Environmental monitoring allows authorities to understand the impact of potentially harmful phenomena, such as air pollution, excessive noise, and radiation. Recently, there has been considerable interest in participatory sensing as a paradigm for such large-scale data collection because it is cost-effective and able to capture more fine-grained data than traditional approaches that use stationary sensors scattered in cities. In this approach, ordinary citizens (non-expert contributors) collect environmental data using low-cost mobile devices. However, these participants are generally self-interested actors that have their own goals and make local decisions about when and where to take measurements. This can lead to highly inefficient outcomes, where observations are either taken redundantly or do not provide sufficient information about key areas of interest. To address these challenges, it is necessary to guide and to coordinate participants, so they take measurements when it is most informative. To this end, we develop a computationally-efficient coordination algorithm (adaptive Best-Match) that suggests to users when and where to take measurements. Our algorithm exploits probabilistic knowledge of human mobility patterns, but explicitly considers the uncertainty of these patterns and the potential unwillingness of people to take measurements when requested to do so. In particular, our algorithm uses a local search technique, clustering and random simulations to map participants to measurements that need to be taken in space and time. We empirically evaluate our algorithm on a real-world human mobility and air quality dataset and show that it outperforms the current state of the art by up to 24% in terms of utility gained.
Geospatial Information (GSI) services are a new kind of technological platform that combine accurate mapping services with real-time user location and context data. GSI can power everything from navigation to social and political engagement. Although many GSI services are already in use, little attention has been paid to the implications of the technology and the privacy concerns that it raises. Restrictive regulation could kill the budding GSI industry in its early stages, but some initial steps should be taken to protect GSI users. This Paper defines GSI, identifies the aspects of the technology that contribute to its innovation potential and privacy risks, and surveys possible regulatory approaches. Finally, it recommends a combination of technological anonymity, data retention limits, and user access as a flexible first step toward industry regulation.
"Please think forward to the year 2030. Analysts expect that people will become even more dependent on networked artificial intelligence (AI) in complex digital systems. Some say we will continue on the historic arc of augmenting our lives with mostly positive results as we widely implement these networked tools. Some say our increasing dependence on these AI and related systems is likely to lead to widespread difficulties. Our question: By 2030, do you think it is most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will enhance human capacities and empower them? That is, most of the time, will most people be better off than they are today? Or is it most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will lessen human autonomy and agency to such an extent that most people will not be better off than the way things are today? Please explain why you chose the answer you did and sketch out a vision of how the human-machine/AI collaboration will function in 2030.
Rolnick, David, Donti, Priya L., Kaack, Lynn H., Kochanski, Kelly, Lacoste, Alexandre, Sankaran, Kris, Ross, Andrew Slavin, Milojevic-Dupont, Nikola, Jaques, Natasha, Waldman-Brown, Anna, Luccioni, Alexandra, Maharaj, Tegan, Sherwin, Evan D., Mukkavilli, S. Karthik, Kording, Konrad P., Gomes, Carla, Ng, Andrew Y., Hassabis, Demis, Platt, John C., Creutzig, Felix, Chayes, Jennifer, Bengio, Yoshua
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity, and we, as machine learning experts, may wonder how we can help. Here we describe how machine learning can be a powerful tool in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping society adapt to a changing climate. From smart grids to disaster management, we identify high impact problems where existing gaps can be filled by machine learning, in collaboration with other fields. Our recommendations encompass exciting research questions as well as promising business opportunities. We call on the machine learning community to join the global effort against climate change.