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AI 50 2021: America's Most Promising Artificial Intelligence Companies

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The Covid-19 pandemic was devastating for many industries, but it only accelerated the use of artificial intelligence across the U.S. economy. Amid the crisis, companies scrambled to create new services for remote workers and students, beef up online shopping and dining options, make customer call centers more efficient and speed development of important new drugs. Even as applications of machine learning and perception platforms become commonplace, a thick layer of hype and fuzzy jargon clings to AI-enabled software.That makes it tough to identify the most compelling companies in the space--especially those finding new ways to use AI that create value by making humans more efficient, not redundant. With this in mind, Forbes has partnered with venture firms Sequoia Capital and Meritech Capital to create our third annual AI 50, a list of private, promising North American companies that are using artificial intelligence in ways that are fundamental to their operations. To be considered, businesses must be privately-held and utilizing machine learning (where systems learn from data to improve on tasks), natural language processing (which enables programs to "understand" written or spoken language) or computer vision (which relates to how machines "see"). AI companies incubated at, largely funded through or acquired by large tech, manufacturing or industrial firms aren't eligible for consideration. Our list was compiled through a submission process open to any AI company in the U.S. and Canada. The application asked companies to provide details on their technology, business model, customers and financials like funding, valuation and revenue history (companies had the option to submit information confidentially, to encourage greater transparency). Forbes received several hundred entries, of which nearly 400 qualified for consideration. From there, our data partners applied an algorithm to identify 100 companies with the highest quantitative scores--and that also made diversity a priority. Next, a panel of expert AI judges evaluated the finalists to find the 50 most compelling companies (they were precluded from judging companies in which they have a vested interest). Among trends this year are what Sequoia Capital's Konstantine Buhler calls AI workbench companies--building of platforms tailored to different enterprises, including Dataiku, DataRobot Domino Data and Databricks.


Litigating Artificial Intelligence: When Does AI Violate Our Legal Rights?

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Litigating Artificial Intelligence: When Does AI Violate Our Legal Rights? Read full article May 27, 2021, 3:20 PM ·3 min read From the minds of Canada's leading law and technology experts comes a playbook for understanding the multi-faceted intersection of AI and the law TORONTO, May 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- We are living in an Artificial Intelligence (AI) boom. Self-driving cars, personal voice assistants, and facial recognition technology are just a few of the AI-enabled technologies permeating into everyday life. But what happens when AI causes harm or violates our rights? If your self-driving car gets into an accident while on autopilot, are you responsible? Emond Publishing, Canada's leading independent legal publisher, today announced the release of Litigating Artificial Intelligence, a book examining AI-informed legal determinations, AI-based lawsuits, and AI-enabled litigation tools. Anchored by the expertise of general editors Jill R. Presser, Jesse Beatson, and Gerald Chan, this title offers practical insights regarding AI's decision-making capabilities, position in evidence law and product-based lawsuits, role in automating legal work, and use by the courts, tribunals, and government agencies. For example, can government agencies use AI-powered facial recognition software to identify BLM protestors and Capitol rioters, or does this violate privacy rights? Who is liable, users, developers, or AI? What laws are in place to prevent AI-related crimes, and how do litigators prosecute the responsible parties?


Algorithms and art: Researchers explore impact of AI on music and culture

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Global access to art, culture, and entertainment products – music, movies, books, and more – has undergone fundamental changes over the past 20 years in light of groundbreaking developments in artificial intelligence. For example, users of streaming services like Netflix and Spotify have data collected and analyzed by algorithms to determine their streaming habits – resulting in recommendations that cater to their tastes. But this is only one of the many ways in which AI tools are transforming the arts and culture industries. AI is also being used in the production of music and other art, with algorithms generating photos or writing songs on their own. Warner Music even "signed" an algorithm to a record deal in 2019.


What Waabi's launch means for the self-driving car industry

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It is not the best of times for self-driving car startups. The past year has seen large tech companies acquire startups that were running out of cash and ride-hailing companies shutter costly self-driving car projects with no prospect of becoming production-ready anytime soon. Yet, in the midst of this downturn, Waabi, a Toronto-based self-driving car startup, has just come out of stealth with an insane amount of $83.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Khosla Ventures, with additional participation from Uber, 8VC, Radical Ventures, OMERS Ventures, BDC, and Aurora Innovation. The company's financial backers also include Geoffrey Hinton, Fei-Fei Li, Peter Abbeel, and Sanja Fidler, artificial intelligence scientists with great influence in the academia and applied AI community. What makes Waabi qualified for such support?


