Scientists Impart Ability To Predict Future To Artificial Intelligence

A team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have imparted the ability to predict the immediate future to a deep learning algorithm.  The algorithm, when shown a still image, is capable of generating a short video showing what the subject of the image might do next; such as creating a video of a train leaving the platform when shown an image of a train station.  

"Any robot that operates in our world needs to have some basic ability to predict the future," says Carl Vondrick, a member of the team that created the predictive algorithm.  "For example, if you're about to sit down, you don't want a robot to pull the chair out from underneath you."

This newly-learned ability is limited by the system's lack of what we would call common sense, such as understanding that the aforementioned train would eventually leave the frame.  Vondrick is currently working on scaling up the system to produce longer videos, and hopes that it may someday be used to show us alternative futures.  "I think we can develop systems that eventually hallucinate these reasonable, plausible futures of images and videos."

Source: New Scientist

Tobias Wayland