Deep reinforcement learning may not be the royal road to artificial general intelligence, but DeepMind itself is a formidable operation, tightly run and well funded, with hundreds of PhDs.’

In Wired, Gary Marcus rhetorically asks if AI is faltering, given the losses reported by one of its biggest research labs. DeepMind, owned by Alphabet, reported a $572 operating loss for the year with another $1 billion debt coming due.

Marcus answers his question: big costs aren’t unusual for big science.

Yet he’s skeptical about the path being pursued by DeepMind. The AI lab has been focusing on artificial general intelligence using a model known as reinforcement learning. With it, the London-based lab’s model defeated the world’s best GO player, amongst other successes.

Marcus doubts it is indicative of commercially-scaleable results.

Gary Marcus is a Professor in Psychology at NYU, an entrepreneur, and author. His forthcoming book (with Ernest Davis) is Rebooting AI.


Deepmind’s losses and the future of artificial intelligence
WIRED | August 14, 2019