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Representation & Reasoning: AI-Alerts

Apple's Siri violated 'the privacy of millions,' says whistleblower

The Independent - Tech

The whistleblower who exposed in 2019 that Apple contractors listened to users' Siri recordings without their knowledge or consent has gone public to protest the lack of action taken against the technology giant. In a letter, sent to all European data protection regulators, Thomas le Bonniec said that Apple had conducted a "massive violation of the privacy of millions of citizens." He wrote that although news of the case had already gone public, the technology giant "has not been subject to any kind of investigation to the best of my knowledge." Mr Le Bonniec, who was hired by one of Apple's subcontractors in Ireland called Globe Technical Services, had to listen to recordings from users and correct transcription errors. Listening to hundreds of recortings from Apple's iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches, many of them were taken "outside of any activation of Siri" – meaning that users were not aware of the action.

Robert John obituary

The Guardian

My friend Robert John, professor of computer science at the University of Nottingham, who has died of liver cancer aged 64, pioneered the use of "type-2 fuzzy sets" in computational intelligence, to establish ways of reasoning algorithmically about linguistic concepts that involve uncertainty – something humans are good at, but computers are not. In the 1990s, while Rob (as he was known to family, though called Bob by work colleagues) was working at De Montfort University, he became involved in research into solving a community transport scheduling problem using fuzzy logic. Working from the foundations laid by Prof Lotfi Zadeh, Rob, through his PhD in 2000 and subsequent work with Prof Jerry Mendel and others, developed the mathematical techniques to use type-2 fuzzy sets. Two papers on type-2 and interval type-2 that he wrote with Mendel are among the most frequently cited and influential in the world on the topic. Rob was a founder member in 1995 of the Centre for Computational Intelligence at De Montfort and led its growth through the 2000s, established his reputation in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' conferences and in journals on fuzzy logic, and was promoted over time to deputy dean.

Making Sense of Sound: What Does Machine Learning Mean for Music?


AI has proven to have a considerable impact on some major industries. While autonomous cars and virtual assistants are slowly becoming a reality, the creative industry has been experimenting with AI for several years already. Does it have meaningful implications and if so, what will it bring in the future? Utilizing the interconnection between mathematics and music, Hiller was able to program the computer to come up with a stunning four-piece musical score. One of the most notable AI-assisted music projects happened two years ago.

Virtual Assistants Provide Disappointing Advice When Asked for First Aid, Emergency Information: Study


A study at Canada's University of Alberta found some virtual assistants are far better than others at providing users reliable, relevant information on medical emergencies. Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada have found that virtual assistants do not live up to their potential in terms of providing users with reliable, relevant information on medical emergencies. The team tested four commonly used devices--Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and Cortana--using 123 questions about 39 first aid topics, including heart attacks, poisoning, nosebleeds, and splinters. The devices' responses were measured for accuracy of topic recognition, detection of the severity of the emergency, complexity of language used, and how closely the advice given fit with accepted first aid treatment and guidelines. Google Home performed the best, recognizing topics with 98% accuracy and providing relevant advice 56% of the time.

Secure and Robust Machine Learning for Healthcare: A Survey


Medical ML/DL system shall facilitate a deep understanding of the underlying healthcare task, which (in most cases) can only be achieved by utilising other forms of patients data. For example, radiology is not all about clinical imaging. Other patient EMR data is crucial for radiologists to derive the precise conclusion for an imaging study. This calls for the integration and data exchange between all healthcare systems. Despite extensive research on data exchange standards for healthcare, there is a huge ignorance in following those standards in healthcare IT systems which broadly affects the quality and efficacy of healthcare data, accumulated through these systems.

Amazon, Google personal assistants can handle more chores. Just ask them

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Already, about one in four U.S. consumers has a home personal assistant at their beck and call, thanks to the success of smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Nest. But many users are just scratching the surface of what these gadgets can do. If you aren't familiar with the speakers (both starting at $35), you wake up your artificial intelligence-driven helper with a keyword – "Alexa" for Amazon devices and "OK, Google" for a Google Nest or Google Home speaker – followed by a question or command. A human-like voice will give you a response, whether you want to hear the weather, a specific song, set a timer for the oven, or control your smart devices in your home, such as adjusting lighting or a thermostat. One-fourth of U.S. consumers (25%) will use a smart speaker in 2020, up from 17% in 2018, according to research firm eMarketer.

Study: Tinder, Grindr And Other Apps Share Sensitive Personal Data With Advertisers

NPR Technology

Dating apps, including Tinder, give sensitive information about users to marketing companies, according to a Norwegian study released Tuesday. Dating apps, including Tinder, give sensitive information about users to marketing companies, according to a Norwegian study released Tuesday. A group of civil rights and consumer groups is urging federal and state regulators to examine a number of mobile apps, including popular dating apps Grindr, Tinder and OKCupid for allegedly sharing personal information with advertising companies. The push by the privacy rights coalition follows a report published on Tuesday by the Norwegian Consumer Council found that 10 apps collect sensitive information including a user's exact location, sexual orientation, religious and political beliefs, drug use and other information and then transmits the personal data to at least 135 different third-party companies. The data harvesting, according to the Norwegian government agency, appears to violate the European Union's rules intended to protect people's online data, known as the General Data Protection Regulation.

Creating the Customer Experience of the Future Using Conversational AI


Organisations are failing to truly harness the power of Conversational AI to deliver real business outcomes. Limited understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has resulted in its hurried and ineffective implementation. The Customer Experience (CX) leaders of tomorrow can avoid this by following a framework that focuses on using AI and Machine Learning to deliver a tangible business case that enhances their overall customer experience. A recent CIO survey by Gartner found that by 2022, 20% of customer service will be handled by intelligent conversational agents and yet, 54% of organisations still have a very limited understanding of the technology. This has set the premise for the emergence of a plethora of vendors offering niche solutions using AI.

How Is AI Remodelling The Tourism Industry?


Anyone that has ever spoken the words "Hey Siri" or "OK Google" into their phone knows how to use voice assistants. The revolution of digital and artificial intelligence is affecting more and more aspects of our lives and businesses. It is being used to create bots for automation or to simply make sense of the billions of datasets that are being generated daily. Generally, when it comes to artificial intelligence it is all about making processes easier or better. Especially while dealing with customer interactions the new possibilities of AI, most prominently chatbots are creating a more enjoyable customer experience.

What Happens Next: Microsoft Is Ending Cortana Support For Android & iOS


Microsoft is devising a new roadmap for Cortana by integrating it with various applications. Earlier in 2019, Satya Nadela, CEO of Microsoft, said that the firm no longer sees Cortana as a competitor to other prominent virtual assistants Alexa and Google Now. The company is rather working towards revamping the way Cortana is being leveraged across the world. In an announcement on Friday, Microsoft notified users of several countries that they are pulling out Cortana support from Android and iOS platforms. Come 31 January 2020, Cortana will disappear from India, UK, Australia, Mexico, Spain, Canada, Germany, and China.