ICO to Build Next Generation AI Raises $36 Million in 60 Seconds

SingularityNET raised $36 mln in one minute, completely selling out of its native AGI tokens. While this is an enormous amount of money to raise in an incredibly short period of time, it’s somewhat unsurprising considering demand. The company asserts that the issue was massively oversubscribed, with 20,000 people registered to participate, seeking to buy $361 mln worth of tokens.

The company reduced the number to a more manageable level, according to its press release, by:

“[Screening] all applicants using layers of algorithms, in addition to manual review, to comply with global KYC/AML regulations. This reduced the pool of contributors to 5,000, but also set a new standard for fundraising via Blockchain with respect to global legislation.”

Artificial general intelligence

SingularityNET aims to create a decentralized marketplace of AIs, where each AI can interact with one another (and pay one another) as needed to solve customers’ problems. Founder Ben Goertzel gave an example:

“If you need a document summarized, as a user you can put a request into SingularityNet…

You may get bids from twenty different document summary nodes…and you may choose one with the right balance of reputation and price.

But now that document summary node if it hits something in the document it can’t deal with, it can outsource that…if the document summary node that you’re paying…hits an embedded video it can outsource that to a video summarizing node and it can then pay it some fraction of the money it was paid. Or, if it sees a quote in Russian…it can outsource that …to a Russian to English translation node that can do that translation, then send it back to the document summary node.”

Popular field

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are hot trends in computing these days, but are largely controlled by massive corporations. These corporate titans develop their own proprietary systems and software and keep it in-house. SingularityNET intends to decentralize this heavily centralized field, allowing developers of AI tools to monetize them and non-corporate users to benefit from them.

As with any new venture, it remains to be seen whether this is even possible, or whether behemoths like Google will forever dominate the field of AI. One thing is certain – there is plenty of interest in decentralized AI systems. SingularityNET’s token sale could not make that any more clear. Just like the Nicholas Cage movie, these tokens were “gone in sixty seconds.”

Researchers demo AI that can change the weather and time of day in photos

NVIDIA Research is showing off a new project that uses artificial intelligence to change the time of day and weather in an image. The technology is called “unsupervised image-to-image translation,” and it involves a newly-created framework capable of producing high-quality image translations, such as turning a day photo into a night photo, or a summer photo into a winter photo.

It is, to use the technical term: bananas.

Unsupervised, in this case, refers to a type of AI training that doesn’t involve precise examples upon which the final results can be based. This is due to the variability inherent in taking one type of image, such as one showing a summer day, and translating it into a winter scene. Discussing this, the researchers explained in an abstract:

We compare the proposed framework with competing approaches and present high quality image translation results on various challenging unsupervised image translation tasks, including street scene image translation, animal image translation, and face image translation.

The team provides several before-and-after examples of their AI’s work, demonstrating instances of a sunny day with blue sky being transformed into an overcast day, and a snow-covered winter environment being transformed into a sunny green environment.

The video below shows a video scene transformed from winter to summer:

NVIDIA also shared a video of a day scene transformed in night scene, though the change is far more obvious in this example:

Finally, the technology can also be used to transform one species into another, such as turning a house cat into a cheetah:

The team has shared a Google Photos album containing before-and-after images created with the AI, so if you want to see more photo editing madness, you can find it here.

Of course, the transitions are FAR from perfect at this stage, but some of the swaps are so extreme that even the imperfect creations still feel way beyond a computer’s capacity to do by itself. Adobe’s “Deep Fill” and “Project Cloak” are starting to look like a very small taste of the coming AI photo and video editing revolution.