Artificial intelligence is evolving all by itself


Artificial intelligence (AI) is evolving—literally.
Researchers have created software that borrows concepts from
Darwinian evolution, including “survival of the fittest,â€
to build AI programs that improve generation after generation
without human input. The program replicated decades of AI research
in a matter of days, and its designers think that one day, it could
discover new approaches to AI.

“While most people were taking baby steps, they took a
giant leap into the unknown,†says Risto Miikkulainen, a
computer scientist at the University of Texas, Austin, who was not
involved with the work. “This is one of those papers that
could launch a lot of future research.â€

Building an AI algorithm takes time. Take neural networks, a
common type of machine learning used for translating languages and
driving cars. These networks loosely mimic the structure of the
brain and learn from training data by altering the strength of
connections between artificial neurons. Smaller subcircuits of
neurons carry out specific tasks—for instance spotting road
signs—and researchers can spend months working out how to
connect them so they work together seamlessly.

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Apr. 13, 2020