Last Week in AI #127: EU and Chinese AI regulations, U.S. invests in AI research

Europe's proposed A.I. law could cost its economy $36 billion, think tank warns , China built the world's largest facial recognition system. Now, it's getting camera-shy, and more!

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Europe's proposed A.I. law could cost its economy $36 billion, think tank warns

In April 2021, the EU released a Draft Artificial Intelligence Act, which, according to the Center for Data Innovation (CDI), would be the “world’s most restrictive regulation of AI." While the Act represents a bold step forward in the world of AI regulation, experts have already pointed out a number of loopholes and potentially ineffective provisions. Furthermore, the Washington-based CDI says the Act could cost the EU economy 31 billion euros ($36 billion) over the next five years due to "compliance burdens" on European businesses.

The Commission disagrees and points out that to reach the figure, the report multiplies compliance costs with all AI investments as opposed to investment for high-risk AI applications. Some aspects of this sort of legislation engender empirical questions, but there are clear concerns about the Act that need to be addressed before it is pushed further.

China built the world's largest facial recognition system. Now, it's getting camera-shy.

Guo Bing, a law professor in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, has been at the center of a major legal case in China. In 2019 he bought an annual pass for a safari park in the city of Hangzhou, and was later informed that all passholders would be required to have their photo taken before entering. He thought it was unreasonable for the park to use facial recognition for entry to the park, and sued the zoo for breach of contract and violation of consumer rights. The case is widely acknowledged to be the first lawsuit over facial recognition in China, and has sparked a large amount of media attention.

Guo Bing won the case last year but appealed with the intent to receive a broader ruling that set a precedent for similar cases, which a court ruled in favor of last week. This ruling limits the ability of private businesses to use facial recognition, which has been increasingly pervasive in China. Because of the ruling, as of Aug. 1 hotels, shopping malls, airports and other commercial venues must get consent from customers to use facial recognition. Moreover, the use of the technology cannot exceed what is necessary, and companies must take measures to protect the data.

NSF partnerships expand National AI Research Institutes to 40 states

The National Science Foundation (NSF) unveiled investments of $220 million in 11 new National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes. This new round of investments focuses on initiatives from human-AI collaboration, education, agriculture, and cyberinfrastructure. Current and existing investments reach institutes in 40 states in the U.S., and it plans to eventually expand to all 50 states.


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Other News

Advances

Researchers demonstrate that malware can be hidden inside AI models - "Researchers Zhi Wang, Chaoge Liu, and Xiang Cui published a paper last Monday demonstrating a new technique for slipping malware past automated detection tools; in this case, by hiding it inside a neural network. The three embedded 36."

Meet BeachBot, a beach rover that uses AI to remove cigarette butts from beaches - "Bos and Lukaart have built a Mars rover-like beach-cleaning machine, BeachBot, that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to find cigarette butts thrown on the beach, and pick them up."

How Olympic Surfing Is Trying to Ride the Machine Learning Wave - "As surfing completes its first-ever Olympic ride, the sport is poised for another sea change thanks to artificial intelligence and big data"

Researchers From Tel Aviv University Propose LARGE, Latent-Based Regression through GAN Semantics - "Researchers at Tel-Aviv University have created a method to solve regression tasks with little supervision effectively. The researchers noted that GANs are great for encoding semantic information into the latent space, and they see this as important in modern generative frameworks."

Here Is A Fully Autonomous AI-Powered Beehive That Could Save Bee Colonies - "Beewise, a agtech startup, has created the first fully autonomous beehive called Beehome that comes complete with a beekeeping robot that acts as both medic and guardian to complement the natural intelligence of bees."

How AI translation could unseat English as the lingua franca of the business world - "Technology can help us overcome language inequities around the globe by helping everyone access information in their native language."

Harvard scientists are using AI to search for alien technology - "Writer at Neural by TNW Thomas covers AI in all its iterations. Likes Werner Herzog films and Arsenal FC."

Dad builds robotic exoskeleton to help son walk - "French dad and robotics engineer Jean-Louis Constanza has built a robotic suit for his 16-year-old son Oscar that allows him to walk. Oscar, a wheelchair user, activates the suit by saying "Robot, stand up" and it then walks for him."

OpenAI releases Triton, a programming language for AI workload optimization - "OpenAI today released Triton, an open source, Python-like programming language that enables researchers to write highly efficient GPU code for AI workloads."

Say Hello To The Tokyo Olympic Robots - "Who's a good boy at the Olympics? The Field Support Robot is a good boy!"

Stanford Researchers Develop AI Model To Predict Wheel-Spinning Among Students - "Global edtech investments are projected to reach $350 billion by 2025 from around $18.66 billion in 2021. The adoption of language apps, video conferencing tools, virtual tutoring, and online learning software is already through the roof."

Business

Robotic AI firm Covariant raises another $80 million - "In May of last year, Covariant announced that it had raised a $40 million Series B. It was a health sum of money for the young company, bringing its total funding up to $67 million."

Aurora Leverages Uber Ride Data To Plan High-Speed Robotaxi Service - "Automated ride-hail services, a core goal for leading autonomous tech developers Alphabet's Waymo and GM-backed Cruise, are being readied mainly in low-speed urban and suburban settings as the AI behind the wheel trains to deliver passengers safely while avoiding pedestrians, cyclists, potholes an"

Concerns

Police Are Telling ShotSpotter to Alter Evidence From Gunshot-Detecting AI - "Prosecutors in Chicago are being forced to withdraw evidence generated by the technology, which led to the police killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo earlier this year. On May 31 last year, 25-year-old Safarain Herring was shot in the head and dropped off at St."

AI deepfakes of Anthony Bourdain's voice are only a taste of what's coming - "The most important thing about a documentary deepfaking Anthony Bourdain's voice isn't that it happened, but that it happened and almost nobody noticed."

Twitter launches competition to find biases in its image-cropping algorithm - "Twitter Inc said on Friday it will launch a competition for computer researchers and hackers to identify biases in its image-cropping algorithm, after a group of researchers previously found the algorithm tended to exclude Black people and men."

U of T team working to address biases in artificial intelligence systems - "A University of Toronto team has launched a free service to address biases that exist in artificial intelligence (AI) systems, a technology that is increasingly used all around the world, that has the potential to have life-changing impacts for individuals."

Hype

Hundreds of AI tools have been built to catch covid. None of them helped. - "Some have been used in hospitals, despite not being properly tested. But covid could help make AI better. When covid-19 struck Europe in March 2020, hospitals were plunged into a health crisis that was still badly understood."

Policy

White House seeks input on designing a National AI Research Resource - "The White House wants public input on how to design a National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource (NAIRR), according to a request for information (RFI) made Friday."

South Africa issues world's first patent listing AI as inventor - "South Africa has become the first country to award a patent that names an artificial intelligence as its inventor and the AI's owner as the patent's owner."

Australian Court Rules That Yes, AI Can Be an Inventor - "In what can only be considered a triumph for all robot-kind, this week, a federal court has ruled that an artificially intelligent machine can, in fact, be an inventor - a decision that came after a year's worth of legal battles across the globe."

Biden to Tap Artificial Intelligence Expert as Top Business Diplomat - "Stanford professor Ramin Toloui is president's pick for assistant secretary of state for business Resume Subscription"


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