The White House recently hosted a summit on current and future applications of AI in government. It highlighted 3 current use cases of AI in different federal agencies - detecting and tracking wildfires with the Department of Defense, automate indexing and improve search for medical citations with the Natinoal Institute of Health, and discover redundant, outdated regulations with the Department of Health and Services.
While the summit didn’t produce concrete new AI initiatives, it is still a sign that the U.S. government is paying more attention to the potential benefits of AI in its operations. The report highlights the need to train more workers with knowledge of AI and AI tools in the federal government, which may stem further collaborations in worker upskilling between the government and industry.
Resesarchers at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence built a language model that is capable of scoring 90% on the eigth-grade New York State Regents Exam in science, consisting of fill-in-the-blank multiple-choice questions.
The truth is that while these systems perform well on specific language-processing tests, they can only take the test. None come anywhere close to matching humans in reading comprehension or other general abilities that the test was designed to measure.
Crucially, a language model is not trained to specifically reason about anything. It is trained to predict the next word given the previous words in a sentence or paragraph.
As such, answering many of these multiple-choice questions may not require as much comprehension and reasoning ability as one might imagine. Many times the answer tend to be the option that has the highest probability of appearing next to the words in the question, which can be easily obtained for a model trained on a large enough corpus of sentences.
Making an AI system that comprehends and reasons about these questions will probably require “common sense” knowledge not explicitly encoded in any dataset. As the author of the article puts it:
Rather than being ready for high school or college, AI has a lot of growing to do before it’s even ready for preschool.
Advances & Business
What AI (Artificial Intelligence) Will Mean For The Cannabis Space - Just about every estimate shows that the cannabis industry will see strong long-term growth. Yet there are some major challenges–and they are more than just about changing existing laws and regulations. But AI (Artificial Intelligence) is likely to be a big help.
The Amazing Ways The Brewers of Budweiser Are Using Artificial Intelligence To Transform The Beer Industry - Is there a magic formula for brewing the perfect beer? If there is, then given the drink’s timeless popularity, whoever finds it is likely to be very successful. It’s a question that the world’s largest brewer is hoping to answer with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).
Cities Are Trying—Again—to Plan for Autonomous Vehicles - The bloom is off the rose for self-driving tech among urban transportation officials, who are planning for a future with fewer private cars.
Robot priests can bless you, advise you, and even perform your funeral - A new priest named Mindar is holding forth at Kodaiji, a 400-year-old Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. Like other clergy members, this priest can deliver sermons and move around to interface with worshippers. But Mindar comes with some … unusual traits. Mindar is a robot.
Artificial Intelligence speeds up photodynamics simulations - A team led by Philipp Marquetand from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna has now presented a method using artificial neural networks that drastically accelerates the simulation of light-induced processes.
Artificial Intelligence May Help Slow Down the Aging Process - Scientists are experimenting with the use of AI in drug development and testing. Through the use of AI, scientists can design, synthesize, and validate a new drug in 46 days. The scientists hope this new method will speed up the process of drug development. Not only that, they aim to use it for work on aging research.
Who does AI think you are? This groundbreaking new exhibit will show you - A new exhibition in Milan analyzes the troubling history of machine learning data sets—and lets both in-person and remote visitors see how AI classifies them.
Using Deep Learning to Inform Differential Diagnoses of Skin Diseases - A new deep learning system (DLS) by Google achieves a diganoses performance across 26 skin conditions that is on par with U.S. board-certified dermatologists. This study highlights the potential of the DLS to augment the ability of general practitioners who did not have additional specialty training to accurately diagnose skin conditions.
YACHT’s new album is powered by ML - The LA-based dance-pop trio YACHT just released their new album, a collaboration with Magenta and other ML researchers and artists!
