You were building artificial intelligence and possibly didn’t know it

At Mind Matters Today, computer engineer Johnny Bartlett explains, Along with millions of others, you are providing free training data:

All of the most successful AI projects tend to follow a similar pattern. One of AI’s biggest needs is lots of data, and one of the most important tasks is finding ways to get people to provide them with the best data… for free.

Currently, Facebook is utilizing hashtags applied to its Instagram photos to generate AI-based algorithms for detecting specific types of objects in images:

Having so many images for training helped Facebook’s team set a new record on a test that challenges software to assign photos to 1,000 categories including cat, car wheel, and Christmas stocking. Facebook says that algorithms trained on 1 billion Instagram images correctly identified 85.4 percent of photos on the test, known as ImageNet; the previous best was 83.1 percent, set by Google earlier this year. Tom Simonite, “Your Instagram #Dogs and #Cats Are Training Facebook’s AI” at Wired

Basically, it is taking all of the photos which are tagged with “dog” and “cat” and using them to train its software to identify dogs and cats in other photos. The Facebook engineers know that their training data contains pictures of dogs and cats because the users told them so. For free! More.

Jonathan Bartlett is the Research and Education Director of the Blyth Institute.

Also by Bartlett: When machine learning results in mishap The machine isn’t responsible but who is? That gets tricky when no one even understands what happened. He thinks we should require model interpretability for any machine learning model for which moral responsibility plays a significant role.