Automated background checks are becoming more common in the hiring process, especially for gig and contract workers. These services typically check for criminal records, but some use AI-powered tools to “scan through resumes, analyze facial expressions during video job interviews, compare criminal records, and even judge applicants’ social media behavior.” The expansive applications of automated screening technologies raise important concerns about privacy and bias, as they suffer from generalization and dataset biases like any other data-driven AI model. Negative backslash has already prompted companies like Predictim, which offered an AI service to “score potential babysitters based on their social media,” to close down.
Under current regulations, job applicants have to first consent to these background checks, and they have the right to contest incorrect information. However, “there is no guarantee […] that any corrections will be made in time for a person to remain in consideration for a particular position.”
Researchers from Yale University’s Social Robotics Lab performed experiments on how well dogs receive commands from voices of non-human sources, such as speakers and humanoid robots. They showed that “dogs paid significantly more attention to the robot than the speaker,” and that dogs “obeyed the sit command over 60 percent of the time when it came from the robot, but less than 20 percent of the time when it came from the speaker.”
To help the dogs become more comfortable with the robot, “the dogs’ guardians were instructed to interact with the robot, talking to it and making eye contact.” Such social cues may have encouraged the dogs to pay more attention to the robot. Future research can help explain exactly what factors, such as a robot’s movements, expressions, and voice, affect dogs’ perception of the robot and how to make more effective social robots for dogs.
Advances & Business
Australia wins first AI Eurovision Song Contest by sampling koalas and kookaburras - A team of programmers and songwriters from Australia have won the inaugural (and unofficial) AI Eurovision Song Contest, using a neural network trained on noises made by koalas, kookaburras, and Tasmanian devils to help score their winning entry.
Nvidia unveils monstrous A100 AI chip with 54 billion transistors and 5 petaflops of performance - Nvidia unwrapped its Nvidia A100 artificial intelligence chip today, and CEO Jensen Huang called it the ultimate instrument for advancing AI.
Coronavirus Pandemic: Pittsburgh Airport Becomes First In Nation To Deploy Ultraviolet Cleaning Robots - Pittsburgh International Airport is deploying autonomous robots to clean floors in an ultra-efficient manner.
Microsoft and Intel project converts malware into images before analyzing it - Microsoft and Intel Labs work on STAMINA, a new deep learning approach for detecting and classifying malware.
AI advances to better detect hate speech - We have a responsibility to keep the people on our platforms safe, and dealing with hate speech is one of the most complex and important components of this work. To better protect people, we have AI tools to quickly - and often proactively - detect this content.
ThisWordDoesNotExist.com is rewriting the dictionary with the help of AI - Want to impress friends and family with your amazing vocabulary? Don’t care if the words you spew are actually at all meaningful? If so, I have just the site for you: ThisWordDoesNotExist.com, a one-shot webpage that uses AI to generate an endless stream of plausible babble.
Sony’s first AI image sensor will make cameras everywhere smarter - Sony has announced the world’s first image sensor with integrated AI smarts. The new IMX500 sensor incorporates both processing power and memory, allowing it to perform machine learning-powered computer vision tasks without extra hardware.
Twitter adds former Google VP and A.I. guru Fei-Fei Li to board as it seeks to play catch up with Google and Facebook - Twitter has appointed Stanford professor and former Google vice president Fei-Fei Li to its board as an independent director. The social media platform said that Li’s expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) will bring relevant perspectives to the board.
Concerns & Hype
Self-Driving Ubers of the Future Will Deliver Stuff, Not People - Autonomous ride-hailing services seem less appealing than ever before.
The pandemic is emptying call centers. AI chatbots are swooping in - Covid-19 is accelerating job losses in an industry that was already automating work at a rapid pace.
What’s With the Fake AI on Netflix Reality Shows? - The Circle and Too Hot to Handle are reality shows made for the age of technology: textable, tweetable, and built for bingeing, with the sheen of artificial-intelligence hosts that aim to elevate their lowbrow status.
Our weird behavior during the pandemic is screwing with AI models - Machine-learning models trained on normal behavior are showing cracks, forcing humans to step in to set them straight
Police trialled facial recognition tech without clearance - Police conducted a trial of controversial facial recognition software without consulting their own bosses or the Privacy Commissioner.
GM self-driving tech unit Cruise laying off about 8% of staff - General Motors’s self-driving car unit Cruise on Thursday announced it was laying off about 8% of its staff, according to an internal e-mail.
Expert Opinions & Discussion within the field
Fei-Fei Li’s Mission to Transform Healthcare AI - After ImageNet transformed AI vision, superstar Stanford computer science professor Fei-Fei Li has turned her attention to advancing healthcare.