Industry


Robots conduct daily health inspections of schoolchildren in China

New Scientist

Please stand in front of Walklake for your examination. This health checking robot takes just 3 seconds to diagnose a variety of ailments in children, including conjunctivitis, and hand, foot and mouth disease. Over 2000 preschools in China, with children aged between 2 and 6, are using Walklake every morning to check the health status of their students. Walklake has a boxy body and smiling cartoony face.


Dreams becomes reality: the game that can make an artist out of anyone

The Guardian

As a digital artist and experimental games designer, I was one of the first in line to dive into Dreams – a PlayStation 4 game that aims to give everyone the ability to unlock the potential artist within – when the developer Media Molecule opened up limited early access in April. From the breadth of its artistic toolset to the community of creators it is enabling, Dreams feels like the start of a genuine revolution in accessible, creative play. The promise was that Dreams would represent a space where almost anything is possible, and Media Molecule has somehow got closer than I ever imagined. Dreams is hard to sum up succinctly, but it sits somewhere at the intersection of art studio, game engine and vibrant creative community hub. Almost the first thing new players see is a fun video of the development staff, smiling together in their office and holding up handmade "Welcome" signs.


Alexa, why does the brave new world of AI have all the sexism of the old one?

The Guardian

When women are over-represented in the workforce, it tends be in industries of assistance – cleaning, nursing, secretarial work and, now, the world of virtual assistants. Research by Unesco has shown that using default female voices in AI – as Microsoft has done with Cortana, Amazon with Alexa, Google with Google Assistant and Apple with Siri – is furthering the belief that women exist merely to help men to get on with more important things. There is no real reason for AI technologies to be gendered at all, but we are at the mercy of tech companies "staffed by overwhelmingly male engineering teams", fixated on living out a Captain Kirk fantasy and delegating to the subservient, silky-voiced computers of Star Trek. These systems are unapologetically built by men, for men. They can even struggle to understand the "breathy" voices of women as software is often developed with male voice samples.


The backlash against face recognition has begun – but who will win?

New Scientist

A growing backlash against face recognition suggests the technology has a reached a crucial tipping point, as battles over its use are erupting on numerous fronts. Face-tracking cameras have been trialled in public by at least three UK police forces in the last four years. A court case against one force, South Wales Police, began earlier this week, backed by human rights group Liberty. Ed Bridges, an office worker from Cardiff whose image was captured during a test in 2017, says the technology is an unlawful violation of privacy, an accusation the police force denies. Avoiding the camera's gaze has got others in trouble.


5 Steps to Maximize Business Impact with Machine Learning

#artificialintelligence

Regardless of the metric you decide to optimize, it's necessary to establish a baseline measure of performance. This baseline provides a point of comparison that enables you to track your progress. It also allows you to judge the rate of return you'll get by increasing the complexity of your modeling solution. Suppose you work for a real estate firm and are asked to build a model to predict the price of a house. You decide to optimize for RMSE and build a linear regression model with features including the square footage of the house, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and other information.


Exploratory Data Analysis (Non-Visual)

#artificialintelligence

I get asked many times "How can I do a good Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) so that I get the necessary information for feature engineering and building machine learning model?" In this and the next post, I hope to get the question answered. I will NOT claim my process is the best but I hope as more people come into the field, they can use my process as a basis for better EDA and build better models. There are two main benefits of doing EDA and these benefits will reap benefits through the model building process. I will discuss EDA in two posts, non-visual (mainly through simple calculations) and visual.


Is it time for Alexa and Siri to have a "MeToo moment"?

#artificialintelligence

More people will speak to a voice assistance machine than to their partners in the next five years, the U.N. says, so it matters what they have to say. The numbers are eye-popping: 85% of Americans use at least one product with artificial intelligence (AI), and global use will reach 1.8 billion by 2021, so the impact of these "robot overlords" is unparalleled. But (AI) voice assistants, including Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google's Assistant are inflaming gender stereotypes and teaching sexism to a generation of millennials by creating a model of "docile and eager-to-please helpers," with acceptance of sexual harassment and verbal abuse, a new U.N. study says. A 145-page U.N. report published this week by the educational, scientific and cultural organization UNESCO concludes that the voices we speak to are programmed to be submissive and accept abuse as a norm. The report is titled, "I'd blush if I could: Closing Gender Divides in Digital Skills Through Education."


AI Goes To High School

#artificialintelligence

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.


Historic Global AI Agreement Achieved by OECD

#artificialintelligence

Today global history was made, as the first intergovernmental standard on artificial intelligence (AI) was adopted by the OECD--a geopolitical milestone achievement. There is a worldwide investment rush underway in artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Both public and private investment funding are pouring into AI, as nations and corporations seek to gain economic benefits and competitive advantages through automation. IDC estimates the global spending on cognitive and AI systems to reach $57.6 billion by 2021. Last year the UK government announced plans to invest £300 million in AI.


Digital Brief: Far-right falsities

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Welcome to EURACTIV's Digital Brief, your weekly update on all things digital in the EU. You can subscribe to the newsletter here. With the Brits and the Dutch heading to the polls today, the big news of the week is the story that Facebook has removed around 80 pages spreading fake news or using tactics aimed at unfairly influencing the polls. The takedowns came following a discovery by the human rights group Avaaz, in which it uncovered far-right disinformation networks in France, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland, posting content that was viewed an estimated 533 million times over the past three months. EURACTIV Digital went to investigate further and paid Avaaz a visit at their recently opened'Citizens' War Room' in Brussels (pictured below).