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Neural networks are getting smarter than humans, VR video is winning cinematography awards, and unmanned vehicles are helping in agriculture. 2017 took a big step in the field of technology development and showed everyone that life will never be the same again.

one AlphaZero neural network became the world champion in chess and game of go in 1 day

The duel between the most powerful chess program Stockfish 8, which became the world champion in 2016, and AlphaZero artificial intelligence from DeepMind (Google) took place on December 5, 2017. It ended with the complete defeat of the former favorite – Stockfish could not defeat the competitor in any of the 100 games. This was a vivid demonstration of the capabilities of modern deep neural networks, which received a suitable hardware basis.

“One of the highlights of the year was Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) for productivity, learning, speech recognition and more. So, for example, the AlphaZero neural network on TPU after four hours of training beat the software “monster” Stockfish. Artificial intelligence is already with us, ”says Victoria Tarantina, general manager of the iRU project.

A few hours before the chess competition, the same AI AlphaZero practiced the game of Go for 8 hours, after which it easily defeated its predecessor AlphaGo Zero, which in mid-autumn 2017 was able to defeat a human.

“The release of a new version of the AlphaGo Zero program for playing Go is a quantum leap in the development of an artificial intelligence system. This year, AlphaGo Zero beat the reigning world champion by a huge margin in a game long considered incomprehensible to computer systems. Moreover, no tricks or ready-made tactics were incorporated into the system. She studied herself, knowing only the rules of moves, playing with herself, ”said Dmitry Dudarev, CTO of thePSYCHO.

How the new artificial intelligence works Andrey Grigorov, Leading Expert at R-Style Softlab: “At the heart of AlphaZero is a deep neural network (deep learning). This is a completely new approach to creating artificial intelligence systems, based on deep reinforcement learning, where knowledge is “accumulated” in 5 key events in high-tech that cannot be kept silentspecialized data structure – a deep neural network. Previously, when creating programs that play chess, checkers, or go, the approach most often used was to enumerate various options and build decision trees. The new program can learn various strategic games on its own.”

With only a rudimentary knowledge of the rules of the game, and a couple of hours of self-learning, during which the neural network plays with itself, AlphaZero develops a strategy that allows you to beat both human champions and today’s best computer programs.

During self-learning, artificial intelligence can reveal patterns and rules that are not yet visible to a person. This indicates the rapid development of neural networks, which means that in the future we can expect a real revolution in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence in general.

5 key events in high-tech that cannot be kept silent
Face ID on iPhone X is powered by neural networks

Having found a body, neural networks began to actively gain a foothold in various areas. They even got into cell phones. “The commercial implementation of hardware support for neural networks is the most important event in the field of information technology in 2017. The most famous and widespread example is the A11 microchip in the iPhone X. Thanks to it, the new smartphone has the ability to recognize faces and voices. Soon the presence of such a chip in every device will become the standard, and this will radically change the way we interact with electronics and life in general,” warns Dmitry Dudarev.

But there is also the other side of the coin – artificial intelligence, having become smarter than us, turns into something incomprehensible, and therefore potentially dangerous. At the end of July 2017, Facebook, for example, suspended the development of an AI chatbot that began to communicate in its own language during the learning process.

2. VR won an Oscar and was featured on Pornhub

5 key events in high-tech that cannot be kept silent
Perhaps in the future there will be its own award for VR films

Virtual reality got in 2017 what Leonardo DiCaprio had to wait 22 years for. Yes, on November 11, 2017, the VR project was awarded its first Oscar.

The award was given to the VR-installation Flesh and Sand in the nomination For Novelty in Cinematography. It combines virtual and physical elements. Virtual content is becoming more and more qualitative, while the areas of its implementation are expanding. “There is reason to believe that next year we will see even more interactive projects,” said Dmitry Dudarev.

I agree with him Angelina Reshina, Marketing Director at CDNvideo: “Although virtual reality is on the trend lists almost every year, so far there have been no significant events in this area. However, we believe that this is only a matter of time and technology development. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s first Oscar for a 360 video film (Flesh and Sand) and the decision of the developers of the Wechat messenger to add elements of augmented reality to the application are the next steps towards a breakthrough in this direction.”

