Guess what I ran into in today? AIExperiments with Google. AI has been the talk of the town for a while. While it has been doing a lot behind the scenes, developers have been providing more and more hands on applications to see how it works, what it “sees”. AIExperiments is just that. I’ve only played around with Quick, Draw!. But it really gives you a feel for how AI does what it does. Aaaannnnnd there goes my evening.

Another project that Google made public recently was an AI system that created its own encryption algorithm. Basically, it consisted of three systems. System A would try to get an encrypted message across to system B. System E would intercept the message and try to understand /decrypt it. A would need to modify its encryption algorithm until E could not understand what it was trying to say. Now given that the communication only involved a 16 bit message and that it took 15,000 messages for A to be able to send the message with E able to guess 50% of the message (which is as good as flipping the coin on what each bit could be), nevertheless, the applications of such a system could be tremendous. More @ Wired

And that was demonstrated by another project that they released shortly after. A system creating it’s own language. To translate text from Portuguese to Spanish, the AI was taught to use the Portuguese to English translation and then translate the English phrase to Spanish. Over time, the AI learned to translate Portuguese directly to Spanish without any intermediate English translation. Meaning, the system learned to represent the concepts it uses to translate between other languages. More on Research @ Google.

A core part of AI is feedback. If it makes a decision, it needs to know whether or not it was right. It can then use this feedback to improve on its next decision because it has a little more idea about what is “expected”. So while AIExperiements might be “experiments”, ideas like this can be used to crowd-source information that can be used by AI systems to better our everyday lives.

Also, while you’re at it, there some other cool experiments folks have built for Chrome, Android and Arts & Culture. And what’s more, you can contribute too if you can build something along those lines.

-Akshar Rawal