Google CEO Sundar Pichai greeted the assembled press and developers with a news that the company would be focusing heavily on AI both for its services and research. The new Google.ai site and division will focus on artificial intelligence, deep learning and building the tools to make that work possbile.
To help accelerate AI research, Pichai announced that the Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) it uses to train machine-learning models is available in the Google Cloud Platform for anyone to use via the Google Compute Engine today. "We want it to be possible for hundreds of thousands of developers to use machine learning," Pichai said.
The CEO also announced that Google will be using the neural nets it creates to build other neural nets with AutoML. Pichai actually joked that this is like the movie Inception. The system takes a set of candidate neural nets (Pichai called them baby neural nets) and iterate them using a reinforcement training approach until the best one is found. The CEO said the results are promising. So Skynet isn't happening just yet.
All of this work will be used in Google's own products but also to help medical researchers. Pichai talked about using AI to help sequence DNA and helping pathologists locate things like the spread of cancer. It's not completely perfect, "there are important caveats, we do have higher false positives. But already getting this into the hands of pathologists they can improve diagnosis," Pichai said.
Google announced that it's already partnering with health care providers to put the technology into action to help improve care and prevent medical incidents.
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