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Winvic uses AI to predict and prevent accidents


In the 2002 sci-fi movie Minority Report, Tom Cruise's policeman character is able to see crimes before they are committed and arrest murderers before anyone gets killed. For Winvic, the future is using artificial intelligence (AI) to spot construction site accidents before anyone gets hurt. Winvic is working on the government-funded project with the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) Big Data Enterprise & Artificial Intelligence Lab (Big-DEAL) and Bristol industrial intelligent video specialists One Big Circle. Their project uses real-time images and machine learning technologies to detect, recognise and track hazards on a construction site, which will then alert nearby operatives via Internet of Things enabled, global positioning system (GPS) devices. Dubbed as Computer-Vision-SMART, the'Computer Vision and IoT for Personalised Site Monitoring Analytics in Real Time' project will run for two years thanks to a £600,000 grant from Innovate UK.

Another reminder that bias, testing, diversity is needed in machine learning: Twitter's image-crop AI may favor white men, women's chests


Concerns about bias or unfair results in AI systems have come to the fore in recent years as the technology has infiltrated hiring, insurance, law enforcement, advertising, and other aspects of society. Prejudiced code may be a source of indignation on social media but it affects people's access to opportunities and resources in the real world. It's something that needs to be dealt with on a national and international level. A variety of factors go into making insufficiently neutral systems, such as unrepresentative training data, lack of testing on diverse subjects at scale, lack of diversity among research teams, and so on. But among those who developed Twitter's cropping algorithm, several expressed frustration about the assumptions being made about their work. Ferenc Huszár, former Twitter employee, one of the co-authors of Twitter's image pruning research, and now a senior lecturer on machine-learning at University of Cambridge, acknowledged there's reason to look into the results people have been reporting though cautioned against jumping to conclusions about negligence or lack of oversight. Some of the outrage was based on a small number of reported failure cases. While these failures look very bad, there's work to be done to determine the degree to which they are associated w/ race or gender.

High-tech Ship Marks 400 Anniversary of the Mayflower


A high-tech ship is marking the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower -- the ship that carried a group of European settlers to North America. The famous trip prepared the way for England's colonization of what Europeans in 1620 called the New World. The anniversary was marked this week in Plymouth, England – the starting point for the historic Mayflower crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. Local officials gathered with sea travelers and scientists for the launch of the new ship. It is called the Mayflower Autonomous Ship.

An A.I.-Driven 'Mayflower' Will Cross the Atlantic Next Year


In September 1620, a wooden ship called the Mayflower departed Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers across the Atlantic on a history-making voyage. This week, another Mayflower debuted at the same port--but unlike its predecessor, the new vessel has no human crew, passengers or captain, reports Jill Lawless for the Associated Press. Created by marine research organization ProMare and tech company IBM, the modern ship is piloted entirely by artificial intelligence (A.I.). Soon, it will embark for Cape Cod, Massachusetts, powered by the sun and wind as it undertakes a pioneering research expedition. Originally slated to complete its trip this year, the A.I.-driven Mayflower Autonomous Ship will undergo six months of trials before attempting a trans-Atlantic voyage in spring 2021.

How NVIDIA's Arm acquisition will drive AI to every edge


NVIDIA is sitting pretty in AI (artificial intelligence) right now. For the next few years, most AI systems will continue to be trained on NVIDIA GPUs and specialized hardware and cloud services that incorporate these processors. However, NVIDIA has been frustrated in its attempts to become a dominant provider of AI chips for deployment into smartphones, embedded systems, and other edge devices. To address that strategic gap, NVIDIA this past week announced that it is acquiring processor architecture firm Arm Holdings from SoftBank Group and the SoftBank Vision Fund. Once the acquisition closes in the expected 18 months, NVIDIA will retain Arm's name, brand identity, management team, and base of operations in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

