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Artificial intelligence is going industrial, says Stanford report

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence is becoming a true industry, with all the pluses and minuses that entails, according to a sweeping new report.Why it matters: AI is now in nearly every area of business, with the pandemic pushing even more investment in drug design and medicine. But as the technology matures, challenges around ethics and diversity grow.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeDriving the news: This morning, the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) released its annual AI Index, a top overview of the current state of the field.A majority of North American AI Ph.D.s — 65% — now go into industry, up from 44% in 2010, a sign of the growing role that large companies are playing both in AI research and implementation."The striking thing to me is that AI is moving from a research phase to much more of an industrial practice," says Erik Brynjolfsson, a senior fellow at HAI and director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab.By the numbers: Even with the pandemic, private AI investment grew by 9.3% in 2020, a bigger increase than in 2019.For the third year in a row, however, the number of newly funded companies decreased, a sign that "we're moving from pure research and exploratory small startups to industrial-stage companies," says Brynjolfsson.While academia remains the single-biggest source worldwide for peer-reviewed AI papers, corporate-affiliated research now represents nearly a fifth of all papers in the U.S., making it the second-biggest source.The drug and medical industries took in by far the biggest share of overall AI private investment in 2020, absorbing more than $13.8 billion — 4.5 times greater than in 2019 and nearly three times more than the next category of autonomous vehicles.The catch: While the field has experienced sudden busts in the past — the "AI winters" that vaporized funding — there's little indication such a collapse is on the horizon. But industrialization comes with its own growing pains.Cutting-edge AI increasingly requires huge amounts of computing and data, which puts more power in the hands of fewer big players.Conversely, the commoditization of AI technologies like facial recognition means more players in the field, both domestically and internationally, which makes it more difficult to regulate their use. As AI grows, the ethical challenges embedded in the field — and the fact that 45% of new AI Ph.D.s are white, compared to just about 2% who are Black — will mean "there's a new frontier of potential privacy violations and other abuses," says Brynjolfsson.The AI Index found that while the field of AI ethics is growing, the interest level of big companies is still "disappointingly small," says Brynjolfsson.Details: Those growing pains are at play in one of the most exciting applications in AI today: massive text-generating models. Systems like OpenAI's GPT-3, released last year, swallow hundreds of billions of words along the way to producing original text that can be eerily human-like in its execution.Text-generating AI models could help polish human-written resumes for job search, but could also potentially be used to spam corporate competitors with realistic computer-generated applicants, not to mention warp our shared reality."What we increasingly have with these models is a double-edged sword," says Kristin Tynski, a co-founder and senior VP at Fractl, a data-driven marketing company.What to watch: The growing geopolitical AI competition between the U.S. and China.The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence warned in a major report this week that "China possesses the might, talent, and ambition to surpass the United States as the world’s leader in AI in the next decade if current trends do not change.""We don’t have to go to war with China," former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that authored the report, told my Axios colleague Ina Fried. "We do need to be competitive."Yes, but: While researchers in China publish the most AI papers, the U.S. still leads on quality, according to the Stanford survey.And while a majority of AI Ph.D.s in the U.S. are from abroad, more than 80% remain in the country when they take jobs — a sign of the lasting attraction of the U.S. tech sector.The bottom line: AI still has a long way to go, but the challenges the field faces are shifting from what it can do to what it should do.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.


Toward a disease-sniffing device that rivals a dog's nose

#artificialintelligence

Numerous studies have shown that trained dogs can detect many kinds of disease -- including lung, breast, ovarian, bladder, and prostate cancers, and possibly Covid-19 -- simply through smell. In some cases, involving prostate cancer for example, the dogs had a 99 percent success rate in detecting the disease by sniffing patients' urine samples. But it takes time to train such dogs, and their availability and time is limited. Scientists have been hunting for ways of automating the amazing olfactory capabilities of the canine nose and brain, in a compact device. Now, a team of researchers at MIT and other institutions has come up with a system that can detect the chemical and microbial content of an air sample with even greater sensitivity than a dog's nose.


SpaceX uses robotic dog to investigate wreckage of SN10 that exploded ten minutes after landing

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The SpaceX team is clearing a mangled Starship from the launch after the rocket exploded following its first high latitude test Wednesday evening. The crew returned to the site the day after Starship Serial Number 10 (SN10) exploded 10 minutes following its'soft landing' and they brought along some help – Zeus the robotic dog. The yellow, four-legged robot was spotted prancing around SpaceX's testing facility in Boca Chica, Texas Thursday as it inspected the aftermath of the fallen rocket. Images of the wreckage have also surfaced on Twitter, showing the crushed body of SN10 and smashed Raptor engines – each of which costs $150 million. SpaceX returned to the site the day after Starship Serial Number 10 (SN10) exploded 10 minutes following its'soft landing' and they brought along some help – Zeus the robotic dog SpaceX has yet to reveal what caused SN10 to burst into flames, but some speculate it was caused by landing legs that did not deploy.


South Carolina Republicans Face a Trump-Fuelled Schism

The New Yorker

It was 9:00 P.M. on a Monday in South Carolina, and the Charleston County Republican Party was ninety minutes into its February meeting, when the open-comments portion of the session began. Maurice Washington, the Party chairman and a former city-council member, invited a newcomer to the microphone at the front of the room filled with seventy members and guests. She identified herself as Elizabeth Rodi, announced that she had attended Donald Trump's rally on January 6th, and declared media reports about the Capitol insurrection false. "The people that were there were Antifa and Black Lives Matter. They were identified through facial recognition," she claimed.


