Google Adds Another AI Academic to the Mix

March 29, 2013

A recent career move from prominent algorithm designer Geoffrey Hinton has big implications, according to blogger Mohammed AlQuraishi’s post, “What Hinton’s Google Move Says About the Future of Machine Learning.” Hinton, an esteemed computer science professor at the University of Toronto, recently sold his neural-network machine-learning startup DNNresearch to Google. Though not transferring full-time to Google, the scientist reportedly plans to help the company implement his brainchild while remaining on at the university.

This development follows Google’s pursuit of several other gifted academic minds that specialize in large-scale machine learning. AlQuraishi says these moves indicate the future of machine learning and artificial intelligence. He writes:

“Machine learning in general is increasingly becoming dependent on large-scale data sets. In particular, the recent successes in deep learning have all relied on access to massive data sets and massive computing power. I believe it will become increasingly difficult to explore the algorithmic space without such access, and without the concomitant engineering expertise that is required. The behavior of machine learning algorithms, particularly neural networks, is dependent in a nonlinear fashion on the amount of data and computing power used. An algorithm that appears to be performing poorly on small data sets and short training times can begin to perform considerably better when these limitations are removed. This has in fact been in a nutshell the reason for the recent resurgence in neural networks.”

It is also the reason, the article asserts, that research in the area is destined to move from academia to the commercial sector. The piece goes on to compare what is happening now with the last century’s shift, when the development of computers moved from universities, supported by government funding, to the industrial sector. It is a thought-provoking comparison; the one-page article is worth a look.

Is AlQuraishi right, are the machine-learning breakthroughs about to shift to the corporate realm? If so, will that be good or bad for consumers? Stay tuned.

Cynthia Murrell, March 29, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta