January 26, 2016
Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates have warned about the potential dangers of unchecked artificial intelligence.
The geniuses have had some help from Hollywood films, going all the way back to the 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey” and all the way up to last year’s “Ex Machina.”
But this may be even more frightening: A.I. is already part of the operations within many companies we interact with every day, from Apple’s Siri to how Uber dispatches drivers to the way Facebook arranges its Newsfeed. In fact, Facebook is making research into A.I. a priority, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently stating that one of his goals this year is to “code” a personal assistant to “help run his life.”
Or take it over?
As CNBC begins the process of selecting the 50 start-ups best positioned to shake up the status quo and make the 2016 CNBC Disruptor list, the old guard in tech is anxious to get ahead in A.I.: IBM, with its Watson offerings, and Microsoft’s Cortana are among the major efforts to mimic a human understanding of language.
Underlying all of these efforts is the explosion of data and demand for algorithms to make sense of the data.
That hasn’t just attracted IBM and Microsoft, but $300 million in 50 venture capital–backed deals last year for A.I. start-ups, following $384 million invested in 59 deals in 2014, according to CB Insights.
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