Collaborating Authors


Robots that act collectively: when, and how? – #ICRA2022 Day 4 interview with K. Petersen, M. A. Olivares Mendez, and T. Kaiser ( video digest)


Attending ICRA is a great opportunity to see many state-of-the-art (and famous?) robots in a single venue. Indeed, a quick trip to the exhibitors' booths is enough to get introduced to the large and diverse group of commercial robots we have today. Yet, one can easily notice that these amazing state-of-the-art robots do not interact with each other. At least they do not do it without human mediation. Although in the exhibitions one can find two or three robots that appear to be joyfully playing together, the reality is that their operators are creating these inter-robot interactions.

Can artificial intelligence better predict flooding in coastal areas?


Coastal communities around the world are especially vulnerable to flooding, storms, hurricanes and heavy rainfall. Now, scientists are studying whether artificial intelligence can better predict the impact of the storms. More information would help areas like New Orleans, Louisiana, which is forced to fix and rebuild after severe flooding. Clint Dawson, a professor at the University of Texas Austin, is part of a team of investigators working on a project funded by the Department of Energy's Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research. "The only reason that place still exists is because there is fairly extensive levy system that protects it," Dawson said.

Data Transparency and Curation Vital to Success of Healthcare AI


Amid advances in precision medicine, healthcare is facing the twin challenges of having to curate and tailor the use of patient data to drive genomics-powered breakthroughs. That was the takeaway from the AI & data sciences track of last week's Precision Medicine World Conference in Santa Clara, California. "There aren't a lot of physicians saying, 'Bring me more AI,' " said John Mattison, MD, emeritus CMIO and assistant medical director of Kaiser Permanente. "Every physician is saying bring me a safer and more efficient way to deliver care." Mattison recalled his prolonged conversations with the original developers of IBM's Watson AI technology.

Guest speaker presents practical view of artificial intelligence


And one such unknown today is artificial intelligence. Is it right to be afraid of AI? Or is this just an irrational fear of the unknown? To make artificial intelligence more understandable to its workforce, the Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate recently invited Dr. Erick Brethenoux to explain how it all works and how we all can expect to benefit from it in the future. Brethenoux specializes in machine learning, artificial intelligence and applied cognitive computing on the AI team at Gartner Inc., a consulting firm AFRL information technology uses for help with its mission-critical priorities. To begin his talk, Brethenoux reassured his audience that artificial intelligence doesn't really exist.

The Great Hack: the film that goes behind the scenes of the Facebook data scandal


Cambridge Analytica may have become the byword for a scandal, but it's not entirely clear that anyone knows exactly what that scandal is. It's more like toxic word association: "Facebook", "data", "harvested", "weaponised", "Trump" and, in this country, most controversially, "Brexit". It was a media firestorm that's yet to be extinguished, a year on from whistleblower Christopher Wylie's revelations in the Observer and the New York Times about how the company acquired the personal data of tens of millions of Facebook users in order to target them in political campaigns. This week sees the release of The Great Hack, a Netflix documentary that is the first feature-length attempt to gather all the strands of the affair into some sort of narrative – though it is one contested even by those appearing in the film. "This is not about one company," Julian Wheatland, the ex-chief operating officer of Cambridge Analytica, claims at one point. "This technology is going on unabated and will continue to go on unabated.[…] There was always going to be a Cambridge Analytica. It just sucks to me that it's Cambridge Analytica."

Dog reunited with owner after 8 month, 175-mile journey

FOX News

SOUTH PARIS, Maine – A dog that went missing in Massachusetts months ago has been reunited with its family after being found in Maine, 175 miles (282 kilometers) away. The Bangor Daily News reports 5-year-old king shepherd Kaiser made his way from Ashby, Massachusetts, to South Paris, Maine, over a span of eight months. The pooch jumped a wall at the home of a woman who was caring for him before going missing. Kaiser's owner, Tom Wollcott, and his children were reunited with the dog Sunday morning. Wollcott conducted an exhaustive search, including using a drone to try to find Kaiser.

Loopholes and the 'Anti-Realism' of the Quantum World


The theoretical physicist John Wheeler once used the phrase "great smoky dragon" to describe a particle of light going from a source to a photon counter. "The mouth of the dragon is sharp, where it bites the counter. The tail of the dragon is sharp, where the photon starts," Wheeler wrote. The photon, in other words, has definite reality at the beginning and end. But its state in the middle--the dragon's body--is nebulous.

This Random Videogame Powers Quantum Entanglement Experiments


In October 2016, while working in Rwanda, a biologist named Jordi Galbany heard about a new online game on one of his favorite podcasts, a Catalan-language radio show called "Versió Rac 1." Playing was simple, he learned: All you did was frantically press 1's and 0's as randomly as possible. Between days of fieldwork, where he would enter the Rwandan forest to measure the growth of wild mountain gorillas, he logged on to his computer to play the game for an hour. "I put it in my agenda," Galbany says. "I really wanted to do it." In the next month--mostly on November 30--about 100,000 people around the world would play the simplistic keyboard-mashing game in response to a publicity campaign run by physicists.

CA also used 'sex compass' and other quiz apps for sucking Facebook data, says former employee


Brittney Kaiser, a former employee for Cambridge Analytica -- who left the company in January and is today giving evidence in front of a UK parliament committee that's investigating online misinformation -- has suggested that data on far more Facebook users may have found its way into the consultancy's hands than the up to 87M people Facebook has so far suggested had personal data compromised as a result of a personality quiz app running on its platform which was developed by an academic working with CA. Another former CA employee, Chris Wylie, previously told the committee the company worked with professor Aleksandr Kogan to gather Facebook users' data -- via his thisisyourdigitallife quiz app -- because Kogan had agreed to work on gathering and processing the data first, instead of negotiating commercial terms up front. CA's intent was to use Facebookers' data for political microtargeting, according to evidence provided by Wylie. I should emphasise that the Kogan/GSR datasets and questionnaires were not the only Facebook-connected questionnaires and datasets which Cambridge Analytica used. I am aware in a general sense of a wide range of surveys which were done by CA or its partners, usually with a Facebook login – for example, the "sex compass" quiz.

Cambridge Analytica created own quizzes to harvest Facebook data


Controversial data mining company collected information on at least 87 million Facebook users. LONDON -- Cambridge Analytica created its own Facebook quizzes and questionnaires to collect reams of data on users using the social networking giant, according to a former senior official at the data mining company. Brittany Kaiser, the former director of program development at Cambridge Analytica, told British lawmakers on Tuesday that the company, which is at the center of a broader Facebook data scandal, widely used such practices, including a "sex compass" quiz, to garner insight on people's online habits. These data-collection strategies made it highly likely that more people's Facebook data had been collected without their knowledge than previously thought, according to Kaiser. Cambridge Analytica is already accused of using a third-party app created by Aleksandr Kogan, a Cambridge University professor, to collect online information on up to 87 million Facebook users.