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Last Week in AI #201: How self-driving cars can help rural America, AI as national infrastructure, human art mistaken for AI art, and more!
Self-driving cars could help rural area's lack of reliable transport, AI will become critical national infrastructure, artist banned after many mistook her art to be AI-generated
Self-driving cars could be a potential solution to the lack of affordable transport in rural America, which has more than one million carless households. With an aging population and a shortage of drivers, rural communities are increasingly in need of innovative transport solutions. Autonomous vehicle manufacturers are testing self-driving vehicles in cold and icy rural environments, such as in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Establishing the reliability and usefulness of autonomous vehicles in rural areas could help them gain acceptance in more densely populated communities. Rural Americans are more likely to accept self-driving vehicles because they are more in need of transport innovations than their urban counterparts and may be more willing to try them out.
Our take: As the robo-taxi sector matures, companies will need to seek out new markets and applications for growth. While most of these have been centered around urban mobility, rural mobility is just as important and is an often less talked about aspect of American transit. One typically assumes that everyone in rural areas already have cars, so a taxi-like service makes little sense. However, this article presents what I find to be a refreshing take, and perhaps self-driving cars could be in a position to bring immediate value to many rural customers.
AI is increasingly becoming a part of national infrastructure as more and more governments begin to use AI to provide essential services. By automating processes like passport renewal or navigating medical care, AI can provide an efficient, personalized alternative to interacting with government bureaucracy. It can also work to advance key national goals, such as improving education or preparing large datasets for research. Such projects have been implemented in Estonia, Finland, and Britain, and it is likely that more countries will follow. Large AI models further hold the promise of allowing policymakers to model potential situations and test policy options before implementing them. However, nations must work to create a stable “digital architecture” in order to fully capitalize on the benefits of AI. Deploying these services at a large scale requires improved computing power, specially designed applications, and guidelines for converting national policy into something that is interpretable by a machine.
Our take: It’s nice to see that governments beginning to pay more attention to AI, as much of the technology’s development has been led by the private sector, leaving it largely outside of regulatory control. Yet the automation of key social services includes risks as well as benefits, which can not be excluded from the conversation. The article primarily focuses on AI adoption within democracies, yet authoritarian actors are taking advantage of these same technologies to enact policies of surveillance and repression. Furthermore, using AI to expedite bureaucratic processes may work to mystify policy choices: Take the example of unemployment benefit calculation algorithms creating denial rates of up to 93%. These decisions may seem neutral and scientifically driven, but reflect a government's inclination to promote austerity and eliminate fraudulent applications even at the cost of genuine ones. No decision comes from a fully objective place: even data-driven choices are influenced by a judgment of what data is important, and what the system ought to be working towards. As more and more governments turn to AI, it’s important to remain cognizant of what goals those systems are being used to further, and what impacts they are creating.
Minh Anh Nguyen Hoang, who creates art using the pseudonym Ben Moran, is now at the center of a Reddit controversy after he was banned from the Subreddit /r/Art on suspicion of posting AI-generated art. The piece, however, which Moran was commissioned to produce for $500 for a fantasy fiction book cover, was not generated by Stable Diffusion or its ilk. A moderator that Moran reached out to did not believe him, and muted Moran to prevent him from further appeal.
I'm expecting we'll see plenty of this in a world where it will become harder and harder to distinguish between AI-generated art and "the real thing." This would make life much more difficult for artists attempting to promote their work. It's quite annoying that the /r/Art moderators refused to entertain Moran's appeal and doubled down on what has turned out to be a wrong decision, but I think we'll see many more cases in the future where the truth won't be as clear and we might not be able to trust the words of the person who had produced an artwork. I also expect we'll see another cat-and-mouse game as people try to develop technical tools to identify AI-generated images.
Memristors Run AI Tasks at 1/800th Power - "These brain-mimicking devices boast tiny energy budgets and hardened circuits"
Study finds AI assistants help developers produce code that's more likely to be buggy - "Computer scientists from Stanford University have found that programmers who accept help from AI tools like Github Copilot produce less secure code than those who fly solo."
Deep learning can predict tsunami impacts in less than a second - "The schematic of the proposed method. Locations of interest are shown with maximum inundation extent on the training set. S-net station segments are marked with colored lines. Credit: Nature Communications (2022). DOI: 10."
