Top AI News: the AI glassbox sophist

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A sea change in AI approaches came when switching blackbox for glassbox AI was mooted. Blackbox means we don’t care how AI gets the result, as long as the result’s good; glassbox has AI tell us how it got there. This could be great – though with a proviso. Studies found that glassbox AI was better at persuading people it was right even when it wasn’t! More here.

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Top AI News: Robo packers get the AI makeover

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Warehouse could be getting emptier of people fast, as AI Covariant claims their software, Covariant Brain, can turn a robot from a frankly lousy 15% accuracy in picking products off shelves to a frankly impressive 95%. More here.

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Top AI News: The AI Arms Race continues

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The battle for AI’s soul continues, with the US gov putting new restrictions on the export of software – this hard on the heels of pressuring the UK not to use Huawei for 5G. The new restriction requires exporters of geospatial imagery software to run it past Defence first, and Canada is the only country exempt – which could attract a lot of foreign capital to the Great White North. More here.   

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Top AI News: AI says you get cancer, and you, and you…

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Small caveat following yesterday’s glowing health report: doctors are warning there might be such a thing as being too good at diagnosing cancer, as AI entities get better and better at analyzing scans. Much better than talking about replacing radiologists, AI should be used to cut down their workload and focus their expertise. More here

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Top AI News: AI is a picture of health

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We’ve said it before, but the field of health is fertile ground for the AI seed, and it’s the place where arguably the biggest inroads are being made. This report, sponsored by GE Insurance, gives a great overview of where things stand today – plus some projections.

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Top AI News: Now you see AI vision, now you don’t

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Hot on the heels of the EU’s mooted decision to mull over a temporary ban on AI facial recognition, New Jersey has barred the police from using a facial recognition app. At the other end of the spectrum, London’s Metropolitan Police are steaming ahead, rolling out facial recognition cameras that by some counts get wrong results 81% of the time!

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Top AI News: Pimp my AI ride!

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With self-driving cars being tests on the road with success (in the main), the future of urban transport is looming. So no surprise that GM have released pictures of and info about their self-driving car of the future, the Cruise. Very cool looking, very roomy, very weird (Where’s the steering wheel?). Check it out here.

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Top AI News: A call-out from the West Coast – AI!

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If you’re in LA on March 23, you’ll want to attend the MIT’s West Coast conference, EmTech Digital 2020. Featuring AI stars like Andrew Ng, Fei-Fei Li and Harry Shum, and with topics like ‘What are the opportunities and threats of AI?’ and ‘How do we improve our lives and businesses with AI – technically, legally and ethically?’ under discussion, it’s not to be missed – and tickets are now available. Get one here!

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Top AI News: Do the A-ayes or the A-nays have it?

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The big hitters in tech are responding to the EU’s proposed temporary ban on face recognition AI, some positively, some not so. Alphabet, for example, is an aye, whereas Microsoft in a nay. Quick question: which one do you think sells face recognition software? More here.

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Top AI News: Now you too can fool AI!

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A neat new toolbox called AdvBox allows non-techies to create their own adversarial attacks on AI newtworks. Meant as a force for good, to test systems’ effectiveness, never has anything sounded more like the backstory to a dystopian sci-fi movie. Like, what could go wrong? More here.

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Top AI News: Dr AI nixes mass extinction event

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AI can do stuff with colossal lumps of data that paleontologists just don’t have time to, and the latest is to show that one of the supposed mass extinction events – the one at the end of the Devonian period, 375m years ago, which wiped out much of the sea life – was more like a steady decline over the course of 50m years. More here.  

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Top AI News: AI headed for das Gericht?

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With Germany planning to put AI facial recognition in train stations and airports, they seem to be on the verge of a legal fight with … themselves! This since according to many lawyers it breaks German privacy laws and the EU data protection act. Many citizens are up in arms too.  More here.

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Top AI News: AI wipes you from AI?

