>In MIT Technology Review, 26 September 2007, in an article entitled “The Future of Computing, According to Intel” by Kate Green, the author describes terascale computing— computational power beyond a teraflop (a trillion calculations per second).
“One very important benefit is to create the computing ability that’s going to power unbelievable applications, both in terms of visual representations, such as this idea of traditional virtual reality, and also in terms of inference. The ability for devices to understand the world around them and what their human owners care about.”
How do computer learn inference?
“In order to figure out what you’re doing, the computing system needs to be reading data from sensor feeds, doing analysis, and computing all the time. This takes multiple processors running complex algorithms simultaneously. The machine-learning algorithms being used for inference are based on rich statistical analysis of how different sensor readings are correlated.”
What’s an example of how inference can be used in today’s consumer technologies?
For example, sensors in your phone could determine whether you should be interrupted for a phone call. “The intelligent system could be using sensors, analyzing speech, finding your mood, and determining your physical environment. Then it could decide [whether you need to take a call].”
What is machine learning?
As a broad subfield of artificial intelligence, machine learning is concerned with the design and development of algorithms and techniques that allow computers to “learn.” At a general level, there are two types of learning: inductive and deductive. Inductive machine learning methods extract rules and patterns out of massive data sets. The major focus of machine learning research is to extract information from data automatically, by computational and statistical methods. (Wikipedia)
Where’s all this computational power taking us?
Seems like we’re moving ever closer to the reality of what was portrayed as HAL 9000, the supercomputer from 2001: A Space Odyssey—HAL was“the pinnacle in artificial machine intelligence, with a remarkable, error-free performance record…designed to communicate and interact like a human, and even mimic (or reproduce) human emotions.” (Wikipedia) An amazing vision for a 1968 science fiction film, no?
From a User-centric EA perspective, terascale computing, machine learning, and computer inference represent tremendous new technical capabilities for our organizations. They are a leap in computing power and end-user application that have the capability to significantly alter our organizations business activities and processes and enable better, faster, and cheaper mission execution.