United States


San Francisco Will Use AI To Thwart Racial Bias When Charging Suspects

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San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, left, announces a new AI tool that will curb racial biases when deciding criminal charges, alongside Alex Chohlas-Wood, right, who helped develop the tool.ASSOCIATED PRESS San Francisco says it will start using an artificial intelligence tool to reduce possible racial bias among prosecutors reviewing police reports, a "first-in-the-nation" use of a technology whose applications have been criticized for compounding bias. On Wednesday, District Attorney George Gascón announced that the city on July 1 would begin to use a "bias mitigation tool" that automatically redacts anything on the police report that might be suggestive of race, from hair color to zip code. Information about the police officer, such as badge number, will also be hidden. Currently, the district attorney's office manually removes the first few pages of the report, but if any race details are in the narrative--the section where the police officer describes the crime--prosecutors can see them. "This technology will reduce the threat that implicit bias poses to the purity of decisions which have serious ramifications for the accused, and that will help make our system of justice more fair and just," Gascón said.


How Silicon Valley's whiz-kids finally ran out of friends John Naughton

The Guardian

Remember the time when tech companies were cool? Once upon a time, Silicon Valley was the jewel in the American crown, a magnet for high IQ – and predominately male – talent from all over the world. Palo Alto was the centre of what its more delusional inhabitants regarded as the Florence of Renaissance 2.0. Parents swelled with pride when their offspring landed a job with the Googles, Facebooks and Apples of that world, where they stood a sporting chance of becoming as rich as they might have done if they had joined Goldman Sachs or Lehman Brothers, but without the moral odium attendant on investment backing. I mean to say, where else could you be employed by a company to which every president, prime minister and aspirant politician craved an invitation?


HVAC Giant Trane Acquires EcoFactor's Home Energy Analytics Technology

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EcoFactor is one of several startups with a cloud computing platform to manage and analyze data from smart thermostats and other home energy devices. But it also specializes in using that data to monitor and predict performance problems and impending failures of the air conditioners keeping houses cool. That kind of technology could have a lot of value to the companies that make heating, air conditioning and ventilation equipment -- enough to make it worth owning. On Tuesday, HVAC giant Trane announced it has acquired EcoFactor's energy analytics software for an undisclosed sum. Trane, a brand of Ingersoll Rand, plans to integrate EcoFactor's "unique artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities for energy efficiency and HVAC fault detection" into its existing Nexia home automation line.


Spintronic memory cells for neural networks

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In recent years, researchers have proposed a wide variety of hardware implementations for feed-forward artificial neural networks. These implementations include three key components: a dot-product engine that can compute convolution and fully-connected layer operations, memory elements to store intermediate inter and intra-layer results, and other components that can compute non-linear activation functions. Dot-product engines, which are essentially high-efficiency accelerators, have so far been successfully implemented in hardware in many different ways. In a study published last year, researchers at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana used dot-product circuits to design a cellular neural network (CeNN)-based accelerator for convolutional neural networks (CNNs). The same team, in collaboration with other researchers at the University of Minnesota, has now developed a CeNN cell based on spintronic (i.e., spin electronic) elements with high energy efficiency.


UVM Study: AI Can Detect Depression in a Child's Speech

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A machine learning algorithm can detect signs of anxiety and depression in the speech patterns of young children, potentially providing a fast and easy way of diagnosing conditions that are difficult to spot and often overlooked in young people, according to new research published in the Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics. Around one in five children suffer from anxiety and depression, collectively known as "internalizing disorders." But because children under the age of eight can't reliably articulate their emotional suffering, adults need to be able to infer their mental state, and recognise potential mental health problems. Waiting lists for appointments with psychologists, insurance issues, and failure to recognise the symptoms by parents all contribute to children missing out on vital treatment. "We need quick, objective tests to catch kids when they are suffering," says Ellen McGinnis, a clinical psychologist at the University of Vermont Medical Center's Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families and lead author of the study.


Enhanced Attachment Support for Paginated Reports E-Mail Subscriptions is Now Available Machine Learning Analytikus United States

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In addition to these new attachment types, we've also raised the attachment file size limit to 25 MB for paginated reports to provide new options for popular customer scenarios like scheduled large data exports.


Three Rules When Using AI to Add Value to Your IoT Smart Cities Machine Learning Analytikus United States

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A survey with 83 Gartner Research Circle members indicates that, among 35% of the respondents, "identifying use cases for AI" was the top three challenges in exploring and adopting AI. It's impossible to recommend a single use case that is applicable for every city, because different cities have different priorities for their smart city projects. Among all the IoT use cases in smart cities, which keep evolving and expanding, ensure you give priority to those use cases of higher value. How can the value of use cases be defined in a smart city context then? There are some general principles to follow based on two key parameters: value that the project would bring to the citizens and value that the project would deliver for the governments.


World's first robotic quarterback being trialed by NFL teams

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While the NFL is not normally known for embracing change, certain teams around the league have been quick to adapt to new technologies that will give them an edge or help improve existing training methods. In 2016, the Pittsburgh Steelers were one of the first to trial tackling robots at practice, a device ultimately purchased by a number of NFL teams and colleges. Now it would appear that the use of robotics in football has taken a significant leap forward with the invention of a device that is most simply described as a robotic quarterback. Created by a group of alumni from Iowa University and their company Monarc Sports Robotics, "The Seeker" is capable of delivering a football to any predefined point on the field using tracking software or being used as a more accurate version of a jugs machine. Here's the story behind Seeker, the world's first robotic quarterback developed by Monarc Inc and currently being trialled by a host of NFL and college football teams.


State's driverless, robot shuttle debuts at Farmington's Station Park

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The wave of Utah's transportation future has debuted in Farmington. The Utah Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Utah Transit Authority, has launched their new "Autonomous Shuttle Pilot Project" -- a program that features a robotic vehicle that will travel to different communities throughout the state over the next year. The vehicle began serving Station Park, Farmington's large retail hub, on June 13. Anne Williams, a consultant for UDOT, said the shuttle will operate from noon to 6 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays through July 6. After Station Park, the shuttle will move to different communities throughout Utah for the next year.


San Francisco DA Looks To AI To Remove Potential Prosecution Bias

NPR Technology

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with San Francisco district attorney George Gascon about his plan to use artificial intelligence to combat racial bias in criminal sentencing.