16,000 linked Google computers, 10 million random YouTube thumbnail images, and more than a billion connections in between led to one result: the computers, without human guidance, learned what a cat is.
Google's attempt of simulating the human brain, with thousands of processors in conjunction with thinking software, discovered the house cat. It's a huge step forward in computing, and the best part is... it's learning.
Way back in 1982, when Atari was just past its prime, a man named Bob Stein, who worked at Encyclopedia Britannica as well as Atari, worked with Alan Kay and Disney animator Glenn Keane on a series of illustrations showing off Stein's idea for an "Intelligent Encyclopedia" that could tell its user about earthquakes, stocks, and history.
Their drawings look eerily similar to the first laptops, and the bones of the encyclopedia eventually manifested as Wikipedia two decades later. "The most interesting thing for me today about these images is that although we foresaw that people would be accessing information wirelessly (notice the little antenna on the device in the tide pool image," Stein said, "we completely missed the most important aspect of the network — that it was going to connect people to other people."