Skynet Today Last Week in AI News #26
DeepMind was found to have an expensive 2018. In particular, the AI lab’s pretax losses amounted to $570 million in 2018.
While the massive financial support from Google has been great for the AI community, it’s not so great for profits. From Forbes:
DeepMind’s losses are growing because it continues to hire hundreds of expensive researchers and data scientists but isn’t generating any significant revenue. Amazon, Apple, Facebook are locked in an expensive battle with DeepMind and Alphabet to hire the world’s best AI experts, with the goal of building self-learning algorithms that can transform industries.
It’s well-known that China has been putting an immense amount of money and support into increasing the nation’s capacity for outputting AI research. Despite this, China has been losing many research talents to countries like the US. Despite the data, capital, and hardware, this draining of talent could severely inhibit China’s long-term capacity for acting as an AI leader.
The MIT Technology Review writes:
Despite the country’s success in cultivating domestic talent, however, it has struggled with retention. Roughly three-quarters of the Chinese authors in the study [from MarcoPolo, a Chicago-based think tank] currently work outside China, and 85% of those work in the US.
Advances & Business
Silicon Valley’s Latest Unicorn Is Run by a 22-Year-Old - Behind every self-driving car or cashier-less Amazon Go convenience store sit thousands of humans whose job it is to train computers to see. These people look at pictures and identify what’s in the footage, labeling something as a truck or a bag of Doritos.
Robot tail developed to balance out human body and stop people from falling over - A robotic tail that claims to balance out the human body could be used instead of a cane to help prevent elderly people from falling over. The strap-on appendage, known as Arque, has been developed by researchers at Keio University in Japan.
MIT breaks new ground in AI with ‘deep’ knitting, yes, knitting - A hot trend in artificial intelligence in recent years has been the rise of impressive fakes – fake headshots, fake videos, fake text.
Toyota partners with AI startup Preferred Networks on building helper robots for humans - Toyota is enlisting the help of startup Preferred Networks, a Japanese company founded in 2014 with a focus on artificial intelligence and Big Ol' Neural Nets, to help move forward its goal of developing useful service robots that can assist people in everyday life.
Stockfish Wins Computer Chess Championship As Neural Networks Play Catch-Up - The reigning Chess.com Computer Chess Champion Stockfish continues to assert itself as the greatest chess engine of all time, recently picking up a win in CCC 9: The Gauntlet.
Towards Synthetic Reality: When DeepFakes meet AR/VR - In the past months, there’s been significant buzz around DeepFakes. My Twitter feed, populated predominantly with tech-for-good and privacy advocates, went bananas when a video of Mark Zuckerberg emerged criticising the fact that there could be ‘one man with billions of people’s data’.
And Now, a Bicycle Built for None - It’s not the first self-driving bike. But equipped with an A.I. chip, it may be the nearest to thinking for itself. As corporate giants like Ford, G.M.
Robot, heal thyself: scientists develop self-repairing machines - From picking fruit to carrying out minor surgery, soft robotic hands made from jelly-like plastic are thought by scientists to be the future solution to many human needs.
Device acts as a cane-like mobile assistant to provide light-touch to help the elderly and others with impaired mobility - By adding electronics and computation technology to a simple cane that has been around since ancient times, a team of researchers at Columbia Engineering have transformed it into a 21st century robotic device that can provide light-touch assistance in walking to the aged and others with impaired mob
Automating artificial intelligence for medical decision-making - MIT computer scientists are hoping to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence to improve medical decision-making, by automating a key step that’s usually done by hand and that’s becoming more laborious as certain datasets grow ever-larger.
Concerns & Hype
Have No Fear of Facial Recognition - If it is bound by good legal protections, the technology is a boon, not a tool for tyranny.
Facebook, Google, Twitter aren’t prepared for presidential deepfakes - None of the big three internet foghorns (Facebook, Google, or Twitter) seems to have a clear plan for dealing with AI-generated fake videos, or “deepfakes,” ahead of next year’s presidential election, according to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Facebook, Google, Twitter Detail How to Address Deepfake Videos - Facebook, Twitter and Google are considering policy changes on handling realistic but fake videos and images following a widely circulated doctored video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the companies told a key lawmaker Rep Adam Schiff.
The Second Machine Age Hits the Tipping Point - Many of the biggest ideas in technology over the past decade have centered on how people communicate, consume, transact and travel.
“Robot traffic police” put on duty in north China - These robot police officers can engage in works such as patrolling, information consulting and providing accident alerts. SHIJIAZHUANG, Aug.
Facial recognition coming to a supermarket near you - Paul Wilks runs a Budgens supermarket in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Like most retail owners, he’d had problems with shoplifting largely carried out by a relatively small number of repeat offenders. Then a year or so ago, exasperated, he installed something called Facewatch.
Analysis & Policy
Western Academia Helps Build China’s Automated Racism - Last summer, a respected U.S. academic journal about data mining published a study titled “Facial feature discovery for ethnicity recognition”, authored by four professors in China and one in Australia.
Good for Google, Bad for America - At its core, artificial intelligence is a military technology. Why is the company sharing it with a rival? Mr. Thiel is an entrepreneur and investor.
Expert Opinions & Discussion within the field
Engstrom, et al., “A Discussion of ‘Adversarial Examples Are Not Bugs, They Are Features’”, Distill, 2019. - On May 6th, Andrew Ilyas and colleagues published a paper outlining two sets of experiments.
What Do VCs Look For In An AI (Artificial Intelligence) Deal? - Recently SoftBank Group launched its latest fund, called Vision Fund 2, which has $108 billion in assets. The focus: It’s primarily on making investments in AI (Artificial Intelligence). No doubt, the fund will have a huge impact on the industry.