Last Week in AI #107
New lawsuit against Clearview AI, Facebook's addiction to spreading misinformation, and more!
The controversial facial recognition provider Clearview AI is being sued in California by two immigrants' rights groups to prevent its technology from spreading throughout the state. The complaint alleges that the company's software is still used by law enforcement to identify individuals, defying bans in several California cities. The suit also alleges that the company's database violates privacy rights and that its surveillance technology disproportionately affects immigrants and communities of color. This adds to Clearview's docket a continuing lawsuit filed by the ACLU last year, which alleged that Clearview had violated Illinois' 2008 Biometric Information Privacy Act.
Facebook has, in the last few years, suffered a precipitous drop in public perception due to the social consequences of its platform. In particular, its recommendation algorithm has received intense scrutiny for its role in spreading misinformation and stoking political divides. While Facebook has made public statements to the effect that it will examine its algorithms more carefully and did make an effort to reduce the spread of false information leading up to the 2020 election, these efforts do not appear to reflect a long-term commitment. In a frustrating conversation with a director of AI at Facebook, Joaquin Quiñonero Candela, Karen Hao found that Facebook's responsible AI efforts were largely focused on AI bias, and Quiñonero and his colleagues refused to even discuss the issues of misinformation more deeply. She attributes this de-prioritization of Facebook's most important issue to Mark Zuckerberg's desire for growth.
Advances & Business
Sonantic Brings Artificial Intelligence To New Path For Voice-Overs - "Voice-over actors, welcome to the future. A company called Sonantic has created what it claims is the first artificial intelligence voice models that sound genuinely human and capable of expressing 'a wide range of complex human emotions, from fear and sadness to joy and surprise.''"
AI implementations accelerated due to COVID-19 pandemic, says KMPG survey - "Adoption of artificial intelligence accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many business leaders are concerned that AI deployments are moving too fast, according to a KPMG survey."
This Chip for AI Works Using Light, Not Electrons - "Lightmatter says the computing and power demands of complex neural networks need new technologies like these to keep up."
Hundreds of sewage leaks detected thanks to AI - "Hundreds of previously unreported releases of raw sewage into UK rivers have been detected thanks to artificial intelligence, researchers say. Scientists identified 926 "spill events" from two wastewater treatment plants over an 11-year period by employing machine learning."
Israel’s Retrain.ai closes $13M to use AI to understand early signals in the changing jobs market - "Israel’s retrain.ai, which uses AI and Machine Learning to read job boards at scale and to gain insight into where the job market is going, has closed $9M Series A led by Square Peg."
Vast majority of hospitals say they have an AI strategy, up from just half last year - "Demand for artificial intelligence tools is rising, with 90% of hospital executives reporting they have an AI or automation strategy in place, up from just 53% in 2019, a new survey found."
Hugging Face raises $40 million for its natural language processing library - "Hugging Face has raised a $40 million Series B funding round — Addition is leading the round. The company has been building an open source library for natural language processing (NLP) technologies. You can find the Transformers library on GitHub — it has 42,000 stars and 10,000 forks."
Intel works with Deci to speed up machine learning on its chips - "Intel today announced a strategic business and technology collaboration with Deci to optimize machine learning on the former’s processors."
Nimble Robotics scores $50M for its fulfillment automation tech - "Warehouse automation company Nimble Robotics today announced that it has raised a $50 million Series A. Led by DNS Capital and GSR Ventures and featuring Accel and Reinvent Capital, the round will go toward helping the company essentially double its headcount this year."
Concerns & Hype
Tesla Admits Current ‘Full Self-Driving Beta’ Will Always Be a Level 2 System: Emails - "A Tesla regulatory counsel told the California DMV that it will remain a hands-on system."
Waymo says autonomous cars could have prevented most fatal Chandler crashes in 10-year period - "Waymo self-driving cars would have avoided nearly every fatal crash, including those with bikes and pedestrians, in Chandler during a 10-year period, the company said Monday."
Klara and the Sun Imagines a Social Schism Driven by AI - "Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel, Klara and the Sun, presents us with a world in which not one but two kinds of artificial intelligence have arrived. In the book’s strangely familiar near-future, AI has upended the social order, the world of work, and human relationships all at once."
AI Adoption Moving Too Fast for Comfort, New Report Says - "The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the adoption of AI technologies to accelerate, but a recent report shows industry leaders and government decision-makers say it may be moving too fast for comfort, especially when considering security risks."]
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