Green neural net training, deepfake geography, and more!

Last Week in AI #114

Mini Briefs

Google and UC Berkeley Propose Green Strategies for Large Neural Network Training

It has long been known that popular deep learning models pose a significant environmental cost, and there have been many calls for these costs to be made more transparent and mitigated. Following the line of research investigating this issue, a research team from Google and UC Berkeley examined the energy use and carbon footprint of popular large-scale models including T5 and GPT-3. In their recent paper, they introduce reduction strategies and endorse previous appeals for publication norms intended to make energy use and CO2 emissions of computationally intensive ML models more transparent. Their investigation of emissions discovers that with prudent processor, hardware, and datacenter choices, the carbon footprint of deep neural networks can be reduced by up to ~100-1000 times.

Deepfake satellite imagery poses a not-so-distant threat, warn geographers

We've heard of deepfaked ads and videos, but what about deepfake geography? Geographers are worried about the spread of AI-generated satellite imagery. Such fakery could spread hoaxes about disasters, discredit stories based on real satellite imagery, disrupt military exercises, and become a national security issue. Bo Zhao, assistant professor of geography at the University of Washington, published a paper with colleagues on "deep fake geography" which included experiments generating and detecting this imagery. Zhao aims to raise awareness of the potential influence of deepfaked geography, given that faked geographical imagery is nothing new and such AI-generated imagery is convincing enough to fool the untrained eye.

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Concerns & Hype

  • We were promised Strong AI, but instead we got metadata analysis - "The late nineties dream of search engines was that they would use grand-scale Artificial Intelligence to find everything, understand most of it and help us retrieve the best of it. Not much of that has really come true. Google has always performed a wide crawl of the entire web."

  • Robots are animals, not humans - "In the early 2000s, a Russian man named Boris Zhurid struck a deal to sell the Iranians a large collection of weaponry. He chartered a transport aircraft to make the delivery from Sevastopol, the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula, in the Black Sea, to the Persian Gulf."

  • The EU’s New Proposed Rules on A.I. Are Missing Something - "Thus far, most attempts at making policy for artificial intelligence have fallen into one of two camps: either outright bans on certain applications of machine learning—for instance, the facial recognitions bans passed in a few cities in the United States—or very broad, high-level principles that offer no concrete guidance or specific rules."


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