Teaching AI to plan using language in a new open-source strategy game - When humans face a complex challenge, we create a plan composed of individual, related steps. Often, these plans are formed as natural language sentences. This approach enables us to achieve our goal and also adapt to new challenges, because we can leverage elements of previous plans to tackle new tasks, rather than starting from scratch each time.
Exclusive Interview: Why Facebook Is Training Robots To Think - On the rooftop of the building that houses the Facebook AI Research (FAIR) lab in Mountain View, California, there is a bootcamp for robots where the sun beams down on Daisy, a hexapod who is learning how to walk on a dirt jogging path.
Concerns & Hype
Six questions to ask yourself when reading about AI - Hardly a week goes by without some breathless bit of AI news touting a “major” new discovery or warning us we are about to lose our jobs to the newest breed of smart machines. Rest easy. As two scientists who have spent our careers studying AI, we can tell you that a large fraction of what’s reported is overhyped.
Superhuman AI Bots Pose a Threat to Online Poker Firms, Morgan Stanley Says - The threat for online poker players is not the human desktop card sharks playing against you, but the superhuman artificial intelligence bots that could infiltrate games, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley.
Robots Won’t Take Away All Our Jobs, MIT Report Finds - The robots are coming, but not necessarily for your job. The likelihood that robots, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will completely wipe out large swaths of the workforce is exaggerated, a new MIT report finds.
IEEE Ranks Robot Creepiness: Sophia Is Not Even Close to the Top - Since its first appearance in 2016, the humanoid bot Sophia has become something of a celebrity. Sophia’s android body and face are realistic to the point that some say “she” makes then feel uncomfortable.
If Computers Are So Smart, How Come They Can’t Read? - Deep learning excels at learning statistical correlations, but lacks robust ways of understanding how the meanings of sentences relate to their parts.
In the Deepfake Era, Counterterrorism Is Harder - The potential for deepfake deceptions in global politics gets scary very quickly. Imagine a realistic-seeming video showing an invasion, or a clandestine nuclear program, or policy makers discussing how to rig an election. Soon, even seeing won’t be believing. Deception has always been part of espionage and warfare, but not like this.
Analysis & Policy
Chip on the Shoulder: How China Aims to Compete in Semiconductors - China’s bet on AI chips makes both technological and market sense, as it is viewed as a clean slate where Chinese companies have a shot at “overtaking competitors around the bend”.
Tech Coalition Asks Governments to Ease Visa Rules for A.I. Experts - Partnership on AI, a non-profit group whose members include large U.S. technology companies as well as universities and researchers working on artificial intelligence, has appealed to governments to ease visa requirements for A.I. experts.
Expert Opinions & Discussion within the field
No, There Will Be No AI Winter - A fun pastime for armchair philosophers of technology is whether the entire field of artificial intelligence, so riven with hype at the moment, will any day now experience a crushing fall-off in enthusiasm and a consequent collapse in funding.
Where Do We Go From Here? Debates on the Future of Robotics Research at ICRA 2019 [From the Field] - Debates at the most recent International Conference on Robotics and Automation, the biggest robotics conference in the year, discuss the future of deep learning and regulations in robotics.
AI For Filmmaking - A new neural network is trained to recognize shot types in movies (pan, tilt, close up, etc) and can help filmmakers better analyze films.
Introducing a Conditional Transformer Language Model for Controllable Generation - Large-scale language models show promising text generation capabilities, but users cannot control their generated content, style or train them for multiple supervised language generation tasks.
The Birthplace of AI - The Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence was a summer workshop widely considered to be the founding moment of artificial intelligence as a field of research.
Teaching a Robot to Swipe on Tinder - When friends and family ask me how I feel about my machine-learning Tinder adventure, I tell them I’m a little embarrassed, but also a little proud. After all, it worked, didn’t it?
Dungeon crawling or lucid dreaming? - I’ve done several experiments with a text-generating neural network called GPT-2. Trained at great expense by OpenAI (to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars worth of computing power), GPT-2 learned to imitate all kinds of text from the internet.