What Waabi's launch means for the self-driving car industry

#artificialintelligence

It is not the best of times for self-driving car startups. The past year has seen large tech companies acquire startups that were running out of cash and ride-hailing companies shutter costly self-driving car projects with no prospect of becoming production-ready anytime soon. Yet, in the midst of this downturn, Waabi, a Toronto-based self-driving car startup, has just come out of stealth with an insane amount of $83.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Khosla Ventures, with additional participation from Uber, 8VC, Radical Ventures, OMERS Ventures, BDC, and Aurora Innovation. The company's financial backers also include Geoffrey Hinton, Fei-Fei Li, Peter Abbeel, and Sanja Fidler, artificial intelligence scientists with great influence in the academia and applied AI community. What makes Waabi qualified for such support?


The Double Exploitation of Deepfake Porn

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Over the past three years, celebrities have been appearing across social media in improbable scenarios. You may have recently caught a grinning Tom Cruise doing magic tricks with a coin or Nicolas Cage appearing as Lois Lane in Man of Steel. Most of us now recognize these clips as deepfakes--startlingly realistic videos created using artificial intelligence. In 2017, they began circulating on message boards like Reddit as altered videos from anonymous users; the term is a portmanteau of "deep learning"--the process used to train an algorithm to doctor a scene--and "fake." Deepfakes once required working knowledge of AI-enabled technology, but today, anyone can make their own using free software like FakeApp or Faceswap. All it takes is some sample footage and a large data set of photos (one reason celebrities are targeted is the easy availability of high-quality facial images) and the app can convincingly swap out one person's face for another's.


Artificial intelligence can help get the most out of urban wind energy, say Concordia researchers

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Building on a project she began as an undergraduate, Higgins started the data-gathering process at Concordia's Building Aerodynamics/Wind Tunnel Lab. It can simulate wind gusts on large buildings with a 1 to 100 or smaller-scale model of a block of downtown Montreal, as well as on individual buildings of different shapes -- square, rectangular, U-shaped, T-shaped or L-shaped, and in different configurations. The lab also has a scale model of a section of the Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine Bridge-Tunnel in east-end Montreal. "This preliminary work involved a lot of wind tunnel experiments with various building configurations," explains Stathopoulos, a professor in the Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science. "Stéphanie ran tests for each of them, with wind coming from different directions, as it would in real life, and tried to predict what the amplification of the wind would be at each location. This particular experimentation was interesting because we are trying to see where we can get the highest wind speed. This is the opposite of what we usually do, which is to try to reduce exposure to wind to protect buildings from natural disasters."


Self-Driven Women Take The Wheel In Autonomous Tech Industry

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The self-driving vehicle industry may be young, just a bit over a decade old, but already a meaningful trend is taking shape: it's proving to be more open to women CEOs and founders–including women of color–than the broader tech industry and for U.S. companies generally. With this week's news that Waabi founder and CEO Raquel Urtasun raised $83.5 million in a Series A round for her Toronto-based startup, three out of 12 leading autonomous technology companies in North America are now led by women. What's more, in a time when companies across all industries are working to improve diversity, two of the women leading self-driving tech companies, Zoox CEO Aicha Evans and Waymo co-CEO Tekedra Mawakana, are Black. "I've been really excited to see the number of women interested in autonomous technology. There's an appreciation for what it can do for people, what it's going to unlock," says Alisyn Malek, who left General Motors to cofound autonomous shuttle startup May Mobility in 2017 (and is currently executive director of the Washington-based Commission on the Future of Mobility).


SFU cybercrime team fights COVID-19 misinformation with artificial intelligence

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Simon Fraser University's International CyberCrime Research Centre (ICCRC) is engaged in a new project to develop artificial intelligence tools to fight COVID-19-related misinformation campaigns on social media. Throughout the pandemic, anti-science theories on social media that portray COVID-19 as a hoax or downplay the risk of infection have contributed to unnecessary transmission and death. Some research suggests that one-in-three people have encountered false or misleading information about COVID-19 on social media. And while COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out, misinformation on social media still fuels vaccine hesitancy in Canada and resistance to public health measures such as mask wearing. To combat this, the ICCRC - in SFU's School of Criminology - has received federal funding from the Digital Citizenship Contribution Program for a six-month research project to develop an artificial intelligence tool to help social media platforms, online service providers and government agencies identify COVID-19 misinformation campaigns on social media and take appropriate action.


What role does AI play in cybersecurity?

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Many believe that cybersecurity is an exciting field to work in, and indeed it is. Yet being responsible for an organization's IT Security is no easy feat. Attackers always seem to be a few steps ahead of defenders. It often feels like a game of one against many – from petty criminals to nation-states. It would be highly advantageous if our cybersecurity tools could automatically adapt to these threats.