DeepMind and Google Introduce GraphCast: A Fast and Scalable Machine Learning Weather Simulator - "People account for the forecasted weather in every aspect of their lives, from choosing an outfit to what to do in the event of a hurricane. Forecasting over a time frame that is typically three to seven days out is referred to as medium-range forecasting."
Finding Truth in LLMs: UC Berkeley & Peking U Propose Unsupervised Contrast-Consistent Search - "Powerful large language models (LLMs) now play essential roles in many real-world applications. But as humans become increasingly dependent on LLMs, some are questioning whether or to what extent we can trust them to deliver the “truth.”"
Google’s Mu2SLAM: Toward a Single Model For All Speech and Text Understanding Tasks - "The rapid development and impressive transfer learning capabilities of large-scale pretrained language models have ignited a research trend toward unified multilingual models for all speech and text understanding and generation tasks."
AI-assisted code can be inherently insecure, study finds - "Forward-looking: Machine learning algorithms are all the rage now, as they are used to generate any kind of "original" content after being trained on enormous pre-existing datasets. Code-generating AIs, however, could pose a real issue for software security in the future."
Computer vision technology effective at determining proper mask wearing in a hospital setting, pilot study finds - "In early 2020, before COVID-19 vaccines and effective treatments were widely available, universal mask wearing was a central strategy for preventing the transmission of COVID-19. But hospitals and other settings with mask mandates faced a challenge."
2022: A Year in Review (ML Papers Edition) - "1) A ConvNet for the 2020s (Liu et al) — Vision Transformers took off this year but this work proposes ConvNeXt to reexamine the design spaces and test the limits of a pure ConvNet on several vision tasks. The ConvNets vs. Transformers debate continues."
Towards Deployable RL - What’s Broken with RL Research and a Potential Fix - "Reinforcement learning (RL) has demonstrated great potential, but is currently full of overhyping and pipe dreams. We point to some difficulties with current research which we feel are endemic to the direction taken by the community."
MIT Taxonomy Helps Build Explainability Into the Components of Machine-Learning Models - "Researchers develop tools to help data scientists make the features used in machine-learning models more understandable for end users."
Can the AI driving ChatGPT help to detect early signs of Alzheimer's disease? - "The artificial intelligence algorithms behind the chatbot program ChatGPT -- which has drawn attention for its ability to generate humanlike written responses to some of the most creative queries -- might one day be able to help doctors detect Alzheimer's Disease in its early stages."
Is A.I. the Future of Test Prep? - "This article is part of Upstart, a series about companies harnessing new science and technology to solve challenges in their industries. Since Socrates taught Plato and Plato taught Aristotle, humanity has known that the best education is delivered one-to-one by an experienced educator."
In Hong Kong, designers try out new assistant: AI fashion maven AiDA - "At the Fashion X AI show in Hong Kong, attendees noticed a certain "alien" quality about the new clothes modelled on the event's narrow catwalk - and the designs were, in fact, not entirely human."
Machine Learning Could Create the Perfect Game Bosses - "The next generation of video game characters could be powered by AI, making them more engaging and challenging."
How one City Council candidate is using artificial intelligence in the race to represent Downtown Denver - "District 10 City Council candidate Matt Watkajtys has a surprising partner in his campaign: a chatbot pretending to be a Denver mayoral candidate."
New YouChat Chatbot Offers ChatGPT-Style Generative AI Search Engine - "Search engine developer You.com has debuted a new conversational AI tool combining search with a ChatGPT-style generative AI engine. The new YouChat leverages a large language model as ChatGPT does with GPT-3.5, but sources current events and can cite them when asked, which ChatGPT cannot do."
Make Your Art Move with Stable Diffusion Animations - "The internet is abuzz with Stable Diffusion — it’s slowing becoming a must-have tool for creating beautiful visuals. And if you want to take your visuals up a notch, then animations made with Stable Diffusion are the way to go."
How Kindle novelists are using ChatGPT - "Earlier this year, I wrote about genre-fiction authors using AI in their novels. Most wrote for Amazon’s Kindle platform, where an extremely rapid pace of publishing, as fast as a book a month, is the norm. AI helped them write quickly, but it also raised complex aesthetic and ethical questions."
Meet AIHelperBot: An Artificial Intelligence (AI) Based SQL Expert That Builds SQL Queries In Seconds - "In the intriguing world of modern digital technology, artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots elevate people’s online experiences. Artificial intelligence chatbots have been trained to have conversations that resemble those of humans using natural language processing (NLP)."
