Amazon needs to come clean about racial bias in its algorithms


Yesterday, Amazon's quiet Rekognition program became very public, as new documents obtained by the ACLU of Northern California showed the system partnering with the city of Orlando and police camera vendors like Motorola Solutions for an aggressive new real-time facial recognition service. Amazon insists that the service is a simple object-recognition tool and will only be used for legal purposes. But even if we take the company at its word, the project raises serious concerns, particularly around racial bias. Facial recognition systems have long struggled with higher error rates for women and people of color -- error rates that can translate directly into more stops and arrests for marginalized groups. And while some companies have responded with public bias testing, Amazon hasn't shared any data on the issue, if it's collected data at all.

A Comparison of Dynamic Reposing and Tangent Distance for Drug Activity Prediction

Neural Information Processing Systems

Thomas G. Dietterich Arris Pharmaceutical Corporation and Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 97331-3202 Ajay N. Jain Arris Pharmaceutical Corporation 385 Oyster Point Blvd., Suite 3 South San Francisco, CA 94080 Richard H. Lathrop and Tomas Lozano-Perez Arris Pharmaceutical Corporation and MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory 545 Technology Square Cambridge, MA 02139 Abstract In drug activity prediction (as in handwritten character recognition), thefeatures extracted to describe a training example depend on the pose (location, orientation, etc.) of the example. In handwritten characterrecognition, one of the best techniques for addressing thisproblem is the tangent distance method of Simard, LeCun and Denker (1993). Jain, et al. (1993a; 1993b) introduce a new technique-dynamic reposing-that also addresses this problem. Dynamicreposing iteratively learns a neural network and then reposes the examples in an effort to maximize the predicted output values.New models are trained and new poses computed until models and poses converge. This paper compares dynamic reposing to the tangent distance method on the task of predicting the biological activityof musk compounds.

Global Sensitivity Analysis for MAP Inference in Graphical Models

Neural Information Processing Systems

We study the sensitivity of a MAP configuration of a discrete probabilistic graphical model with respect to perturbations of its parameters. These perturbations are global, in the sense that simultaneous perturbations of all the parameters (or any chosen subset of them) are allowed. Our main contribution is an exact algorithm that can check whether the MAP configuration is robust with respect to given perturbations. Its complexity is essentially the same as that of obtaining the MAP configuration itself, so it can be promptly used with minimal effort. We use our algorithm to identify the largest global perturbation that does not induce a change in the MAP configuration, and we successfully apply this robustness measure in two practical scenarios: the prediction of facial action units with posed images and the classification of multiple real public data sets. A strong correlation between the proposed robustness measure and accuracy is verified in both scenarios.

Microsoft Pix captures better pictures of people, and now whiteboards too


From the outset, Microsoft Pix has used artificial intelligence to help people more easily capture better pictures of family and friends with an iPhone. Now, you can use the smartphone camera app to take better pictures of documents, whiteboards and business cards, too. Because, let's face it, we all use our cameras to take photos of more than just people and places. "We have data that shows people are taking a lot of whiteboard photos at work, they are doing a lot of document scanning," said Josh Weisberg, a principal program manager in the Computational Photography Group within Microsoft's research organization in Redmond, Washington. Based on the app data and customer feedback, Weisberg's team released an update on Thursday to Microsoft Pix that includes enhanced deep-learning capabilities around image understanding to address several productivity scenarios.

New iPhone to improve facial recognition feature so it can see owner better, report claims

The Independent

Apple's next iPhone could bring important updates to its flagship feature, according to a new rumour. The phone could vastly improve the Face ID facial recognition that sits in the top of the handset. New technology will allow the invisible lights that are used as part of the system to illuminate people's face far better, allowing it to recognise its owners more quickly, according to a report from reliable Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo. The I.F.O. is fuelled by eight electric engines, which is able to push the flying object to an estimated top speed of about 120mph. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar.