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A summary of the keynotes at AAMAS


A virtual edition of the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS) conference was held on 9-13 May. Videos of the talks are now available for public viewing, and you can also see the sessions from the various workshops. Alison is interested in how cities work and builds spatial agent-based models (ABMs) to study how people move around and how behaviour plays out in space and time. There are a number of challenges with these kinds of models and they need to be really robust if they are to be adopted by policy makers. So, why should we be interested in modelling cities?

Dating app Grindr removes 'ethnicity filter' allowing users to search for potential partners by race

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Dating app Grindr has said it will remove its'ethnicity filter' that allows users to search potential matches by race. Singletons prepared to pay £12.99-a-month for the'premium' service are currently able to sort users based on their ethnicity, weight, height, and other characteristics. But less than 24 hours after its tweet supporting'Black Lives Matter' received widespread condemnation over the filter, the company has said it will delete it. Protests have rocked the US for six days following the death of George Floyd, who was filmed gasping'I can't breathe' as an officer knelt on his neck in Logan County, West Virginia. Writing on Twitter, the app said: 'As part of our commitment to (Black Lives Matter), we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release. closes $2.6bn Volkswagen investment in European, US push - with help from Ford

ZDNet has closed a $2.6 billion investment from Volkswagen to strengthen the self-driving startup's presence across Europe. Commentary: Please join our sister sites in fundraising to help address racism. Pittsburgh-based said in a blog post on Tuesday that the funding, initially invested in July 2019, will be used to bolster its position in Europe with the addition of VW Group's Munich-based Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) team. AID is working on the development of intelligent self-driving car technology for use in urban areas and potential applications such as robotic taxis and autonomous shuttles. Now due to be rebranded as Argo Munich, the team's base will also become's

Yandex updates its self-driving tech on the 2020 Hyundai Sonata


Today, the Russian internet giant Yandex revealed its fourth-generation self-driving car, a collaboration with Hyundai. This generation brings Yandex tech to the 2020 Hyundai Sonata. By the end of this year, Yandex plans to add 100 Sonatas to its self-driving fleet, which includes a robo-taxi service in Innopolis, Russia, and vehicles in Michigan. As part of the upgrades, Hyundai's Mobis team modified the Sonata's electric control units to interface more effectively with Yandex's self-driving control tech. For its part, Yandex improved the cameras, radars and lidar.

Grindr will finally remove the app's ethnicity filter


Dating app Grindr will finally remove its ethnicity filter, following years of criticism culminating in accusations of hypocrisy regarding the company's stance on #BlackLivesMatter. The app currently lets users filter potential matches based on age, height, weight and ethnicity, but the company -- which says it has a "zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech" -- has confirmed the ethnicity filter will be removed from the next version of the app. The change, which coincides with the start of Pride month, appears to have been catalyzed by responses to a tweet in which Grindr said, "Demand justice. One response to the tweet said "remove the ethnicity filter" and was subsequently retweeted 1,000 times. Grindr later deleted its original tweet, replacing it with the below.

The Morning After: Alexa's new 'Drop In' intercom system


For what is probably the lightest news you'll read today, Amazon's new feature for Alexa turns any connected devices into walkie-talkies. While they could already easily send messages from one device to another, now you can ask Alexa to "Drop In Everywhere" and get a live line to all the devices in your house, useful for finding out who wants what on their pizza or getting someone to check for a package at the front door. Just… don't activate it by accident? Researchers have combined biometrics from Oura rings with AI prediction models to detect COVID-19 symptoms up to three days early with, they claim, over 90 percent accuracy. It sounds pretty incredible, but the science isn't just about wearing a bit of tech on your finger.

Indie history: How shareware helped build Epic Games


Publishing deals in the video game industry are generally kept secret, with terms hidden behind non-disclosure agreements and the threat of legal fallout. However, in the realm of AAA publishing, it's common for independent developers to sign contracts granting them less than 10 percent of a game's lifetime revenue, in exchange for marketing and financial assistance from a multibillion-dollar organization. In some cases, the developer also signs away their intellectual property rights, losing creative control over the game entirely. Or, a huge company will simply buy the smaller studio outright, devouring its existing library and creative talent, and overseeing all of its future products. In late March, Epic Games launched a multiplatform publishing initiative touting "the most developer-friendly terms in the industry." Under this deal, developers are guaranteed 50 percent of a game's revenue once production costs are recouped, and they retain full creative control over their own titles. Epic also promises to cover up to 100 percent of a game's development costs, including salaries, advertising and publishing fees. "We're building the publishing model we always wanted for ourselves," said Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney. Epic Games has been experimenting with publishing models since the early '90s, decades before the launch of Fortnite, The Epic Games Store or the Unreal Engine. We're talking about the days of BBS, back when Sweeney was building ZZT out of his parents' house and the World Wide Web was just flickering to life.

Microsoft researchers say NLP bias studies must consider role of social hierarchies like racism

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As the recently released GPT-3 and several recent studies demonstrate, racial bias, as well as bias based on gender, occupation, and religion, can be found in popular NLP language models. But a team of AI researchers wants the NLP bias research community to more closely examine and explore relationships between language, power, and social hierarchies like racism in their work. Published last week, the work, which includes analysis of 146 NLP bias research papers, also concludes that the research field generally lacks clear descriptions of bias and fails to explain how, why, and to whom that bias is harmful. "Although these papers have laid vital groundwork by illustrating some of the ways that NLP systems can be harmful, the majority of them fail to engage critically with what constitutes'bias' in the first place," the paper reads. "We argue that such work should examine the relationships between language and social hierarchies; we call on researchers and practitioners conducting such work to articulate their conceptualizations of'bias' in order to enable conversations about what kinds of system behaviors are harmful, in what ways, to whom, and why; and we recommend deeper engagements between technologists and communities affected by NLP systems."

How to drive change with data


Optimization and The NFL's Toughest Scheduling Problem - June 23 At first glance, the NFL's scheduling problem seems simple: 5 people have 12 weeks to schedule 256 games over the course of a 17-week season. The scenarios are potentially well into the quadrillions. In this latest Data Science Central webinar, you will learn how the NFL began using Gurobi's mathematical optimization solver to tackle this complex scheduling problem.

Machine Learning in Coupon Recommendation


How multi-armed bandits can help Starbucks send personalized offers to its customers. Coupon systems have been widely used to enhance customers' engagement in digital-based platforms. Coupon systems have been widely used to enhance customers' engagement in digital-based platforms. By offering users a challenge and a corresponding reward, companies' services become not only more attractive, but most importantly it can lead users to become frequent customers, thus enhancing a brand's impact on its customers. However, knowing which coupon to provide can be a rather complex task since each customer profile responds differently to each offer, and frequently offering them bad deals might drag them away from your business.