The world is abuzz with rhetoric about artificial intelligence and machine learning. These terms appear to be used interchangeably, and the perception that they are both the same side of the coin can lead to confusion. So, what are the differences?
First, let’s consider what AI is not. It is not Skynet (yet), and it is not HAL 9000 (yet), although sometimes IBM Watson appears to be getting there.
Will you take the Red Pill or the Blue PillIn the broader sense of the term, artificial intelligence is the concept of computers dealing with situations related to data and figuring out for themselves the best way to do something or improving on a method for undertaking a task. Machine learning is the current top of the pile in AI techniques.
So, basically, AI is an all-encompassing term for algorithms that look at data. However, this is too simplistic an idea.
Previously Published on TVP Strategy (The Virtualization Practice)
We at the Virtualization Practice have been following the Oracle v. Google case regarding the “fair use” of Java APIs since its inception. For historical perspective, you can read these here, here, and here.
But first, a bit of history. This case started in August 2010, when negotiations between Oracle and Google about licensing Java broke down. The case was assigned to Judge William Alsup, who split it into three distinct phases, these being copyright, patent, and damages. The court stated that there was no infringement of patents, and therefore no damages were awarded to Oracle. With regard to the API copyright infringement, the jury ruled that there was infringement, but it could not reach a decision on Google’s fair use defense. When the court released its decision, Judge Alsup ruled that:
“So long as the specific code used to implement a method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API. It does not matter that the declaration or method header lines are identical.” The ruling found that the structure Oracle was claiming was not copyrightable under section 102(b) of the Copyright Act because it was a “system or method of operation.”
In a follow-up to my Oracle v. Google Java spat post—in which I reported that the appeals court has ruled in favour of Oracle, casting doubt on the whole automation industry and the use of Java APIs—it seems that Google has decided to take this to the US Supreme Court. The argument it has submitted to the court is that the appeals court ruling should be overturned in the interest of protecting innovation in high tech.
On the 9th of May, 2014, something happened in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that could have massive ramifications for our fledgling cloud orchestration industry. Circuit judges with no knowledge about the software industry and how that industry works made a judgement that could pull the rug out from under the whole integration and orchestration industry. “What!” you say?