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Miss Your Office? Some Companies Are Building Virtual Replicas

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

File-transfer service WeTransfer BV opened its virtual space on May 1, almost seven weeks after closing its physical offices in New York, Los Angeles and Amsterdam as part of the global effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Graphics reminiscent of early "Tomb Raider" videogames depict a version of the company's Dutch headquarters, adapted to include pool tables, techno music and in-jokes such as a "memorial" library named for the very- much-alive chief creative officer. Staff roam around in the form of avatars such as robots and panda bears. Gordon Willoughby, the chief executive of WeTransfer, said the platform helps provide the social experience of office life in the way that Zoom calls and Slack have replaced business meetings and desk-side chats. That is particularly valuable for recent hires, he said.



Study calls for EU trade policy to anticipate ethical and responsible AI regulation

#artificialintelligence

EU trade policy should carve out space for the regulation of ethical and responsible artificial intelligence (AI) in future trade talks. This is the finding of a new study by researchers from the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Institute for Information Law. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned the study to generate further knowledge about the interface between international trade law and European norms and values when it comes to the use of AI. As AI seeps ever more comprehensively into our daily lives--through our phones, our cars, even in our doctors' offices--the need to ensure responsible use of such technologies becomes ever greater. Responsible use of AI is therefore a top priority for the Dutch government and for the EU as a whole.


How Europe's AI strategy is getting it right

#artificialintelligence

The European Commission's new White Paper on artificial intelligence (AI) may be the most ambitious yet realistic government strategy for AI we have seen. Aimed at fueling development of an AI ecosystem that fosters innovation and growth for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) while building on traditionally strong European sectors – industrial, transport, agriculture and tourism, for example – the strategy suggests concrete governmental and industry measures for creating a "dynamic data-agile economy" without sacrificing the privacy or personal data of consumers and businesses. That nuance is important, and often lost in global public debates about AI. Cutting-edge AI technology – pursued by Qualcomm through our R&D center in Amsterdam – will allow AI operations to take place on your device, to avoid sending your data to third parties in the cloud and keep it under your control. Privacy guarantees and construction of a technological and data-driven economy are not in a zero-sum equation.


Prepare for a Long Battle against Deepfakes - KDnuggets

#artificialintelligence

When Stephen Hawking warned of the dangers of Artificial Intelligence in 2015, his concerns were about the Superhuman AI that would pose an existential risk to humanity. But in recent years, much more imminent danger of AI has emerged that even a genius like Hawking could not have predicted. Deepfakes depict people in videos they never appeared in, saying things they never said and doing things they never really did. Some of the harmless ones have the actor Nicolas Cage's face superimposed on his Hollywood's peers while the more serious and dangerous ones target politicians like the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Deeptrace, a cybersecurity startup based in Amsterdam found 14,698 deepfakes in June and July, an 84% increase since December of 2018 when the number of AI-manipulated videos was 7,964.


Oracle Supercharges Cloud Infrastructure With Data Science Platform - SDxCentral

#artificialintelligence

Oracle supercharged its efforts to take on cloud giants Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and today launched a data science platform that runs as a native service on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. The announcement marks the company's second cloud push of the new year. Last week Oracle announced its Generation 2 Cloud was available in five new regions including Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Melbourne, Australia; Osaka, Japan; Montreal; and Amsterdam. The new Oracle's Cloud Infrastructure Data Science Platform uses elements of DataScience.com, The vendor claims the new offering can bring data scientists together and aid analysis with capabilities like shared projects, model catalogs, team security policies, reproducibility, and auditability.


The Magic of ARTificial Intelligence brings creative expression and gender inclusivity together

#artificialintelligence

Women in AI and Women in Tech jointly hosted the grand opening of The Magic of ARTificial Intelligence on Monday, 27 January. Guests were welcomed into the Council Chambers Hall at the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam. The atmospheric venue is Amsterdam's former city hall and has hosted many historic celebrations, including the civil ceremony of Queen Beatrix's wedding in 1966. The room's dark wood panelling, soft lighting and artwork set the tone for an inspiring evening that included a series of presentations. Throughout the evening, artists, designers and musicians discussed how AI and data paved the way for new possibilities in their work.


AI Can Rescue Hospitality By Kevin McCarthy – Hospitality Net

#artificialintelligence

It's 2020, my name is Jack and I work at the front desk of a busy 3-star hotel at Amsterdam airport called the Grand Hotel (fictitious). Our clientele is the usual airport hotel clientele you would expect, crews, holidaymakers, business travelers, and in low season some tour groups. There are 300 rooms, and we have a large restaurant and a lobby bar as well as gym, meeting rooms etc. This morning was a particularly hard morning at checkout though. The car parking validator broke down and that just transcended us into a bad place.


All it takes to fool facial recognition at airports and border crossings is a printed mask, researchers found

#artificialintelligence

Facial recognition is being widely embraced as a security tool -- law enforcement and corporations alike are rolling it out to keep tabs on who's accessing airports, stores, and smartphones. As it turns out, the technology is fallible. Researchers with the artificial-intelligence firm Kneron announced that they were able to fool some facial-recognition systems using a printed mask depicting a different person's face. The researchers, who tested systems across three continents, said they fooled payment tablets run by the Chinese companies Alipay and WeChat, as well as a system at a border checkpoint in China. In Amsterdam, a printed mask fooled facial recognition at a passport-control gate at Schiphol Airport, they said.


Paper Masks Are Fooling Facial Recognition Software

#artificialintelligence

Facial recognition is being widely embraced as a security tool -- law enforcement and corporations alike are rolling it out to keep tabs on who's accessing airports, stores, and smartphones. As it turns out, the technology is fallible. Researchers with the artificial-intelligence firm Kneron announced that they were able to fool some facial-recognition systems using a printed mask depicting a different person's face. The researchers, who tested systems across three continents, said they fooled payment tablets run by the Chinese companies Alipay and WeChat, as well as a system at a border checkpoint in China. In Amsterdam, a printed mask fooled facial recognition at a passport-control gate at Schiphol Airport, they said.