Skynet Today Last Week in AI News #39
After a 20 month investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released some documents about its findings that detail how Uber’s self-driving car system caused the fatal accident.
In particular, the pedestrian detection system did not expect pedestrians outside of sidewalks, and it constantly went back and forth between the predictions “other” and “bicycle” in the seconds leading up to the crash. When the car realized it was on a collision course, the system triggered “action suppression,” where it held off hitting the brakes for a second for the safety operator to respond. These factors, combined with the fact that the safety operator was not looking at the road, ultimately led to the crash.
Uber has made improvements to its safety team since then, and the NTSB will be recommending regulations on preventing such accidents in the future. Still, this is a solemn reminder of the difficulty and challenges of deploying machine learning systems in the real world.
While there has been no documented case of deepfakes being deployed to influence an election, there is a growing fear of the possibility that a “fake video surfacing days before a major election that could throw a race into turmoil.” In response, companies and researchers across the world are working hard on deepfake detection technologies with hopes to limit their potential threat to the public trust in media and election campaigns.
For example, UC Berkeley is working on a tool that screens videos and checks if the person’s “mannierism” deviates from the norm, and Google has recently released a new dataset of deepfake videos that can aid detectionr research. However, the article notes that:
even if the detection technology turns out to be flawless, the reluctance of Facebook and other social media giants to take down even demonstrably false and misleading content threatens to limit its effectiveness.
Advances & Business
Deep neural network generates realistic character-scene interactions - Computer scientists from the University of Edinburgh and Adobe Research … have developed a novel, data-driven technique that uses deep neural networks to precisely guide animated characters by inferring a variety of motions.
Neural Magic gets $15M seed to run machine learning models on commodity CPUs - Neural Magic, a startup founded by an MIT professor, who figured out a way to run machine learning models on commodity CPUs, announced a $15 million seed investment today.
Inside Amazon’s plan for Alexa to run your entire life - The creator of the famous voice assistant dreams of a world where Alexa is everywhere, anticipating your every need.
Computer Vision Art Gallery - In 2018, for the First Workshop on Computer Vision for Fashion, Art and Design, at the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) in Munich, Germany, a call was put out for artworks dealing with computer vision technologies. Computer vision techniques have long been connected to the arts.
Computers Evolve a New Path Toward Human Intelligence - Neural networks that borrow strategies from biology are making profound leaps in their abilities. Is ignoring a goal the best way to make truly intelligent machines?
The US Army is creating robots that can follow orders - For robots to be useful teammates, they need to be able to understand what they’re told to do—and execute it with minimal supervision.
This robotic arm slows down to avoid the uncanny valley - Robotic arms can move fast enough to snatch thrown objects right out of the air, but should they? Not unless you want them to unnerve the humans they’re interacting with, according to work out of Disney Research.
Google’s AI education tool makes it easy to train models for your projects - Google’s Teachable Machine is no longer just a handy lesson in AI – you can now put it to work. The tech giant has launched Teachable Machine 2.0 with the ability to use your machine learning model in apps, websites and other projects.
Microsoft uses AI to diagnose cervical cancer faster in India - Last year, Microsoft partnered with SRL Diagnostics to co-create an AI Network for Pathology to ease the burden of cytopathologists and histopathologists.
Artificial Intelligence Converts 2D Images Into 3D Using Big Ol' Neural Nets [Video] - Microscopy technique is expected to benefit studies in life sciences and biology.
AI project to preserve people’s voices in effort to tackle speech loss - A pioneering centre aimed at preserving and re-creating people’s voices using artificial intelligence has opened in the US, with researchers hoping it will change the lives of people who face losing their ability to speak.
Concerns & Hype
Why the left should worry more about AI - Algorithms are already misaligned with human ethics, and it’s already a problem.
OpenAI has published the text-generating AI it said was too dangerous to share - The research lab OpenAI has released the full version of a text-generating AI system that experts warned could be used for malicious purposes.
EXCLUSIVE: This Is How the U.S. Military’s Massive Facial Recognition System Works - Documents obtained by OneZero show how the military captures biometric data around the world
The AI hiring industry is under scrutiny - but it’ll be hard to fix - The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate HireVue, an AI tool that helps companies figure out which workers to hire.
African AI Experts Get Excluded From a Conference - Again - For the second year in a row, researchers from the developing world have been denied visas to a major AI conference in Canada.
Seattle faith groups reckon with AI - and what it means to be truly human - On a recent Sunday at the Queen Anne Lutheran Church basement, parishioners sat transfixed as the Rev. Dr. Ted Peters discussed an unusual topic for an afternoon assembly: Can technology enhance the image of God?
Analysis & Policy
History’s message about regulating AI - Artificial intelligence (AI) is “summoning the demon,” Elon Musk warned, continuing a great tradition of fearful warnings about new technology.
Expert Opinions & Discussion within the field
A.I. Is Not as Advanced as You Might Think - It starts with the systems it was built off of.
The Idea That Eats Smart People - In 1945, as American physicists were preparing to test the atomic bomb, it occurred to someone to ask if such a test could set the atmosphere on fire. This was a legitimate concern. Nitrogen, which makes up most of the atmosphere, is not energetically stable.
Human Art By Artificial Intelligence - When art is made by artificial intelligence, it can still be considered human art. Learn why in this excerpt from Janelle Shane’s new book.