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NBC News: “The next big ideas from ‘Idea Man’ Paul Allen: A.I. and cell biology”

8C9194575-130928-coslog-ideaman-1130a.blocks_desktop_smallNBC News reports on the new Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, led by UW CSE professor Oren Etzioni:

“Allen, the 60-year-old co-founder of Microsoft, laid out his plans during an interview on the sidelines of the Allen Institute for Brain Science’s annual symposium …

“[AIBS] serves as the model for Allen’s ventures to expand the frontiers of artificial intelligence and cell biology. Just this month, he laid out his plan for the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2, or “A.I. squared”) with University of Washington computer scientist Oren Etzioni at the helm.

“Allen said some of the inspiration came from his years-long project to create next-generation interactive textbooks. Some came from the Watson computer’s triumph on the “Jeopardy” quiz show in 2011. And some came from the issues that have been raised at the brain institute.

“How will research into artificial intelligence mesh with Allen’s interest in human intelligence? ‘It’s a strange kind of race … Can you create an artificial object or entity or something that can perform language before you understand how it’s done in the brain?’ he said during Thursday’s symposium. ;It’s a kind of crazy race, and I don’t know which horse to bet on. I’m betting on both. Both are fascinating.'”

Read more here.