If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
A new tool is promising to make your pictures undetectable to facial recognition software without significantly changing their appearance. Known as Photo Ninja, the tool uses artificial intelligence (AI) to make minor alterations to photos that reportedly confuse facial recognition algorithms. Developed by DoNotPay, the company behind the app that uses AI to provide legal services, Photo Ninja moves the location of certain pixels, alters colors, and adds unnoticeable objects into images. "Photo Ninja uses a novel series of steganography, detection perturbation, visible overlay, and several other AI-based enhancement processes to shield your images from reverse image searches without compromising the look of your photo," the company said. CEO Joshua Browder revealed on Twitter Monday that Photo Ninja will be integrated into the DoNotPay app for paying customers.
DoNotPay, a bot-based platform that helps consumers fight for their rights, is rolling out a new email service that automatically applies for refunds, cancels subscriptions, fights spam, and more by scanning messages in people's inboxes. The launch comes in a year in which the San Francisco-based company has seen a surge in demand due to the global pandemic, with consumers contending with canceled flights, closed gyms, and monthly memberships to reconsider due to reduced income. As the world transitions to the "new normal" post-lockdown, many consumers will still be feeling the pinch, putting DoNotPay in a strong position to apply its "robo lawyer" to more industries and use-cases. The company recently secured $12 million in funding to help it do just that, with backing from big-name investors including Coatue Management, Andreessen Horowitz, and Peter Thiel's Founders Fund. DoNotPay first came to prominence back in 2015 when British entrepreneur Josh Browder launched a website to help Londoners appeal parking fines.
Would you entrust a personal-injury claim, divorce settlement or high-stakes contract to an algorithm? A growing number of apps and digital services are betting you will, attracting millions of Silicon Valley investment dollars but raising questions about the limits and ethics of technology in the legal sphere. Among the leaders in the emergent robo-lawyering field is DoNotPay, an app dreamed up by Joshua Browder in 2015, when he was a 17-year-old Stanford University student, to help friends dispute parking tickets. The app, which relies on an artificial intelligence-enabled chatbot, became popular, and has expanded its focus to other consumer legal services. In June it hit the million-case mark, helping save people upward of $30 million since it started, Mr. Browder says. It raised a new $12 million round of funding the same month.
DoNotPay, the "robot lawyer" service that helps you contest parking tickets and even sue people, is launching a new tool to help customers understand license agreements. Called "Do Not Sign," the service is included with DoNotPay's monthly $3 subscription fee, and it lets users upload, scan, or copy and paste the URLs of any license agreements they'd like to check. The service uses machine learning to highlight clauses it thinks users need to know about, including options to opt out from data collection. Agreeing to lengthy license agreements is an almost weekly occurrence for many people, with modern smart devices forcing you to hit "agree" on every new contract. Do Not Sign isn't a replacement for a real lawyer, but it's better than accepting a license agreement sight unseen so you can start using a shiny new gadget, service, or app without delay.
Paul Duan was working as a data scientist at Eventbrite in San Francisco by day, and volunteering at homeless shelters and soup kitchens by night. He realized one day that he wanted to use AI to help unemployed people find jobs--a core mission of his Paris, France-based nonprofit Bayes Impact. Bayes Impact uses data to build social services fit for a better future. "When you work at a soup kitchen, you serve a soup one by one to each individual, and it feels great," says Duan, "But then it gets really sad because you see that there are 50 people in line behind the person, and you know that behind the closed door of the shelter you have 10,000 more on the streets. So the one question that came to mind was, 'how can we impact people at the biggest scale?'"
Have you ever booked a flight or hotel and then noticed that the prices drop after you've shelled out? If the flight or hotel price drops, DoNotPay claims it would bag the better deal and make the vendor refund the difference. 'In the US (unlike Europe unfortunately), there are about 70 different loopholes that will make even the most non-refundable ticket refundable,' Browder told Business Insider, explaining how his invention works. He added that in beta testing, 68 per cent of flights saw prices decline by an average of $140 (£100). The largest difference that DoNotPay has seen to date is $650 (£465).
That means if you can't afford a lawyer to, say, help you appeal a parking ticket, you're left adrift in a sea of confusing legalese and lawbooks. You're stuck doing your own legal research to determine whether or not your parking ticket was fair. Enter DoNotPay, an app that plays 20 Questions with the user to help them appeal their parking tickets. Were the "no parking" signs confusing? Was it an emergency situation?
As a young programmer, Joshua Browder built a chatbot to act as a kind of AI lawyer that would help people dispute parking tickets. Not only did it work, but it was hugely popular, which led Browder to expand the program to help anyone harmed by the Equifax scandal sue the company in small claims court. Now his company, DoNotPay, is aiming even higher: by the end of this year, Browder plans to launch an addition to the platform that will you let you sue anyone. "To be honest, Equifax was just a bit of testing for the product that would let anyone sue anyone," Browder, one of 2017's 35 Innovators under 35, said Wednesday at MIT Technology Review's EmTech MIT conference. "The main use would be for taking down corporations."
Then a blogger spotted DoNotPay, and the chatbot went viral. To date, it has helped more than 400,000 people save a total of $11 million in fines, without charging a cent. "I think people get caught up in trying to make money," says Browder, 19. "I'm just trying to make the law free for everyone." About 95% of divorces are uncontested, which can cost up to $10,000, the bulk of which is for attorney fees.