Microsoft And Google Finally Recognize AI as Potential Risk Factor - WinBuzzer

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Microsoft and Google have been among the leaders in development of artificial intelligence solutions. Both companies say AI is a major part of their future endeavors and will boost revenue through streamlining services. However, both Microsoft and Google admit AI could also cause harm to their business if something goes wrong. Both companies made the declaration in 10-K forms discovered by Wired. Created for investors, the documents give an overview of business and finance performance.


Google and Microsoft Warn That AI May Do Dumb Things

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai brought good tidings to investors on parent company Alphabet's earnings call last week. Alphabet reported $39.3 billion in revenue last quarter, up 22 percent from a year earlier. Pichai gave some of the credit to Google's machine learning technology, saying it had figured out how to match ads more closely to what consumers wanted. One thing Pichai didn't mention: Alphabet is now cautioning investors that the same AI technology could create ethical and legal troubles for the company's business. The warning appeared for the first time in the "Risk Factors" segment of Alphabet's latest annual report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission the following day: "New products and services, including those that incorporate or utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning, can raise new or exacerbate existing ethical, technological, legal, and other challenges, which may negatively affect our brands and demand for our products and services and adversely affect our revenues and operating results."


Google and Microsoft Warn That AI May Do Dumb Things

WIRED

Google CEO Sundar Pichai brought good tidings to investors on parent company Alphabet's earnings call last week. Alphabet reported $39.3 billion in revenue last quarter, up 22 percent from a year earlier. Pichai gave some of the credit to Google's machine learning technology, saying it had figured out how to match ads more closely to what consumers wanted. One thing Pichai didn't mention: Alphabet is now cautioning investors that the same AI technology could create ethical and legal troubles for the company's business. The warning appeared for the first time in the "Risk Factors" segment of Alphabet's latest annual report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission the following day: "[N]ew products and services, including those that incorporate or utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning, can raise new or exacerbate existing ethical, technological, legal, and other challenges, which may negatively affect our brands and demand for our products and services and adversely affect our revenues and operating results."


Google Follows Microsoft's Alert On A.I.'s Negative Brand Impact

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Tech companies Microsoft and Google are sounding the alarm on just how harmful artificial intelligence can be for investors and brands alike. A.I. is still the most disputed part of technology and is becoming increasingly more commonplace as companies look to incorporate it across their platforms. While critics call for justification on the use of the technology and in some cases an all-out ban, A.I. continues to be a billion dollar industry, with many tech companies willing to withstand a tarnished brand reputation for lucrative profits. In Google's recently released 2018 SEC annual report it highlighted their brand issues around A.I. that could impact the company's bottom line. "New products and services, including those that incorporate or utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning, can raise new or exacerbate existing ethical, technological, legal, and other challenges, which may negatively affect our brands and demand for our products and services and adversely affect our revenues and operating results."


Microsoft warns investors that its artificial-intelligence tech could go awry and hurt its reputation

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Microsoft is spending heavily on its artificial-intelligence tech. But it wants investors to know that the tech may go awry, harming the company's reputation in the process. Or so it warned investors in its latest quarterly report, as first spotted by Quartz's Dave Gershgorn. "Issues in the use of AI in our offerings may result in reputational harm or liability," Microsoft wrote in the filing. "AI algorithms may be flawed. Datasets may be insufficient or contain biased information. Inappropriate or controversial data practices by Microsoft or others could impair the acceptance of AI solutions. You can read the full filing below. Despite the big talk from tech companies such as Microsoft about the virtues and possibilities of AI, the truth is that the technology is not that smart yet. Today, AI is mostly based on machine learning, in which the computer has a limited ability to infer conclusions from limited data. It must ingest many examples for it to "understand" something, and if that initial data set is biased or flawed, its output will be, too. Intel and startups such as Habana Labs are working on chips that could help computers better perform the complicated task of inference. Inference is the foundation of learning and the ability of humans (and machines) to reason. And Microsoft has already had a few high-profile cases of snafus with its AI tech. In 2016, Microsoft yanked a Twitter chatbot called Tay offline within 24 hours after it began spewing racist and sexist tweets, using words taught to it by trolls. More recently, and more seriously, was research done by Joy Buolamwini at the MIT Media Lab, reported on a year ago by The New York Times. She found three leading facial-recognition systems -- created by Microsoft, IBM, and China's Megvii -- were doing a terrible job identifying nonwhite faces. Microsoft's error rate for darker-skinned women was 21%, which was still better compared with 35% for the other two. Microsoft insists that it listened to that criticism and has improved its facial-recognition technology. Plus, in the wake of outcry over Amazon's Rekognition facial-recognition service, Microsoft has begun calling for regulation of facial-recognition tech. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told journalists last month: "Take this notion of facial recognition, right now it's just terrible.