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How much all-seeing AI surveillance is too much?

Daily Mail - Science & tech

When a CIA-backed venture capital fund took an interest in Rana el Kaliouby's face-scanning technology for detecting emotions, the computer scientist and her colleagues did some soul-searching - and then turned down the money. 'We're not interested in applications where you're spying on people,' said el Kaliouby, the CEO and co-founder of the Boston startup Affectiva. The company has trained its artificial intelligence systems to recognize if individuals are happy or sad, tired or angry, using a photographic repository of more than 6 million faces. Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of Affectiva, demonstrates their facial recognition technology. Recent advances in AI-powered computer vision have accelerated the race for self-driving cars and powered the increasingly sophisticated photo-tagging features found on Facebook and Google.


Mind. Blown. Brain-controlled drone race pushes future tech

Boston Herald

Wearing black headsets with tentacle-like sensors stretched over their foreheads, the competitors stare at cubes floating on computer screens as their small white drones prepare for takeoff. Some struggle to move even a few feet, while others zip confidently across the finish line. The competition -- billed as the world's first drone race involving a brain-controlled interface -- involved 16 pilots using willpower to drive drones through a 10-yard dash over an indoor basketball court at the University of Florida this past weekend. The Associated Press was there to record the event, which organizers hope to make an annual inter-collegiate spectacle, involving ever-more dynamic moves and challenges and a trophy that puts the brain on a pedestal. "With events like this, we're popularizing the use of BCI instead of it being stuck in the research lab," said Chris Crawford, a PhD student in human-centered computing.


Brain-controlled drone race pushes future tech

The Japan Times

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Wearing black headsets with tentacle-like sensors stretched over their foreheads, the competitors stared at cubes floating on computer screens as their small white drones prepared for takeoff. "Three, two, one … go!" the announcer hollered, and as the racers fixed their thoughts on pushing the cubes, the drones suddenly whirred, rose and buzzed through the air. Some struggled to move, while others zipped confidently across the finish line. The competition -- billed as the world's first drone race involving a brain-controlled interface -- involved 16 pilots using willpower to drive drones through a 10-yard (9.1-meter) dash over an indoor basketball court at the University of Florida on April 16. Organizers hope to make the event an annual intercollegiate spectacle, involving ever-more dynamic moves and challenges.


Mind. Blown. Brain-controlled drone race pushes future tech

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Wearing black headsets with tentacle-like sensors stretched over their foreheads, the competitors stare at cubes floating on computer screens as their small white drones prepare for takeoff. Some struggle to move even a few feet, while others zip confidently across the finish line. Competitors in the Florida race use specially programmed headbands to monitor their brainwaves - moving the drone when they will it to happen. The EEG headset is calibrated to identify the electrical activity associated with particular thoughts in each wearer's brain -- recording, for example, where neurons fire when the wearer imagines pushing a chair across the floor. Programmers write code to translate these'imaginary motion' signals into commands that computers send to the drones.


Ex-Google engineer says 'killer robots' could carry out atrocities and unlawful killings

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A former Google engineer has expressed fears about a new generation of robots that could carry out'atrocities and unlawful killings'. Laura Nolan, who previously worked on the tech giant's military drone initiative, Project Maven, is calling for the ban of all autonomous war drones, as these machines do not have the same common sense or discernment as humans. Project Maven focused on enhancing drones with artificial intelligence (AI) to distinguish enemy targets from people and other objects – but was discontinued after employees protested the technology in development, calling it'evil'. Nolan, who left Google in 2018 in protest against the US military drone technology, is now calling for all drones not operated by humans to fall under the same ban as chemical weapons, according to The Guardian. Former Google engineer has expressed fears about a new generation of robots that could carryout'atrocities and unlawful killings'.