Skynet This Week #12: AI poetry, helpful curiosity, social good, and more!

Skynet This Week #12: top AI news from 10/22/18 - 11/05/18

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Our bi-weekly quick take on a bunch of the most important recent media stories about AI for the period 22nd October 2018 - 5th November 2018.

Advances & Business

With No Laws To Guide It, Here’s How Orlando Is Using Amazon’s Facial Recognition Technology

Davey Alba, Buzzfeed News

The Orlando Police Department has been running tests using Amazon’s face recognition cloud service on 3 surveillance cameras placed in the streets. This article raises valid concerns about the fact that there is no law regulating these activities. What happens to the data of people who are not “persons of interest”? Is police personnel correctly trained to handle the technology? What about the past examples of unregulated mass surveillance impacting the behavior of communities?

It’s hard for citizens to have confidence in a pioneering new program when the leaders don’t seem to fully understand what the hell they’re pioneering.

The poet in the machine: Auto-generation of poetry directly from images through multi-adversarial training – and a little inspiration

Microsoft Research Blog

The point of this research is not to have AI replace poets. It’s about the myriad applications that can augment creative activity and achievement that the existence of even mildly creative AI could represent. Although the researchers acknowledge achieving truly creative AI is yet very far away, the boldness of their project and the encouraging results have been inspiring.

A team of researchers at Microsoft Research Asia attempted to train a research model that generates poems from images directly using an end to end approach. The task of generating accurate captions from images is still an “unsolved” NLP problem but the researchers attempted to do something even harder to pave way for future research in this domain. In the process, the researchers also managed to assemble two poem datasets using living annotators.

How teaching AI to be curious helps machines learn for themselves

James Vincent, The Verge

Last week turned out to be an exciting one for AI researchers, with multiple papers tackling the problem of exploration in reinforcement learning coming about. The above piece covers one of those papers, which introduced a surprisingly simple approach to tackling one of the outstanding challenges of the field and showed impressive performance.

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