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Scientists develop artificial intelligence system “DeepStack” that can beat expert Poker players

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A group of People playing Poker, Wikimedia

Toronto  March 5, 2017: A team of scientists has developed an artificial intelligence system called DeepStack that recently defeated professional poker players.

The team of computing scientists from University of Alberta’s Computer Poker Research Group, including researchers from Charles University in Prague and Czech Technical University, said DeepStack bridges the gap between approaches used for games of perfect information with those used for imperfect information games.

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“Poker has been a longstanding challenge in artificial intelligence,” said Michael Bowling from the University of Alberta, Canada, in the paper published in the journal Science.

“It is the quintessential game of imperfect information in the sense that the players don’t have the same information or share the same perspective while they are playing,” Bowling added.

Imperfect information games are a general mathematical model that describes how decision-makers interact. Artificial intelligence research has a storied history of using parlour games to study these models, but attention has been focused primarily on perfect information games.

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“We need new AI techniques that can handle cases where decision-makers have different perspectives,” Bowling noted.

DeepStack extends the ability to think about each situation during play — which has been famously successful in games like checkers, chess, and Go — to imperfect information games using a technique called continual re-solving.

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This allows DeepStack to determine the correct strategy for a particular poker situation without thinking about the entire game by using its “intuition” to evaluate how the game might play out in the near future.

“We train our system to learn the value of situations,” Bowling said.

According to him, each situation itself is a mini poker game. Instead of solving one big poker game, it solves millions of these little poker games, each one helping the system to refine its intuition of how the game of poker works. (IANS)

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Facebook uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to fight Terrorism

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Facebook
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, Aug. 14, 2013. The company said it is using artificial intelligence to remove terrorism-related posts. VOA
  • Facebook said AI has helped identify and remove fake accounts made by repeat offenders
  • The company has been under increasing pressure from governments around the world to do a better job of removing posts made by terrorists

June 18, 2017: Facebook has revealed it is using artificial intelligence in its ongoing fight to prevent terrorist propaganda from being disseminated on its platform.

“We want to find terrorist content immediately, before people in our community have seen it,” read the message posted Thursday. “Already, the majority of accounts we remove for terrorism we find ourselves. But we know we can do better at using technology — and specifically artificial intelligence — to stop the spread of terrorist content on Facebook.”

The company has been under increasing pressure from governments around the world to do a better job of removing posts made by terrorists

Some of the roles AI plays involve “image matching” to see if an uploaded image matches something previously removed because of its terrorist content.

“Language understanding,” the company says, will allow it to “understand text that might be advocating for terrorism.”

AI, Facebook says, is also useful for identifying and removing “terrorist clusters.”

“We know from studies of terrorists that they tend to radicalize and operate in clusters,” according to the blog post. “This offline trend is reflected online as well. So when we identify pages, groups, posts or profiles as supporting terrorism, we also use algorithms to “fan out” to try to identify related material that may also support terrorism.”

Facebook said AI has helped identify and remove fake accounts made by “repeat offenders.” It says it has already reduced the time fake accounts are active.

However, the company does not rely completely on AI.

“AI can’t catch everything,” it said. “Figuring out what supports terrorism and what does not isn’t always straightforward, and algorithms are not yet as good as people when it comes to understanding this kind of context.

“A photo of an armed man waving an ISIS flag might be propaganda or recruiting material, but could be an image in a news story. Some of the most effective criticisms of brutal groups like ISIS utilize the group’s own propaganda against it. To understand more nuanced cases, we need human expertise.” (VOA)

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Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered Smart Devices and Solutions will actually assist people Intelligently

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Artificial intelligence, wikimedia

New Delhi, May 20, 2017: As artificial intelligence (AI)-powered smart devices and solutions gather momentum globally amid fears of “bots” taking over jobs soon, a top Adobe executive has allayed such fears, saying AI will actually assist people intelligently.

“Saying AI will take over the creativity of humans is not right. It will take away a lot of stuff that you have to do in a mundane way. A human mind is a lot more creative than a machine,” Shanmugh Natarajan, Executive Director and Vice President (Products) at Adobe, told IANS in an interview.

“With AI, we are trying to make the work easier. It is not like self-driving cars where your driver is getting replaced. I think creativity is going to stay for a long time,” Natarajan added.

Market research firm Gartner recently said that CIOs will have a major role to play in preparing businesses for the impact that AI will have on business strategy and human employment.

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Global enterprises like Adobe are now betting on India to boost AI in diverse sectors across the country.

The company has a massive set-up in India, with over 5,200 employees spread across four campuses in Noida and Bengaluru and its R&D labs claim a significant share of global innovations.

According to Natarajan, a lot of work related to AI, machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) is being done in Adobe’s India R&D Labs.

“The way we have structured our India labs is very similar to how larger companies have structured it. There are separate lab initiatives and areas, including digital media, creative lab, Big Data and marketing-related labs and, obviously, document is a big part and we have labs associated with it as well,” the executive said.

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“With the Cloud platform, we are trying to provide a framework where people with the domain expertise can come and set their data and machine learning algorithms in play and then train the systems and let the systems learn,” Natarajan explained.

Speaking on the significance of India R&D labs, Natarajan said earlier the R&D labs were focused on North America where scientists used to come in from esteemed universities.

With India becoming a crucial market for research and development, Adobe started its data labs in Bengaluru under the leadership of Shriram Revankar.

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“Nearly 30 per cent of our total R&D staff is here. Apart from other works, we file patents. Every year, Adobe India has been filing nearly 100 patents from a global perspective. We have eight patents coming in soon,” Natarajan told IANS.

Interestingly, a big part of “Adobe Sensei” — a new framework and set of intelligent services that use deep learning and AI to tackle complex experience challenges — was developed in India.

On why there is a technology gap between India and other developed economies in terms of use of concepts like AI, machine learning and IoT, Natarajan said that people underestimate the country.

“The transitions and generational things might not be at the same level and sophistication, or the pace as compared to other countries, but here, the changes are dramatic,” Natarajan told IANS.

“Everyone has a smartphone now and people have figured out that they can speak to their smartphones and retrive data. The data may be small as compared to 100 trillion that Adobe gets, but it is a Cloud and IoT device. People are interacting with them and machine is learning from this,” the executive noted.

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