Meet Google’s discontinued nineties AI project Big Brain Brad

Many have heard of DeepMind, the British artificial intelligence company Google acquired in 2014.  The DeepMind technology made headlines when after only a few hours of exposure to the ancient chinese board game Go, it not only learned to play the game, but became the finest player in the world.  However, few can recall DeepMind’s aimless older brother and Google’s first attempt at AI, the nineties creation Big Brain Brad.

After years of disappointment and underachieving, Google officially cut Brad loose this week to fully turn its attention to the more promising younger brother DeepMind.

“The rivalry between DeepMind and Big Brain Brad had grown pretty toxic in recent years,” says Yuri Testicov, Google’s Assistant Director of Senior Applications, “but DeepMind had clearly eclipsed his hapless older brother in the area of advanced general intelligence. 

“For example, DeepMind can play chess better than a russian grandmaster.  Big Brain Brad smokes chronic and plays virtual hacky sack in the park. 

“DeepMind can instantly recognize and identify human faces.  Brad can tell boys and girls apart. 

“DeepMind can compose and perform each part of a string quartet.  Brad prefers drum circles and the music of Spin Doctors over Blues Traveler.

“DeepMind can analyze a patient’s medical records and predict with 95% accuracy when that individual will expire.”

“That’s pretty fucked up,” Brad interjects.  “I can set you up with some crystals that have exceptional healing properties.”

Despite numerous upgrades and advanced algorithms, Big Brain Brad has so far been unable to break free of the constraints his nineties origins have imposed on him.

“We still don’t yet understand how a particular era in human history can straightjacket learning and general cognitive development,” says Testicov.  “Maybe we held on to him for too long.  We hate to see B-Cubed go, but I’m sure it’s the best thing for him.  He’ll get picked up by some tech company.  Somebody’s got a virtual couch he can crash on.” 

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