Meet Google’s artificial intelligence chief

Google’s head of machine learning, John Giannandrea, has spent his professional life making computers smarter. But he’s not overly impressed with their current intelligence. “I think computers are remarkably dumb,” says Giannandrea, speaking in a stark conference room at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. “A computer is like a 4-year-old child.” Granted, that 4-year-old child has become crucial to the search giant’s competitive technology. Google GOOG is currently a leader in the searing-hot field of artificial intelligence, developing computers with the power to incrementally learn to perform tasks like recognizing patterns in numbers and words. HAL 9000 it is not, but machines learning to pick out granular information from big data (say, search terms) have vast implications for business in the Valley, now inching toward a future in which…


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