Big names invest long-term in Artificial Intelligence (AI)

“Excited about joining Apple as a director of AI research,” tweeted Ruslan Salakhutdinov while announcing his recruitment by the Cupertino-based tech giant. Salakhutdinov, an expert in deep learning – artificial neural networks seeking patterns within large amounts of data – has become one prominent human face for large US-based companies’ growing appetite for AI sustained by strong growth in cloud computing and big data sectors.

Valuations of the global AI market vary in proportion to its different definitions at USD 11.1 billion by 2024 according to Tractica Research, USD 70 billion by 2020 according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch and USD 114 billion by 2018 according to AT Kearney. More recently, Apple acquired machine learning startups Turi and Tuplejump after Google bought British video-gaming neural network company DeepMind in 2014 along with offering hundreds of Machine Intelligence-related research publications.

Valued at several hundreds of USD million each, these smaller acquisitions didn’t receive as much news coverage as big acquisitions like Facebook’s Instagram in 2012. Yet they illustrate an ongoing revolution that combines changing habits in the way people improve their productivity, interact with other people, objects and places; and the dramatic rise in computerized intelligence up to the point that it may really surpass human capacities someday.

At the DOD, officials said that to give the United States an advantage over adversaries, AI can team troops up with machines as an additional offset strategy. Hence the strong interest of US Defense Secretary Ash Carter in everything related to AI after he launched the Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental (DIUx) last year. 32 years after Terminator entertained you, AI has already propagated everywhere around you with Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana.