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.
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.
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.
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Shareholders seeking to halt Amazon's sale of its facial recognition technology to US police forces have been defeated in two votes that sought to pressure the company into a rethink. Civil rights campaigners had said it was "perhaps the most dangerous surveillance technology ever developed". But investors rejected the proposals at the company's annual general meeting. That meant less than 50% voted for either of the measures. A breakdown of the results has yet to be disclosed.
Artificial intelligence has long been thought of in terms similar to that of fusion power -- it's always 20 years away. Outside, it was a normal morning. Inside, looking out the window and barely noticing the chickadee, the business woman, a manager at a large call center downtown, waited for her morning coffee. It was a short wait. Her coffee maker knew that she woke at 5:30 a.m. It knew that because the alarm clock in the woman's bedroom sensed her movement and saved that information to the woman's Amazon Web Services (AWS) account. The coffee maker, also tied to that AWS account, took the hint and turned itself on. Ten minutes later, the shower came on in the bathroom. This also was noted by the house's systems and that data point was duly recorded by the woman's AWS account. That was the next cue for the coffee maker. It was plumbed directly into the house's water lines, and it opened the valve and filled itself with just the right amount of water to brew the coffee. It was brewing as the woman dressed, and five minutes after the woman appeared, the coffee was delivered to her by her Boston Dynamics personal assistant. She took a sip, just as the chickadee flew away. It was now 6:30 a.m., and time to leave for the office. Just like every other weekday, it would be a peaceful commute. As she left her apartment building and the door closed behind her, her ride was just pulling up to the curb.
San Francisco supervisors approved a ban on police using facial recognition technology, making it the first city in the U.S. with such a restriction. Amazon shareholders will continue selling the company's facial recognition technology "Rekognition" to governments and law enforcement agencies. During the e-commerce giant's annual meeting Wednesday, shareholders rejected all proposals including two related to Rekognition, Amazon confirmed to USA TODAY. One proposed banning the sales of the technology and the other called for the company to conduct an independent study and issue a report on the risks of governments using the technology. Amazon did not release shareholder vote totals Wednesday but said information would be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission later in the week.
Inland Empire Health Plan in Rancho Cucamonga, California, is the largest not-for-profit Medi-Cal and Medicare health plan in the Inland Empire, a metropolitan area in Southern California. Comprehensive medication reviews, a significant utilizer of trained clinical pharmacist resources, were not focused on plan members most in need, and the review process was manual and time-consuming. Moreover, it was unclear if member outcomes were improving because of this program. Preveon is a specialty pharmacy focused on chronic disease management. Inland Empire Health Plan has outsourced its medication review process to Preveon for its MyMeds Program, and as such, purchased Surveyor Health licenses and allocated them to Preveon.
U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) today proposed the Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act, legislation to pump $2.2 billion into federal research and development and create a national AI strategy. The $2.2 billion would be doled out over the course of the next 5 years to federal agencies like the Department of Energy, Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and others. The legislation would establish a National AI Coordination Office to lead federal AI efforts, require the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the effects of AI on society and education, and allocate $40 million a year to NIST to create AI evaluation standards. The bill would also include $20 million a year from 2020-2024 to fund the creation of 5 multidisciplinary AI research centers, with one focused solely on K-12 education. Plans to open national AI centers in the bill closely resembles plans from the 20-year AI research program proposed by the Computing Consortium.