There’s now an open source alternative to ChatGPT, but good luck running it - "The first open source equivalent of OpenAI’s ChatGPT has arrived, but good luck running it on your laptop — or at all."
Nvidia’s latest AI tech can upscale old blurry YouTube videos - "Nvidia has turned its AI upscaling technology on a new target: blurry web video. "
NFL’s Plan to Reduce Injuries Involves More Machine Learning - "When the National Football League began seriously studying concussions six years ago, its focus initially was head trauma."
Deepfake Text Detector Tool GPTZero Spots AI Writing - "A new tool is attempting to spot when text is written by ChatGPT and other generative AI engines."
ImagenAI, which uses AI to personalize photo editing styles, lands $30M - "ImagenAI, a startup using AI to help professional photographers edit photos and automate post-production work, today announced that it raised $30 million in an all-equity growth investment from Summit Partners."
Hotels are turning to automation to combat labor shortages - "In a nutshell: Hotels are increasingly turning to robots to fill jobs previously held by humans. The Garden City Hotel in Long Island invested in a pair of 66-pound, industrial-grade robot vacuums last year at about $30,000 each."
What Happened To Amazon’s Employees After AI Automated Their Work - "Last week, I published an excerpt from my book, Always Day One, about how Amazon automated work in its corporate offices. This week, let’s look at what happened to the employees whose tasks it automated. Thank you so much to those who picked up Always Day One last week."
26 AI experts who left Google to start new companies in 2022 as machine learning ushers in a new era of lifelike AI - "Buzzy new AI tools like DALL-E 2 and the recently-released ChatGPT are making it clear that the AI field is evolving at a blistering pace — and it only seems to be accelerating."
Generative AI Will Continue To Accelerate In 2023: Are You Ready? - "Generative AI is rapidly becoming a reality. Global AI investment surged from $12.75 million in 2015 to $93.5 billion in 2021, and the market is projected to reach $422.37 billion by 2028. Already over $2B has been invested in Generative AI, up 425% since 2020, according to the Financial Times."
Tredence Raises $175 Million Series B - "Tredence, a Data Science and AI Solutions company based in San Jose, has raised $175 million in Series B funding from private equity firm Advent International to accelerate data-fueled growth and AI value realization for industries."
The Bets and Business of Self Driving - "As the new year drives in, let’s look back at some of the technological bets in self driving and where we are at with them today."
Microsoft Hopes OpenAI’s Chatbot Will Make Bing Smarter - "Microsoft Corp. is preparing to add OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot to its Bing search engine in a bid to lure users from rival Google, according to a person familiar with the plans."
Folderly, the AI-based Email Performance Platform, Receives Funding from Google - "BusinessFolderly, the AI-based Email Performance Platform, Receives Funding from GoogleJanuary 3, 2023, 10:01 AM UTCCopy Link"
Apple Books quietly launches AI-narrated audiobooks - "Audiobooks narrated by a text-to-speech AI are now available via Apple’s Books service, in a move with potentially huge implications for the multi-billion dollar audiobook industry."
AI legal assistant will help defendant fight a speeding case in court - "In February, an AI from DoNotPay is set to tell a defendant exactly what to say and when during an entire court case. It is likely to be the first ever case defended by an artificial intelligence An artificial intelligence is set to advise a defendant in court for the first time ever."
ChatGPT Creator in Investor Talks at $29 Billion Valuation - "OpenAI, the research lab behind the viral ChatGPT chatbot, is in talks to sell existing shares in a tender offer that would value the company at around $29 billion"
Adobe May Be Using Your Photos to Train its AI - "Adobe has added a “Content Analysis” section to its privacy and personal data collection permissions that, unless opted out of, opens photographers’ images to being used to train the company’s artificial intelligence and machine learning models."
Picsart’s AI-powered SketchAI app turns images and outlines into digital art - "Riding the generative AI wave, Picsart, the developer behind various photo and video editing apps for the web and mobile devices, is introducing a new iOS app that transforms photos and drawings into digital art."
AI cyber attacks are a ‘critical threat’. This is how NATO is countering them - "Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a massive role in cyber attacks and is proving both a “double-edged sword” and a “huge challenge,” according to NATO. “Artificial intelligence allows defenders to scan networks more automatically, and fend off attacks rather than doing it manually."
