Ten years ago, the word “AI” was not used very often, except if we were talking about a futuristic world where cars can fly; however, nowadays, if you read about a new breakthrough in the field of artificial intelligence, you will not be surprised at all!
As technology advances and man’s hunger to satisfy his curiosity will never end, you will find that the dream you once had for the future is not very far away. Actually there are already robots and applications with artificial intelligence like drones and IoT, so are we already in ‘the future’?
Truth to be told, we are still far behind fully understanding and applying artificial intelligence, because the human mind is very complex and has a lot of peculiarities, making the process of imitating the human mind and use it in applications a very hard and complex process and many believe we are not even near to achieving this dream; nonetheless, researchers have never stopped their work in this field and the results are outstanding!
A very recent achievement in this field is Google’s ‘Nsynth’. Ever thought about implementing AI in music? Well, Google did. NSynth is a digital synthesizer that uses artificial intelligence for blending instruments in a way that was never possible before to create sounds that were never heard before!
The best way to represent how this technology works is to think of a digital color spectrum with two different instruments at its ends. Take the color green for an example, as you get closer to one side of the color, you get to darker and darker shades of green until you reach black; on the other side, you get lighter shades until you reach white. If you dragged the marker up the spectrum from light to dark by 25% you would have a unique shade of light green.
With NSynth —a project developed by Google Magenta, the company’s AI research and development team— you would have different instruments; let’s say a banjo and a tuba, on each side of the spectrum. If you moved the cursor up 25% from the pure banjo sound toward the pure tuba sound, you would get a sound that was 25% tuba, 75% banjo; not the two playing in unison, but a single sound that was never before heard before. The trick is AI, which uses the mathematical characteristics of each instrument’s tone to blend them into one sound.
To give another example let’s talk about robots who can cook! The supercomputer IBM chef Watson read about the chemical composition of hundreds of different ingredients and analyzed about 10,000 recipes, and according to IBM blog post, by combining that data and detecting certain patterns, chef Watson has learned to suggest up to four different ingredients that blend together seamlessly. ‘Four’ doesn’t sound like much, until you realise that it adds up to about one quintillion possible combinations! Now, can you get me a human chef that can do that?
The world of AI is absolutely fascinating and research in this field is still an ongoing process, but you can start discovering this world right now! By building your technical skills and widening your knowledge, you might be the real-world Tony Stark! After all, Mark Twain once said “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”