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Future of AI Part 5: The Cutting Edge of AI

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Edmond de Belamy is a Generative Adversarial Network portrait painting constructed in 2018 by Paris-based arts-collective Obvious and sold for $432,500 in Southebys in October 2018.



Trajectory annotation using sequences of spatial perception

arXiv.org Machine Learning

In the near future, more and more machines will perform tasks in the vicinity of human spaces or support them directly in their spatially bound activities. In order to simplify the verbal communication and the interaction between robotic units and/or humans, reliable and robust systems w.r.t. noise and processing results are needed. This work builds a foundation to address this task. By using a continuous representation of spatial perception in interiors learned from trajectory data, our approach clusters movement in dependency to its spatial context. We propose an unsupervised learning approach based on a neural autoencoding that learns semantically meaningful continuous encodings of spatio-temporal trajectory data. This learned encoding can be used to form prototypical representations. We present promising results that clear the path for future applications.


Gaussian-Dirichlet Random Fields for Inference over High Dimensional Categorical Observations

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We propose a generative model for the spatio-temporal distribution of high dimensional categorical observations. These are commonly produced by robots equipped with an imaging sensor such as a camera, paired with an image classifier, potentially producing observations over thousands of categories. The proposed approach combines the use of Dirichlet distributions to model sparse co-occurrence relations between the observed categories using a latent variable, and Gaussian processes to model the latent variable's spatio-temporal distribution. Experiments in this paper show that the resulting model is able to efficiently and accurately approximate the temporal distribution of high dimensional categorical measurements such as taxonomic observations of microscopic organisms in the ocean, even in unobserved (held out) locations, far from other samples. This work's primary motivation is to enable deployment of informative path planning techniques over high dimensional categorical fields, which until now have been limited to scalar or low dimensional vector observations.


Noah Schwartz, Co-Founder & CEO of Quorum – Interview Series

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Noah is an AI systems architect. Prior to founding Quorum, Noah spent 12 years in academic research, first at the University of Southern California and most recently at Northwestern as the Assistant Chair of Neurobiology. His work focused on information processing in the brain and he has translated his research into products in augmented reality, brain-computer interfaces, computer vision, and embedded robotics control systems. Your interest in AI and robotics started as a little boy. How were you first introduced to these technologies?


Noah Schwartz, Co-Founder & CEO of Quorum – Interview Series

#artificialintelligence

Noah is an AI systems architect. Prior to founding Quorum, Noah spent 12 years in academic research, first at the University of Southern California and most recently at Northwestern as the Assistant Chair of Neurobiology. His work focused on information processing in the brain and he has translated his research into products in augmented reality, brain-computer interfaces, computer vision, and embedded robotics control systems. Your interest in AI and robotics started as a little boy. How were you first introduced to these technologies?


VisuoSpatial Foresight for Multi-Step, Multi-Task Fabric Manipulation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Robotic fabric manipulation has applications in cloth and cable management, senior care, surgery and more. Existing fabric manipulation techniques, however, are designed for specific tasks, making it difficult to generalize across different but related tasks. We address this problem by extending the recently proposed Visual Foresight framework to learn fabric dynamics, which can be efficiently reused to accomplish a variety of different fabric manipulation tasks with a single goal-conditioned policy. We introduce VisuoSpatial Foresight (VSF), which extends prior work by learning visual dynamics on domain randomized RGB images and depth maps simultaneously and completely in simulation. We experimentally evaluate VSF on multi-step fabric smoothing and folding tasks both in simulation and on the da Vinci Research Kit (dVRK) surgical robot without any demonstrations at train or test time. Furthermore, we find that leveraging depth significantly improves performance for cloth manipulation tasks, and results suggest that leveraging RGBD data for video prediction and planning yields an 80% improvement in fabric folding success rate over pure RGB data. Supplementary material is available at https://sites.google.com/view/fabric-vsf/.


Alphabet's Next Billion-Dollar Business: 10 Industries To Watch - CB Insights Research

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Alphabet is using its dominance in the search and advertising spaces -- and its massive size -- to find its next billion-dollar business. From healthcare to smart cities to banking, here are 10 industries the tech giant is targeting. With growing threats from its big tech peers Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, Alphabet's drive to disrupt has become more urgent than ever before. The conglomerate is leveraging the power of its first moats -- search and advertising -- and its massive scale to find its next billion-dollar businesses. To protect its current profits and grow more broadly, Alphabet is edging its way into industries adjacent to the ones where it has already found success and entering new spaces entirely to find opportunities for disruption. Evidence of Alphabet's efforts is showing up in several major industries. For example, the company is using artificial intelligence to understand the causes of diseases like diabetes and cancer and how to treat them. Those learnings feed into community health projects that serve the public, and also help Alphabet's effort to build smart cities. Elsewhere, Alphabet is using its scale to build a better virtual assistant and own the consumer electronics software layer. It's also leveraging that scale to build a new kind of Google Pay-operated checking account. In this report, we examine how Alphabet and its subsidiaries are currently working to disrupt 10 major industries -- from electronics to healthcare to transportation to banking -- and what else might be on the horizon. Within the world of consumer electronics, Alphabet has already found dominance with one product: Android. Mobile operating system market share globally is controlled by the Linux-based OS that Google acquired in 2005 to fend off Microsoft and Windows Mobile. Today, however, Alphabet's consumer electronics strategy is being driven by its work in artificial intelligence. Google is building some of its own hardware under the Made by Google line -- including the Pixel smartphone, the Chromebook, and the Google Home -- but the company is doing more important work on hardware-agnostic software products like Google Assistant (which is even available on iOS).


Towards a Framework for Visual Intelligence in Service Robotics: Epistemic Requirements and Gap Analysis

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

A key capability required by service robots operating in real-world, dynamic environments is that of Visual Intelligence, i.e., the ability to use their vision system, reasoning components and background knowledge to make sense of their environment. In this paper, we analyze the epistemic requirements for Visual Intelligence, both in a top-down fashion, using existing frameworks for human-like Visual Intelligence in the literature, and from the bottom up, based on the errors emerging from object recognition trials in a real-world robotic scenario. Finally, we use these requirements to evaluate current knowledge bases for Service Robotics and to identify gaps in the support they provide for Visual Intelligence. These gaps provide the basis of a research agenda for developing more effective knowledge representations for Visual Intelligence.


Model Assertions for Monitoring and Improving ML Models

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

ML models are increasingly deployed in settings with real world interactions such as vehicles, but unfortunately, these models can fail in systematic ways. To prevent errors, ML engineering teams monitor and continuously improve these models. We propose a new abstraction, model assertions, that adapts the classical use of program assertions as a way to monitor and improve ML models. Model assertions are arbitrary functions over a model's input and output that indicate when errors may be occurring, e.g., a function that triggers if an object rapidly changes its class in a video. We propose methods of using model assertions at all stages of ML system deployment, including runtime monitoring, validating labels, and continuously improving ML models. For runtime monitoring, we show that model assertions can find high confidence errors, where a model returns the wrong output with high confidence, which uncertainty-based monitoring techniques would not detect. For training, we propose two methods of using model assertions. First, we propose a bandit-based active learning algorithm that can sample from data flagged by assertions and show that it can reduce labeling costs by up to 40% over traditional uncertainty-based methods. Second, we propose an API for generating "consistency assertions" (e.g., the class change example) and weak labels for inputs where the consistency assertions fail, and show that these weak labels can improve relative model quality by up to 46%. We evaluate model assertions on four real-world tasks with video, LIDAR, and ECG data.