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Tension Inside Google Over a Fired AI Researcher's Conduct


In late 2018, Google AI researchers Anna Goldie and Azalia Mirhoseini got the go-ahead to test an elegant idea. Google had invented powerful computer chips called tensor processing units, or TPUs, to run machine learning algorithms inside its data centers--but, the pair wondered, what if AI software could help improve that same AI hardware? The project, later codenamed Morpheus, won support from Google's AI boss Jeff Dean and attracted interest from the company's chipmaking team. It focused on a step in chip design when engineers must decide how to physically arrange blocks of circuits on a chunk of silicon, a complex, months-long puzzle that helps determine a chip's performance. In June 2021, Goldie and Mirhoseini were lead authors on a paper in the journal Nature that claimed a technique called reinforcement learning could perform that step better than Google's own engineers, and do it in just a few hours.

What is Google's new skin tone scale?

BBC News - Technology

Google has unveiled a more diverse scale of skin tones to develop its artificial intelligence systems. The new Monk Skin Tone Scale, named after Harvard University professor Dr Ellis Monk, has 10 skin tones. Google says it will replace outdated skin tone scales which have a bias towards paler skins. The tech company claim it will be used to improve products like search and photos. Machine learning, a type of AI, is used by a lot of technology including cameras which recognise a face to unlock a phone or when your photos are categorised automatically. But to get to this point researchers need to train the technology so that it can recognise a wide range of people.

No driver: Fully autonomous cars now navigate some roads in Austin, Texas

USATODAY - News Top Stories

AUSTIN, Texas – Truly driverless cars – this time with no human drivers ready to take over in case of emergency – are now cruising around Austin. Pittsburgh-based technology company Argo AI says it has begun operating its autonomous test vehicles without human safety drivers in Austin. The company is also testing the driverless vehicles in Miami.

Will this fruit-picking robot transform agriculture?

The Guardian

Robots can do a lot. They build cars in factories. Robotic dogs can, allegedly and a little creepily, make us safer by patrolling our streets. But there are some things robots still cannot do – things that sound quite basic in comparison. "It's a simple thing" for humans, says robotics researcher Joe Davidson.

An AI Company Scraped Billions of Photos For Facial Recognition. Regulators Can't Stop It

TIME - Tech

More and more privacy watchdogs around the world are standing up to Clearview AI, a U.S. company that has collected billions of photos from the internet without people's permission. The company, which uses those photos for its facial recognition software, was fined £7.5 million ($9.4 million) by a U.K. regulator on May 26. The U.K. Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said the firm, Clearview AI, had broken data protection law. The company denies breaking the law. But the case reveals how nations have struggled to regulate artificial intelligence across borders. Facial recognition tools require huge quantities of data.

A robotic shoulder could make it easier to grow usable human tissue

MIT Technology Review

But growing usable human tendon cells--which need to stretch and twist--has proved trickier. Over the past two decades, scientists have encouraged engineered tendon cells and tissue to grow and mature by repeatedly stretching them in one direction. However, this approach has so far failed to produce fully functional tissue grafts that could be used clinically, in human bodies. A new study, published in Nature Communications Engineering today, shows how humanoid robots could be used to make engineered tendon tissue that is more like the real thing. "The clinical need is clearly there," says Pierre-Alexis Mouthuy from the University of Oxford, who led the team.

Robot surgeons steer smoothly with help from magnet-free motor


A magnetic resonance imaging machine has a powerful magnetic field that could turn a robot with an ordinary motor into a dangerous projectile. A robotic device that can operate inside a medical scanner's claustrophobic interior could pave the way for MRI-guided surgery1. All prices are NET prices. VAT will be added later in the checkout. Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Microsoft's Code-Writing AI Points to the Future of Computers


Microsoft just showed how artificial intelligence could find its way into many software applications--by writing code on the fly. At the Microsoft Build developer conference today, the company's chief technology officer, Kevin Scott, demonstrated an AI helper for the game Minecraft. The non-player character within the game is powered by the same machine learning technology Microsoft has been testing for auto-generating software code. The feat hints at how recent advances in AI could change personal computing in years to come by replacing interfaces that you tap, type, and click to navigate into interfaces that you simply have a conversation with. The Minecraft agent responds appropriately to typed commands by converting them into working code behind the scenes using the software API for the game.

Robot that can do laundry by itself will help test washing machines

New Scientist

A robot capable of doing laundry sadly won't be available for the public to buy, as it is only intended to help appliance manufacturers test their washing machines. Gianluca Palli at the University of Bologna, Italy, and his colleagues have developed "a complete robotic laundry operation" in partnership with Electrolux, a Swedish firm that is one of the world's largest appliance makers. The robotic system, which uses pre-existing commercial robots, is able to detect dirty clothes, pick them up and load them into a washing machine, interpret the machine's display and choose the correct wash cycle.

Driverless cars could force other road users to drive more efficiently

New Scientist - News

Autonomous cars are predicted to improve fuel efficiency for everyone on the road – an idea that will be put to the test on routes around Nashville, Tennessee, later this year.