Information Technology


Machine learning on edge devices solves lack of data scientists

#artificialintelligence

The current approach to AI and machine learning is great for big companies that can afford to hire data scientists. But questions remain as to how smaller companies, which often lack the hiring budgets to bring in high-priced data scientists, can tap into the potential of AI. One potential solution may lie in doing machine learning on edge devices. Gadi Singer, vice president of the Artificial Intelligence Products Group and general manager of architecture at Intel, said in an interview at the O'Reilly AI Conference in New York that even one or two data scientists are enough to manage AI integration at most enterprises. But will the labor force supply adequate amounts of trained data scientists to cover all enterprises' AI ambitions?


Facebook confirms it's working on an AI voice assistant for Portal and Oculus products

#artificialintelligence

Facebook has confirmed a report from earlier today saying it's working on an artificial intelligence-based digital voice assistant in the vein of Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. The news, first reported by CNBC, indicates Facebook isn't giving up on a vision it first put out years ago, when it began developing an AI assistant for its Messenger platform simply called M. This time around, however, Facebook says it is focusing less on messaging and more on platforms in which hands-free interaction, via voice control and potentially gesture control, is paramount. "We are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus and future products," a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge today, following the initial report. That means Facebook may not position the product as a competitor to Alexa or similar platforms, but as more of a feature exclusive to its growing family of hardware devices. CNBC reported that the team building the assistant is working out of Redmond, Washington under the direction of Ira Snyder, a general manager at Facebook Reality Labs and a director of augmented and virtual reality at the company.


Google's brand-new AI ethics board is already falling apart

#artificialintelligence

Just a week after it was announced, Google's new AI ethics board is already in trouble. The board, founded to guide "responsible development of AI" at Google, would have had eight members and met four times over the course of 2019 to consider concerns about Google's AI program. Those concerns include how AI can enable authoritarian states, how AI algorithms produce disparate outcomes, whether to work on military applications of AI, and more. Of the eight people listed in Google's initial announcement, one (privacy researcher Alessandro Acquisti) has announced on Twitter that he won't serve, and two others are the subject of petitions calling for their removal -- Kay Coles James, president of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, and Dyan Gibbens, CEO of drone company Trumbull Unmanned. Thousands of Google employees have signed onto the petition calling for James's removal.


AI Weekly: Contrary to current fears, AI will create jobs and grow GDP

#artificialintelligence

The inevitable march toward automation continues, analysts from the McKinsey Global Institute and from Tata Communications wrote in separate reports this week. Artificial intelligence's growth comes as no surprise -- a survey from Narrative Science and the National Business Research Institute conducted earlier this year found that 61 percent of businesses implemented AI in 2017, up from 38 percent in 2016 -- but this week's findings lay out in detail the likely socioeconomic impacts in the coming decade. The McKinsey models predict that 70 percent of companies will adopt at least one form of AI -- whether computer vision, natural language, virtual assistants, robotic process automation, or advanced machine learning -- by 2020. And Tata found unbridled enthusiasm among business leaders for an AI-dominated future; in a survey of 120 of them, 90 percent said they expect AI to enhance decision-making. McKinsey and Tata both contend that's a good thing.


AI Weekly: Contrary to current fears, AI will create jobs and grow GDP

#artificialintelligence

The inevitable march toward automation continues, analysts from the McKinsey Global Institute and from Tata Communications wrote in separate reports this week. Artificial intelligence's growth comes as no surprise -- a survey from Narrative Science and the National Business Research Institute conducted earlier this year found that 61 percent of businesses implemented AI in 2017, up from 38 percent in 2016 -- but this week's findings lay out in detail the likely socioeconomic impacts in the coming decade. The McKinsey models predict that 70 percent of companies will adopt at least one form of AI -- whether computer vision, natural language, virtual assistants, robotic process automation, or advanced machine learning -- by 2020. And Tata found unbridled enthusiasm among business leaders for an AI-dominated future; in a survey of 120 of them, 90 percent said they expect AI to enhance decision-making. McKinsey and Tata both contend that's a good thing.


AI Weekly: Boston Dynamics robots are terrifying by design

#artificialintelligence

It's the undisputed heavyweight champion of AI held up as proof of machines hell-bent on the destruction of humanity. In my experience seeing Atlas do parkour and backflips, and four-legged Spot robots get pushed around by humans, Boston Dynamics is a close second. These robots fascinate and terrify people. If facial recognition software and Amazon's Alexa are held up as popular examples of surveillance capitalism, Boston Dynamics videos are usually shoved in my face by people afraid of these robots' mobility and physical prowess. This is partially due to the advanced robotics and unique design, and partially due to the success of a YouTube campaign over the course of the past six months in which each video sucks up millions of views.


Facial recognition : 7 trends to watch (2019 review)

#artificialintelligence

Few biometric technologies are sparking the imagination quite like facial recognition. Equally, its arrival has prompted profound concerns and reactions. With artificial intelligence and the blockchain, face recognition certainly represents a significant digital challenge for all companies and organizations - and especially governments. In this dossier, you'll discover the 7 face recognition facts and trends that are set to shape the landscape in 2019. Let's jump right in .


Automate 2019 startup showdown recap

Robohub

It's been two years since the last time I judged the Automate Startup Competition. More than any other trade show contest, this event has been an oracle of future success. In following up with the last vintage of participants, all of the previous entrees are still operating and many are completing multi-million dollar financing rounds. As an indication of the importance of the venue, and quite possibly the growth of the industry, The Robot Report announced last week that 2017 finalist, Kinema Systems was acquired by SoftBank's Boston Dynamics. Traditionally, autonomous machines at the ProMat Show have been relegated to a subsection of the exhibit floor under the Automate brand.


2018 industrial robot sales barely eke out year-over-year gain

Robohub

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR), at a press conference here last week, announced preliminary 2018 figures for the industrial sector of the robotics industry. Last year set another record -- but just barely. It was only up 1% over 2017. No information was given about service and field robotics. It's true that 2017 was a banner year, with a 30% year-over-year gain.


Facial recognition is big tech's latest toxic 'gateway' app John Naughton

The Guardian

The headline above an essay in a magazine published by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) caught my eye. "Facial recognition is the plutonium of AI", it said. Since plutonium – a by-product of uranium-based nuclear power generation – is one of the most toxic materials known to humankind, this seemed like an alarmist metaphor, so I settled down to read. The article, by a Microsoft researcher, Luke Stark, argues that facial-recognition technology – one of the current obsessions of the tech industry – is potentially so toxic for the health of human society that it should be treated like plutonium and restricted accordingly. You could spend a lot of time in Silicon Valley before you heard sentiments like these about a technology that enables computers to recognise faces in a photograph or from a camera.