A new tool helps us understand what an AI is actually thinking


Google researchers developed a way to peer inside the minds of deep-learning systems, and the results are delightfully weird. What they did: The team built a tool that combines several techniques to provide people with a clearer idea of how neural networks make decisions. Applied to image classification, it lets a person visualize how the network develops its understanding of what is, for instance, a kitten or a Labrador. The visualizations, above, are ... strange. Why it matters: Deep learning is powerful--but opaque.

Google shows how AI might detect lung cancer faster and more reliably


New research from Google shows how machine learning could one day be used to detect signs of lung cancer earlier than often occurs today. Early warning: Danial Tse, a researcher at Google, developed an algorithm that beat a number of trained radiologists in testing. Tse and colleagues trained a deep-learning algorithm to detect malignant lung nodules in more than 42,000 CT scans. The resulting algorithms turned up 11% fewer false positives and 5% fewer false negatives than their human counterparts. The work is described in a paper published in the journal Nature today.

America and its economic allies have announced five "democratic" principles for AI


The Trump administration might be building walls between America and some countries, but it is eager to forge alliances when it comes to shaping the course of artificial intelligence. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a coalition of countries dedicated to promoting democracy and economic development, has announced a set of five principles for the development and deployment of artificial intelligence. The announcement came at a meeting of the OECD Forum in Paris. The OECD does not include China, and the principles outlined by the group seem to contrast with the way AI is being deployed there, especially for face recognition and surveillance of ethnic groups associated with political dissent. Speaking at the event, America's recently appointed CTO, Michael Kratsios, said, "We are so pleased that the OECD AI recommendations address so many of the issues which are being tackled by the American AI Initiative."

How to Develop Your Own AI Playbook - MIT Technology Review


Andrew Ng, in discussion with MIT Technology Review's Will Knight, closes EmTech Digital with advice on how to chart your own path forward in the AI Era. Dr. Andrew Ng is the founder and CEO of Landing AI and deeplearning.ai As the former chief scientist at Baidu and the founding lead of Google Brain, he led the AI transformation of two of the world's leading technology companies. A longtime advocate of accessible education, Dr. Ng is the cofounder of Coursera and founder of deeplearning.ai, He is also an adjunct professor in Stanford University's computer science department.

Zooming in on climate predictions


In the quest to better understand climate change, there is plenty we still don't know. But the question isn't whether or not climate change is happening. "What we sometimes hear on the news is political manufactured uncertainty," said Auroop Ganguly, a professor of civil & environmental engineering at Northeastern. Instead, real climate change uncertainty stems from the challenge of simulating the future. What will happen to Boston's electric grid under long-term extreme weather conditions?