We Need Defensive AI to Protect Us From AI Attacks


Note: This is an edited version of an article I wrote for RT Insights. I'm convinced we are entering the Golden Age of artificial intelligence (AI); with so much promise and potential in front of us, I am feeling a little like Neo in The Matrix as he swallows the red pill. However, rather than science fiction, my recent work at FICO to make AI better has drawn upon my background in theoretical physics to create what we call defensive AI. This is needed, because AI-based attacks are not science fiction -- they are happening today. Businesses have relied on AI to fight fraud and financial crime for more than 25 years.

Alexa's new 'Brief Mode' replaces verbal confirmations with chimes


Amazon confirmed it's rolling out an optional "Brief Mode" that lets Alexa users configure their Echo devices to use chimes and sounds for confirmations, instead of having Alexa respond with her voice. For example, if you ask Alexa to turn on your lights today, she will respond "okay" as she does so. But with Brief Mode enabled, Alexa will instead emit a small chime as she performs the task. The mode would be beneficial to someone who appreciates being able to control their smart home via voice, but doesn't necessarily need to have Alexa verbally confirming that she took action with each command. This is especially helpful for those who have voice-enabled a range of smart home accessories, and have gotten a little tired of hearing Alexa answer back.

AI Behind the Scenes Hero for FinTech Vinod Sharma's Blog


Financial payments and banking started in a very inefficient and traditional way, which was slow but still acceptable to the customers due to the stage in the information age. FinTech is now changing the whole game. In my personal opinion and hand on experience FinTech was, is and will remain Blue Ocean player where its all about collaboration, partnership and synergies. Competition is red ocean game. So I say FinTech is the Blue Ocean Strategy player.

AI, Machine Learning and Chatbots to be the future of Online Broking


Dhiraj Relli, MD and CEO, HDFC Securities, feels that a lot of personalised tools have evolved to help the customer achieve his goals and take informed decisions. Whether it is online or offline the customer expects different service standards where they not only compare with other competitors but also from other industries whether it is Uber or E-commerce firms. Brokerages need to partner with Fintech players and plug in the solution in their platforms. The way a brokerage gets information from the customer can be through several modes, face to face chat, phone, online trading or chatbots. " Brokerages need get information from the customer in whatever way he is comfortable," he says.

Professor Stephen Hawking Warned Us About Rise of Artificial Intelligence


It's sad that one of the greatest minds of our time, Professor Stephen Hawking is no more. Nonetheless being one of the most brilliant figures to ever step on planet earth, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist had very strong views and concerns about the rise of artificial intelligence. Taking into account Hawking's life history and accomplishments, that is, his discoveries about the four laws of black hole mechanics, the amazing theories about wormholes and time travel, his out of the world wisdom about top-down cosmology, and his books which sold out in millions; we can't afford to ignore his advice on AI. Also known as a fact-based technology dreamer, prof. Hawking voiced his fears that someday in future, a powerful artificial intelligence technology capable of evolving and improving itself could be developed by humans, after which it could turn against the human race.

Artificial intelligence comes in handy for offline retailers too - ETtech


Imagine you walk into aretail store wearing a blue striped shirt and by the time you go to the store help, he is already prepared with half a dozen striped shirts that you could consider buying. This might very well be possible, thanks to a suite of artificial intelligence (AI) based retail in-store products of SaaS provider Capillary Technologies. The company, which recently raised $20-million, has been working on using AI to understand the demographics, footfall and conversations within a retail store to give these stores a helping hand in an era where online players are aggressively expanding their operations. By using these solutions, stores can now attempt to do targeted advertising, produce heat maps, analyse conversations and build unique customer profiles. Capillary is piloting these solutions with an initial few customers.

Japanese researchers seek to read Mario Draghi's poker face to predict European Central Bank policy

The Japan Times

If European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi appears slightly more downbeat at his regular news conference than before, it could foreshadow a possible move by the bank to trim its monetary policy stimulus. That's the conclusion of two Japanese researchers who have used artificial intelligence software to analyze split-second changes in Draghi's facial expressions at his news conferences following policy meetings. The findings follow a similar analysis by the same researchers of Draghi's Japanese counterpart, Haruhiko Kuroda, last year, which claimed to have identified a correlation between patterns in his facial expressions and subsequent policy changes. Yoshiyuki Suimon and Daichi Isami, the paper's authors, think that subtle changes in Draghi's facial expressions could reflect a sense of frustration Draghi might have been feeling before making policy adjustments. Their study covered Draghi's news conference from June 2016 to December 2017 and found signs of "sadness" preceding two recent major policy changes -- when the central bank announced a dovish tapering in December 2016 and another quantitative easing cutback in October last year.

U.N. hears how the Fukushima disaster is transforming Japanese students into agents of change

The Japan Times

NEW YORK – For a dozen students from Futaba Future High School in Fukushima Prefecture, a recent visit to the United Nations was a chance to share their plans to improve the lives of others by drawing from their catastrophic earthquake and tsunami experiences as a source of strength. Despite overcoming enormous hurdles in the aftermath of the March 11, 2011, disaster that took more than 19,000 lives, the surviving students have moved forward with aspirations of choosing future paths to benefit the global community. "Thanks to all my experiences like getting bullied, joining the drama club and studying at my high school, I think I could grow well," Satsuki Sekine told U.N. diplomats, staff and youth representatives who gathered to hear their presentation on the current situation in Fukushima early this month as part of a scheduled visit while in New York. The 17-year-old explained how drama can be used to portray the challenges of discrimination and conflict "not as an abstract concept but with specific and visual examples." Recounting how the tsunami rendered her home unlivable, she explained how her life in Tomioka as a normal 9-year-old was turned upside down.

Trump to boost exports of lethal drones to more U.S. allies, sources say

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will soon make it easier to export some types of lethal U.S.-made drones to potentially dozens more allies and partners -- including Japan -- according to people familiar with the plan. Trump is expected to ease rules for such foreign sales under a long-delayed new policy on unmanned military aircraft due to be rolled out as early as this month, the first phase of a broader overhaul of arms export regulations. U.S. drone manufacturers, facing growing competition overseas especially from Chinese and Israeli rivals who often sell under lighter restrictions, have lobbied hard for the rule changes. The White House is expected to tout the move as part of Trump's "Buy American" initiative to create jobs and reduce the U.S. trade deficit. Human rights and arms control advocates, however, warn it risks fueling violence and instability in regions such as the Middle East and South Asia.

Depth-sensing imaging system can peer through fog

MIT News

MIT researchers have developed a system that can produce images of objects shrouded by fog so thick that human vision can't penetrate it. It can also gauge the objects' distance. An inability to handle misty driving conditions has been one of the chief obstacles to the development of autonomous vehicular navigation systems that use visible light, which are preferable to radar-based systems for their high resolution and ability to read road signs and track lane markers. So, the MIT system could be a crucial step toward self-driving cars. The researchers tested the system using a small tank of water with the vibrating motor from a humidifier immersed in it.