This detailed profile of OpenAI offers a glimpse of the inner workings of the famous AI research startup. OpenAI’s achievements and recent PR struggles come from a tricky balance of 3 things: pursuing Artificial General Intelligence, a goal the AI research community considers ill-defined and far-fetched, obtaining enough funding to do increasingly larger experiments (more compute and data), and guarding research results which helps OpenAI maintain an edge but runs counter to its supposed openness:
There is a misalignment between what the company publicly espouses and how it operates behind closed doors. Over time, it has allowed a fierce competitiveness and mounting pressure for ever more funding to erode its founding ideals of transparency, openness, and collaboration.
While Automated Licsense Plate Reading (ALPR) technology has been around for awhile, recent advances in machine learning has enabled ALPR to be more powerful and deployed at a much larger scale. For example, LAPD queried Palatir’s ALPR system more than 300 times per day back in 2016. In addition to searching the whereabouts of a particular license plate, police officers can also search for all license plates that appeared in an area during a time frame, and search with visual descriptions of a vehicle, like “white Ford pickup”.
Because of the power of ALPR systems and the lack of regulations, civil liberty groups are concerned about its potential for abuse:
“The broad language for categorizing searches suggests that no indication of criminality is required to make a query,” says the ACLU’s Bibring. “If that’s the case, it’s basically the Wild West for when officers can query millions of data points.”
Advances & Business
Robot-assisted high-precision surgery has passed its first test in humans - A trial of a new high-precision surgical robot used to operate on women with breast cancer found the system is safe.
How Robotics Teams Prepared for DARPA’s SubT Challenge: Urban Circuit - With the Tunnel Circuit completed, teams are working harder than ever to prepare for the urban underground
A Growing Presence on the Farm: Robots - A new generation of autonomous robots is helping plant breeders shape the crops of tomorrow.
Aided by machine learning, scientists find a novel antibiotic able to kill superbugs in mice - Artificial Intelligence is giving scientists a reason to dramatically expand their search into databases of molecules that look nothing like existing antibiotics.
In 2020, AI4ALL Will Offer 14+ AI Summer Programs for Emerging Leaders - AI4ALL Summer Programs are increasing access to inclusive AI education for 500+ high school students; new sponsorship from SoftBank Group supports the expansion of AI4ALL’s work
3D Print Jobs Are More Accurate With Machine Learning - USC engineers have developed AI that can make any 3D printer more precise
Reuters Uses AI To Prototype First Ever Automated Video Reports - AI is coming for journalism. But rather than simply being used to take jobs from writers, Reuters has now shown that it can enhance the scale and personalization of news in ways previously unimaginable.
From models of galaxies to atoms, simple AI shortcuts speed up simulations by billions of times - Modeling immensely complex natural phenomena such as how subatomic particles interact or how atmospheric haze affects climate can take many hours on even the fastest supercomputers. Emulators, algorithms that quickly approximate these detailed simulations, offer a shortcut.
Concerns & Hype
It’s 2020. Where are our self-driving cars? - In the age of AI advances, self-driving cars turned out to be harder than people expected.
We’ve Just Seen the First Use of Deepfakes in an Indian Election Campaign - AI-generated fake videos that are notoriously rampant in porn are now infiltrating politics.
Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr deepfaked into Back to the Future - Doc Brown and Marty McFly from Back to the Future get deepfake treatment with Robert Downey Jr and Tom Holland.
Automated facial recognition breaches GDPR, says EU digital chief - The EU’s digital and competition chief has said that automated facial recognition breaches GDPR, as the technology fails to meet the regulations requirement for consent.
US military face recognition system could work from 1 kilometre away - The US military is developing a portable face-recognition device capable of identifying individuals from a kilometre away.
Facial Recognition Technology Is the New Rogues’ Gallery - The 21st-century debate over privacy and suspicion looks a lot like one from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
NEC Is the Most Important Facial Recognition Company You’ve Never Heard Of - July 2018, the mayor of Irving, Texas, signed a contract that would dramatically expand how the city’s police department could investigate crimes using facial recognition.
Backlash forces UCLA to abandon plans for facial recognition surveillance on campus - Before the administration reversed its position, we tested facial recognition on UCLA sports teams and faculty. The results were disturbing. UCLA is known for its strong academics and winning sports teams.
Algorithms Were Supposed to Fix the Bail System. They Haven’t - A nonprofit group encouraged states to use mathematical formulas to try to eliminate racial inequities. Now it says the tools have no place in criminal justice.
Analysis & Policy
Pentagon to Adopt Detailed Principles for Using AI - The Defense Department will soon adopt a detailed set of rules to govern how it develops and uses artificial intelligence
Artificial Intelligence and Public Standards - Recommendations to the UK government on AI regulations.
The EU just released weakened guidelines for regulating artificial intelligence - The news: The European Union’s newly released white paper containing guidelines for regulating AI acknowledges the potential for artificial intelligence to “lead to breaches of fundamental rights,” such as bias, suppression of dissent, and lack of privacy.
Expert Opinions & Discussion within the field
What AI still can’t do - Artificial intelligence won’t be very smart if computers don’t grasp cause and effect. That’s something even humans have trouble with.
Defeated Chess Champ Garry Kasparov Has Made Peace With AI - Twenty-three years after he lost to Deep Blue, Kasparov says people need to work with machines. You have to “nudge the flock of intelligent algorithms.”
Small Data Can Play a Big Role in AI - Emerging AI tools and techniques, coupled with careful attention to human factors, are opening new possibilities to train AI with small data and transform processes.