January 6, 2021 has already become a date that will be remembered for years to come. Following the attack on the US Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump rioters, police have been searching for culprits. As facial recognition has become a widely used tool in law enforcement recently, Clearview AI found its use by police spike by 26 percent the day after the attack. Clearview AI's technology remains controversial for its privacy implications and the potential for disparate impacts on different populations, and police use of facial recognition has already been linked to multiple cases of false arrest. While those involved in the attack should certainly face consequences, continued use of facial recognition in law enforcement remains concerning.
On Tuesday, January 12, the White House established the National AI Initiative Office that will implement a national AI strategy, coordinating AI research and policymaking across government, industry, and academia. The Office was established in accordance with the National AI Initiative Act of 2020 and with the goal of serving as a hub for national AI research and policy. The law also codified the American AI initiative that will increase research investment, increase access to compute, and set technical standards, among other things. The Act also expands a committee on AI and codifies the national AI research institutes, along with a national strategic R&D plan.
Advances & Business
Pollen Robotics' humanoid robot can be controlled remotely with VR - "Pollen Robotics turned heads at last year's CES . After all, a humanoid robot will do that on the show floor (even if it's only half of one). The French startup is back for this year's show (insofar as anyone is really back for the show), with some key updates to its robot, Reachy."
How Boston Dynamics Taught Its Robots to Dance - "Aaron Saunders, Boston Dynamics’ VP of Engineering, tells us where Atlas got its moves from"
AI startup that captures vital signs via phone cameras launches new corporate wellness solution - "Binah.ai uses artificial intelligence and low-end cameras built into phones for remote vital sign monitoring by analyzing a person’s face to get medical-grade insights such as respiration rate and heart rate variability."
Bossa Nova shuts down European robotics division - "Bossa Nova Robotics, the Mountain View, Calif.-based developer of inventory control robots for retailers, recently shut down its European business unit. Headquartered in Sheffield, U.K., Bossa Nova Robotics Europe had its funding cut off from the parent company."
Pentagon aims to spread artificial intelligence across military services - "New contract procedures to make it easier for small companies to bid on AI uses for the military"
Concerns & Hype
Outlandish Stanford facial recognition study claims there are links between facial features and political orientation - "A paper published today in the journal Scientific Reports by controversial Stanford-affiliated researcher Michal Kosinski claims to show that facial recognition algorithms can expose people's political views from their social media profiles."
Analysis & Policy
FDA issues action plan for regulating AI in medical devices - "Dive Brief: FDA on Tuesday released an action plan for establishing a regulatory approach to the fast-developing field of artificial intelligence and machine learning-based Software as a Medical Device (SaMD)."
EU Should Regulate Artificial Intelligence to Protect Rights - "The last decade has seen an alarming proliferation of artificial intelligence ("AI") to monitor protests, predict crime, and profile minorities, in ways that gravely threaten our human rights."
Expert Opinions & Discussion within the field
Artificial Intelligence in Health Care - "Washington Post Live will convene some of the nation’s top thinkers and innovators in the space who are overseeing the explosion of medical data analytics and machines that are transforming medical care as we know it, including in the fight against COVID-19."
An artificial intelligence scholar urges technologists to embrace humility - "Stanford professor Fei-Fei Li says a culture of transparency, openness, and respect will lead to breakthroughs that help society."
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