AI, the digital sorcerer’s apprentice

Artificial intelligence, or AI for short, learns fast and is pretty talented. It talks to us, recognises faces and objects, controls self-driving cars, takes care of our health, helps with urban planning, reduces energy consumption and optimises traffic flow, raw material cycles and production chains. AI is like a sorcerer’s apprentice who performs tremendously – but every now and again goes over the top. Where does AI stand today? We have discovered some new, amazing and also mind-boggling examples.

Artificial intelligence or AI

Intelligent people develop solutions for linguistic, mathematical, logical and meaning-oriented problems. And artificial intelligence? Put simply, AI uses algorithms to imitate human intelligence. Learning, logical thinking and self-correction – these are the three capabilities AI programming concentrates on. AI systems collect massive amounts of data. They recognise patterns and use these to make predictions. This is how AI can conduct true-to-life dialogues with people, recognise and process language (Natural Language Processing, NLP) and identify objects in pictures (Machine Vision). So it is not intelligence in the strictest sense of the word, say the experts. The truth is: AI is already superior to us human beings in some disciplines today. And contrary to popular belief, AI can even get “creative”! When it does falter, however, it can also give us a laugh. Seven insights into the AI world.

#1 Google’s latest language AI can distinguish between sense and nonsense

In April, Google presented its latest AI: the Pathways Language Model, or PaLM for short. The Internet giant proudly claims they have taken language understanding to a whole new level. According to the company, the AI can recognise logical relationships and distinguish between cause and effect. It recognises, for example, that the sentence “I got an A on the test because I studied hard” makes more sense than “I studied hard because I got an A on the test”.

#2 AI artwork sold at auction for $432,500

Artificial, or rather artistic, intelligence is now taking the art world by storm. The portrait of the fictitious Edmond de Belamy was the first piece of art of its kind to go under the hammer at auction house Christie’s in 2018 for a phenomenal $432,500. It was created using an algorithm fed with a data set of 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th centuries by Paris-based art collective Obvious.

#3 Not a future dream: AI composes like Mozart

AIVA, Artificial Intelligence Virtual Artist, is walking in the footsteps of great composers. It was trained to understand the musical patterns of geniuses with 30,000 works by Mozart, Bach and Beethoven. How does it sound? Listen to Among the Stars, one of AIVA’s compositions, played by 78 musicians of the CMG Orchestra in Hollywood. The vision of the creators: personalised live soundtracks based on our moods and personalities.


#4 An AI supercomputer for Facebook’s brave new world

“AI Research SuperCluster” is the name of the supercomputer the Facebook company Meta has been working on since 2020 – due to be launched this summer. The plan: the system uses artificial intelligence to translate in real time so that people can talk in different languages. An important basis for what is referred to as the “metaverse” – a virtual world in which, according to Facebook, social online experiences will one day merge with the real world. But the supercomputer has already been given a range of urgent tasks to be dealt with today, such as tracking down hate messages on Facebook and Instagram.

#5 Where AI still needs a helping hand

AI ensures safety on the roads. It anticipates the movement of other vehicles and thus avoids collisions. It forecasts when parts are going to wear out, models traffic flow and reduces traffic jams. However, not everything went smoothly in test drives with autonomous cars. If street signs were dirty or covered with stickers, AI could not read them properly. Some cars even hit their brakes because of a shadow.

#6 AI’s amusing own goal

During the coronavirus pandemic, football club Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC had a clever idea. Instead of using cameramen for a live broadcast, they installed an AI-controlled camera in the stadium. It had been trained to recognise the ball and thus automatically follow what was going on in the game. Unfortunately, the camera only showed the linesman going up and down the edge of the pitch. The reason: the artificial intelligence mistook the linesman’s bald head, shining in the blazing sun, for the ball.

AI, Rubik’s Cube

#7 AI breaks Rubik’s Cube record

The Guinness World Record for solving the popular puzzle is an incredible 3.47 seconds. This is how long it took a human being to solve the challenge the Rubik’s Cube, the world-famous magic cube, represents. Actually pretty lame if you compare it to the time needed by the robot developed by Ben Katz and Jared Di Carlo. Their machine took an unbelievable 0.38 seconds – not much more than the blink of an eye. Although along with artificial intelligence, it needed not just two but six arms.


A final word on artificial intelligence

Dear AI, you are, without doubt, the most important technological tool of this century. You learn independently, think logically and correct yourself. You often know what we actually want better than we do ourselves. You reserve us a table at a restaurant, organise a taxi home, make sure that the coffee is ready in the morning when fresh bread rolls are delivered to the front door and you play us our favourite music over breakfast. But there is one thing, dear AI, you will never know: how good that all feels …

AI and Apostroph – a long-term connection

We also implement artificial intelligence because it makes our services faster and better. Find out here where we use AI at Apostroph.

Do you have any questions or are you interested in working with us?

I would be happy to answer your questions or introduce you to Apostroph Group and our services in a personal meeting.
Nadia Gaille
Head of Customer Success

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