Project Alexandria Wins Backing of $125m for ‘Common Sense’ AI

Project Alexandria Wins Backing of $125m for 'Common Sense' AI
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In this artificial intelligence era, companies and organizations involved in research and development of the field seem to be doing their best to expedite or improve their AI projects.

Some have resulted in the acquisition of artificial intelligence startups that are in line with their main agenda or project. On the other hand, other entities have simply opted for cheaper strategies such as hiring artificial intelligence experts to spearhead their AI efforts or projects.

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, for instance, appears to be currently trying to take its AI ‘common sense’ beyond its present limitations. As such, the institute recently recruited a new leader known as Yejin Choi, who is a professor at the University of Washington, to head the project.

Yejin Choi will assume the leadership role of Project Alexandria, which is the common sense AI undertaking that is backed by a staggering $125 million that was provided by Paul Allen, the founder of the institute and Microsoft’s co-founder.

She recently told Geekwire that common sense currently makes the key difference between machine intelligence and human intelligence. Choi went ahead to state that the institute ’s research will play a significant role in assisting artificial intelligence(AI) technologies that are more robust and intelligent than what is practically possible presently.

Choi prides himself on being a longtime artificial intelligence(AI) researcher with vast expertise in natural language processing, especially the non-literal and contextual understanding of language that is highly vital for building common sense for an AI system. Aside from her new role, she will continue serving the University of Washington, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science, as an associate professor.

The recruitment of Choi comes at a time when there is an ongoing war over top AI engineers and researchers. In the previous months, Facebook poached a leading AI2 researcher for its growing Seattle-based office. In turn, AI2 poached a top artificial intelligence expert from the Alexa division at Amazon.

The inclusion of Choi to the Allen Institute for artificial intelligence is expected to give Project Alexandria a boost. In fact, her vision for this project entails bringing about a vital shift in how machine learning and artificial intelligence systems operate, which will involve looking at how each system works and how they all teach and relate to each other.

According to Choi, the currently available machine learning paradigm seems to concentrate on learning models that are experts on the tasks that are narrowly defined such as machine translation or speech recognition. She added that even though there have been increased advancements with most deep learning models for various tasks, they are still yet to gain the power to abstract away general knowledge, which can be re-used in other functions.

Choi stressed that Project Alexandria intends to build universal examples of common sense that can be used and shared by other AI systems. She also stated that the project would unveil standard measurements for an AI system’s common sense capabilities over the coming years. It will also create applications that use common sense to improve performance for a wide array of practical AI impediments.

Source GeekWire

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