File this under “cabbage truck,” “born” and “yesterday:”

Salish-language-signsArtificial intelligence sits at the extreme end of machine learning, which sees people create software that can learn about the world. Google has been one of the biggest corporate sponsors of AI, and has invested heavily in it for videos, speech, translation and, recently, search.

For the past few months, a “very large fraction” of the millions of queries a second that people type into the company’s search engine have been interpreted by an artificial intelligence system, nicknamed RankBrain, said Greg Corrado, a senior research scientist with the company, outlining for the first time the emerging role of AI in search.

RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities — called vectors — that the computer can understand. If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.

Key quotes from the Bloomberg article:

“Machine learning is a core transformative way by which we are rethinking everything we are doing,” said Google’s Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai on the company’s earnings call last week.

Unironically, we’ll assume. And

“It’s very carefully monitored,” Corrado said, nothing that Google periodically updates the system by feeding it a load of new data to help it better reason with new concepts.

Here’s a guess: A new, highly valued skill set becomes communicating with language and word combinations that the computer cannot understand. Weird, constantly changing pigeon combinations develop that mimic and often include the use of dying and/or dead languages. But this development coincides with the mass extinction of any ability to communicate, “search,” think or anything else with any language other than what the computer can understand. The race is on to talk and write beyond the reach of the learning machines. Think of it as sort of a dystopian, 1984-esque, Escape from Jeopardy-Humanities-Terminator cauchemar (see what we did there?), that I am not going to write but on the film about which I would like to have points.