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Seattle 'trash cops' pit environmental concerns against invasion-of-privacy issues

Los Angeles Times

Even in this eco-friendly city, efforts to police recycling by sifting through resident's garbage and slapping emerald-green warning sticker on offending trash bins is drawing protests. A group of residents who sued to prevent the city's so-called trash cops from peering into waste bins contends the city's eagerness to be green has run afoul of their most basic constitutional rights -- that's my trash, and you have no business rifling through it. "Where does the intrusion of privacy on our personal lives stop?" asks Sally Oljar, a Seattle resident and plaintiff in the lawsuit. She said the trash inspections seem to have stepped straight out of George Orwell's "1984." For years, trash and the Constitution have collided in court, as attorneys have debated whether a person's privacy extends to their refuse.

Singapore launches national Artificial Intelligence programme


The initiative will be driven by a government-wide partnership comprising NRF, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), the Economic Development Board (EDB), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), SGInnovate, and the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS). AI:SG will bring together research institutions, AI start-ups and companies developing AI products, to grow knowledge, create tools and develop talent to power Singapore's AI efforts. AI.SG will work with companies to use AI to raise productivity, create new products, and translate and commercialize solutions from labs to the market. Mr Tan Kok Yam, Deputy Secretary, Smart Nation and Digital Government Office, said: "Through AI.SG, we intend to work with AI research performers, start-ups and companies to audaciously tackle tough challenges in areas such as transportation and urban management.

Deep Learning is Teaching Computers New Tricks


A machine-learning technique that has already given computers an eerie ability to recognize speech and categorize images is now creeping into industries ranging from computer security to stock trading. If the technique works in those areas, it could create new opportunities but also displace some workers. Deep learning, as the technique is known, involves applying layers of calculations to data, such as sound or images, to recognize key features and similarities. It offers a powerful way for machines to recognize similarities that would normally be abstruse to a computer: the same face seen from different angles, for instance, or a word spoken in different accents (see "10 Breakthrough Technologies 2013: Deep Learning"). The mathematical principles that underlie deep learning are relatively simple, but when combined with huge quantities of training data and computer systems capable of powerful parallel computations, the technique has resulted in dramatic progress in recent years, especially in voice and image recognition.

Even with AI, people are still the driving force of innovation - SiliconANGLE


The dream of artificial intelligence has been alive for about as long as we have had computers, if not longer, and thanks to recent advancements in hardware and machine learning, that dream is now more real than ever. And it has potential not only as a business tool but as something that can benefit the entire human race, from curing cancer to improving life for the visually impaired. At this year's South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, one of the big trends was AI for social good, and Brian Fanzo (pictured), founder and chief executive of iSocialFanz LLC, sat down with theCUBE host John Furrier at the Intel AI Lounge to talk about the role of technology in today's socially conscious world. According to Fanzo, the modern consumer has high expectations for what technology can do, and those expectations are shaping the future of the tech industry. "I think today's generation has a bigger megaphone and is not afraid to say what they want," Fanzo said.

Woman accused of stealing from online dating matches has long history of fraud, officials say

Los Angeles Times

A woman accused of "capitalizing on her physical attraction" to steal the identities of people she met on dating and home rental websites will face a judge Wednesday after she was arrested at a luxury hotel in Santa Barbara, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Maria Christina Johnson, 43, is believed to have dated or rented from her victims to gain access to their homes, where she'd scavenged through their belongings to obtain enough personal information to open new lines of credit without their knowledge, authorities said. Johnson -- also known as Maria Hendricks, Gia Hendricks, Maria Christina Gia and Maria Hainka -- has been arrested and charged multiple times before for various forms of fraud, identity theft and burglary before, according to a statement from the sheriff's department. After she successfully assumed an identity, investigators say, she moved into high-end hotels and charged thousands of dollars of goods and services to her victims, even attempting to purchase a car at one point, authorities said. By the time she was arrested as a guest of a luxury, beachside coastal resort in Santa Barbara on Thursday, investigators estimated Johnson, who lists her occupation as a dog trainer, had spent more than 250,000 of her victims' funds.