Last Week in AI #109
Another Google boycott, robots for household chores, and more!
A researcher turned down a $60k grant from Google because it ousted 2 top AI ethics leaders: 'I don't think this is going to blow over'
Citing Google's treatment of former Ethical AI co-leads Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell, assistant professor Luke Stark of the University of Western Ontario turned down a $60,000 research grant from Google. Himself a researcher focused on the social and ethical impacts of AI, Stark told Insider he felt Google was putting together a top-notch ethical AI team and moving in a good direction. He shared his grant and the fact that he would decline it on Twitter. Stark's boycott follows a number of responses to the controversy over Gebru's and Mitchell's firing.
It would be nice to have a robot do your household chores every day: you'd save plenty of time and live in a clean home. But how much would you pay for such a robot? Probably not as much as it costs to develop one. A number of companies, such as Miso Robotics, have developed robots capable of single, focused tasks like flipping burgers. But companies have had a hard time commercializing anything complex for decades. Robots that can accomplish involved tasks such as doing chores will be difficult to create, and, as Boston Dynamics' chairman Marc Raibert says, the biggest problem is safety. We'll likely see single-task robots in the years to come, but anything more advanced will likely not come until much later.
Advances & Business
AI-Controlled F-16s Are Now Working As A Team In DARPA's Virtual Dogfights - "The dogfighting AI DARPA is developing is set to make the challenging migration from a synthetic environment to the real world soon."
Star Trek’s William Shatner celebrates his 90th birthday with an AI version of himself, and blockchain-authenticated memorabilia — Daily Star Trek News - "The system works by filming someone (in this case, Shatner) answering questions about their life. Then that video is processed using what StoryLife calls an “Artificially Intelligent Interactive Memories System”."
Concerns & Hype
AI still useless against online hate and fake news – report - "Hate groups still run rampant across social media platforms, a new report has warned. The social networks are particularly being criticised for their over-reliance on artificial intelligence and for cutting their number of human moderators, counter to experts’ recommendations."
FBI Warns That Deepfakes Will Be Used Increasingly in Foreign Influence Operations - "On Mar. 10, the FBI’s Cyber Division released a Private Industry Notification (PIN) warning that 'Malicious actors almost certainly will leverage synthetic content for cyber and foreign influence operations in the next 12-18 months.'"
Analysis & Policy
Pentagon's Joint Common Foundation AI platform is up and running - "The Department of Defense launched a new coding platform aimed at helping users across the military build their own artificial intelligence models."
It is time to negotiate global treaties on artificial intelligence - "The U.S. National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence recently made the news when its members warned that America faces a national security crisis due to insufficient investment in artificial intelligence and emerging technologies."
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