Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Cover of "The Book of Why"

A lot of artificial intelligence researchers have put a pause on their quest for a super-intelligent machine, frustrated by the lack of recent progress. But among those still in the hunt are Judea Pearl, winner of the Turing Award, the highest prize in computer science, and author of "The Book of Why," in which he proposes a new map to intelligent machines.

  • Pearl calls his approach "causal reasoning," the ability to infer the whys and hows of a situation.
  • While it won't get to artificial general intelligence itself, causal reasoning is the eventual route there, and thus will mark a "mini-revolution," he tells Axios.

The problem with machine learning, Pearl said, is that it rests on correlation and association, which have made remarkable achievements but are still elementary in terms of true thinking — and they can only take the field so far.

  • He told me the story of an AI program watching a rooster crow day after day before the sun rises, and determining that it causes the sun to rise.
  • That is an example of correlation. But, Pearl writes in the book, "Causal explanations, not dry facts, make up the bulk of our knowledge, and should be the cornerstone of machine intelligence."
  • The goal of AI researchers "is to produce machines with humanlike intelligence, able to converse with and guide humans. Deep learning has instead given us machines with truly impressive abilities but no intelligence."

Causal reasoning differs by working through a situation without specific training, said Pearl, and borrows from methods already in use by social and health science researchers.

  • For instance, a self-driving car equipped with causal reasoning could encounter a situation for which it has no data, and instantly adapt, said Pearl.
  • "This is the route [to general artificial intelligence] and these are the building blocks," he said. "On top of them, we need to build capabilities such as: social intelligence, humor, and perhaps even fear of death."
  • "The mini-revolution I am predicting will liberate machine learning from its current predicaments of opaqueness, forgetfulness and lack of explainability," he said. "Plus it will allow machine to learn answers to questions we really care about, (e.g., what caused this accident?) not merely associations."

Go deeper: In this Bloomberg video, Facebook's Yann Lecun discusses how to advance AI.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Israeli intel agencies believe Vienna talks will lead to U.S. return to Iran nuclear deal

Photo: DEBBIE HILL/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli military intelligence and senior officials in the Mossad briefed a meeting of the nation's security cabinet that talks in Vienna between Iran and other world powers will lead to the U.S. returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, two officials who attended the meeting told me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government is very concerned about a U.S. return to the nuclear deal and is trying to convince the Biden administration not to take the pressure off the Iranian regime.

Latino community of 13-year-old killed by police in Chicago reels after shooting

A small memorial of flowers and candles to Adam Toledo in Chicago. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

Residents of Little Village, a well-known and predominantly Latino neighborhood in Chicago, are grieving the death of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Mexican American boy from the neighborhood who was shot and killed by a police officer on March 29, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: Adam Toledo's killing shines a spotlight on police shootings of Latinos, who are killed by law enforcement at the second-highest rate after Black Americans, according to data from the Washington Post.

Super typhoon Surigae explodes to Cat. 5 intensity

Super Typhoon Surigae seen on satellite imagery Saturday morning east of the Philippines. (CIRA/RAMMB)

Super Typhoon Surigae surged in intensity from a Category 1 storm on Friday to a beastly Category 5 monster on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 190 mph with higher gusts.

Why it matters: This storm — known as Typhoon Bising in the Philippines — is just the latest of many tropical cyclones to undergo a process known as rapid intensification, a feat that studies show is becoming more common due to climate change. It weakened slightly, to the equivalent of a strong Category 4 storm, on Sunday.