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The principle of data protection and digital forgottenness (as prescribed by the EU) is hard to square with the need of AI to collect and pool vast wodges of data. But a new advance could make it easier to untangle yourself from the clutches of AI – with the help of AI, of course! More here.

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Top AI 2020 predictions: Marketing makes AI real

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Interestingly, marketing site Albert.ai is sick to death of being told that AI is going to put it out of business. They predict that in-house marketers are going to get their hands on AI this year and start making real things happen. More here.

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Top AI 2020 predictions: Watch out for the Nigerian AI Prince

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Govtech is convinced that AI is going to take us down the road of cyber insecurity, with bots persuading our grandparents to sign over their fortune to their ‘long-lost son/daughter (delete as appropriate) ’. Joking aside, 2020 is definitely the year for AI caution. More here.

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Top AI 2020 predictions: All the World’s an AI

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AItrends has gone out on a limb and predicted what it calls ‘holistic adoption’ of AI by businesses. This seems to be the idea that companies will send entire cohorts of staff to AI training courses in order to transform the economy. We are not convinced, though sure that the ones that do will be the ones that win. More here.

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Top AI 2020 predictions: Going Judge Dredd on AI

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Fortune leads with regulations, certain that 2020 is the year when states and other authorities start to crack down on the Ma-Ma that AI is becoming. The EU has already made noises about it, and where the EU goes, USA is bound to follow. More predictions follow here.

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Top AI 2020 predictions: Put your AI hat on!

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It’s jobs, jobs, jobs, according to FusionInformatics. Next year’s AI winners will be the ones with the ability, skills and experience to implement AI solutions on a company level – because absolutely everyone everywhere will be hiring. So update those resumes! More here.

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Top AI 2020 predictions: You Talk, AI Listens

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MindMatters.ai believes that AI is all about the voice in 2020, with the most prominent advance likely to be people muttering to themselves in the office, as they tell their digital assistant what they want it to do over the course of the day (before, presumably, heading out to a long liquid lunch). More here.

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Top AI 2020 predictions: O brave new AI world…

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Designboom is notably downbeat about 2020’s AI, ringing the warning bell for deepfakes in the US presidential election and predicting increasing use of AI emotion recognition (one of the shakier areas of AI) in advertising, job applications and police interrogations. More here.

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Top AI 2020 predictions: more AI experts want more from AI

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VentureBeat asked 5 top AI gurus what they thought 2020 would bring us AI-wise, and the consensus seems to be: it needs to be – and could be – the year when AI stops talking the talk and starts walking the walk, goes from theory to practice, goes from blue-sky to real-world thinking. More here.

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Top AI 2020 predictions: less AI talk, more AI action!

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As with many voices out there in the void, Anaconda’s straw poll for AI/2020 reveals (among other things) a wish that AI would get real, and into the everyday world more, with usable tools for us everyday fools 😉 Less lofty dreams, in other words, and more nuts and bolts. There’s a cautious optimism that this will start to happen in 2020. Read here.

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Top AI 2020 predictions: Do you speak AI?

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Forbes has asked 99 top people for their textbites, which makes for interesting reading. Many are enthused by voice recognition AI, which gives everyone from CEOs to civilians and the average worker an easy in to AI, which is the ‘giant leap’ that changes AI from a talking point to a point of departure, in our opinion. Read them all here.

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Top AI predictions for 2020: My guy AI

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Datanami sees AI as going mainstream in 2020, with worker suspicion turning into admiration, camaraderie and the occasion lunchtime drink. This depends, however, on machine learning and AI software becoming more user-friendly, so that the average Jo(e) can use it just as they do a word processing program, browser or company database today. This will obviously require a new approach, which in our opinion requires quite a little beyond 12 months to achieve, but with voice recognition reaching such heights, a start could easily be made to turning computers into mini-me’s you can command through a microphone. More here.

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Top AI 2020 predictions: Full Steam Ahead (eyes peeled for icebergs!)

