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2019-10


Facebook's AI prevents you from being identified by face recognition tech

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Facial recognition systems are all the rage among government agencies around the world, as they seek to automate services and keep tabs on their citizens. If there's a picture of you somewhere, you could potentially be identified in photos and videos from public camera feeds. Now, Facebook has devised a way to thwart this technology. Its face de-identification tech, developed by three AI researchers who work with the company, modifies your face slightly in video content, so that facial recognition systems can't match what they see in the footage with images of you in their databases. You can see this in action in this video (screenshot above), in which certain details are tweaked, such as the shape of a person's mouth, or the size of their eyes.


Now the Machines Are Learning How to Smell

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Google has its own perfume--or at least one team of the company's researchers does. Crafted under the guidance of expert French perfumers, the mixture has notes of vanilla, jasmine, melon, and strawberries. "It wasn't half bad," says Alex Wiltschko, who keeps a vial of the perfume in his kitchen. Google's not marketing that scent anytime soon, but it is sticking its nose into yet another aspect of our lives: smell. On Thursday, researchers at Google Brain released a paper on the preprint site Arxiv showing how they trained a set of machine-learning algorithms to predict molecules' smell based on their structures.


Micron Introduces Comprehensive AI Development Platform Micron Technology

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SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MICRON INSIGHT -- Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU), today announced a powerful new set of high-performance hardware and software tools for deep learning applications with the acquisition of FWDNXT, a software and hardware startup. When combined with advanced Micron memory, FWDNXT's (pronounced "forward next") artificial intelligence (AI) hardware and software technology enables Micron to explore deep learning solutions required for data analytics, particularly in IoT and edge computing. With this acquisition, Micron is integrating compute, memory, tools and software into a comprehensive AI development platform. This platform in turn provides the key building blocks required to explore innovative memory optimized for AI workloads. "FWDNXT is an architecture designed to create fast-time-to-market edge AI solutions through an extremely easy to use software framework with broad modeling support and flexibility," said Micron Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Sumit Sadana.


Indic Language Computing

Communications of the ACM

In April 2019, following the Easter Sunday bomb attacks, the Government of Sri Lanka had to shut down Facebook and YouTube for nine days to stop the spreading of hate speech and false news, posted mainly in the local languages Sinhala and Tamil. This came about simply because these social media platforms did not have the capability to detect and warn about the provocative content. India's Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) wants lectures on Swayama and NPTELb--the online teaching platforms--to be translated into all Indian languages. Approximately 2.5 million students use the Swayam lectures on computer science alone. The lectures are in English, which students find difficult to understand. A large number of lectures are manually subtitled in English.


Extreme Classification

Communications of the ACM

What would you do if you had the super-power to accurately answer, in a few milliseconds, a multiple-choice question with a billion choices? Would you design the next generation of Web search engines, which could predict which of the billions of documents might be relevant to a given query? Would you build the next generation of retail recommender systems that have things delivered to your doorstep just as you need them? Or would you try and predict the next word about to be uttered by U.S. President Donald Trump? The objective in extreme classification, a new research area in machine learning, is to develop algorithms with such capabilities.


When Drones Fly

Communications of the ACM

Samuel Greengard is an author and journalist based in West Linn, OR, USA.


Real-World Applications for Drones

Communications of the ACM

In June, Amazon announced it was close to being able to offer for package deliveries by drone for its Prime Air service. That same month, Uber said it plans to test food delivery by aerial drone in crowded cities. And drone delivery company Flytrex already touts the ability to deliver drinks via unmanned vehicle on the golf course. Despite such announcements, drones are not crowding the skies over major cities and population centers just yet. But that may be about to change.


Artificial Intelligence and Health Care Are Made For Each Other

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Artificial intelligence has the potential to radically change health care. Imagine a not too distant future when the focus shifts away from disease to how we stay healthy. At birth, everyone would get a thorough, multifaceted baseline profile, including screening for genetic and rare diseases. Then, over their lifetimes, cost-effective, minimally invasive clinical-grade devices could accurately monitor a range of biometrics such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and glucose levels, in addition to environmental factors such as exposure to pathogens and toxins, and behavioral factors like sleep and activity patterns. This biometric, genetic, environmental and behavioral information could be coupled with social data and used to create AI models.


Alexa and Google Assistant fall victim to eavesdropping apps

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Security researchers developed skills for both Google Home and Amazon Echo devices that could eavesdrop on people. Smart speakers already face privacy concerns, but now security researchers have found that malicious apps designed to eavesdrop can sneak through Google's and Amazon's vetting processes. On Sunday, Security Research Labs disclosed its findings after developing eight voice apps that could listen in on people's conversations through Amazon's Echo and Google's Nest devices. All of the apps passed through the companies' reviews for third-party apps. The research was first reported by CNET sister site ZDNet.


Does the Future of Robots Get You Excited, or Fill You With Dread?

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Find all our Student Opinion questions here. Last week, a robotic hand successfully solved a Rubik's Cube. While that feat might seem like a fun parlor trick, it's a sign that robots are being programmed to learn and not just memorize. Robots are already playing important roles inside retail giants like Amazon and manufacturing companies like Foxconn by completing very specific, repetitive tasks. But many believe that machine learning will ultimately allow robots to master a much wider array of more complex functions.