Stanford-Led Artificial Intelligence Index Tracks Emerging Field

by  Andrew Myers,   Stanford News

Since the term “artificial intelligence” (AI) was first used in print in 1956, the one-time science fiction fantasy has progressed to the very real prospect of driverless cars, smartphones that recognize complex spoken commands and computers that see.

In an effort to track the progress of this emerging field, a Stanford-led group of leading AI thinkers called the AI100 has launched an index that will provide a comprehensive baseline on the state of artificial intelligence and measure technological progress in the same way the gross domestic product and the S&P 500 index track the U.S. economy and the broader stock market.

The new index has revealed a 14-fold increase in AI startups and a six-fold gain in investment since 2000, as well as significant improvements in the technology’s ability to mimic human performance. The AI Index monitors and quantifies at least 18 separate vectors in academia, industry, open source software, and public interest, in addition to technical evaluations of progress toward “human-level performance” in areas such as speech recognition and computer vision. Specific metrics in the index include assessments of academic papers published, course enrollment, AI-related startups, job openings, search-term frequency, and media mentions.

In terms of human-level performance, the AI Index suggests that in some ways AI has already arrived. This is true in game-playing applications including chess, the Jeopardy! game show and, most recently, the game of Go. Nonetheless, the authors note that computers continue to lag considerably in the ability to generalize specific information into deeper meaning.

“AI has made truly amazing strides in the past decade,” Stanford professor Yoav Shoham said, “but computers still can’t exhibit the common sense or the general intelligence of even a 5-year-old.”  Complete article.


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