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The Ropes

Net-Related Terms You Need to Know in 2018

By Barbara McClintock, Certified Translator

IT research is evolving so fast that some panicky voices are being heard. “The robots are here! The robots are here!” At the same time, public access to some parts of the Internet is threatened in that it may soon be limited to paying customers because of new U.S. legislation.

Net neutrality (Neutralité du réseau or neutralité du Net)

What does net neutrality mean? Net means the Internet in this phrase. Net neutrality basically refers to an Internet principle guaranteeing equal access to data (depending on the context) that is supported by legislation. A proposed U.S. bill sparked by the growing demand for bandwidth may imperil free access to the Internet, which in turn could hamper research and knowledge transfer.

Some media commentators fear that Internet service providers will give preferential treatment to some types of data and websites over others. At the time of writing, it is not clear whether net neutrality legislation will be repealed in the U.S. Failing net neutrality, Internet service providers may start to control access to content to the disadvantage of users who are unable to pay for it. Concerns have been expressed that such practices may imperil the open and free nature of the Internet that has existed since its creation.

What is the difference between artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning? We will see below.

Artificial intelligence (Intelligence artificielle)

You have probably heard that Montreal is one of the world’s AI leaders with top experts in the field at both McGill and Université de Montréal. But what is artificial intelligence? AI has come to mean not only intelligence displayed by machines, but everything contributing to or permitting machine intelligence. AI technology algorithms are being used in a huge range of projects from driverless vehicles on Mars to computers that can teach themselves and master games, such as chess, Go and poker, and go on to beat expert human players.

Machine learning

Machine learning (apprentissage machine) is a subfield of AI intended to make computers smarter and more like humans. It is a very broad discipline that uses data mining and other algorithms to analyze large batches of data to search for patterns and predict future outcomes.

Deep learning (Apprentissage profond or apprentissage en profondeur)

Deep learning, a subfield of machine learning, is focused on a brain-like system or artificial neural networks, such as Google Brain, a deep learning artificial intelligence research project. The purpose of deep learning is to make machines smarter. Machine translation can use deep learning, which brings us to the expression “neural machine translation” (NMT) or traduction automatique neuronale, which is an approach to machine translation used by Google and Microsoft.

The terms “artificial intelligence,” “machine learning” and “deep learning” are sometimes used very broadly and are often used interchangeably.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are solely the author’s.

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