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Reaching New Heights with Artificial Neural Networks

By Leah Hoffmann

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 62 No. 6, Pages 96-ff

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Once treated by the field with skepticism (if not outright derision), the artificial neural networks that 2018 ACM A.M. Turing Award recipients Geoffrey Hinton, Yann LeCun, and Yoshua Bengio spent their careers developing are today an integral component of everything from search to content filtering. So what of the now-red-hot field of deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI)? Here, the three researchers share what they find exciting, and which challenges remain.

There's so much more noise now about artificial intelligence than there was when you began your careers—some of it well-informed, some not. What do you wish people would stop asking you?


Reinout Korbee

Google and Facebook basically are ad-companies. They sell advertisement to get people to consume more. It is a shame these gentlemen think that that is in any way useful to society and that developing countries need better targeted advertisement campaigns. The basic scientific principles to get a better Alexa or Google Assistant? It is laudable that computer scientists get more involved in the social sciences, because their understanding of the social world seems to be limited to increasing debt-driven consumption. It would be great if AI could be used to increase access to vaccination, increase food production without producing more waste, reducing pollution, increasing access to clean water, I don't know, anything related to feeding humanity without destroying the planet? Siri, my baby is starving and has the measles, what should I do? "Go to the nearest doctor." And then show a couple of ads for baby milk that you can't afford.

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