All of the big tech companies are now open sourcing their AI (deep learning) software. They are also open sourcing the hardware designs of the machines needed to train the software.
That's a big deal. This new approach to AI is proving so powerful and useful, its use is growing exponentially (see image below).
At this rate of adoption and with the barriers to participation dropping daily, I'm confident this technological revolution will upend the world in less than a decade. Most of the innovation we will see will occur at the grassroots level.
Here's an example of what is possible when a small company open sources a relatively "dumb" machine cognition software. This software is called "openaplr" from a company of the same name, and it's available for download on Github.
What does it do? It can turn any IP enabled camera into a license plate reader capable of reading 60 license plates a second.
Very cool and very powerful and completely legal.
With this amount of capability it wouldn't be hard to crowdsource an effort to track the movement of nearly every car in the country.
A next generation deep learning program (like the one they are using at Facebook) would allow you to identify and track people, rather than cars, using a small body camera or a smartphone to do it.
Open source little brother anyone?