The words Artificial Intelligence can bring to mind far-fetched, sci-fi ideas and a society where robots have replaced humans. Well, this idea may not be too far off given Google’s recent innovations.
Google recently released Magenta, a computer based system that has the ability to create pieces of music.
Even though its first melody sounds like a generic song pre-programed to a keyboard, the project is considered a success because the system taught itself. The system composed the 60-second melody with little human intervention.
Google engineers only provided Magenta with four notes to begin the process. They also added drums to add a bit of flair to the song.
Magenta is a project from the Google Brain team that questions the traditional view on computers. In the past, computers were generally seen only as an electronic device used for storing and processing data. But now, Magenta questions all of that.
With Magenta, the Google Brain Team is asking ‘can computer can learn to create compelling music all by itself?’
According to a blog post from Google, Magenta comes with two goals. First, it stands as a research project to advance the state of the art machine technology for music and art generation.
Second, the Google engineers hope that with Magenta they will create a community of artists, musicians, developers, and machine researchers.
While Google is the first to admit the program is in its infancy, the company is hopeful of its future potential. The company writes:
“We don’t know what artists and musicians will do with these new tools, but we’re excited to find out. Look at the history of creative tools. Daguerre and later Eastman didn’t imagine what Annie Liebovitz or Richard Avedon would accomplish in photography. Surely Rickenbacker and Gibson didn’t have Jimi Hendrix or St. Vincent in mind. We believe that the models that have worked so well in speech recognition, translation and image annotation will seed an exciting new crop of tools for art and music creation.”
This isn’t Google’s first rodeo with artificial intelligence, but the company sees Magenta as a stepping stone into the world of natural language processing. This move comes after Google noticed that more and more searches are being done by voice. Consequently, users expect their machines to understand the context of their commands.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet’s core Google division, explains “We think of this as building each user their own individual Google. Google does a lot of things, but if you peel away everything and you distill it, this is the heart of what we do. It’s what we are about.”
But Google isn’t the only tech company in the AI game. Earlier this year, Microsoft machine learning technology drew a Rembrandt painting through a 3D scanning device that gathered information from 300 plus paintings. The result was an original, unique self-portrait of the Dutch artist.
IBM has been working since 2005 to develop a supercomputer named Watson and Google’s Android has created an ‘open-ecosystem’ that will let users incorporate different technologies on one domain.
Even Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SPACE-X) believes that these developments in artificial technology will create computers so sophisticated that humans will eventually need to implant “neural laces” in their brain to keep up.
But the true fight to be the best in artificial technology is between Google and Facebook.
Recently, Google released to the technology world that their program AlphaGo was able to beat the ancient game ‘Go’, which has long been considered the most challenging game for any artificial intelligence to learn.
Within days, Facebook mentioned that they were close to achieving the same success which demonstrated their seriousness in joining the AI race.
The social network also introduced its Deep Text understanding technology recently. The innovative software can understand the textual context of thousands of posts per second with almost human accuracy.
Deep Text can span over 20 languages, and Facebook plans to use this technology to improve user experience in different ways. It wants to help identify the best quality comments in a public post, improve transaction performance, and increase its Messenger app’s user-friendliness.
Both companies have completely different methods to achieve success in the AI world. While Facebook is generally concerned with improving its users’ experience, Google is hoping to integrate AI into all aspects of their services.
So where does this leave us?
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), by 2020, the market for machine learning applications will reach a whopping $40 billion and about 60% of those programs will run on the platforms of four different companies: Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft.
Both Facebook and Google are choosing to attract advertisers to their platforms by offering compelling techniques that will give marketers a better return on their ad spending. This action will undoubtedly make technology more accessible and improve its adaptability.
For Google, it hopes to change the artificial intelligence game. The company knows it won’t happen immediately, but its goal is to make their intelligence software applications widely accessible.
The IDC estimates that, by 2018, at least 50% of developers will include AI features, so it is clear that Magenta is just the springboard for bringing artificial intelligence mainstream.
As to how this news affects the SEO world – well, Penguin still hasn’t reared its head. Could it be that the update’s AI isn’t done learning yet? If so, how smart will it be?