University of Toronto graduate student Avishek "Joey" Bose, under the supervision of associate professor Parham Aarabi in the school's department of electrical and computer engineering, has created an algorithm that dynamically disrupts facial recognition systems. The project has privacy-related and even safety-related implications for systems that use so-called machine learning -- and for all of us whose data may be used in ways we don't realize. Major companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Netflix are today leveraging machine learning. Financial trading firms and health care companies are using it, too -- as are smart car manufacturers. What is machine learning, anyway?
Google's Mobile Vision now gains the ability to read text. Google has introduced a new Text API for its Mobile Vision framework that allows Android developers to integrate optical-character recognition (OCR) into their apps. The new Text API appears in the recently-updated Google Play Services version 9.2, which restores Mobile Vision, Google's system to make it easy for developers to add facial detection and barcode-reading functionality to Android apps. The Text OCR technology currently can recognize text in any Latin-based language, covering most European languages, including English, German, and French, as well as Turkish. Google has added Word Lens, a technology acquired last year, to its Google Translate app.
Starting September 2019 in the European Union, a large portion of online payments greater than €30 (currently about $35) will require multifactor authentication. Consumers will need to use two of three things to verify transactions: something they know, like a password; something they have, like a digital device, perhaps a USB token, that identifies them; or something they are: biometric data. Proofs based on physical characteristics, like fingerprints and faces, are slowly becoming more common. This legislation will likely cause them to surge. Most consumers using biometrics will likely do so on their phones, many of which already have technology that payment-service providers will use to verify payments--such as Apple Inc.'s Touch ID fingerprint sensors or Face ID facial-recognition software on its iPhones.
Today, Google announced the beta release of its Google Cloud Vision API. The API was designed to empower applications to both see and understand images submitted to the API. With powerful features such as label/entity detection, optical character recognition, safe search detection, facial detection, landmark detection, and logo detection; the Cloud Vision API gives applications unprecedented ability to comprehend the situation within an image. With the new API, Google enters a rapidly developing market where both startups and major enterprises are producing cutting edge technology. From Microsoft, with its Project Oxford, to niche startups like Cognitec and Lambda Labs; image analysis is proving to be an attractive space as it appeals across industries from marketing to security.
For the past few years, the world's biggest tech companies have been on a mission to put artificial-intelligence tools in the hands of every coder. The benefits are clear: Coders familiar with free AI frameworks from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, or Facebook might be more inclined to someday work for one of those talent-starved companies. Even if they don't, selling pre-built AI tools to other companies has become big business for Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Today these same companies are under fire from their employees over who this technology is being sold to, namely branches of the US government like the Department of Defense and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Workers from Google, Microsoft, and now Amazon have signed petitions and quit in protest of the government work.