As technology in society progresses, the AI being developed is getting stronger and more fluid. Although there are myriad AI programs in existence, we will be analyzing the progression and recent achievements from Google DeepMind. Sit back as we take you on a tour of DeepMind, from its beginnings, to experience learning, to recent healthcare applications.
DeepMind Technologies was a British artificial intelligence company established in September 2010. The company was purchased for $500m and renamed to Google DeepMind in 2014.
Originally founded by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg, and Mustafa Suleyman, the company aims to create powerful learning algorithms by combining research in machine learning and neuroscience.
The AI in Google DeepMind uses a technique known as “Deep Reinforcement Learning” to set it apart from other artificial intelligence. Unlike Siri and Google Now, Google Deepmind does not have a preset purpose; rather, it learns from experience, using raw pixels as data input to enable the program to grow.
In layman’s terms, the company is working toward a better understanding of the human brain through technology.
Historic Achievement with AlphaGo
AlphaGo, a DeepMind product, was created to learn and play the ancient Chinese game known as Go. AlphaGo made history by beating South Korean Go master Lee Sedol, 4 to 1, in a challenge match in March 2016. In the past, the strongest Go computer programs were barely able to hold their own against amateurs.
AlphaGo’s secret? The Deep Reinforcement Learning technique integrated in AlphaGo was able to to improve its program by continuously playing against itself. Due to this method, AlphaGo was able to win 99% of its games against other Go programs, in addition to defeating a Go master like Lee Sedol.
As of late, Google DeepMind began to shift its focus from gaming to advancements in the healthcare industry. Founder Demis Hassabis has always had his attention on using AI in the medical field. From his interview with media network The Verge, he reveals what Google DeepMind can bring to healthcare.
The Verge: “The main future uses of AI that you’ve brought up this week have been healthcare, smartphone assistants, and robotics. Let’s unpack some of those. To bring up healthcare, IBM with Watson has done some things with cancer diagnosis for example — what can DeepMind bring to the table?”
Well, it’s [DeepMind’s] early days in that. We announced a partnership with the NHS a couple of weeks ago but that was really just to start building a platform that machine learning can be used in. I think Watson’s very different than what we do, from what I understand of it — it’s more like an expert system, so it’s a very different style of AI. I think the sort of things you’ll see this kind of AI do is medical diagnosis of images and then maybe longitudinal tracking of vital signs or quantified self over time, and helping people have healthier lifestyles. I think that’ll be quite suitable for reinforcement learning.
The partnership with the National Health Society has expanded the uses of AI technology, as DeepMind recently released a mobile application known as Streams. This app allows doctors and nurses to monitor patient health in real-time, anywhere.
Check out DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman’s recent speech at the NHS expo from September 2016.
Partnership on AI
To maximize the full potential of artificial intelligence, tech companies recently came together to break down the barriers between AI teams. Partnership on AI is a non-profit organization designed to promote and advance AI discourse.
Google DeepMind announced its collaboration with Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft in the establishment of the Partnership on AI.
These tech giants know the great potentials of AI, and how the technology will positively impact our future world. Promoting open communication and collaboration expands AI knowledge, making it accessible to a wider community.