Could a computer design itself? Could it design a bigger and better computer?
A team at Google says yes. According to a recent article at NewScientist, Google has begun using AI to design AI.
“Engineers at Google have tasked an artificial intelligence with designing faster and more efficient processors – and then used its chip designs to develop the next generation of specialised computers that run the very same type of AI algorithms,” writes Matthew Sparkes.
Sparkes continues by explaining Google’s chip design, and introducing the reader to Google’s Anna Goldie, a member of the team at the front of this effort that tasks computers with making better computers.
“It is conceivable,” says Sparkes, “that this new AI-designed chip will be used in the future to design its successor, and that successor would in turn be used to design its own replacement.”
We asked Eric Holloway to weigh in on Google’s artificial intelligence ambitions:
Intelligence is all around us.
What is intelligence? Is it a breath of air? Is it a ball of mud rolling downhill? Is it a ray of sun? A prospector’s sifting pan? All or none of the above?
Actually, defined broadly enough, all of the above. Intelligence is any process that achieves its goal effectively. And when you have a chain reaction, like lighting a fuse to a box of dynamite, per the unfortunate Wile E. Coyote, we even have intelligence that creates even greater intelligence.
The clever electronics design studio, Thalia, has their own AI system that effectively finds the path to a solution through a dense forest of variables, only taking 40 steps instead of millions upon billions of possible solutions. This sounds like orders of magnitude of effectiveness, so it is most definitely intelligence.
Another recent invention is that of Google’s DeepMind lab, where they built an AI system that can rapidly come up with chip designs outperforming anything humans can do. This too is intelligence.
Also, my spoon that can scoop soup much better and less painfully than my palm, that is intelligence. Along with a juicy hamburger that delivers nutrients to my body much more effectively than munching mud and grass. If we look closely enough, intelligence is all around us. The big question is, where does all this intelligence come from?
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What Is the Essential Feature of Creative Intelligence? Artificial intelligence is just as artificial as its name suggests. It takes on the appearance of intelligence through speed but it lacks the fundamental ability to create a well-matched start and end. (Eric Holloway)