The 6 most exciting AI advances of 2016 - TechRepublic


Google's AlphaGo beats Lee Sedol at the game of Go In 2016, major automakers like Tesla and Ford announced timelines for releasing fully-autonomous vehicles. DeepMind's AlphaGo, Google's AI system, beat the world champ Lee Sedol at one of the most complex board games in history. And other major advancements in AI have had big implications in healthcare, with some systems proving more effective in detecting cancer than human doctors. Want to learn what other cool things AI did in 2016? Here are TechRepublic's top picks.

The Mirai Botnet Was Part of a College Student Minecraft Scheme


The most dramatic cybersecurity story of 2016 came to a quiet conclusion Friday in an Anchorage courtroom, as three young American computer savants pleaded guilty to masterminding an unprecedented botnet--powered by unsecured internet-of-things devices like security cameras and wireless routers--that unleashed sweeping attacks on key internet services around the globe last fall. What drove them wasn't anarchist politics or shadowy ties to a nation-state.

A Synthetic Character Application for Informed Consent

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We developed an application using synthetic character technology to allow users to practice administering informed consent. The target audience for this application is health communications researchers, field interviewers, and others who administer informed consent to research participants. The synthetic character was designed to simulate a potential participant/respondent in a study who has questions about the study, including many of the queries researchers typically get from research participants. These queries include questions about the sponsor, the content of the study, how respondents were selected, confidentiality, how much time the study is expected to take, benefits and risks, and who to contact for further information. The synthetic character appears on the monitor and asks the questions audibly. The users must respond to these queries correctly, using natural spoken language. The application was developed to be easily adaptable to different projects since each project will have different specific information to impart to participants during informed consent.

Steve Bannon learned to harness troll army from 'World of Warcraft'


A recent interview shed some light on how the president feels about Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon. Kushner walks with Steve Bannon at Indianapolis International Airport on Dec. 1, 2016. Before Steve Bannon oversaw the conservative Breitbart News Network and, subsequently, joined then-candidate Donald Trump's campaign, the chief political strategist became a player in Hollywood and ... World of Warcraft. Bannon's migration from banker at Goldman Sachs to his current post in Trump's inner circle is chronicled in the new book Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency, out Tuesday, by Joshua Green, a reporter with Bloomberg Businessweek. "You can activate that army.

Artificial intelligence has mastered board games; what's the next test?


When a person's intelligence is tested, there are exams. When artificial intelligence is tested, there are games. But what happens when computer programs beat humans at all of those games? This is the question AI experts must ask after a Google-developed program called AlphaGo defeated a world champion Go player in four out of five matches in a series that concluded Tuesday. Long a yardstick for advances in AI, the era of board-game testing has come to an end, said Murray Campbell, an IBM research scientist who was part of the team that developed Deep Blue, the first computer program to beat a world chess champion.