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Facebook, boosting artificial-intelligence research, says it's 'not going fast enough'

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Facebook will dramatically accelerate its research into artificial intelligence, its chief AI scientist said Tuesday, in hopes of ensuring the social network doesn't fall behind with the technology it will need to contend with Internet rivals and police its gargantuan audience. The world's biggest social network said it would recruit high-profile engineers and expand its AI-research division to roughly 170 scientists and engineers across eight global offices, including Paris, Pittsburgh, Montreal, London and Tel Aviv. The expansion of the international labs and new academic partnerships will be devoted to the study of robotics, virtual animation, learning machines and other forms of AI. Yann LeCun, Facebook's chief AI scientist and an early machine-learning architect, said the expanded research effort was pushed by Facebook leaders such as CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "AI has become so central to the operations of companies like ours, that what our leadership has been telling us is: 'Go faster.


Why some accents don't work on Alexa or Google Home

Washington Post

When Meghan Cruz says "Hey, Alexa," her Amazon smart speaker bursts to life, offering the kind of helpful response she now expects from her automated assistant. With a few words in her breezy West Coast accent, the lab technician in Vancouver gets Alexa to tell her the weather in Berlin (70 degrees), the world's most poisonous animal (a geography cone snail) and the square root of 128, which it offers to the ninth decimal place. But when Andrea Moncada, a college student and fellow Vancouver resident who was raised in Colombia, says the same in her light Spanish accent, Alexa offers only a virtual shrug. She asks it to add a few numbers, and Alexa says sorry. She tells Alexa to turn the music off; instead, the volume turns up.


Donald Trump says massive Google fine has proved him right in argument with EU

The Independent

Donald Trump has responded to the EU's decision to charge Google with a record-breaking fine. "I told you so!" the president tweeted. "The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the US, but not for long!" The post is just the latest mark of deteriorating relations between the EU and the US.


Does Amazon need a smartphone to win the smart home battle?

ZDNet

Alexa wants to runs the smart home - should she be on your phone, too? The European Commission's antitrust complaint against Google, over how it used Android to strengthen the dominance of its search engine, also shed some light on Amazon's thwarted plan to persuade manufacturers to make devices using its own version of Android, Fire OS. One of the EC's complaints against Google concerned how it prevented device manufacturers from using any alternative version of Android that were not approved by Google -- so-called Android forks. According to the EC, in order to be able to pre-install Google's apps, including the Play Store and Google Search on their devices, manufacturers had to commit not to develop or sell even any device running on an Android fork. The EC said that this reduced the opportunity for devices running on Android forks to be developed and sold.


Elon Musk, AI leaders pledge not to develop "killer robots"

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"There is a moral component to this position, that we should not allow machines to make life-taking decisions for which others–or nobody–will be culpable," they write in the pledge. "There is also a powerful pragmatic argument: lethal autonomous weapons, selecting and engaging targets without human intervention, would be dangerously destabilizing for every country and individual." More than 170 organizations and 2,464 individuals have signed the pledge, according to the Future of Life Institute, which organized the campaign. "I'm excited to see AI leaders shifting from talk to action, implementing a policy that politicians have thus far failed to put into effect," said Future of Life Institute President Max Tegmark. "AI has huge potential to help the world–if we stigmatize and prevent its abuse.


Artificial intelligence's silent takeover on humanity

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But fear looms as A.I. continues to penetrate the very essence of who we are. As world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking once said: "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race….It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate." In an interview with Joy FM's Nhyira Addo, A.I. and space expert Einstein Ntim said that technology will only continue to accelerate exponentially. "My grandmother died when she was 105, and in her lifetime, she got to see the world go from no cars, to cars, to airplanes, to mobile phones. All those changes she saw in her lifetime we will experience in the next 10 years."


Facebook Hires Several Experts In Artificial Intelligence

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Facebook announced several new hires of top academics in the field of artificial intelligence Tuesday, among them a roboticist known for her work at Disney making animated figures move in more human-like ways. The hires raise a big question -- why is Facebook interested in robots, anyway? It's not as though the social media giant is suddenly interested in developing mechanical friends, although it does use robotic arms in some of its data centers. The answer is even more central to the problem of how AI systems work today. Today, most successful AI systems have to be exposed to millions of data points labeled by humans -- like, say, photos of cats -- before they can learn to recognize patterns that people take for granted.


Google Next 2018: Prepare for the Future of Work with Cloud, AI and Mobility Innovations

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Machine Learning Gets Real: For many organizations, machine learning is bleeding-edge technology that's years away from practical application or use, but Google's suite of products are pushing the boundaries of machine learning and demonstrating real business value. Expect to hear from several companies, such as Twilio and The Home Depot. Chrome Reaches Business Savvy: The popularity of Google's Chrome browser and its notebook offerings, Chromebooks, has been pronounced in the education market. But now Chrome is poised to make its way to the enterprise. Google will offer several sessions highlighting how businesses can use the browser and OS to work in interesting and unique ways.


Mastering the Game of Go Is Easy: Conversing Like A Kid Remains Intractable - DZone AI

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It wasn't that long ago that Deepmind's AlphaGo proved it could play the game better than the best humans. From the standpoint of the range of possible future moves, the game of Go is not a searchable problem. It represents search spaces that are astronomically larger than all the potential moves in chess. Yet, the individual moves are far simpler and more atomic than chess (and almost any other game) partly because of the incredible simplicity of the rules combined with a giant catalog of hundreds of thousands of human played games. Because it was relatively easy to have it play a large number (countless millions) of games against itself, the game is a good fit for deep learning.


The rise of the creative machines - Ericsson

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The debate whether computers can be truly creative started two years ago after a special game of Go, an abstract strategy board game. The world champion, Lee Sedol, had just lost to AlphaGo, a computer program developed by the Google company DeepMind. What surprised the engineers and Go experts was that AlphaGo had secured the victory with a remarkable move that no human had ever done. The question is how artificial intelligence will be used in the workplace and if it will complement or substitute human skills. Michael Björn, co-author of the report and Head of Research at the Ericsson Consumer and Industry Lab, says: "The introduction of artificial intelligence systems will affect most professions in the future.