“This is really interesting,” says Chris Nicholson, who runs a deep learning startup called Skymind. “Google is five to seven years ahead of the rest of the world. If they open source their tools, this can make everybody else better at machine learning.”
To be sure, Google isn’t giving away all its secrets. At the moment, the company is only open sourcing part of this AI engine. It’s sharing only some of the algorithms that run atop the engine. And it’s not sharing access to the remarkably advanced hardware infrastructure that drives this engine (that would certainly come with a price tag). But Google is giving away at least some of its most important data center software, and that’s not something it has typically done in the past.
Google became the Internet’s most dominant force in large part because of the uniquely powerful software and hardware it built inside its computer data centers—software and hardware that could help run all its online services, that could juggle traffic and data from an unprecedented number of people across the globe. And typically, it didn’t share its designs with the rest of the world until it had moved on to other designs. Even then, it merely shared research papers describing its tech. The company didn’t open source its code. That’s how it kept an advantage.
Machine learning is a very big project and the trend of innovation is moving towards a situation where computers will be able to create solutions based on experience rather than following a formula alone. Humans have been working with tools for eons but the realm of creativity, innovation and art has never been outsourceable to machines. This is going to change in the next thirty years so we can expect the trend of technological innovation to continue to accelerate and the realm of possibility will not even be limited by human imagination.Back to top