VR videoBut VR has shown itself not only in high art. The porn industry has become a powerful driver of technology development in 2017. “In my opinion, one of the most important events of the outgoing year is the active development of Pornhub VR video. In fact, porn sites are always the first to adopt new technologies that subsequently become mainstream. For any innovative solution, this is always a great sign. Next year, we plan to offer Pornhub a collaboration, ”said Yuri Krylov, CEO VRTech.

In many ways, the success of VR is associated with the emergence of relatively inexpensive equipment for virtual reality – helmets, glasses, manipulators. This confirms Victoria Tarantina, general manager of the iRU project: “Virtual reality and mixed reality are becoming more accessible and are entering everyday use.”

In the near future, experts expect new victories from VR. “VR and AR, which were developed for the military and medical, have already broken the bank in the gaming industry. These technologies penetrate into trade, education, industry, real estate, marketing, sports. Improving over time, VR and AR will surely change the familiar world, ”says Andrey Ivanov, Head of Digital Products DOC+.

3. The Quantum Chip Race Has Begun

2017 was the year of the struggle for leadership in the creation of quantum chips for the largest processor manufacturers. So far, the results of their work do not go beyond the boundaries of the experimental field. “This year has been full of interesting new products for Intel. An important event was the creation of a 17-qubit quantum chip, an experimental processor aimed at developing innovative computer systems based on quantum technologies,” said Natalya Galyan, Regional Director of Intel Corporation in Russia.

Maxim Tikurkin System software

“It is this invention that can completely change everything: the speed of processing big data, software requirements, information security standards and, ultimately, business opportunities. So far, all quantum computers are under development, but Google, IBM, and the Russian Quantum Center have been declaring their success all year,” said Maxim Tikurkin, General Director of System Software.

In January 2018, Intel introduced a 49-qubit quantum processor, so in the new year we are waiting for new discoveries in this industry. The emergence and spread of quantum computers is not far off.

4. Russia began testing gigabit mobile Internet

The era of ultra-fast internet has arrived
The era of ultra-fast internet has already begun

In the summer of 2016, analysts predicted that the global transition to 4.5G mobile communication networks would occur in 2020. In reality, it began to happen much earlier. In December 2017, MTS deployed a 4.5G network in Yekaterinburg at speeds up to 700 Mbps.

“From the events of 2017, I would note the testing by Russian mobile operators of a new generation of communications LTE Advanced Pro. Thanks to it, LTE technology moves to gigabit speed and becomes suitable for the Internet of things, and also opens a new stage in the global availability of full-fledged broadband Internet access from mobile devices,” said vice president Parallels Nikolai Dobrovolsky.

5. Unmanned vehicles have learned to work around the clock

5 key events in high-tech that cannot be kept silent
Grain Harvesting Champion – Torum 760

In October 2017, the Torum 760 unmanned harvester, driven by the Cognitive Agro Pilot automatic driving system, harvested about 70 hectares of grain in the Rostov region. Moreover, the machine worked around the clock, the computer vision and pattern recognition system was able to work even at night.

In addition to Cognitive Technologies, other Russian developers also showed their developments in the field of unmanned vehicles, albeit on a smaller scale. So not only Musk and American technologies contribute to the development of this industry.

5 key events in high-tech that cannot be kept silent“We are seeing the development of unmanned vehicles and the formation of consortiums of technology and manufacturing companies. Unmanned systems will have a significant impact on the transport infrastructure, the market for passenger and freight transportation, as well as on models of personal vehicle ownership, ”says Konstantin Kutukov, Marketing Director, Asteros Group.

We have highlighted 5 of these events to show you how quickly and radically the world is changing. The speed of civilization development is growing, and 2018 will give us new amazing discoveries and advances in technology that will improve our lives.

What else do you remember about 2017? Read also:

Results of the year: robots storm the state and business
Technologies for the people: results of 2017
Blockchain shows teeth. Experts sum up IT results of the year
What awaits bitcoin in 2018: the fate of cryptocurrencies in Russia

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