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IBM are predictably upbeat about the progress of AI, naming chemistry (including the creation of new medicines) and automation as being two key areas that will take great strides. In the latter, however, they reassure jittery employees that it will only change the nature of their work, not its existence. Their third prediction regards trust – the steps governments, businesses and other organizations will be taking to ensure people’s trust does not get eroded (further). More here.

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AI 2020 predictions: MDs sobering up

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Like revelers waking on New Year’s Day, many business leaders are going to be taking a more realistic and hard-headed approach to AI, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Not to be frowned at, this means seeing where AI can really help (for example, in day-to-day office mundanities) rather than seeing it as a magical unicorn that can cure all ills. More here.

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Top AI News: More AI Surveillance in 2020

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Depressingly, there is more evidence that the people taking fastest advantage of the capabilities of AI are those running repressive and authoritarian regimes. According to a news report in the NYT, the latest craze in UAE (and elsewhere) is the messaging app ToTok. This in a country that restricts access to the encrypted services like Whatsapp. Turns oout that behind ToTok is the innocent-sounding cyber security firm DarkMatter and the data-mining firm Pax AI, which shares offices with the UAE intelligence agency. Delete that app. More here

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Top AI News: AI + 0 = ?

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The use of zero is considered to be a marker of a certain sophistication in mathematics, and this could be about to be replicated in AI. Instead of the classic ‘Is it a cat or a dog?’ training method, researchers are trying to add an ‘or neither’ to the end of the question, and some of themhave some pretty vaulting ambitions for where that will lead artificial intelligence. More here.  

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Top AI News We Can Deepfake It for You Wholesale

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AI company D-ID is a producer of deepfakes – it’s been providing them to Facebook for quite some time – but now it claims to be leaving the dark side. Its new product will protect you online by turning your video image into a deepfake in real time. It will look kind of like you, but not enough to restrict deniability. But is this true jedi stuff, or a way to get us to come over? You decide.  

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Top AI News: Thank you, AI Santa Claus! (& Finland & EU)

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And if you’re looking for the perfect free Xmas present to give yourself or a loved one, look no further. The University of Helsinki course that was made available to all Finns is going worldwide, thanks to the EU. Now in five languages, it’s called Elements of AI and is designed to allow the amateur to step into the world of the future (rather than just lurk at the front door, looking worriedly inside every time it opens. Here.

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Top AI News: Bad AI, Good AI

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The practical realities of legislating for AI were thrown into sharp relief by the decision of San Francisco to ban AI face recognition. The law had already been passed when it was quietly pointed out that this made the Apple phones – used by SF public servants and containing face recognition privacy controls – instantly illegal. A quick fix was rushed through, but lawmakers are going to have to get ahead of the curve – which they’re not renowned for doing. More here.

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Top AI News: The spy in your pocket

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We all know our phones can be tracked, but the default thinking is, why would anyone bother? I’m neither tinker, tailor, soldier nor spy, after all. But with the capabilities of AI, that may no longer be the case – in other words, it could be relatively easy to track every single one of us. More here.

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Top AI News: AI teacher leave them kids alone

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Getting tech in the classroom would seem to be a no-brainer, but new studies are showing very little positive effect and quite a bit of negative – especially for students who are behind the others in the class. Maybe there needs to be a more guided and targeted approach, and an acknowledgement that putting things down on paper is sometimes the way to go still. More here.

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Top AI News: Home is where the smart is

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Smart homes could be a step closer with Google, Amazon and Apple agreeing to use common open-source software for their devices and AI entities. This means you won’t have to move house in order to start using another company’s products! More here and here.

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Top AI News: AI EU OK?

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From South Africa to China, facial recognition is the area of AI that is provoking the most worrying developments in terms of privacy and the surveillance society. That’s why this EU report is a must-read, providing suggestions about how to implement standards and stamp out bad practices before it’s too late.

