AI Gives Conservationists A Leg Up In The Fight To Preserve Biodiversity


Give Jason Holmberg 10,000 zebra photos and he'll find the specific individual zebra you're looking for, no problem. "It could take two minutes," he said. Holmberg won't personally sort through the photos -- it's his software that will. Holmberg is executive director of the nonprofit Wild Me. The Portland-based organization has developed a digital tool called Wildbook that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to expedite wildlife identification.

What Went Wrong With IBM's Watson


What if artificial intelligence can't cure cancer after all? That's the message of a big Wall Street Journal post-mortem on Watson, the IBM project that was supposed to turn IBM's computing prowess into a scalable program that could deliver state-of-the-art personalized cancer treatment protocols to millions of patients around the world. Watson in general, and its oncology application in particular, has been receiving a lot of skeptical coverage of late; STAT published a major investigation last year, reporting that Watson was nowhere near being able to live up to IBM's promises. After that article came out, the IBM hype machine started toning things down a bit. But while a lot of the problems with Watson are medical or technical, they're deeply financial, too.

Scientists Are Developing a Unique Identifier for Your Brain


Michaela Cordova, a research associate and lab manager at Oregon Health and Science University, begins by "de-metaling": removing rings, watches, gadgets and other sources of metal, double-checking her pockets for overlooked objects that could, in her words, "fly in." Then she enters the scanning room, raises and lowers the bed, and waves a head coil in the general direction of the viewing window and the iPad camera that's enabling this virtual lab tour (I'm watching from thousands of miles away in Massachusetts). Her voice is mildly distorted by the microphone embedded in the MRI scanner, which from my slightly blurry vantage point looks less like an industrial cannoli than a beast with a glowing blue mouth. I can't help but think that eerie description might resonate with her usual clientele. Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research developments and trends in mathematics and the physical and life sciences.

Scientists improve deep learning method for neural networks


Researchers from the Institute of Cyber Intelligence Systems at the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Russia) have recently developed a new learning model for the restricted Boltzmann machine (a neural network), which optimizes the processes of semantic encoding, visualization and data recognition. The results of this research are published in the journal Optical Memory and Neural Networks. Today, deep neural networks with different architectures, such as convolutional, recurrent and autoencoder networks, are becoming an increasingly popular area of research. A number of high-tech companies, including Microsoft and Google, are using deep neural networks to design intelligent systems. In deep learning systems, the processes of feature selection and configuration are automated, which means that the networks can choose between the most effective algorithms for hierarchal feature extraction on their own.

Artificial intelligence leads to real comedy for PhD student


When Kory Mathewson began his PhD in computing science at the University of Alberta, he didn't think it would lead to doing improv on stage with a robot--but that's exactly what happened. Mathewson has two shows in this year's Edmonton Fringe Fest: TEDxRFT, an improv show that riffs on the popular TED Talks videos, and Human Machine, an AI improv show. "The Human Machine AI improv show is part of my PhD work. I'm studying how humans and machine-learning systems interact, and so this show is a little bit of a play on the work that I've been doing," he said. "I've been building dialogue systems, and this show explores how humans and these dialogue systems--like Siri, Alexa or Google Home--play into our lives, and the funny things they say."

Addressing the skills gap – Are telcos AI ready?


For telcos to get the most out of artificial intelligence (AI), they must not only find the necessary technical skills but also ensure that the entire company understands the value of the technology. My last blog focused on how AI augmentation is the future for telcos because it not only allows them to deliver superior customer experience in an increasingly competitive marketplace, but also helps them cut costs, remain competitive and launch new services across complex ecosystems, from autonomous cars and fleet management to healthcare and beyond. I concluded that the biggest challenge doesn't seem to be the implementation of the technology but the upskilling and retraining of human employees. According to a study from Oracle and Future Workplace, 72% of human resources executives surveyed said their organisations do not provide any AI training programme. Now, that study might not be telco-specific, but it certainly illustrates the challenges that AI brings when implementing it in a business.

Robots have the power to 'significantly influence' children's opinions, scientists warn

Daily Mail

Robots can'significantly influence' children's opinions, researchers have found. Experts used a classic psychological test to compare how adults and children respond to an identical task when in the presence of their peers and robots. They showed that while adult's opinions are often influenced by peers, they are easily able to resist being persuaded by robots - with children aged between seven and nine were more likely to give the same responses as the robots, even if they were obviously incorrect. Experts used a classic psychological test to compare how adults and children respond to an identical task when in the presence of their peers and robots. The study, conducted at the University of Plymouth and called titled'Children conform, adults resist', used the Asch paradigm - first developed in the 1950s - which asked people to look at a screen showing four lines and say which two match in length.

Can sound help save a dwindling elephant population? Scientists using AI think so. - On the Issues


Deep in the rainforest in a northern corner of the Republic of Congo, some of the most sophisticated monitoring of animal sounds on earth is taking place. Acoustic sensors are collecting large amounts of data around the clock for the Elephant Listening Project. These sensors capture the soundscape in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park and adjacent logging areas: chimpanzees, gorillas, forest buffalo, endangered African grey parrots, fruit hitting the ground, blood-sucking insects, chainsaws, engines, human voices, gunshots. But researchers and local land managers who placed them there are listening for one sound in particular -- the calls of elusive forest elephants. Forest elephants are in steep decline; scientists estimate two-thirds of Africa's population has likely been lost to ivory poaching in recent decades.

Germany's Prospects in AI - Vodafone Institute


Is Germany losing ground in the increasingly strategic field of Artificial Intelligence? Germany is still Europe's most powerful economy. However, many observers fear that in the on-going digital revolution, it is being left behind by its competitors. The increasingly crucial field of Artificial Intelligence is no exception. When chancellor Angela Merkel showed up at an event organised by the newspaper WirtschaftsWoche in late June in Berlin, the nation's public discourse was dominated by two topics: the unexpected and fully deserved demise of the German football team in the FIFA World Cup, and the looming government crisis initiated by one of Merkel's closest allies on the topic of immigration.

Stern of World War II destroyer Abner Read found 75 years after it was ripped off by a Japanese mine

Daily Mail

The stern of a US destroyer that was blown off the ship by a Japanese mine 75 years ago, killing 71, has been found off Alaska. The fragment of the USS Abner Read was found in the Bering Sea off the Aleutian island of Kiska, where it sank after being torn off by an explosion while conducting an anti-submarine patrol. The remaining crew managed to save the ship, which was repaired after the attack. On July 17, a NOAA-funded team of scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the University of Delaware discovered the missing 75- foot stern section in 290 feet of water off of Kiska, one of only two United States territories to be occupied by foreign forces in the last 200 years. After sonar mounted to the side of the research ship Norseman II identified a promising target, the team sent down a deep-diving, remotely operated vehicle to capture live video for confirmation.