These fun stories show progress from the scale of quantum effects to that of snakes and from Earth to the edge of the universe
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, why foundation models are artificial intelligence’s new frontier, the stagnation nation: a chronic British disease (10:30), and why visiting the scenes of stories is an act of imagination (18:20).
Artificial intelligence’s new frontier
The promise and perils of a breakthrough in machine intelligence
Jun 9th 2022ShareGive
Picture a computer that could finish your sentences, using a better turn of phrase; or use a snatch of melody to compose music that sounds as if you wrote it (though you never would have); or solve a problem by creating hundreds of lines of computer code—leaving you to focus on something even harder. In a sense, that computer is merely the descendant of the power looms and steam engines that hastened the Industrial Revolution. But it also belongs to a new class of machine, because it grasps the symbols in language, music and programming and uses them in ways that seem creative. A bit like a human.
The “foundation models” that can do these things represent a breakthrough in artificial intelligence, or ai. They, too, promise a revolution, but this one will affect the high-status brainwork that the Industrial Revolution never touched. There are no guarantees about what lies ahead—after all, ai has stumbled in the past. But it is time to look at the promise and perils of the next big thing in machine intelligence.
England’s health service handles 10m clinic appointments for eyes every year. Artificial intelligence could help speed up and improve diagnoses for patients.
The origins of ancient inscriptions are often shrouded in mystery. Writing carved into stone millennia ago can be hard to read and is often missing entire sections of the text. Now a neural network, trained on thousands of existing inscriptions, could help historians figure out when and where a piece of writing comes from – as well as fill in missing words and characters.
Read the paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s4158…
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AI has the power to transform health care. From more efficient diagnoses to safer treatments, it could remedy some of the ills suffered by patients. Film supported by @Maersk
Timeline: 00:00 – Can AI help heal the world? 00:45 – How can AI spot blindness? 04:01 – Protecting patients’ privacy 05:10 – How to share medical data safely 06:11 – Medical AI is rapidly expanding 08:02 – What do the sceptics say? 08.36 – Using AI for new medical devices 11:08 – What does the future hold for medical AI?