AAAI AI-Alert for Nov 13, 2018

The legal implications of 'creative', artificial intelligent robots


One question that needs to be answered is: can an AI's creation be protected by copyright and patents? This issue is multifaceted as legal experts try to apply existing law to fast-evolving circumstances -- something that does not always work. There are also differences in national legal systems, so technology companies need to take a global perspective to ensure full realisation of all implications. For example, under French copyright law, which was largely created to protect individual authors above all and is even recalcitrant to ownership of copyright by legal persons (as opposed to individuals), the standard of protection of copyright work is the imprint of the author's personality. Clearly, authors must be individuals, and AI cannot hold copyright.

What is AI? We drew you a flowchart to work it out


The question may seem basic, but the answer is kind of complicated. In the broadest sense, AI refers to machines that can learn, reason, and act for themselves. They can make their own decisions when faced with new situations, in the same way that humans and animals can. As it currently stands, the vast majority of the AI advancements and applications you hear about refer to a category of algorithms known as machine learning. These algorithms use statistics to find patterns in massive amounts of data.

Will you be getting a smart home spy for Christmas?

The Guardian

If you've so far withstood the temptation to install a smart speaker in your home, worried about the potential privacy pitfalls and a bit embarrassed about the notion of chatting aimlessly to an inanimate object, brace yourselves. This Christmas, the world's biggest tech giants, including Amazon, Google and Facebook, are making another bid for your living room, announcing a range of new devices that resemble tablets you can talk to. Facebook's is called Portal, Google's the Home Hub, and Amazon has unveiled the second version of its Echo Show. You can still speak to the digital assistants embedded in these devices, but their screens enable hands-free video calling (apart from the Google one), can act as a control pad for various smart devices you may have around your home, such as thermostats or security cameras and (this feature is on heavy rotation in all the promotional material) you can use them to prompt you through a recipe without resorting to smearing your buttery fingers over your phone or laptop. But before you make the leap and send off that letter to the north pole, you may want to ask a few questions.

The Amazing Ways Toyota Is Using Artificial Intelligence, Big Data & Robots


A great way to understand the future priorities for a company is to see where they invest resources. When you look at where Toyota, the Japanese industry giant, has recently invested, it's clear the company is preparing to remain relevant and competitive in the 4th industrial revolution as a result of its investments and innovation in artificial intelligence, big data and robots. With initial funding of $100 million, Toyota AI Ventures invests in tech start-ups and entrepreneurs around the world that are committed to autonomous mobility, data and robotics. Toyota's investments help accelerate getting critical new technologies to market. One of the organization's investments is in May Mobility, a company that is developing self-driving shuttles for college campuses and other areas such as central business districts where low-speed applications are warranted.

A DJI Bug Exposed Drone Photos and User Data


DJI makes some of the most popular quadcopters on the market, but its products have repeatedly drawn scrutiny from the United States government over privacy and security concerns. Most recently, the Department of Defense in May banned the purchase of consumer drones made by a handful of vendors, including DJI. Now DJI has patched a problematic vulnerability in its cloud infrastructure that could have allowed an attacker to take over users' accounts and access private data like photos and videos taken during drone flights, a user's personal account information, and flight logs that include location data. A hacker could have even potentially accessed real-time drone location and a live camera feed during a flight. The security firm Check Point discovered the issue and reported it in March through DJI's bug bounty program.

Radars, Cameras, and Lidar: How Self-Driving Cars See the Road


Q: How Do Self-Driving Cars See? You head into a left turn, and before you change lanes, you crane your head around for a quick look back. That's when you see it. Chugging along behind you, in that left lane you're aiming to call your own. Your pressing question--Does it see me?--is answered when the vehicle slows down, giving you plenty of space.

A robot scientist will dream up new materials to advance computing and fight pollution

MIT Technology Review

In a laboratory that overlooks a busy shopping street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a robot is attempting to create new materials. A robot arm dips a pipette into a dish and transfers a tiny amount of bright liquid into one of many receptacles sitting in front of another machine. When all the samples are ready, the second machine tests their optical properties, and the results are fed to a computer that controls the arm. Software analyzes the results of these experiments, formulates a few hypotheses, and then starts the process over again. The setup, developed by a startup called Kebotix, hints at how machine learning and robotic automation may be poised to revolutionize materials science in coming years.

Japan's first drone document delivery operation launched in Fukushima amid labor shortage

The Japan Times

FUKUSHIMA – Japan Post Co. on Wednesday began transporting documents by drone in Fukushima Prefecture, the first operation of its kind in Japan, following easing of regulations to cope with labor shortages in the transport industry. The company said it will initially use drones to carry its own documents and advertisements between two post offices in the northeastern prefecture to examine whether the unmanned aircraft can be used to carry mail. In the future, it hopes to use drones for deliveries to mountainous regions and remote islands. It launched the operation after the government eased related regulations in September. Prior to easing restrictions, an operator was required to keep the drone in view.

Google Says 'Exponential' Growth of AI is Changing Nature of Compute


Google software engineer Cliff Young says the use of artificial intelligence has reached an "exponential phase" at the very same time that Moore's Law has ground to a standstill. The explosion of AI and machine learning is changing the very nature of computing, so says one of the biggest practitioners of AI, Google. Google software engineer Cliff Young gave the opening keynote on Thursday morning at the Linley Group Fall Processor Conference, a popular computer-chip symposium put on by venerable semiconductor analysis firm The Linley Group, in Santa Clara, California. Said Young, the use of AI has reached an "exponential phase" at the very same time that Moore's Law, the decades-old rule of thumb about semiconductor progress, has ground to a standstill. "The times are slightly neurotic," he mused.