Researchers at Google Brain – an arm of the search engine giant which focuses on AI research – created AutoML earlier this year, which is an AI both that is capable of creating other machine learning programs.
Now, AutoML has produced an AI system which is so far outperforming any of its counterparts that were designed by humans.
The system that AutoML created was tasked with recognising objects such as people, cars, lights, handbags, virtually anything – in a real-time video.
The researchers have called the new system NASNet and tests have shown that it was able to identify objects with 82.7 per cent accuracy – 1.2 per cent better than any similar program created by humans.
The Google Brain team acknowledge that this is just the beginning for machine learning.
They write on their blog: “We hope that the larger machine learning community will be able to build on these models to address multitudes of computer vision problems we have not yet imagined.”
However, a machine that can create more powerful machines does raise some ethical concerns.
Tech site Futurism points out: “What if AutoML creates systems so fast that society can't keep up? It's not very difficult to see how NASNet could be employed in automated surveillance systems in the near future, perhaps sooner than regulations could be put in place to control such systems.”
Top organisations such as Facebook and Apple have joined the Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society, a group which is looking to implement strategies that only allow AI to be developed if it will benefit humanity.
Google’s director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil, has recently said AI will ultimately benefit humanity, but he insists mankind will have to endure “difficult episodes” on the way to achieving machine learning which falls in line with our goals.
Mr Kurzweil said at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, DC, that technology is a “double-edged sword” which has helped and hindered humans, and he expects the same of AI.
The 69-year old said: “Technology has always been a double-edged sword. Fire kept us warm, cooked our food and burned down our houses.