Please stand in front of Walklake for your examination. This health checking robot takes just 3 seconds to diagnose a variety of ailments in children, including conjunctivitis, and hand, foot and mouth disease. Over 2000 preschools in China, with children aged between 2 and 6, are using Walklake every morning to check the health status of their students. Walklake has a boxy body and smiling cartoony face.
A growing backlash against face recognition suggests the technology has a reached a crucial tipping point, as battles over its use are erupting on numerous fronts. Face-tracking cameras have been trialled in public by at least three UK police forces in the last four years. A court case against one force, South Wales Police, began earlier this week, backed by human rights group Liberty. Ed Bridges, an office worker from Cardiff whose image was captured during a test in 2017, says the technology is an unlawful violation of privacy, an accusation the police force denies. Avoiding the camera's gaze has got others in trouble.
Aidan Wen is well on his way toward a career in artificial intelligence. The high school junior already has two semesters of machine-learning courses under his belt. Last summer he competed for a $12,000 prize sponsored by the Radiological Society of North America for the best ML model for spotting signs of pneumonia in lung X-rays. This year, he has entered another competition seeking a system for early detection of earthquakes using audio files. Next, he wants to try his hand at a project using natural language processing.
Today global history was made, as the first intergovernmental standard on artificial intelligence (AI) was adopted by the OECD--a geopolitical milestone achievement. There is a worldwide investment rush underway in artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Both public and private investment funding are pouring into AI, as nations and corporations seek to gain economic benefits and competitive advantages through automation. IDC estimates the global spending on cognitive and AI systems to reach $57.6 billion by 2021. Last year the UK government announced plans to invest £300 million in AI.
Welcome to EURACTIV's Digital Brief, your weekly update on all things digital in the EU. You can subscribe to the newsletter here. With the Brits and the Dutch heading to the polls today, the big news of the week is the story that Facebook has removed around 80 pages spreading fake news or using tactics aimed at unfairly influencing the polls. The takedowns came following a discovery by the human rights group Avaaz, in which it uncovered far-right disinformation networks in France, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland, posting content that was viewed an estimated 533 million times over the past three months. EURACTIV Digital went to investigate further and paid Avaaz a visit at their recently opened'Citizens' War Room' in Brussels (pictured below).
Researchers from Samsung's AI Centre located in Moscow have created a new system that can transform still facial images into video sequences of the human face making speech expressions. According to the study, the system creates realistic virtual talking heads through applying the facial landmarks of a target face onto a source face -- for example, a still photo -- to allow the target face to control how the source face moves. "Such ability has practical applications for telepresence, including videoconferencing and multi-player games, as well as [the] special effects industry," Samsung said. While the existence of "deepfake" technology isn't something new, Samsung's new system does not use 3D modelling and only requires one photograph to create a face model. If the system is able to use 32 images to create a model, the system will be able to "achieve [a] perfect realism and personalisation score," Samsung said.
Disinformation and Fake News are hardly anything new but the power of both is increasing exponentially because of the power of social media. Websites like Twitter and Facebook serve up information, images and events based on what they know about our likes, dislikes and desires, thereby supporting our prejudices and undermining open and tolerant debate. But Fake News is yesterday's news. Deep Fakes is where Fake News might be moving next and Deep Fakes could be have a bigger impact and even harder to spot, address or undermine. Deep Fakes is the use of deep learning – a branch of machine learning or artificial intelligence – to marry digital images with fake or forged audio files.
Hundreds of millions of people across Europe are set to cast their vote over the coming days in the European elections, which run from Thursday to Sunday. Many of them will use an online "questionnaire", such as YourVoteMatters in the UK and several others elsewhere, to navigate through the complex world of European politics and find the party most closely aligned with their views. But what if there was an artificial intelligence that could tell you how to vote instead? "AI will be used when making lots of different decisions, whether it is dating or in business. Why would we not use it in elections?"
Conditions in Amazon's warehouses are notoriously grueling, but the company has a new tactic it thinks will make employees' lives easier: turn work into a video game. As detailed in a new report from The Washington Post, Amazon has started installing screens next to workers' stations that feature simple games with names like PicksInSpace, Mission Racer, and CastleCrafter. Their physical actions, assembling orders and moving items, are translated into virtual in-game moves. So, the faster someone picks items and places them in a box, for example, the faster their car will move around a virtual track. The games are intended to make work less tedious, but also encourage higher productivity by pitting workers against one another in the virtual game world.