Welcome Devs With Open Arms

Two leaders in the field of artificial intelligence have announced that they’re open-sourcing their AI platforms.

After investing in building rich simulated environments to serve as laboratories for AI research, Google’s DeepMind Lab on Saturday said it would open the platform for the broader research community’s use.

DeepMind has been using its AI lab for some time, and it has “only barely scratched the surface of what is possible” in it, noted team members Charlie Beattie, Joel Leibo, Stig Petersen and Shane Legg in an online post.

By open-sourcing the platform, DeepMind Lab hopes to open new opportunities for developers to make significant contributions to AI.

Meanwhile, OpenAI, which is cochaired by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, on Monday invited developers to try on its Universe platform for size.

It’s hoping an influx of development talent will help it achieve its overarching mission: to create a single AI agent that can be flexible in applying its past experience within Universe to quickly master unfamiliar, difficult environments.

Now that it’s open source, the platform is available on GitHib, a home for many developers on the Web.

Developers will be able to add custom levels to its platform via GitHub, the DeepMind team explained. In addition, all DeepMind assets will be hosted on GitHub. along with code, maps and level scripts.

DeepMind hopes the GitHub community will help it shape and develop the platform going forward, said Beattie, Leibo, Petersen and Legg.

OpenAI is designed to allow an AI agent to use a computer as a human does.

OpenAI wants to train AI systems on a full range of tasks to solve, it noted in an online post.

Universe enables the training of a single agent to perform any task a human can complete with a computer, according to OpenAI.


Sign of Frustration?

Computer scientists for some time have been trying to make algorithms learn from patterns, but progress has been slow.

“There’s a little bit of frustration that we’re not making as much progress as we wanted to,” maintained Sorin Adam Matei, an associate professor atPurdue University.

“This attempt to get more people involved, to excite people, to get another angle to the problem is a sign of frustration,” he told LinuxInsider.

Nevertheless, opening the AI platforms to the at-large development community could be beneficial.

“If a lot of people are attracted to these tools, we’ll see new creative interesting services,” Matei pointed out. “There could be a very healthy lateral development.”

What’s more, that development may come faster and cheaper than if DeepMind and OpenAI continued to go it alone.

“Certainly, part of the motivation [to go open source] is rooted in a desire to innovate quickly and cost-effectively,” said Austin Ogilvie, CEO of Yhat.