Can government regulation fix Facebook's 'data vampire' problem?

Daily Mail

After revelations that political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica allegedly appropriated Facebook user data to advise Donald Trump's 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, many are calling for greater regulation of social media networks, saying a'massive data breach' has occurred. The idea that governments can regulate their way into protecting citizen privacy is appealing, but I believe it misses the mark. What happened with Cambridge Analytica wasn't a breach or a leak. It was a wild violation of academic research ethics. The CEO finally broke his silence on the misuse of 51 million users' data Wednesday evening, outlining three steps the firm plans to take to prevent something like this from happening again.

Agility Robotics Raises $8 Million for Commercial Bipedal Robots

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Today, Agility Robotics is announcing US $8 million in Series A funding "to accelerate product, technology, and business development." Leading the round is Playground Global, founded by Android co-creator and ex-Google Robotics head Andy Rubin, and also joining in is Sony Innovation Fund. We don't write about funding rounds all that often, but this could be the first robotics company to get such a significant amount of VC funding to develop a realistic commercial bipedal robot. There are certainly other well-funded companies working on bipeds, including Boston Dynamics and Schaft. But while it's not that clear what commercial applications these companies are targeting, Agility Robotics is very specifically and deliberately working on a legged robot that can make deliveries.

How YouTube Uses Mechanical Turk Tasks to Help Train Its AI


It's no secret that YouTube has struggled to moderate the videos on its platform over the past year. The company has faced repeated scandals over its inability to rid itself of inappropriate and disturbing content, including some videos aimed at children. Often missing from the discussion over YouTube's shortcomings, though, are the employees directly tasked with removing things like porn and graphic violence, as well as the contractors that help train AI to learn to detect unwelcome uploads. But a Mechanical Turk task shared with WIRED appears to provide a glimpse into what training one of YouTube's machine learning tools looks like at the ground level. MTurk is an Amazon-owned marketplace where corporations and academic researchers pay individual contractors to perform micro-sized services--called Human Intelligence Tasks--in exchange for a small sum, usually less than a dollar.

HPE aims new portfolio at enterprise AI deployments Internet of Business


NEWSBYTE: Enterprise technology and IT services company HPE has revealed a new product and service portfolio that it hopes will help organisations across different sectors deploy artificial intelligence (AI). The company said it wants to help businesses exploit AI by making existing business processes more efficient. "Global tech giants are investing heavily in AI, but the majority of enterprises are struggling, both with finding viable AI use cases and with building technology environments that support their AI workloads," said Beena Ammanath, global VP for artificial intelligence at HPE Pointnext. "As a result, the gap between leaders and laggards is widening." HPE Digital Prescriptive Maintenance Services, delivered by HPE Pointnext, is a product that prescribes and automates actions, with the aim of preventing industrial equipment from failing, as well as optimising productivity.

The Wrap: Tokyo Station now has an AI concierge to help travellers - WIT


Bebot is your AI guide based in Tokyo Station. Tokyo Station, the train hub of Japan's capital and home to the world famous Shinkanshen bullet trains, is one of the busiest railway station in the country and many tourists may need help to navigate it. Now they may not fear being lost in transit as Bebot, the AI chatbot concierge, has started working there as a'guide'. Bebot, built by Tokyo-based Bespoke Inc., acts as a personal concierge for travellers. It was launched in April last year, and is already providing services in Narita and Haneda international airports and hotels globally.

The future of coaching in a world of Artificial Intelligence


Every year, the breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence (AI), the intelligence displayed by machines, become more and more astounding. The list of what intelligent machines can now do better than humans grows. From driving cars more safely to making more accurate medical diagnoses and being far smarter at predictions, it is clear that we're on the cusp of a tech revolution that will soon bring sweepings changes with the aim of fundamentally improving human lives. Amidst the amazement and excitement, there are also fears at the potential dark side of AI, as well as a more basic fear that because the machines can be smarter than us, we may find ourselves'useless'. A quick scan of the media and you will find a constant stream of narratives and conversations about a potentially huge scale of work that might be lost to people in the near future, thanks to the machine.

Give your solutions a more human side with Microsoft Cognitive Services


Microsoft Graph gives you access to the most important data for your business and/or application, your data! Microsoft has a strong vision that AI should be democratized and be available to everyone – developers, data scientists, enterprises, and yes even your dog. Microsoft has been involved and conducting research into AI for the last couple decades and infusing it into their products and services (Bing, Xbox, Office 365, Skype, Cortana, LinkedIn, etc). This research eventually found its way into a product known as Microsoft Cognitive Services. Microsoft Cognitive Services, formerly known as "Project Oxford" was first announced at Build 2016 conference and released as a preview.

"We Made Mistakes": Zuckerberg Finally Weighs In On Facebook Data Scandal

Mother Jones

Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday issued a statement on the growing controversy around Cambridge Analytica's acquisition and use of tens of millions of people's personal Facebook data. In the 935-word statement, Zuckerberg reassures users that "the good news is that most important actions to prevent this from happening again" were already taken in 2014, when the company limited the amount of data that could be acquired by third-party apps on the social media platform. While the statement acknowledged the company "made mistakes," it avoided an explicit apology or the word "sorry." Zuckerberg's move comes four days after the New York Times reported that Cambridge Analytica, a company that provides political operators detailed information on millions of voters, obtained data on more than 50 million American Facebook users from a University of Cambridge researcher named Aleksandr Kogan. Cambridge Analytica's connections to Republican megadonor Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon, an ex Trump campaign chairman and a senior White House adviser, may have allowed the Trump campaign to access and use the data to target potential voters, according to the Times.

Paperspace Launches Gradient -- A Serverless Artificial Intelligence Platform


Paperspace, a Brooklyn-based startup has launched an AI PaaS offering called Gradient. Based on the serverless delivery model, Gradient removes the friction involved in launching and configuring GPU-backed VMs to train machine learning and deep learning models. Data scientists and developers spend a lot of time configuring the right environment needed for creating machine learning experiments and models. Firstly, they need to launch a Linux virtual machine powered by a GPU. This step is followed by installing required NVIDIA tools such as graphic drivers, CUDA runtime, and cuDNN libraries.

IBM Unwinds Tangled Data for Enterprise AI


These days, organizations are creating and storing massive amounts of data, and in theory this data can be used to drive business decisions through application development, particularly with new techniques such as machine learning. Data is arguably the most important asset, and it is also probably the most difficult thing to manage. It can be structured or unstructured, and it is increasingly scattered in different locations – in on-premises infrastructure, in a public cloud, on a mobile device. It is a challenge to move, thanks to the costs in everything from bandwidth to latency to infrastructure. It has a zillion different formats, sometimes chunks of data are missing, and usually it is unorganized and alarmingly often ungoverned.