We are presently living in an age of "artificial intelligence" -- but not how the companies selling "AI" would have you believe. According to Silicon Valley, machines are rapidly surpassing human performance on a variety of tasks from mundane, but well-defined and useful ones like automatic transcription to much vaguer skills like "reading comprehension" and "visual understanding." According to some, these skills even represent rapid progress toward "Artificial General Intelligence," or systems which are capable of learning new skills on their own. Given these grand and ultimately false claims, we need media coverage that holds tech companies to account. Far too often, what we get instead is breathless "gee whiz" reporting, even in venerable publications like The New York Times.
Google Maps is getting an "Immersive View" that will offer users digitally rendered looks at major US cityscapes, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai told the audience at Google's I/O 2022 keynote on Wednesday. The new feature uses computer vision and AI to blend Maps' existing Street View function with aerial photography to create high-resolution models of the various buildings and urban features of a given location. "With our new immersive view, you'll be able to experience what a neighborhood, landmark, restaurant or popular venue is like -- and even feel like you're right there before you ever set foot inside," wrote Miriam Daniel, VP of Google Maps, in a blog post. What's more, Maps' other tools and features can be applied to the view as well, enabling users to see what the area looks like at different times of the day and varying weather conditions. Immersive View will first be available for Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo later this year, with more cities to follow.
Clearview AI has promised to stop selling its controversial face-recognizing tech to most private US companies in a settlement proposed this week with the ACLU. The New-York-based startup made headlines in 2020 for scraping billions of images from people's public social media pages. These photographs were used to build a facial-recognition database system, allowing the biz to link future snaps of people to their past and current online profiles. Clearview's software can, for example, be shown a face from a CCTV still, and if it recognizes the person from its database, it can return not only the URLs to that person's social networking pages, from where they were first seen, but also copies that allow that person to be identified, traced, and contacted. That same year, the ACLU sued the biz, claiming it violated Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which requires organizations operating in the US state to obtain explicit consent from its residents to collect their biometric data, which includes their photographs.
The wildly popular FIFA video-game series will be rebranded EA Sports FC next year, its publisher Electronic Arts said on Tuesday, ending a three-decade relationship with football's governing body. Launched in 1993, a generation of millions of football fans and gamers across the globe grew up playing the game and it became a huge money-spinner. But "months of tense negotiations" between California-based Electronic Arts (EA) and governing body FIFA failed to end in an agreement to extend the partnership, The New York Times reported. FIFA reportedly wanted the $150 million it gets annually from EA to be increased to $250 million or more. The game has more than 150 million player accounts, according to EA, and The New York Times said it had generated more than $20 billion in sales over the past two decades.
This might sound like a hot take but it's not: In 50 years, when historians look back on the crazy 2020s, they might point to advances in artificial intelligence as the most important long-term development of our time. We are building machines that can mimic human language, human creativity, and human thought. What will that mean for the future of work, morality, and economics? Bestselling author Steven Johnson joins the podcast to talk about the most exciting and scary ideas in artificial intelligence and an article he wrote for The New York Times Magazine about the frontier of AI.
China has developed a remote sensing satellite powered by the latest artificial intelligence technology that helps the People's Liberation Army (PLA) trace the movements of U.S. aircraft carriers. A new study by Chinese space scientists said the technology was put into use last year in June to detect the movements of the USS Harry S. Truman. The satellite, which has not been named in the study, is said to have alerted Beijing with the precise coordinates of the carrier as it headed to a strait transit drill off the coast of Long Island in New York, reported South China Morning Post. According to the study published by the domestic peer-reviewed journal Spacecraft Engineering last month, the drill held on June 17 involved a joint action of seven warships and planes beside the USS Harry S Truman. Before this satellite, the PLA had to go through a large amount of raw satellite data on the ground to get a clue about such drills happening in the U.S. home waters, and the results usually came after the event was over, the report added. But, with the AI-powered satellites, China could now "live stream" military activities or assets of interest on the other side of the planet, the report quoted the study by space scientist Yang Fang and her colleagues with DFH Satellite.
Bob Muglia says twenty years of work on database innovation will bring the relational calculus of E.F. Codd to knowledge graphs, what he calls "relational knowledge graphs," to revolutionize business analysis. Bob Muglia is something of a bard of databases, capable of unfurling sweeping tales in the evolution of technology. That is what Muglia, former Microsoft executive and former Snowflake CEO, did Wednesday morning during his keynote address at The Knowledge Graph Conference in New York. The subject of his talk, "From the Modern Data Stack to Knowledge Graphs," united roughly fifty years of database technology in one new form.
Beginning in 2013, the Dutch government used an algorithm to wreak havoc in the lives of 25,000 parents. The software was meant to predict which people were most likely to commit childcare-benefit fraud, but the government did not wait for proof before penalizing families and demanding that they pay back years of allowances. Families were flagged on the basis of'risk factors' such as having a low income or dual nationality. As a result, tens of thousands were needlessly impoverished, and more than 1,000 children were placed in foster care. From New York City to California and the European Union, many artificial intelligence (AI) regulations are in the works.
Elon Musk's Neuralink rival Synchron has begun human trials of its brain implant that lets the wearer control a computer using thought alone. The firm's Stentrode brain implant, about the size of a paperclip, will be implanted in six patients in New York and Pittsburgh who have severe paralysis. Stentrode will let patients control digital devices just by thinking and give them back the ability to perform daily tasks, including texting, emailing and shopping online. Although the implant has already been implanted and tested in Australian patients, the new clinical trial marks the first time it will be tested in the US. If successful, the Stentrode brain implant could be sold as a commercial product aimed at paralysis patients to regain their independence and quality of life.