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Google's Cambridge office to study AI-human connections

11 Juillet 2017

PAIR targets three main audiences for AI interaction, the first of which is the people actually building the AI in the first place: the engineers and researchers. But the technology has the potential to be able to do more. Google has revealed that it has sought to come up with AI technologies with human race at the centre of this advancement.

Google is launching an initiative based in its Cambridge office to study how humans interact with artificial intelligence, taking on the practicalities of questions that just a few years ago might have been purely philosophical. These tools are created to give AI engineers better insight into the early stages of machine learning by giving them a clearer view of the data they are using to train their AI agents.

Google already has a number of AI projects in these areas, such as DeepMind's partnership with the U.K.'s National Health Service, but the company wants to find other ways to use AI to streamline and improve the workplace.

"PAIR is devoted to advancing the research and design of people-centric AI systems".

According to Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, senior staff research scientists on the Google Brain team, the idea behind PAIR is to consider AI not simply as a technology, but as a material that can be used to build new types of tools and programs that benefit real people.

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Finally, the last audience for PAIR are the everyday users who will ultimately benefit from the AI revolution.

Google said it does not have the answer yet, hence the initiative has been instituted. The latest initiative includes open-source tools that will be made available to third parties, including software engineers, as well as professionals from disciplines such as medicine, design and music. Wattenberg and Viégas said they acknowledge that they were not the first to dip into the AI world, but it inspires them all the more to work together for the same vision.

The post goes on to explain how PAIR is geared towards repositioning the field of AI research from a tech-focused discipline, by introducing elements of "design thinking".

Google's Cambridge office to study AI-human connections