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Skynet Today Last Week in AI News #54
Clearview’s Facial Recognition App Has Been Used By The Justice Department, ICE, Macy’s, Walmart, And The NBA
Clearview AI, an American technology company that provides facial recognition technology, has been found to have a number of clients in addition to law enforcement agencies. The company is already under legal threat, and myriad reports provide evidence that the company’s technology is being used by a number of different actors, sometimes with little concern for the potential impacts of the technology. The uses of Clearview’s facial recognition technology are concerning and controversial–now that the ubiquity of Clearview’s technology has been brought to light, further discussion on this is sure to ensue:
Employees at big-box retailers, supermarkets, pharmacy chains, and department stores have also trialed Clearview. Company logs reviewed by BuzzFeed News include Walmart (nearly 300 searches), Best Buy (more than 200 searches), grocer Albertsons (more than 40 searches), and Rite Aid (about 35 searches). Kohl’s, which has run more than 2,000 searches across 11 different accounts, and Macy’s, a paying customer that has completed more than 6,000, are among the private companies with the most searches.
While the recent outbreak of COVID-19 is causing global concerns, it’s also putting a lot of technology on display. Some restaurants in LA are on scanning patrons’ foreheads with infrared thermometer guns, screening potential customers for the respiratory disease. Much more impressive technology is being showcased in the fight against the novel disease. Robots and drones are used to minimize in-person contact, AI algorithms are used to study the outbreak’s spread and search for treatments, and facial recognition technology are used in places like Moscow to impose quarantines. Vox comments on the role of surveillance:
Proponents of surveillance tech focus on threats to peoples’ safety and property, pointing to “dangerous” people like terrorists and sex offenders. Less often, however, do proponents of this technology point to the safety risks associated with a potential pandemic. But now critics of surveillance tech — who have typically argued that the technology threatens our civil liberties and sometimes doesn’t even work — will likely have to push against a different argument: severe threats to public health. It’s ultimately unclear how the public will react to the shifting role of surveillance.
Advances & Business
Alibaba says AI can identify coronavirus infections with 96% accuracy - A new AI-powered diagnosis system promises to detect new coronavirus cases with an accuracy rate of up to 96% via computerized tomography scans, Chinese tech outlet Sina Tech News reported. The diagnosis algorithm was developed by Alibaba’s research institute Damo Academy.
Industrial robotics giant teams up with a rising A.I. startup - The Swedish robotics giant ABB has partnered with the A.I. startup Covariant, founded by A.I. researchers from U.C. Berkeley and OpenAI.
Meet ML@GT: Abhishek Das Wants to Stop Climate Change and Develop AI Agents with Human-Level Skillsets - The Machine Learning Center at Georgia Tech (ML@GT) is home to many talented students from across campus, representing all six of Georgia Tech’s colleges and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI).
How Artificial Intelligence Can Help Pick the Best Depression Treatments for You - Seeking out help for depression is hard enough. It doesn’t make things any easier that it can take weeks, months or longer of trying different treatments to find something that works.
Exclusive: Mass layoffs reported after Starsky Robotics fails to find buyer, investors - Autonomous trucking startup Starsky Robotics has laid off the majority of its engineers and office personnel after its fundraising efforts and attempts to find a buyer failed, a former executive says. Since 2017, Starsky had raised more than $20.3 million, including $16.
Why faces don’t always tell the truth about feelings - Although AI companies market software for recognizing emotions in faces, psychologists debate whether expressions can be read so easily.
This Technique Uses AI to Fool Other AIs - Artificial intelligence has made big strides recently in understanding language, but it can still suffer from an alarming, and potentially dangerous, kind of algorithmic myopia. Research shows how AI programs that parse and analyze text can be confused and deceived by carefully crafted phrases.
Concerns & Hype
Moscow deploys facial recognition technology for coronavirus quarantine - Moscow is using facial recognition technology to ensure people ordered to remain at home or at their hotels under coronavirus quarantine do so, the mayor of the Russian capital said on Friday.
Leaked Reports Show EU Police Are Planning a Pan-European Network of Facial Recognition Databases - A police investigator in Spain is trying to solve a crime, but she only has an image of a suspect’s face, caught by a nearby security camera.
YOLO Creator Joseph Redmon Stopped CV Research Due to Ethical Concerns - That’s where Redmon stepped in to offer his own experience. Despite enjoying his work, Redmon tweeted, he had stopped his CV research because he found that the related ethical issues “became impossible to ignore.”
How to know if artificial intelligence is about to destroy civilization - These canaries in the coal mines of AI would be signs that superintelligent robot overlords are approaching
NTSB: Driver in Fatal Tesla Crash Was Playing Video Game - The National Transportation Safety Board says the driver of a Tesla SUV who died in a Silicon Valley crash two years ago was playing a video game on his smartphone at the time.
Met Police chief defends facial recognition from ‘ill-informed’ critics - London’s police chief has defended the use of facial recognition technology, labelling critics “ill-informed”. Dame Cressida Dick said eight criminals had been caught using the controversial live facial recognition cameras.
Should Robots Have a Face? - As automation comes to retail industries, companies are giving machines more humanlike features in order to make them liked, not feared.
Reinforcement-learning AIs are vulnerable to a new kind of attack - Adversarial attacks against the technique that powers game-playing AIs and could control self-driving cars shows it may be less robust than we thought.
Analysis & Policy
First analysis of the EU Whitepaper on AI - This week, Europe took a clear stance on AI; foster the uptake of AI technologies, underpinned by what it calls “an ecosystem of excellence”, while also ensuring their compliance with to European ethical norms, legal requirements and social values, “an ecosystem of trust”.
U.S. Military Adopts New Ethics Guidelines For Artificial Intelligence - The U.S. military has adopted new ethics guidelines for the use of artificial intelligence in its futuristic robot tanks and smart weapons systems, according to a new press release by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Expert Opinions & Discussion within the field
Andreessen-Horowitz craps on “AI” startups from a great height - Andreessen-Horowitz has always been the most levelheaded of the major current year VC firms. Their recent review on how “AI” differs from software company investments is absolutely brutal.
AAAI-20 Fireside Chat with Daniel Kahneman - After the Turing event of the previous evening, a fireside chat with Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman to discuss the present and future of AI and human decision making.
OpenAI’s Jeff Clune on deep learning’s Achilles’ heel and a faster path to AGI - People learn differently from neural networks. If a human comes back to a sport after years away, they might be rusty but they will still remember much of what they learned decades ago. A typical neural network will forget the last thing it was trained to do.
AI’s biggest strength is classifying things. Humans are better at it. - Classification is the problem in AI that computers are best at solving. It’s used by billions of people in everday life, including for: spam filtering, fraud detection, and even to unlock your iPhone with Face ID.