DAI#35 – Curious AI, robot soccer, and artificial musicians

April 19, 2024

Welcome to our weekly roundup of ethically sourced AI news.

This week AI taught robots how to play soccer.

Udio turned everyone into a “musician”.

And AI is advancing so fast that we need new ways to measure it.

AI curious?

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but behind every scientific discovery was a curious mind that thought, “I wonder what would happen if…” What would happen if we managed to develop an AGI that was curious?

Could we do that? Should we?

Sam’s fascinating exploration of the paradox of curiosity in the age of AI will challenge your opinion either way.

Google scores!

I’m guessing most of Google’s data scientists didn’t attend college on a sports scholarship. The engineers at DeepMind are making up for that by training robot soccer players that can kick, tackle, and defend.

The video of the robots having a knock-around is impressive. The way Google used deep reinforcement learning with commercially available robots could be a game changer.

Look at what Google’s new Aloha Unleashed robots are capable of.

How much can you bench?

Benchmarks are useful for comparing AI model performance and stroking the egos of the companies that made them.

The annual AI Index report from Stanford University says that AI is advancing beyond humans so quickly that we’re having to come up with new benchmarks to make proper comparisons.

The days of “AI does that almost as good as a human does,” are fast disappearing.

As AI learns new skills we need newer benchmarks to measure them. xAI gave us a preview of Grok-1.5 and the company’s new benchmark called RealWorldQA.

Models with “vision” have been around for a while, but xAI says existing benchmarks can’t measure how good Grok 1.5 is at spatial understanding.

AI Pin a bust

I love the idea of an AI wearable so when Humane’s AI Pin came out I was super envious of people that managed to get one. Sadly, it turns out I may have dodged a $699 bullet.

The Humane AI Pin was absolutely blasted by reviewers. Apparently, it worked fine except for the camera, slow performance, overheating, battery life,… Yeah, there’s more, unfortunately. And I still want one.

Now if only there was a way for companies to see into the future to anticipate issues like these.

Researchers found that you can get ChatGPT to predict the future fairly accurately if you ask it to tell you a story. They got it to predict Academy Award winners with 100% accuracy.

Imagine the impact this could have on stock trading or sports betting.

Size matters

In AI models, bigger is often better. But with an LLM’s context window, it might not be the size that counts, but how you use it.

Google researchers developed Infini-attention, a technique that could give LLMs “infinite” context even if they currently have smaller context windows.

Not to be outdone, Meta researchers say they’ve developed a smart way to have extremely efficient training and inference with unlimited context. Except this time, without transformers.

Will AI silence musicians

Udio launched a few days back and it may be the best AI music generator yet. In a few seconds, Udio turns a text prompt into some catchy tunes with impressive vocals.

Whether it’s a good thing or not that AI makes music so easily is up for debate. Simon Cowell is probably already imagining what Udio combined with an AI avatar could do for his bank balance.

One of Udio’s investors is will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas fame. It’s safe to assume that most SAG-AFTRA union members don’t share his endorsement of AI music.

SAG-AFTRA is negotiating a deal with record labels to protect vocalists and performers from being replaced by AI until 2026.

Even if they signed the deal today, that would provide a grace period of less than 2 years for musicians to reconsider their career choices.

Apparently, anyone can call themselves a musician now.


Speak your mind

NYU researchers built a groundbreaking AI speech synthesis system that converts brain waves into audible speech.

When we think of the word we want to say our neural signals form unique patterns. Using AI to turn these into speech could help those who have lost the ability to speak to regain their voice.

The examples of how they turned brain waves into audible words are amazing.

Reading medical imaging scans is an art. AI models have advanced in analyzing medical scans but often focus on a single anomaly, missing other potential diagnostic explanations.

MIT researchers built “Tyche”, a model that embraces the uncertainty in medical imaging to help doctors identify multiple disease-indicating anomalies.

AI could enable the development of drugs to treat and cure diseases faster than we think.

Scientists used AI to accelerate the search for Parkinson’s treatments. Their AI model is ten times faster and a thousand times cheaper than conventional drug discovery methods.

AI summits

A host of interesting AI conferences happened this week with some more exciting ones coming soon.

The Global AI Show and Global Blockchain Show both kicked off this week in Dubai.
The cutting-edge AI/ML summit AIAI brought the AI industry’s most influential leaders together at San Jose.
The AI for Marketers Summit opened its virtual doors on April 18.
The MarTech Summit Asia opens its doors on 23-24 April to showcase how AI is transforming marketing.

In other news…

Here are some other clickworthy AI stories we enjoyed this week:

And that’s a wrap.

The video of Google’s robots playing soccer is impressive. I’m thinking we could see something like no-rules robot death soccer pretty soon. I’d watch that. Musk and Zuckerberg would absolutely enter opposing teams.

What do you think of Udio? It sounds as good to me as a lot of the commercial stuff they play on the radio. And it will only get better.

Did you get your hands on one of Humane’s AI Pins? Is it as bad as they say? AI Pin 2.0 will probably sell out regardless.

Let us know if you’re for or against AGI with curiosity built in. And send us your links to interesting AI news we may have missed.

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Eugene van der Watt

Eugene comes from an electronic engineering background and loves all things tech. When he takes a break from consuming AI news you'll find him at the snooker table.

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