AI Weekly: How to regulate facial recognition to preserve freedom


Today Microsoft president Brad Smith called for federal regulation of facial recognition software. "In a democratic republic, there is no substitute for decision making by our elected representatives regarding the issues that require the balancing of public safety with the essence of our democratic freedoms. Facial recognition will require the public and private sectors alike to step up -- and to act," Smith wrote in a blog post. Recent events explain why Smith is speaking out now. Last month, while the majority of U.S. citizens was outraged about the idea of separating families who unlawfully entered the United States, Microsoft was criticized by the public and hundreds of its own employees for its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Apple Says iPhone X With Face ID Was Intended For 2018 Release

International Business Times

People might have had to wait a whole year for the iPhone X -- if Apple had stuck to its original plan. Executives of the Cupertino company revealed in an interview with Mashable Apple had initially intended to release the new iPhone X next year. Dan Riccio, Apple's SVP of hardware engineering, said the iPhone X with facial recognition technology and edge-to-edge OLED was supposed to release next year, but "with a lot of hard work, talent, grit, and determination" the company was able to offer the device to consumers this fall. It was also a risky move, since Apple was on a tight deadline. "We all knew where we were going," said Craig Federighi, Apple SVP of software engineering, "but there were a dozen things we knew we had to solve, and any one of them could have failed to come together."

People Won't Be Able To Live Without iPhone X Face ID, Says Apple Engineer

International Business Times

There have been numerous questions surrounding the iPhone X's Face ID, especially after the demo blip during the keynote. To address concerns, Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi has been making media rounds about the facial recognition feature. Federighi went on John Gruber's "Talk Show" and assured users' concerns about the Face ID will "melt away" when they start using the 10th-anniversary device. "You don't even think about it, it just works" he said. He also said concerns about the Face ID are similar to when Apple revealed the Touch ID, which launched on the iPhone 5s.

Spotting lemurs: Facial-recognition software isn't just for humans anymore

Christian Science Monitor | Science

February 18, 2017 --Observing lemurs in the jungles of Madagascar is no easy task. "We find the group," explains Stacey Tecot, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona's School of Anthropology, "and then we watch them for a little bit, we get our bearings ... and then we start to collect our data." Doing so is an all-day process of recording each individual, more or less continuously. But lemurs typically live in "troops" of up to 15 individuals. To get solid data, Dr. Tecot tells The Christian Science Monitor in a phone interview, "you really have to know that who you're watching is who you think you're watching."

Ray Kurzweil (USA) at Ci2019 - The Future of Intelligence, Artificial and Natural


Called "the restless genius" by The Wall Street Journal and "the ultimate thinking machine" by Forbes magazine, he was selected as one of the top entrepreneurs by Inc. magazine, which described him as the "rightful heir to Thomas Edison." PBS selected him as one of the "sixteen revolutionaries who made America." Ray was the principal inventor of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition. Among Ray's many honors, he received a Grammy Award for outstanding achievements in music technology; he is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, holds twenty-one honorary Doctorates, and honors from three U.S. presidents. Ray has written five national best-selling books, including New York Times best sellers The Singularity Is Near (2005) and How To Create A Mind (2012). He is Co-Founder and Chancellor of Singularity University and a Director of Engineering at Google heading up a team developing machine intelligence and natural language understanding.