While Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill restricting the use of facial recognition in K-12 schools in New York, the bill doesn't prevent facial recognition from being used in other contexts. In response, Amnesty International is producing a crowd-sourced map of all facial recognition equipped surveillance cameras in New York City. The project enlists volunteers to use their smartphones to identify, photograph, and locate government-owned surveillance cameras with facial recognition capabilities. This map is part of a larger campaign called "Ban the Scan" intended to educate people around the world about the civil rights dangers of facial recognition. Amnesty International hopes to launch similar crowdsourced mapping projects in New Delhi, the West Bank, and Mongolia.
One of the most important ingredients in modern AI algorithms is compute. A new OECD task force, which includes former OpenAI policy director Jack Clark, intends to help governments around the world understand their needs for AI compute. According to Clark, this information will play a role similar to measures of electricity and oil in forming national and international policy. This multinational effort follows the OECD's 2019 effort to bring more than 40 nations together to agree on a set of AI principles. The task force aims to develop a single metric for compute needs, and will begin with establishing the levels of compute in datacenters owned or operated by government agencies and assessing national AI clouds.
Advances & Business
Study reveals AI can beat human brain in chess, but not in memory - "The brain strategy for storing memories is more efficient than that of Artificial intelligence (AI), suggested the findings of a novel research."
This Engineer-Turned-Lawyer Is Using AI To Help Georgians Find COVID Vaccine Appointments - "As the nation works to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, one Atlanta-based entrepreneur has launched the Georgia Vax App, a text notification platform to streamline vaccine appointment information from various county Boards of Health."
Designing customized “brains” for robots - "Contemporary robots can move quickly. “The motors are fast, and they’re powerful,” says Sabrina Neuman. Yet in complex situations, like interactions with people, robots often don’t move quickly. “The hang up is what’s going on in the robot’s head,” she adds."
The engineering science of embodied intelligence – Learning and Intelligent Systems Group - "A major focus of AI has been the engineering science of intelligence: that is, scientific principles by which engineers can analyze and synthesize machines capable of intelligent behavior."
Israeli startup uses AI to identify healthy embryos and increase IVF success - "AI fertility company, Embryonics aims to use AI to improve the odds of successfully implanting an embryo during in vitro fertilisation."
What it takes to create a GPT-3 product - "[D]evelopments so far show that those who stand to benefit the most from GPT-3 are companies that already wield much of the power in AI, not the ones who want to start from scratch."
Makers of Sophia the robot plan mass rollout amid pandemic - "Since being unveiled in 2016, Sophia - a humanoid robot - has gone viral. Now the company behind her has a new vision: to mass-produce robots by the end of the year."
World Economic Forum launches global alliance to speed adoption of trustworthy AI - "The World Economic Forum (WEF) is launching the Global AI Action Alliance today, with more than 100 organizations participating at launch."
MIT CSAIL claims its breast cancer prediction AI works equally well across demographic groups - "Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) say they’ve created a breast cancer risk-assessment algorithm that shows consistent performance across patients from the U.S., Europe, and Asia."
Concerns & Hype
Microsoft’s AI Chatbot Patent Resembles A Particularly Disturbing Episode Of ‘Black Mirror’ - "According to documents from the US Patent and Trademark Office, Microsoft has been granted a patent that would allow the tech giant to construct an AI-assisted chatbot using the personal data of the deceased."
On the 100th Anniversary of ‘Robot,’ They’re Finally Taking Over - "A century after playwright Karel Čapek coined the word ‘robot,’ we finally have the technology to make the stuff of science fiction a reality—for better and for worse."
South Korea has used AI to bring a superstar back to life, but ethical concerns abound - "For the first time in 25 years, the distinctive vocals of South Korean superstar Kim Kwang-seok will be heard on national television singing new material."
These crowdsourced maps will show exactly where surveillance cameras are watching - "Amnesty International will produce a crowdsourced map showing the location of every camera capable of facial recognition in New York City before expanding out to other places like the West Bank and New Delhi."
Analysis & Policy
US leading race in artificial intelligence, China rising, EU lagging: survey - "The United States is leading rivals in development and use of artificial intelligence while China is rising quickly and European Union is lagging, a research report showed Monday (25 January)."
U.S. commission cites 'moral imperative' to explore AI weapons - "The panel, led by former Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, on Tuesday concluded two days of public discussion about how the world’s biggest military power should consider AI for national security and technological advancement."
Expert Opinions & Discussion within the field
Copernican revolutions of the mind - "When Copernicus explained how the earth revolves around the sun rather than the other way around, he figuratively dethroned humanity. Earth, and therefore humanity, was no longer the center of the universe. This change in worldview is commonly referred to as the Copernican Revolution."
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