NASA to provide first update on Perseverance rover since landing

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. NASA is slated to announce what it says is a "series of firsts" in its Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission. On Friday, mission team members from Southern California's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will hold their first news conference since the expedition began and the rover touched down on the red planet's surface in February. The teleconference and visuals are set to stream live on NASA's JPL YouTube channel at 3:30 p.m. ET.


NFL hopefuls are adding AI video analysis to their arsenal

Engadget

More than 130 football players have been training under the watchful eye of the athletic performance development company EXOS in Arizona, all in hopes of landing a first-round NFL draft pick. As it turns out, though, the eyes they've been working in front of aren't exclusively human. Intel today said that EXOS's latest batch of NFL hopefuls have been training in front of video cameras that -- with the help of the company's 3D athlete tracking system -- should give players and staff a finer sense of their "body mechanics or trouble spots." "3DAT allows athletes to understand precisely what their body is doing while in motion, so they can precisely target where to make tweaks to get faster or better," said Ashton Eaton, Intel product development engineer and two-time Olympic gold medalist. The beauty of Intel's 3DAT system is that athletes don't need to strap on cumbersome sensors, or worry about precarious placement of gear during drills. Instead, run-of-the-mill video footage is shuttled off to servers packing Intel Xeon Scalable processors loaded with the company's "Deep Learning Boost" AI acceleration capabilities.


The 2021 AI Index: Major Growth Despite the Pandemic

#artificialintelligence

This year's report shows a maturing industry, significant private investment, and rising competition between China and the U.S. The last decade was a pivotal one for the AI industry, and 2020 saw AI substantially increase its impact on the world despite the chaos brought about by the COVID pandemic: Technologists made significant strides in massive language and generative models; the United States witnessed its first drop in AI hiring ever – pointing to a maturation of the industry – while hiring around the world increased; more dollars flowed to government use of AI than ever before, while colleges and universities offered students double the AI courses from a few years ago. These are just some of the findings from the 2021 AI Index, an annual study of AI impact and progress developed by an interdisciplinary team at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) in partnership with organizations from industry, academia, and government. "The impact of AI this past year was both societal and economic, driven by the increasingly rapid progress of the technology itself," said AI Index co-chair Jack Clark. "With the AI Index, we can actually measure and evaluate the changes, enabling leaders and decision makers to take meaningful action to advance AI responsibly and ethically with humans in mind." The 2021 AI Index is one of the most comprehensive reports about AI to date, analyzing and distilling patterns about AI's impact on everything from national economies to job growth to the analysis of technical progress within AI research itself, and analysis of the diversity (or lack of) among the people who create AI systems.


Science-Fiction: A Mirror for the Future of Humankind – Idees

#artificialintelligence

Digital technologies have become part of our everyday lives and are increasingly acting as intermediaries in our workplaces and personal relationships or even substituting them. The Internet of things, social networks, programs that learn by interacting with humans, assistive and companion robots, computer games with a purpose, serious games for social impact, roboadvisors, webs that offer digital immortality… These tools can, in a short time, modify the job market, flip someone's reputation, transform a district, change our relationships --not just at work, but also within our families and close contacts-- or extend what a person leaves behind after dying, which now includes a digital footprint. The growing interaction with'intelligent' machines is not just a further step in the social transformation that started with the industrial revolution. Although these new information technologies do also free humans from repetitive tasks and provide them with more time to spend in creative and enjoyable ways, the difference is that they enter domains previously considered to be exclusive of humans, such as decision-making, emotions and social relationships, which may compromise human values, as well as decisively shape society and our way of life. This poses a series of ethical questions that were not relevant for other types of machines and about which we have no previous experience, nor can we reliably predict how they will ultimately influence the evolution of humankind.


Snapcommerce raises $85M for AI-powered ecommerce messaging

#artificialintelligence

Toronto, Canada-based ecommerce startup Snapcommerce today announced that it raised $85 million in a funding round led by Inovia Capital and Lion Capital, bringing its total venture capital raised to over $100 million. Snapcommerce, which is on the path to an initial public offering, says it plans to use the funds to expand into new consumer verticals while scaling its product and team. While consumer spending in the U.S. dipped last month year-over-year, on the whole, the pandemic has supercharged ecommerce. According to data from IBM's U.S. Retail Index, business closures and shelter-in-place orders accelerated the shift to digital shopping by five years, with online shopping projected to grow nearly 20% in 2020. Based on the survey data from BMC and Mercatus, ecommerce grocery orders alone totaled $5.9 billion, up 3.6% from $5.7 billion in August.


Tackling Gender Diversity in Tech, One Robot at a Time - Pittsburgh Region: Next is Now

CMU School of Computer Science

If you've heard of Carnegie Mellon University's Girls of Steel, I hope it was from someone who's participated in our program and not from a robot. Maybe you saw a young woman from Girls of Steel on the news as she constructed one of the program's 120-pound robots. Or heard that she and her teammates visited and made a presentation at the White House. Perhaps you read about their work in GeekWire. While the robots tend to get a lot of media attention, our focus is more straightforward: the girls who build them.