Google just announced a new computing platform called “Chromebook” that looks very promising. Working with partners Samsung and Acer, the new computers will optimize the computing experience for the web, taking advantage of Google’s Android operating system, the Google Chrome browser, gmail, Google documents, Google maps, and the many other great web-centric products Google has cooked up since they began their amazing online journey from obscure search engine to online advertising juggernaut.
As with most Google developments, the user advantages come at the expense of Google competitors like Microsoft and perhaps even Apple. Chrome as a browser has not caught on as well as Google would have hoped, but this may be their opportunity to more broadly showcase that excellent product which in my opinion offers superior “browsing and multitasking” capabilities. Although the iPad market seems almost impenetrable, tablet computers using android may reach a price point that starts to challenge Apple dominance in this market. However I would not bet on that … yet. Apple has an amazing ability to market and mine the public’s enthusiasm for style in ways that keep them on top of the gadget market even with their relatively expensive lines of gadgets.
The new Chromebooks are available June 15 in the US and UK
Official Google Blog: A new kind of computer: Chromebook
Intro to Chromebook
As the hunt for general artificial intelligence aka “thinking, conscious machines” heats up some of the more promising projects are getting a modest level of funding, and it now seems likely we’ll have some significant progress over the next few years. Hopefully
We’ve written a lot about DARPA SyNAPSE and the BLUE BRAIN projects, but a new exciting one in Europe (not sure about the name though) is called …
Novel Brain‐Inspired Learning Paradigms for Large‐Scale
• Our vision: To build a novel type of computing
machinery, exhibiting human‐like learning
• Our approach: To port leaning and adaptation
mechanisms in the brain to brain‐inspired
• Our path: An interdisciplinary roadmap from
neuroscience to technology.
•Explore: Use cutting‐edge techniques to gain
insight in how the brain learns.
•Understand: Understand the results through
mathematical analysis and simulation.
• Implement: Study the implementation in novel
Read more at the University of Heidleberg’s Brain-i-Nets website
Google’s Peter Norvig on “Strong AI” and other technology topics. Peter Norvig is a pioneer in Artificial Intelligence, and in this video answers a question about “strong AI”. His take on the topic is a bit different and I’d say more skeptical than folks like Ray Kurzweil who are both optimistic and very enthusiastic about the prospects for a technological singularity in the near future. Norvig is considerably more cautious, suggesting that the issue of “consciousness” is not even all that relevant. I spoke with Norvig briefly at a conference in 2008 and asked him about machine consciousness. There he gave me a similar answer to here – he wasn’t even sure how we could define the term. Norvig’s approach and philosophy is very practical, and like many computer engineers he seems to think “strong AI” could take some time.