Let us consider "Brain as a service" again now!


Two years ago, I wrote my article about Computer Go player "AlphaGo" and talk about "Brain as a service" in future. Because AlphaGo is so strong and it can improve itself by reinforcement learning with self-play.  Now I am more confident that "Brain as a service" will be available in near future. Let us consider why I think so.


1. Self-play without human interventions

In Oct 2017, DeepMind released a new version of Computer Go player "AlphaGo Zero". The previous version of AlphaGo learned from human's play at the early stage of training. But AlphaGo Zero can improve themselves without human interventions and knowledge. Starting with nothing, it can be stronger than human Go-champion. This is incredible! Of course, the real world is not the game of Go so we should modify self-play to apply our real-life problems. But fundamentally, there are many chances to improve our society by using self-play as it provides super-human solutions if it is correctly implemented. AlphaGo Zero proves it is true.


2. Reinforcement learning can be researched anywhere on the earth

Now  I research OpemAI Gym, which is an environment/simulator for reinforcement learning (RL). This is provided by OpenAI which is a nonprofit organization established by Elon Musk, Sam Altman. OpenAI provides us not only research results of theory but also codes of them to implement in our system. It means that as long as we have an access to the internet, we can start our own research of reinforcement learning based on OpenAI Gym. No capital is required as codes of OpenAI Gym are provided for free. Just download and use them as they are open-source-software.  Applications of RL like AlphaGo can be developed anywhere in the world. If you want to try it, go to the OpenAI Gym website and set OpenAI Gym by yourself. You can enjoy cool results of reinforcement learning!


3. It will be easier to obtain data from the world

Google said "The real world as your playground: Build real-world games with Google Maps APIs"  last week. It means that any game developers can create real-world-game by using Google Maps. We can access to countless 3D buildings, roads, landmarks, and parks all over the world as digital assets. This is amazing!  But this should not be considered as just a matter of games. This is just one of the example to tell us how we can obtain data from the world because we can create real-world computer-vision simulators with this service.  In addition to that,  I would like to mention blockchain a little. blockchain can be used to connect the world in a transparent manner. I imagine that many data inside companies or organizations can be accessed more easily through blockchain in near future. Therefore we will be able to accelerate AI development with far more data than now at a rapid pace.  This must be excited!



" These things must be a trigger to change the landscape of our business, societies and lives. Because suddenly computers can be sophisticated enough to work just like our brain.  AlphaGo teaches us that it may happen when a few people think so. Yes, this is why I think that the age of "Brain as a Service" will come in near future.  How do you think of that?"

This is what I said two years ago. Of course, it is impossible to predict when "Brain as a Service" will be available. But I am sure we are going in this direction step by step.  Do you agree that?



Note: Toshifumi Kuga’s opinions and analyses are personal views and are intended to be for informational purposes and general interest only and should not be construed as individual investment advice or solicitation to buy, sell or hold any security or to adopt any investment strategy.  The information in this article is rendered as at publication date and may change without notice and it is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region market or investment.

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