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AI is learning to speed read

Gamalon's tech promises machine learning with a fraction of the effort.
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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

As clever as machine learning is, there's one common problem: you frequently have to train the AI on thousands or even millions of examples to make it effective. What if you don't have weeks to spare? If Gamalon has its way, you could put AI to work almost immediately. The startup has unveiled a new technique, Bayesian Program Synthesis, that promises AI you can train with just a few samples. The approach uses probabilistic code to fill in gaps in its knowledge. If you show it very short and tall chairs, for example, it should figure out that there are many chair sizes in between. And importantly, it can tweak its own models as it goes along -- you don't need constant human oversight in case circumstances change.

Gamalon's technology is already in use, although you probably wouldn't notice. Bloomberg notes that the AI is currently helping companies like Avaya correct ambiguous data like names and addresses within a matter of minutes. However, the fledgling outfit isn't shy about this being used for image recognition and other machine learning tasks. You could have a personal AI that you train yourself, for instance, and it's easy to see this as helpful for robots that may need to account for the many, many object variations that they'll encounter in the real world.

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