Common Sense Through Vision

While "common sense" is a particularly vague idea that may be defined differently from person to person, the general idea will be consistent: It is the ability to judge and assess situations and choices in a way that most people would consider reasonable. This is an ability that software developers have been attempting to instill in more sophisticated artificial intelligences (AIs) to help them learn more easily.

One way that is being looked at right now is essentially giving AIs vision. Combining artificial neural networks with advanced machine vision could give increased context to the information that the AI deciphers.

Credit: Michael Saechang/Flickr

Computers might be able to learn visually by using images and videos, akin to babies, said Yan LeCun, director of Facebook’s artificial intelligence research group in an interview with MIT Technology Review.

"You could interact with an intelligent system purely with language. The problem is that language is a very low-bandwidth channel," LeCun said. "Much information that goes through language is because humans have a lot of background knowledge to interpret this information."

Unsupervised Learning

There are some artificially intelligent systems that have used games to help themselves learn. Also, researchers have even begun giving AI systems dreams to help them learn unsupervised. LeCun said that, in his opinion, unsupervised learning of AIs will be where the most interesting technological discoveries are likely to occur.

"The applications for this are not necessarily in vision — it's a big part of our effort in making progress in AI," LeCun said in the MIT Technology Review interview.

LeCun's team at Facebook created a system to help its AI gain visual context by asking the system to predict if a stack of precariously placed blocks will fall down.

“It serves to establish a baseline — if we were to train the system unsupervised, it has enough power to figure things out like that,” LeCun said.

It seems that we are increasingly giving AI human abilities (playing, seeing, dreaming), and this is helping them become more efficient intelligences.

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