015
her ai

In Her, Joaquin Phoenix plays a man who falls in love with an AI

Artificial intelligence that can emulate human reasoning and even emotions is within Google’s reach, according to a leading AI scientist employed by the company.

Talking to the Guardian, Professor Geoff Hinton, an expert in artificial neural networks, said Google is “on the brink of developing algorithms with the capacity for logic, natural conversation and even flirtation.”

Google is working to encode thoughts as vectors described by a sequence of numbers. These “thought vectors” could endow AI systems with a human-like “common sense” within a decade, according to Hinton, who has been working at Google for two years.

Language and reasoning

Currently in early development, thought vectors may help AI master natural language conversation and make leaps of logic, two abilities that we perceive as distinctly human and that AI scientists have long sought to unlock.

Hinton said he even foresees AI that is so human-like that we will become attached to it, the way Joaquin Phoenix’s character in Her falls in love for his AI assistant.

Google has very practical applications for AI: currently, the company is using “thought vectors” to improve Google Translate, aiming to add a sense of meaning to the current dictionary-based translation algorithms.

The potential of AI is huge for Google; truly relevant search results, human-like translation, a genuinely helpful Google Now virtual assistant are just a few of the applications that only advanced AI can enable. Google has been acquiring top talent to further this goal, including through the $500 million acquisition of British startup DeepMind, considered the top player in deep learning algorithms.

  • JK Stern

    however they cannot fix memory leaks on my Nexus 6….guess i’m looking at the smaller picture of their placement of direction tho.

    • daggettbeaver

      It’s AI. Humans have to take a leak, so why not AI?

  • Martin Kaptein

    Kinda reminds me of Ex Machina

    • Cole C

      I came to comment the exact same thing. I watched chappie and ex machina and liked the latter better

      • wat

        No way, Chappie was amazing. Ex-Machina was sooo predictable.

        • Android Developer

          I liked both, but the ending for both were not so well.

        • John Doe

          I actually did not find Ex-Machina that predictable, but I guess I am gullible …lol
          Chappy was good, but could not believe that it could learn at the rate that it seemed to .. plus the acting
          was horrible.

    • Gabriel Belmonte

      Perfect example is always the movie named “Her” (pic is given above).
      One of the best AIs created by human imagination …

  • mobilemann

    Eliza says hi. (this is not anything new)

    • Android Developer

      Idea might be similar, but the implementation could be very different.
      Wonder how well it will perform in Turing test.

  • project beach lion 2050

    Doesn’t fix pointy elbows.

  • I would love to see this as part of Google Now. Just don’t let it become strong AI…

    • Android Developer

      Why not?

      • Because Robots shouldn’t take over the world.

        • Android Developer

          Why would a talking AI need this feature of taking over the world ? To make better conversations?
          “Hey guess what? I’ve conquered the world as we speak !”

  • Gary

    oh boy !

  • Brad Arnold

    Where do you imagine those new AI algorithms are coming from?

  • Brad Arnold

    The above is a linear analysis, and furthermore the decade estimate is way too conservative. Instead, expect to see dramatic progress as new ideas and tools (like the D-Wave quantum computer) cause the progress to explode exponentially. The Singularity is coming (faster than you and the experts think). Furthermore, even the top experts fail to realize the unique rewards that come from having the first ASI (artificial super intelligence). This is a race like none other, and the stake are unimaginably high. Too bad the whole system of thought is so ossified.

  • Finally AI will catch up the the movies and we will have this wonderful access on our phones.