back to article Alibaba gazes into crystal ball to spy coming advances in AI and silicon photonics

Alibaba has published a report detailing a number of technology trends the China-based megacorp believes will make an impact across the economy and society at large over the next several years. This includes the use of AI in scientific research, adoption of silicon photonics, the integration of terrestrial, and satellite data …

  1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Alidabbs

    AlibabaAlidabbs ponders his (crystal) balls

    "Predictions in tech 2022 part two: 'Definitely maybe'

    Will Happen #1: AI transcription and translation improves massively"

    https://www.theregister.com/2021/12/31/something_for_the_weekend/

  2. Schultz
    Boffin

    AI, AI, everywhere

    So there was one significant scientific success for AI, namely protein structure prediction -- and that success was based on decades of algorithm development that were folded into the AI magic sauce. Then there are many examples in science, where you can replace existing data analysis (fitting or recognition) with AI, but we are still waiting for any significant advantage of AI showing up anywhere. (And that's not for a lack of trying, because your AI grant gets funded, while your boring old proposal is rejected.)

    So do I expect great things from AI in science? No. By its very definition, science is about creating a testable hypothesis and then testing it. AI will find it's place in the computational toolbox but it won't magically create a shortcut for the (admittedly slow) fundamental progress that we came to expect from scientific progress.

    Still, there'll be a lot of money being spent and made in the field, so I can't really blame Alibaba to join the choir of AI converts.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Moving on SWIFT<s>ly</s>

    Critical strategic and tactical use of outrageously advantageous homomorphically encrypted data/hot critical mass foundational base metadata allows the protection of an unbreakable privacy to provide a guaranteed immunity and impunity for extremely disruptive and highly novel and noble activities which may or may not be subsequently speculated upon and proposed to be attributable to either a known fixed hostile taken over state for a politically incorrect persecution and moronic prosecution or anonymous remote non-state actor entity for Advanced IntelAIgent Design blaming and shaming.

    That development alone in the field would deliver the likes of an Alibaba DAMO Academy such a significant lead in practically anything that is of future consequence as to make competition and opposition a vain desperate, crushingly expensive guaranteed failure.

    The fact that such would then suggest foreign friendly support and welcome massive investment be a prime premium path to follow and show lead with, in order to take full advantage of the benefits and rewards delivered, may be something which many would feel alien and struggle to come to terms with, challenging as it does the dire straits state of their own personal intelligence and their previous state programming.

    But this has been shared with y'all before on El Reg ... https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2016/02/09/researchers_break_homomorphic_encryption/#c_2773691 ..... although possibly a bit before its allotted time.:-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Moving on SWIFT<s>ly</s>

      :-)

      includes mustcontainletters

  4. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    Very clever, I'm sure.

    ...integration of energy from renewable sources...

    So, in order to manage the peaks and troughs better, we connect the whole lot together and put it all under the control of a single computer system.

    What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    Well done lads, what you have proposed there is the world's largest and highest stakes game of whack-a-mole, as the poor bastards tasked with keeping it all running try to keep ahead of the hackers, s'kiddies and rogue government arselickers.

  5. Binraider Silver badge

    Poppycock comes to mind. AI as it is, is applied statistics. A useful toolset to be sure, but to turn the thinking over to it? One might as well plot =rand() and pray a useful string comes out.

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