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Microsoft researchers say NLP bias studies must consider role of social hierarchies like racism

AITopics Custom Links

As the recently released GPT-3 and several recent studies demonstrate, racial bias, as well as bias based on gender, occupation, and religion, can be found in popular NLP language models. But a team of AI researchers wants the NLP bias research community to more closely examine and explore relationships between language, power, and social hierarchies like racism in their work. Published last week, the work, which includes analysis of 146 NLP bias research papers, also concludes that the research field generally lacks clear descriptions of bias and fails to explain how, why, and to whom that bias is harmful. "Although these papers have laid vital groundwork by illustrating some of the ways that NLP systems can be harmful, the majority of them fail to engage critically with what constitutes'bias' in the first place," the paper reads. "We argue that such work should examine the relationships between language and social hierarchies; we call on researchers and practitioners conducting such work to articulate their conceptualizations of'bias' in order to enable conversations about what kinds of system behaviors are harmful, in what ways, to whom, and why; and we recommend deeper engagements between technologists and communities affected by NLP systems."

Volkswagen makes official investment in Argo AI, will share costs with Ford - Roadshow

CNET - News

More funding for Argo AI, shared costs between Ford and VW. Ford, Volkswagen and Argo AI made it official on Tuesday. VW has made an investment in the self-driving technology company, which charts a course for shared development costs for any autonomous vehicle technologies to come. It's unclear how deep VW reached into its wallet, but a previous report pegged a coming investment at $1.7 billion. At the time, Argo AI was reportedly valued at $4 billion, which would put VW's investment at nearly 50% of its value.

Artificial intelligence poses a threat to American office workers - digitalhub Feed Leader


Fifty-three percent of U.S. office workers worry their current skills will be outdated in fewer than five years, according to new research. The study asked 2,000 American office workers about their skills and how they wish to improve them in an evolving technological world. And results revealed nearly nine in 10 respondents said they would feel more secure in their jobs if their employer offered them training opportunities. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of UiPath, the survey found that 78% of respondents said they would be more productive at their jobs if they could learn new skills. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed said they wish their employer offered opportunities to acquire new skills -- while 83% would like to enhance their current skills.

MIT builds robot hand that can 'see and feel' objects as fragile as a crisp in major breakthrough

The Independent - Tech

Robotic hands capable of picking up objects as fragile as a crisp by "sensing" objects have been developed by researchers. Two new tools built by MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) offer a breakthrough in the emerging field of soft robotics – a new generation of robots that use squishy, flexible materials rather than traditional rigid equipment. These types of soft robots often draw inspiration from living organisms and offer numerous benefits in their versatile functionality. They are able to operate far more delicately than their rigid counterparts, but until now they have lacked the ability to perceive what items they are interacting with. To overcome this, the researchers equipped their robots with various sensors, cameras and software, allowing them to "see and classify" a range of objects.

A.I. Shows Promise Assisting Physicians

AITopics Custom Links

Drawing on the records of nearly 600,000 Chinese patients who had visited a pediatric hospital over an 18-month period, the vast collection of data used to train this new system highlights an advantage for China in the worldwide race toward artificial intelligence. Because its population is so large -- and because its privacy norms put fewer restrictions on the sharing of digital data -- it may be easier for Chinese companies and researchers to build and train the "deep learning" systems that are rapidly changing the trajectory of health care. On Monday, President Trump signed an executive order meant to spur the development of A.I. across government, academia and industry in the United States. As part of this "American A.I. Initiative," the administration will encourage federal agencies and universities to share data that can drive the development of automated systems. Pooling health care data is a particularly difficult endeavor.

The five: robots helping to tackle coronavirus

The Guardian > Technology

Singapore park-goers have been reminded of their social distancing obligations by Boston Dynamics' yellow "dog". The robot hound is equipped with numerous cameras and sensors, which it can use to detect transgressors and broadcast pre-recorded warnings. The authorities have reassured locals it is not a quadruped data-collection device. In Milton Keynes a recently expanded fleet of six-wheeled robots has been delivering food and small supermarket shopping consignments to hungry residents. The town's large network of cycle paths makes it ideally suited to the knee-high machines, which trundle along at a top speed of 4mph.

Apple Working On Siri Improvements After Acquiring AI Startup Inductiv

International Business Times

Siri has been taking orders and answering questions far longer than other voice assistants in the market today. Apple launched the helpful feature in 2011 along with the iPhone 4S, way before Amazon could introduce the world to Alexa, and also before Google could launch the Google Assistant. Years later, despite being known as Apple's voice assistant for iPhones, HomePods and more, Siri remains considered as "lagging behind" other digital assistants, Business Insider reported. The Cupertino tech giant's latest acquisition, however, indicates that the company wants to deal with that. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple recently acquired Inductiv Inc., a machine learning startup that has the technology to help improve Siri.

Core progress in AI has stalled in some fields


Artificial intelligence (AI) just seems to get smarter and smarter. The surge reflects faster chips, more data, and better algorithms. But some of the improvement comes from tweaks rather than the core innovations their inventors claim--and some of the gains may not exist at all. Researchers have evaluated 81 pruning algorithms, programs that make neural networks, a type of AI, more efficient by trimming unneeded connections. All claimed superiority in slightly different ways. But when the researchers tried to evaluate them side by side, there was no clear evidence of performance improvements over a 10-year period.

'Largest drone war in the world': How airpower saved Tripoli

Al Jazeera

Air power has played an increasingly important role in the Libyan conflict. The relatively flat featureless desert terrain of the north and coast means that ground units are easily spotted, with few places to hide. The air forces of both the United Nations-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) use French and Soviet-era fighter jets, antiquated and poorly maintained. While manned fighter aircraft have been used, for the most part the air war has been fought by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones. With nearly 1,000 air strikes conducted by UAVs, UN Special Representative to Libya Ghassan Salame called the conflict "the largest drone war in the world".