Last Week in AI News #85
Toyota Research Institute (TRI) recently demonstrated impressive prototypes of in-home robots performing a wide variety of tasks, such as wiping counters and loading dish washers. Toyota is heavily invested in the home robotics field, as aging population grows in both Japan and other developed countries around the world. The demos featured many of TRI’s latest resesarch advances, including a system that tests robots in both simulation and the real world, applications of new learning algorithms, and robots that hang from the ceiling. Gill Pratt, the CEO of TRI, emphasizes what the team “really focused on is this principle idea of amplifying, rather than replacing, human beings.”
AI has made significant advances in recent years in disease diagnosis, but integrating new AI tools into the workflows of hospitals remains challenging. When an AI-powered disease alert system was installed at Duke University Hospital, its doctors were often indifferent or suspicious to the alerts, because the AI system cannot explain why certain patients were flagged. In lieu of such explanations, staff tried to come up with their own explanations to AI’s decisions, which were often incorrect. Other common challenges of deploying AI systems in healthcare include the inflexibility of many trained models - when Google deployed a system that detects eye diseases in the field, it rejceted 20% of patient images due to unexpected lighting conditions. All of this highlight the need for more research and investment into the “repair work” done by frontline workers who act as “AI diplomats” that smooth over human-machine relations.
Advances & Business
Memristor Breakthrough: First Single Device To Act Like a Neuron - Analog computing with neuron-like devices could efficiently solve problems traditional computers struggle with
The National Guard’s Fire-Mapping Drones Get an AI Upgrade - Algorithms that quickly track the movement of wildfires could help firefighters’ but the tech could also be put to non-humanitarian use.
FedEx teams up with Reliable Robotics on autonomous cargo planes - FedEx is working with Reliable Robotics to pilot the use of an unmanned single-engine aircraft for cargo delivery
Spectrum Labs raises $10M for its AI-based platform to combat online toxicity - With the US presidential election now 40 days away, all eyes are focused on how online conversations, in conjunction with other hallmarks of online life like viral videos, news clips, and misleading ads, will be used, and often abused, to influence people’s decisions.
Chinese publishers see AI translation as the killer app for pushing web novels overseas - The art of translation has existed as long as literature.
A VR film/game with AI characters can be different every time you watch/play - Agence is neither a movie nor a game, which has frustrated some critics, but it gives a taste of what the future of AI film-making could be.
AI is helping scientists discover fresh craters on Mars - The HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took this image of a crater cluster on Mars, the first ever to be discovered AI. The AI first spotted the craters in images taken the orbiter’s Context Camera; scientists followed up with this HiRISE image to confirm the craters.
IBM open-sources AI for optimizing satellite communications and predicting space debris trajectories - IBM today announced two new open source projects that aim to solve the technical challenges around cube satellites, a type of miniaturized satellite for space research, and space situational awareness.
What investment trends reveal about the global AI landscape - When it comes to AI, America leads, but doesn’t dominate.
Concerns & Hype
ExamSoft’s remote bar exam sparks privacy and facial recognition concerns - Sometimes the light Kiana Caton is forced to use gives her a headache. On top of common concerns that come with taking a state bar exam - like whether you pass the test - Caton has to deal with challenges presented by facial recognition technology.
Women Founders of AI Startups Take Aim at Gender Bias - They see gender diversity in their companies as crucial in making sure the technology doesn’t penalize the underrepresented
Infighting, Busywork, Missed Warnings: How Uber Wasted $2.5 Billion on Self-Driving Cars - After five years and an investment of around $2.5 billion, Uber’s effort to build a self-driving car has produced this: a car that can’t drive more than half a mile without encountering a problem.
Deepfake Putin is here to warn Americans about their self-inflicted doom - AI-generated synthetic media is being used in a political ad campaign: not to disrupt the election, but to save it.
How close is AI to decoding our emotions? - Emotion AI is becoming a big business. We talked to leading researchers about how good the tech actually is.
Analysis & Policy
State of AI Report 2019 - The State of AI Report analyses the most interesting developments in AI. We aim to trigger an informed conversation about the state of AI and its implication for the future.
AI Has Arrived in Healthcare, but What Does This Mean? - In this discussion, I delineate the current situation surrounding the use of AI in healthcare and the efforts by regulatory bodies such as the FDA to mitigate this emerging field.
Congressional task force doubles down on DoD AI needs - A Congressional panel looking at defense priorities several decades into the future is doubling down on the need for the Defense Department to embrace artificial intelligence and put it into almost everything big the department does.
It’s complicated. A deep dive into the Viz/Medicare AI reimbursement model. - In the last post I wrote about the recent decision by CMS to reimburse a Viz.AI stroke detection model through Medicare/Medicaid. I briefly explained how this funding model will work, but it is so darn complicated that it deserves a much deeper look. To get more info, I went to the primary source.
Language (Technology) is Power: A Critical Survey of Bias in NLP (Research summary) - With the recent boom in scholarship on Fairness and Bias in Machine Learning, several competing notions of bias and different approaches to mitigate their impact have emerged.
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