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article imageGoogle working on 'the thinking' computer

By Tim Sandle     Jun 18, 2016 in Technology
Zurich - Goggle, operating from a new base in Zurich, are investigating how to advance the technology of artificial intelligence.
Putting aside contested definitions of what artificial intelligence actually is (Digital Journal has discussed this recently), the new Google projects are orientated towards pushing forward the concept of the thinking machine or, as the head of research Emmanuel Mogenet puts it, "teaching machines common sense." The projects form the core part of Google's significantly expanded European research center.
Mogenet is head of Google's Zürich Search Team. He is credited with developing the application Shake (software), before being headhunted by the U.S. tech firm.
The Google projects focus on three research areas: machine learning, natural language understanding and computer perception. According to the official Google blog: "Google Research, Europe, will foster an environment where software engineers and researchers specialising in ML will have the opportunity to develop products and conduct research right here in Europe, as part of the wider efforts at Google."
In response, computer scientist Calum Chace (@cccalum) enthusiastically tweeted: "Google DeepMind aims to solve AGI, and Google Zurich aims to create AI with common sense."
Projects completed to date at the European center include developing the engine behind Google’s Knowledge Graph, plus the software that drives the new Google Assistant in Allo.
In terms of where the research is heading next, Mogenet told BBS technology this included search, spam filters, translation and content removal. For these areas, machines need a degree of self-awareness. In relation to this, the technologist said: "A four-year-old child learns about the world through their senses so they know that cows don't fly without being told this. Computers need to understand some obvious things about the world so we want to build a common-sense database."
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