Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Stephen Hawking have all expressed concern about the existential threat of AI, just as deep learning neural networks are revolutionizing the AI field.

Chen ends with a bold call to action:

All the serious applications from here on out need to have deep learning and AI inside … it s just going to be a fundamental technique that we expect to see in all serious applications moving forward … as fundamental as mobile and cloud were in the last 5-10 years.

It may be — indeed, probably is — a step along that very long road.

What s interesting about deep learning is that while there s nothing magical or genie-like about it — as Geordie Wood points out in Wired, it s really just simple math executed on an enormous scale — its programs are ultimately matrixes of values that have been trained, rather than lines of code which are written although many lines of traditional code go into the training, of course.

This also means that jobs which consist largely of pattern recognition and responding to those patterns in fairly simple and predictable ways — like, say, driving — may be obsoleted with remarkable speed.

I give you, for example, this call from the White House for technologists and innovators to help reform the criminal justice system with artificial intelligence algorithms and analytics.

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