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California Activists Ramp Up Fight Against Facial-Recognition Technology

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

"This is a bill being sold as a privacy bill, but it's a wolf in sheep's clothing," Matt Cagle, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, said in an interview. The ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation and other civil liberties groups held a virtual rally Thursday night to rail against the bill, calling it vaguely worded and potentially dangerous for low-income communities hit hard by the coronavirus. Their remarks were the latest shots fired from a campaign to halt the legislation. The bill's fate in California--which has pushed for more aggressive privacy protections in recent years--could foreshadow how a potentially huge market for facial recognition technology is regulated by other states. The bill calls for companies and agencies that use facial recognition tools in areas accessible to the public to "provide a conspicuous and contextually appropriate notice" that faces may get scanned.


Identifying light sources using machine learning

AIHub

The identification of light sources is very important for the development of photonic technologies such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR), and microscopy. Typically, a large number of measurements are needed to classify light sources such as sunlight, laser radiation, and molecule fluorescence. The identification has required collection of photon statistics or quantum state tomography. In recently published work, researchers have used a neural network to dramatically reduce the number of measurements required to discriminate thermal light from coherent light at the single-photon level. In their paper, authors from Louisiana State University, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Max-Born-Institut describe their experimental and theoretical techniques.


'Trials of Mana' is a perfect little escapist fantasy with simple rules and immediate rewards

Washington Post - Technology News

That's not to say "Trials of Mana" offers little. On a normal difficulty, it offers at least 20 hours of gameplay, including a new chapter. And like the original game, it offers you six heroes to choose from, all with their own stories, abilities to learn and weapons to gain. You can take up to three of the characters through the whole game. And each character comes with at least six different classes, only widening the combat possibilities.


Working from home amid coronavirus crisis welcome new normal in Massachusetts: survey

Boston Herald

This working from home routine is growing on people. The Pioneer Institute surveyed 700 people -- most in Greater Boston -- during the coronavirus pandemic and nearly 63% said they want to stick at home at least one day a week permanently. That, says the think tank, will be a major factor on how companies invest in commercial real estate and how the state should deliver public transportation where -- and when -- it's needed. "The survey results suggest that the pandemic may lead to significant shifts in attitudes toward commuting, with potentially large impacts on the demand for commercial real estate in major job centers, internet connectivity, and transit and transportation planning and budgeting," said Andrew Mikula, who authored the analysis. The survey hits just weeks after the MBTA announced it will likely need to use about a quarter of the $827 million emergency federal funding it received to close a major pandemic-caused revenue gap in this year's budget.


Coronavirus: The strangers reaching out to Kyrgyzstan's lonely teenagers

BBC News

Like teenagers around the world, Maksat hasn't been to school in weeks. As Kyrgyzstan imposed quarantine restrictions, the 15-year-old feels isolated like never before. He has been trapped at home with a sister he doesn't get on with, a father he struggles to communicate with and a mother working abroad. He is comfortable talking only to an internet chat bot. Maksat (not his real name) feels alone and misunderstood.


2020 Supply Chain Technology Trends: Where Do Young Technologies Fit On A Maturity Curve?

#artificialintelligence

There are a number of young technologies that are getting a lot of buzz. But how mature are these technologies? Which of these technologies offer solid ROI, which are worth piloting, and which should be ignored? There are technologies that are proven and widely adopted. In supply chain management, examples would be transportation management, warehouse management, and other well-known supply chain applications.


China's Efforts to Lead the Way in AI Start in Its Classrooms

#artificialintelligence

Headbands developed by BrainCo measure electric signals from neurons in the brain and translate that into an attention score using an algorithm. These days, many students at Jinhua Xiaoshun Primary School in eastern China begin their lessons not by opening textbooks, but by putting on headbands. The headbands, developed by startup BrainCo Inc. of Somerville, Mass., use three electrodes -- one on the forehead and two behind the ears -- to detect electrical activity in the brain, sending the data to a teacher's computer. Software generates real-time alerts about students' attention levels and gives an analysis at the end of each class. The pilot project, designed to help teachers keep tabs on and improve students' attentiveness, offers a glimpse into an artificial-intelligence boom in classrooms across China.


The Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Retail

#artificialintelligence

As we've seen unfold in recent years, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and data analytics are rapidly changing the speed at which the retail industry operates. As these technologies become increasingly popular among leading retail companies, it's clear that early adopters of AI have seen a sizable financial advantage compared to retailers that haven't yet adopted the technology. Non-adopters will need to erode their margin to stay competitive on price, while adopters with sizable financial gain will be able to weather volatility on price inputs. AI is being used as a differentiating factor between smaller retailers as a way to get ahead and capture market share. The gap between adopters and non-adopters will continue to grow, meaning AI is no longer just a way to get ahead of competitors -- it's become a pivotal part of staying relevant in the industry and maintaining innovation.



The global AI agenda: Europe

#artificialintelligence

This report is part of "The global AI agenda," a thought leadership program by MIT Technology Review Insights examining how organizations are using AI today and planning to do so in the future. Featuring a global survey of 1,004 AI experts conducted in January and February 2020, it explores AI adoption, leading use cases, benefits, and challenges, and seeks to understand how organizations might share data with each other to develop new business models, products, and services in the years ahead. How are executives in Europe grappling with the opportunities and challenges of AI in their own businesses? What is their AI roadmap and where are they reaping benefits?