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Hackers Are the Real Obstacle for Self-Driving Vehicles

MIT Technology Review

Before autonomous trucks and taxis hit the road, manufacturers will need to solve problems far more complex than collision avoidance and navigation (see "10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017: Self-Driving Trucks"). These vehicles will have to anticipate and defend against a full spectrum of malicious attackers wielding both traditional cyberattacks and a new generation of attacks based on so-called adversarial machine learning (see "AI Fight Club Could Help Save Us from a Future of Super-Smart Cyberattacks"). When hackers demonstrated that vehicles on the roads were vulnerable to several specific security threats, automakers responded by recalling and upgrading the firmware of millions of cars. The computer vision and collision avoidance systems under development for autonomous vehicles rely on complex machine-learning algorithms that are not well understood, even by the companies that rely on them (see "The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI").


Scientists develop algorithms that detect people with depression by simply scanning Instagram photos

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Scientists in the US say they have created machine learning algorithms that can identify depressed people by scanning for "clues" in Instagram photos. The research was done in two stages: the first was about identifying the clues on Instagram photos that suggests the user might be depressed, while the second stage involved teaching the computer to detect those people using machine learning algorithms. The researchers next developed a machine learning algorithm based on established studies and pitted it against volunteers to see who was better at identifying Instagram photos posted by depressed people. Figures from the mental health charity Mind show one in six people reports experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week, while one in four in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.


Incredible heart-shaped cell entangled in a blood clot

Daily Mail

In the image captured through an electron microscope, red blood cells are trapped in the 3D mesh of fibrin fibres, which hold the clot together. Other shortlisted entries included an image of the blood vessel network inside a zebrafish heart and the immune system at work inside a muscle. Another image taken by Dr Simon Wilson from the University of Edinburgh shows a blood clot forming in a healthy human blood vessel. This image, taken by Dr Simon Wilson at the University of Edinburgh, shows a blood clot forming in a healthy human blood vessel.


Industry Urges United Nations to Ban Lethal Autonomous Weapons in New Open Letter

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Today (or, yesterday, but today Australia time, where it's probably already tomorrow), 116 founders of robotics and artificial intelligence companies from 26 countries released an open letter urging the United Nations to ban lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS). While this most recent letter renews the call for a United Nations ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems and makes the perspective from a subset of robotics companies a little more explicit than it might have been before, there has not otherwise been a lot of tangible progress towards an actual ban that we've been able to identify over the past two years. Here's a big pile of links to our past coverage: One of the primary critiques of a ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems is that it would be practically impossible to implement, considering how much usefulness autonomous systems offer in all kinds of other applications, the minimal separation between commercial and military technology, and how little difference there can be between an autonomous system and a weaponized autonomous system, or a weaponized system with a human in the loop and one without. Are you then talking about accountability for a human who authorizes a system to take lethal action autonomously, or verifying that there's a human in the loop making all the decisions about whether or not a system can take a lethal action?


Scientists worldwide urge more actions to stop 'killer robots' World

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Scientists and business leaders, including Professor Walsh, called for the use of lethal autonomous weapons, or'killer robots', to be outlawed. At the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Melbourne on Monday, technology leaders congregated at the event and requested that the development of weaponry using artificial intelligence be halted as "once this Pandora's box is opened, it will be hard to close." As part of this open letter to the UN, the scientists and business leaders, including world-renowned AI expert Toby Walsh, Elon Musk of Tesla, and James Chow of China's UBTECH, called for the use of lethal autonomous weapons, or killer robots, to be outlawed much in the same way as chemical and biological weapons on the battlefield. There's an arms race happening today, you can see the US military, the UK military, the Russian military - it's a bit of an arms race," Walsh said.


Growing Up with Alexa

MIT Technology Review

When it comes to digital assistants like Amazon's Alexa, my four-year-old niece Hannah Metz is an early adopter. "Alexa, play'It's Raining Tacos,'" she commanded on a recent sunny afternoon, and the voice-controlled helper immediately complied, blasting through its speaker a confection of a song with lines like "It's raining tacos from out of the sky" and "Yum, yum, yum, yum, yumidy yum." These things are most popular among people age 25 to 34, which includes a ton of parents of young children and parents-to-be. Her interest in her digital assistant jibes with some findings in a recent MIT study, where researchers looked at how children ages three to 10 interacted with Alexa, Google Home, a tiny game-playing robot called Cozmo, and a smartphone app called Julie Chatbot.


Robots Help Teach Social Skills to Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder - News Center - The University of Texas at Dallas

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Now, a UT Dallas researcher is giving the fantasy of robotic friends a practical edge with a robot that teaches social skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). "It's not to replace therapy with humans, but you can deliver a social skills lesson in a less threatening way, and the robot can deliver the same lesson multiple times," Rollins said. During a lesson, the robot explains a social situation to the child with ASD. Media Contact: Ben Porter, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2193, [email protected] or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].


Robots Help Teach Social Skills to Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder - News Center - The University of Texas at Dallas

#artificialintelligence

Now, a UT Dallas researcher is giving the fantasy of robotic friends a practical edge with a robot that teaches social skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). "It's not to replace therapy with humans, but you can deliver a social skills lesson in a less threatening way, and the robot can deliver the same lesson multiple times," Rollins said. During a lesson, the robot explains a social situation to the child with ASD. Media Contact: Ben Porter, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2193, [email protected] or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].


Banning killer robots? Is that a thing?

#artificialintelligence

The theme of this Year's conference is Autonomy and AI and is intended to encourage debate and analysis of the limits and safeguards that must be established when giving AI systems more autonomy. Such limits and safe- guards must be established for AI systems to progress in way that supports a just and prosperous society. A key organiser of the letter, Toby Walsh, Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of NSW in Sydney, will release it at a gathering of world leading artificial intelligence (AI) experts in Melbourne on Monday. CEOs from the rapidly advancing robotics and automation industry including Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk have joined a University of NSW professor in calling on the UN to ban artificial intelligence-driven'killer robot' autonomous weapons, before it is too late.


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@machinelearnbot

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