Google Creates AI That Helps Build AI

An interesting development from Google’s dev conference:  

Pichai introduced a project called AutoML coming out of the company’s Google Brain artificial intelligence research group. Researchers there have shown that their learning algorithms can automate one of the trickiest parts of the job of designing machine-learning software to take on a particular task….

On the image task, their system rivaled the best architectures designed by human experts. On the language task, it beat them.

Perhaps more significantly, it came up with architectures of a kind that researchers didn’t previously consider suited to those tasks. “In a sense it found something we didn’t know about,” says Le. “It’s striking.”

But it’s a ways from being a threat to developers’ jobs — at least for now…

When asked if they are on track to put themselves out of a job, Le and Zoph laugh, though. Right now the technique is too expensive to be widely used. The pair’s experiments tied up 800 powerful graphics processors for multiple weeks—racking up the kind of power bill few companies could afford for speculative research.

Still, Google now has a larger team working on AutoML, including on how to make it less resource-intensive. 

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