Sony announced on Tuesday that it has invested in California-based startup Cogitai to collaboratively develop artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology. Specifically, the two firms have their sights set on a novel area within the field: using deep reinforcement learning with prediction technology. They believe this could be used as the basis for the next generation of A.I. applications and products.
Sony has quite a bit of experience with A.I. technologies, but much of it has been fairly limited to specific tasks, i.e., facial recognition. Partnering with Cogitai could turbocharge its efforts. And for the startup, being able to tap Sony’s extensive resources will enable it to grow far beyond its own limited reach.
Engadget wrote:”It’s great to partner with Sony who builds so many devices for so many homes and has access to data across the world,” said Dr. Satinder Singh, co-founder of Cogitai. “The biggest boost we can get is access to data, devices and opportunities. It will help us learn and provide value to create a positive feedback cycle for our research questions.”
The 2015 BCLS panel Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and the Economy explored the promises and dangers of A.I. While noting the impressive benefits that A.I. could bring, the experts cautioned that we need to pay much more attention to its ethical and economic implications. They called for the establishment of universal safeguards among A.I. developers to lower the danger of existential risk — the danger that self-aware intelligent machines will turn against and eliminate humanity. That doomsday scenario might be far off, but it’s important to keep in mind as A.I. systems learn in more advanced ways. Let’s hope Sony and Cogitai pursue their advances in a responsible way.