From Discrimination in Machine Learning to Discrimination in Law, Part 2: Disparate Impact - "This blog post is the second of a series about discrimination in law and it explains one form of discrimination known as disparate impact (see first part about disparate treatment)."
Europe Is Lagging Behind In Developing Large AI Models - "You may not like Vladimir Putin’s actions and you may want not to take everything he says at face value, but there’s one thing on which he is probably right: the country that takes the lead in developing artificial intelligence, will rule the world."
Ownership of AI-Generated Code Hotly Disputed - "The struggle that most companies have maintaining code causes a second problem: fragility. Every new feature that gets added to the code increases its complexity, which then increases the chance that something will break."
Hackers could get help from the new AI chatbot - "The arrival of OpenAI's ChatGPT could allow scammers behind phishing attacks and malware to speed up their schemes."
AI is no better at detecting covid-19 than simple symptom survey - "Artificial intelligence that analyses the sound of a cough to detect covid-19 had been reported to be 99 per cent accurate, but a comprehensive analysis shows it’s only about 60 per cent accurate AI is no better at predicting whether someone has covid-19 than a simple questionnaire"
Black man wrongfully jailed for a week after face recognition error, report says - "Police in Louisiana reportedly relied on an incorrect facial recognition match to secure warrants to arrest a Black man for thefts he did not commit. Randal Reid, 28, was in jail for almost a week after the false match led to his arrest, according to a report published Monday on NOLA."
That’s so meta: ML conference debates use of ChatGPT in papers - "As a Twitter debate grew louder over the past two days, a variety of arguments for and against the use of LLMs in ML paper submissions emerged."
Whoops! Is generative AI already becoming a bubble? - "Venture capitalists are in the business of predicting the next big thing, even if they get burned in the process. While everyone piled onto crypto in 2021 — and many remain bullish about its future despite multiple failures this year — 2022 saw the rise of generative AI."
Don’t Ban ChatGPT. Use It as a Teaching Tool - "I’ve been a high school English teacher for the past 25 years and I’ve been assigning essays to my students for just as long. I’m of an age where, as a student, I used to have to drag an encyclopedia out to dutifully research and write up a report about the life cycle of a butterfly."
New York City schools ban AI chatbot that writes essays and answers prompts - "New York City schools have banned ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence chatbot that generates human-like writing including essays, amid fears that students could use it to cheat."
Cyberattackers Torch Python Machine Learning Project - "An unknown attacker slipped a malicious binary into the PyTorch machine learning project by registering a malicious project with the Python Package Index (PyPI), infecting users' machines if they downloaded a nightly build between Dec. 25 and Dec. 30."
AI or No, It’s Always Too Soon to Sound the Death Knell of Art - "There’s a hilarious illustration from Paris in late 1839, mere months after an early type of photograph called a daguerreotype was announced to the world, that warned what this tiny picture portended."
How China is building a parallel generative AI universe - "The gigantic technological leap that machine learning models have shown in the last few months is getting everyone excited about the future of AI — but also nervous about its uncomfortable consequences."
The Expanding Dark Forest and Generative AI - "It's like a dark forest that seems eerily devoid of human life – all the living creatures are hidden beneath the ground or up in trees. If they reveal themselves, they risk being attacked by automated predators."
Is This the Start of an AI Takeover? - "Readers predict the future of bots."
From deepfakes to ChatGPT, misinformation thrives with AI advancements: report - "Rapid-fire advancements in artificial intelligence could help misinformation thrive in the year ahead, a new report is warning. That’s according to the Top Risk Report for 2023, an annual document from the U.S.-based geopolitical risk analysts at the Eurasia Group."
Why ChatGPT won’t replace search engines any time soon - "Since OpenAI announced ChatGPT and people started to try it out, there have been plenty of breathless proclamations of how it will upend everything. One of those upendings is search."
Copyright Office Sets Sights on Artificial Intelligence in 2023 - "The US Copyright Office over the next year will focus on addressing legal gray areas that surround copyright protections and artificial intelligence, amid increasing concerns that IP policy is lagging behind technology."
An A.I. Pioneer on What We Should Really Fear - "Artificial intelligence stirs our highest ambitions and deepest fears like few other technologies."
What Are AI Art Models? - "There’s a great deal of conversation at the moment about AI Art Models; and there’s a fair amount of confusion and complex feelings about them. In online discussions, some friends have asked me to take a stab at describing what they are, for people outside the ML community."
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