AI shows how hydrogen becomes a metal inside giant planets


Researchers have used a combination of AI and quantum mechanics to reveal how hydrogen gradually turns into a metal in giant planets. Dense metallic hydrogen – a phase of hydrogen which behaves like an electrical conductor – makes up the interior of giant planets, but it is difficult to study and poorly understood. By combining artificial intelligence and quantum mechanics, researchers have found how hydrogen becomes a metal under the extreme pressure conditions of these planets. The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, IBM Research and EPFL, used machine learning to mimic the interactions between hydrogen atoms in order to overcome the size and timescale limitations of even the most powerful supercomputers. They found that instead of happening as a sudden, or first-order, transition, the hydrogen changes in a smooth and gradual way. The results are reported in the journal Nature.

AI Summit 2020: Regulating AI for the common good


Artificial intelligence requires carefully considered regulation to ensure technologies balance cooperation and competition for the greater good, according to expert speakers at the AI Summit 2020. As a general purpose technology, artificial intelligence (AI) can be used in a staggering array of contexts, with many advocates framing its rapid development as a cooperative endeavour for the benefit of all humanity. The United Nations, for example, launched it's AI for Good initiative in 2017, while the French and Chinese governments talk of "AI for Humanity" and "AI for the benefit of mankind" respectively – rhetoric echoed by many other governments and supra-national bodies across the world. On the other hand, these same advocates also use language and rhetoric that emphasises the competitive advantages AI could bring in the more narrow pursuit of national interest. "Just as in international politics, there's a tension between an agreed aspiration to build AI for humanity, and for the common good, and the more selfish and narrow drive to compete to have advantage," said Allan Dafoe, director of the Centre for the Governance of AI at Oxford University, speaking at the AI Summit, which took place online this week.

400 years later, a new Mayflower will sail without humans


The Mayflower is taking to the water in Plymouth harbor. It's not the ship that left this southwest England port 400 years ago carrying Pilgrim settlers to America. The sleek vessel being readied Tuesday for its official launch has no passengers, no crew -- but like its predecessor, an ambitious mission. The 50-foot (15-meter) trimaran has "no one on board, no captain, no place to eat, no place to sleep," said Brett Phaneuf, co-director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project. The ship is set to follow in its forebear's footsteps by crossing the Atlantic from Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, this time on a marine research trip.

Police drones are taking to the skies


Police forces in the UK are trialing the use of drones to provide air support to forces on the ground in cases where deploying a helicopter or an aeroplane might be less practical. The National Police Air Services (NPAS), the police aviation service that assists territorial police forces in England and Wales, is evaluating how drone technology might complement its existing national fleet of helicopters and planes. First trials for the technology kicked off at West Wales Airport near Aberporth, and included various typical scenarios that the NPAS's fleet might be confronted with. Typically, police forces request NPAS to assist them with tasks such as searching for suspects or missing people, vehicle pursuits, public order, counter-terrorism and firearms incidents. The NPAS is evaluating how drone technology might complement its existing national fleet of helicopters and aeroplanes.

Tech mega-deal: Nvidia will buy chip designer for $40 billion


Nvidia, a Silicon Valley graphics chip maker riding a hot streak, has reached a deal to buy a British chip designer, betting the transaction can propel Nvidia to a leadership position in a new computer era powered by artificial intelligence, the tech titan said Sunday. "AI is the most powerful technology force of our time and has launched a new wave of computing," Jensen Huang, founder and chief executive officer of Nvidia, referring to artificial intelligence, stated in a blog post on Sunday. Santa Clara-based Nvidia has agreed to pay $40 billion to buy Arm, an England-based unit of tech titan Softbank, marking one of the largest semiconductor industry deals ever. "In the years ahead, trillions of computers running AI will create a new internet-of-things that is thousands of times larger than today's internet-of-people," Huang said in a blog post on the Nvidia web site. In a previous blog post, Nvidia made it clear that it intended to become an ever-bigger player in the new and increasingly connected world of artificial intelligence.