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Top AI News: AI drones on the roam

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Most authorities insist that private drones follow ‘line-of-sight’ rules, meaning they must be watched by an operator at all times. That’s starting to change as trust in their AI competences grows: a drone recently completed a 4-mile flight along a pipeline over mountainous terrain, and start-up DroneSeed got FAA approval to use its seed-planting drones over huge areas of burnt forest in Idaho, Oregon and Washington State. Which means days of delivery of pepperoni thin-crust to your kid’s treehouse by pizza-drone can’t be far away!  

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Top AI News: The Google street beat

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Google have revealed that their camera-mounted cars have filmed 10 million miles of road, track and path for upload onto Street View. This mind-boggling amount of data not only allows you to drop in on neighbourhoods from Sydney to San Francisco and Hampstead Heath to Hong Kong, it also has the potential to solve real-world problems with the help of AI. And that’s all in 12 years! More here.  

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Top AI News: You’re happy because AI says you are, sonny!

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AI Now has just issued its annual report, and among others things, it warns against the use of ‘emotion-detection AI’ in high-consequence areas such as criminal investigation and employment. The sweeping claims made by software developers in this cutting-edge area of AI just aren’t borne out in real life, and the disturbing examples of racism, sexism and other forms of bigotry that our supposedly logical intelligences are producing means they shouldn’t be used to decide on candidates, suspects and so on. Read more here and the report here.  

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Top AI News: Good on you, Apple!

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We don’t always say it much these days, but credit where it’s due. Apple are reprogramming their virtual assistant Siri so that it only responds to her owner’s direct command of ‘Hey Siri’, and doesn’t just wake up when some neighbour three doors down says ‘He hates Irini’ (and order a full collection of Dickens). Read more here.

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Top AI News: What do AI scholars and muppets have in common?

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On a more whimsical note, you may ask yourself what the connection between AI and The Muppets. Why all the ELMos, BERTs, Big BIRDs and ERNIEs? It turns out to be an inside joke in the AI academic community, and follows quite strict guidelines. Read more here.

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Top AI News: Brave New AI World

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While many of the dystopian visions for AI involve the takeover and enslavement of human society, the truth is that its real promise is the takeover of boring and enslaving everyday tasks that we’re fed up to the back teeth of doing. For a more optimistic vision of the future, read here.

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Top AI News: AI birdwatcher

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A new approach to helping machines see mimics human vision and could help overcome the growing problem of adversarial attacks on computer vision. Instead of taking objects as a whole (a collection of pixels), computers are taught to isolate and identify features to come to a conclusion about identity. Photos of birds, for example, were broken down into wing, beak, etc. This also allows the computer to communicate why it decided the bird was, say, a lesser spotted warbler and not a great tit. More here.

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Top AI News: Return of the AI Jedi

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Mustafa Suleyman is making the move from DeepMind (co-founder) to Google proper. DeepMind was, of course, acquired by Google, but maintained its independence, and its focus on ethical AI was kept sharp by Suleyman, amongst others. This is why many are encouraged by his assumption into Google (one step closer to the Alphabet HQ, where he will presumably whip off his mask to reveal… insert favourite comic-book rebel here). Read more here.    

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Top AI News: Pants on fire, Alexa!

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Children aren’t dummies, it turns out, and they don’t trust Alexa and other virtual assistants as much as they do their teachers, parents and friends, a study shows. What’s more, they come up with some ingenious ways of testing the limits of knowledge of this little person in the loudspeaker, like asking what colour top they are wearing. Read more here.   

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Top AI News: Old MacDonald had high-speed internet… AI, AI, O

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It’s not exactly AI, but the danger of rural areas being left behind by urban ones, and the consequent disconnect (as exemplified by America), needn’t be so, as long as investment is made in infrastructure. Read more here about how a country town was transformed by broadband internet. 

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Top AI News: My AI can beat up your AI

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According to many experts, the next arms race is underway, and it’s in AI. According to Andrew Yang, the USA is losing it, and many agree that China is forging ahead, with a present-day $12 billion investment looking to rise to $70 billion in 2020! More here

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