Last Week in AI #97
NY's moratorium on facial recognition, a false arrest because of facial recognition, and more!
As technologies like facial recognition have shown how AI has already become a major part of our everyday lives, a frequent criticism of governments and policymakers is that legislation is far behind technology. Countries like the UK have sought to remedy this lag by instituting new regulations and laws surrounding digital privacy and facial recognition, and the US is taking steps to enact its own. On Tuesday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed a 2-year moratorium on the use of facial recognition in K-12 schools. The New York legislature will also meet in its next session to study facial recognition technologies and related concerns.
A Black man spent 10 days in jail after he was misidentified by facial recognition, a new lawsuit claims
Nijeet Park, a 33-year old man from New Jersey, was arrested by police and jailed for over a week in 2019 after being misidentified by a facial recognition algorithm. Despite never having been to Woodbridge, NJ, the scene of a shoplifting incident, Park was identified as the culprit, then interrogated and arrested by police. Parks' attorney says that the police's only evidence for prosecuting Park was based on facial recognition technology. Park successfully had his charges dismissed and is now suing the New Jersey police department for excessive force, false imprisonment, and cruel and unusual punishment leading to physical and emotional suffering.
Advances & Business
AI Startups Raised $9.9B in second half of 2020, a 15% Jump - "The maturing artificial intelligence industry is booming, with companies from different sectors utilizing AI technology to improve their efficiency, quality, and speed, resulting in a significant increase in AI startup funding, says Jastra Kranjec of BuyShares."
DeepMind's New AI Masters Games Without Even Being Taught the Rules - "It's the next step toward self-directed learning about the real world. Cue the shark music."
13 acquisitions highlight Big Tech's AI talent grab in 2020 - "It's no secret that Big Tech has for years nabbed top technology talent through product acquisitions and acqui-hires. In fact, this is something the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is currently looking into through ongoing antitrust investigations."
The immense potential and challenges of multimodal AI - "Unlike most AI systems, humans understand the meaning of text, videos, audio, and images together in context. For example, given text and an image that seem innocuous when considered apart."
Automation nation: 9 robotics predictions for 2021 - "The pandemic has offered challenges and a major opportunity to robotics firms in the logistics and grocery spaces. Unforeseen stresses to supply chains and runs on products have emphasized the need for greater supply chain efficiencies."
Concerns & Hype
The year deepfakes went mainstream - "In 2020, AI-synthetic media started moving away from the darker corners of the internet."
Google told its scientists to 'strike a positive tone' in AI research - documents - "Alphabet Inc’s Google this year moved to tighten control over its scientists’ papers by launching a “sensitive topics” review, and in at least three cases requested authors refrain from casting its technology in a negative light, according to internal communications and interviews with researchers involved in the work."
Google Promised Not To Use Its AI In Weapons, So Why Is It Investing In Startups Straight Out Of 'Star Wars'? - "More than two years ago, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai promised to no longer use his company’s artificial intelligence expertise to develop weapons. But that hasn’t stopped Google’s parent company, Alphabet, where Pichai is also CEO, from investing in a couple of companies that are getting into the business of war."
Chatroulette Is On the Rise Again-With Help From AI - "The hottest app of early 2010 faded quickly when it was flooded with unwanted nudity. Smarter content moderation is helping to revive it."
Don't underestimate the cheapfake - "Deepfakes didn't disrupt the US election as many predicted. But cheapfakes had a banner year."
DeepMind's big losses, and the questions around running an AI lab - "Last week, on the heels of DeepMind's breakthrough in using AI to predict protein-folding, came news that the U.K.-based AI company is still costing its parent company Alphabet hundreds of millions of dollars in losses each year."
Timnit Gebru's Exit From Google Exposes a Crisis in AI - "The situation has made clear that the field needs to change. Here’s where to start, according to a current and a former Googler."
Analysis & Policy
Landmark artificial intelligence legislation should become law - "Tucked away in the 4,517-page annual defense bill awaiting signature is an overlooked piece of legislation on artificial intelligence (AI). Don't worry, America. It doesn't make every military weapon system autonomous or require brigades of robotic infantry."
Expert Opinions & Discussion within the field
AI Debate 2: Night of a thousand AI scholars - "Gary Marcus, a frequent critic of deep learning forms of AI, and Vincent Boucher, president of Montreal.AI, hosted sixteen scholars to discuss what things AI needs to move forward, including Daniel Kahneman, Fei-Fei Li, and Judea Pearl."
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