Let us consider “Brain as a service” again now!

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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.

Data from third-party sources may have been used in the preparation of this material and I, Author of the article has not independently verified, validated such data. I and TOSHI STATS.SDN.BHD. accept no liability whatsoever for any loss arising from the use of this information and relies upon the comments, opinions and analyses in the material is at the sole discretion of the user. 

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Three reasons why I expect “digital currency” to be a game changer

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I read the Keynote Address by Mr Ravi Menon in MAS 1 last week.  He pointed out digital currency as one of the six major technological breakthrough in the financial industry. He says “Digital currencies – like Bitcoins – have attracted much interest.”.

In my view,  digital currency has a potential to change our daily lives. There are three reasons as follows.

 

1.  Digital currency is completely digital information

Digital currency does not need to record it on paper.  There are no physical notes and coins.  It can be exchanged as just data.  It means that it can be operated highly efficiently and in real time basis. More importantly, these data can be analyzed by machine learning, which is developing at an astonishing rate recently.   It might enable fintech startups to generate numerous financial services in the future. This must be exciting.

 

2.  Digital currency can be issued without Central banks

Central banks usually have the exclusive right to authorize the issuance of its currency. The US dollar is authorized by the Federal reserve system.  The euro is authorized by the European central bank.  The Japanese Yen is authorized by Bank of Japan.  Therefore the traditional currency could be backed ultimately by country creditworthiness. However, digital currency can be issued without authorization by any central banks. It has advantages because digital currency could be used as alternative currencies in emerging countries which do not have strong financial systems and good creditworthiness. In such countries, the value of their currencies declines when creditworthiness of countries can not be sustained.  But digital currencies have nothing to do with their creditworthiness because they can be issued independently.  So digital currency can operate beyond the country creditworthiness constrain.

 

3. Digital currency can be exchanged on peer to peer basis

One of the major differences between traditional currency and digital one is that there is no central organization for recording transactions.  So digital currency is considered  as de-centralized currency.  A technology called ” Block chain” enables it to operate effectively.  This technology can be applied beyond digital currency.  Contracts can be processed by using this technology, too. , Co-founder of Linkedin says “It enables the trustees exchange of any kind of digital asset – domain name signatures, digital contracts, digital titles to physical assets like cars and houses.”.2  This is amazing!  “Peer to peer basis society” could be realized by block chain in future.

 

 

MAS announced that a new organization called “FinTech & Innovation Group” will be set up on 1st August 2015 to enhance financial technology3. Not only private companies but also regulators realized the importance of digital currency.  In the US,  MIT Media Lab established Digital Currency Initiative to research digital currency4.  I would like to keep watching what is going on closely in this field.

Would you like to use digital currency in the future?

 

 

Source

1. “A Smart Financial Centre” – Keynote Address by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, at Global Technology Law Conference 2015 on 29 Jun 2015

2. The Future of the Bitcoin Ecosystem and “Trustless Trust” – Why I Invested in Blockstream,  Reid Hoffman, Pulse in Linkedin, 17 Nov 2014

3. MAS sets up new FinTech & Innovation Group,  MAS website, 27 July 2015

4. Launching a Digital Currency Initiative,  Brian Forde, the Direcotr of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab, 15 April 2015

 

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.

Data from third-party sources may have been used in the preparation of this material and I, Author of the article has not independently verified, validated such data. I accept no liability whatsoever for any loss arising from the use of this information and relies upon the comments, opinions and analyses in the material is at the sole discretion of the user.