Category: Artificial Intelligence

Why China’s ‘military AI budget’ is irrelevant (spoiler: all AI is military AI)

A recently published study from the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), a think-tank at Georgetown University, indicates commonly held perceptions about China‘s supposed AI spending may be grossly off-base. Key takeaways suggest the PRC spends much less than the US on ‘military‘ and ‘defense‘ AI. Here’s a hot take: All AI is military AI. Let’s start with the study. You can read it here, but to briefly sum up, the authors write: We assess with low to moderate confidence that China’s public investment in AI R&D was on the order of a few billion dollars in 2018. With…

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DeepMind’s Mustafa Suleyman joins Google AI

DeepMind and co-founder Mustafa Suleyman have decided to go their separate ways. Earlier this year there were disputed reports the two were arguing, some even suggested he’d been placed on leave. But now it seems he’s actually left the UK-based enterprise. And for its sister. Ouch. After a wonderful decade at DeepMind, I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be joining @Kent_Walker, @JeffDean and the fantastic team at Google to work on opportunities & impacts of applied AI technologies. Can’t wait to get going! More in Jan as I start the new job! — Mustafa Suleyman (@mustafasuleymn) December 5, 2019…

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How the ‘bigger is better’ mentality is damaging AI research

Something you’ll hear a lot is that the increasing availability of computing resources has paved the way for important advances in artificial intelligence. With access to powerful cloud computing platforms, AI researchers have been able to train larger neural networks in shorter timespans. This has enabled AI to make inroads in many fields such as computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. But what you’ll hear less is the darker implications of the current direction of AI research. Currently, advances in AI are mostly tied to scaling deep learning models and creating neural networks with more layers and parameters. According to artificial intelligence…

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Pichai is a mistake

Silicon Valley is still politely shrugging after the mildly interesting, but definitely important news broke yesterday that Alphabet’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, also the founders of Google, were “stepping aside” from their leadership positions. In a company blog post, the duo said it was time to simplify the two company’s command structures and that both of them would be replaced by Google’s current CEO Sundar Pichai, who has now assumed control of both companies. Well, at least on paper anyway. This story is both exciting – Alphabet is probably the most important company in the world – and boring. Did…

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Regional strengths are shaping AI’s evolution in Asia

McKinsey estimates that by 2030, 70 percent of companies “might have adopted at least one of the five categories of AI like computer vision, natural language, virtual assistants, robotic process automation and advanced machine learning.” The report estimates that AI has the potential to deliver “additional global economic activity; of nearly $13 trillion by 2030 and add 16 percent to the higher cumulative GDP compared with [September 2018].” In geographical terms, Asia occupies 29.4 percent of the Earth’s land surface, but it also has a population of nearly 4.5 billion as of 2015 – 60 percent of the world’s total. Young…

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Watch: Performance-enhancing AI could change baseball forever

Meet Tipper, a convolutional neural network that lives on an Nvidia AI card. Its creator says it can predict whether a baseball pitch will land inside or outside of the strike zone. Tipper was developed by Nick Bild, a serial creator who seems to have an unquenchable thirst to create and innovate. He makes apps, trains neural networks, and literally has a gold badge in ‘problem solving’ on HackerRank. He says he was inspired to build Tipper while sitting idle in traffic, pondering the world from an engineer’s point of view. Here’s how Tipper works, according to Bild’s GitHub page:…

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Skydio 2 hands on: Drones just got fun again

The Skydio 2 autonomous flying camera (some people call it a drone) starts shipping to preorder customers today and that means it’s time to talk about our early impressions. I got my hands on the 2 a couple of weeks ago and, based on my experience reviewing the Skydio R1, I couldn’t have been more eager to dive in. The 2 is superior to the R1 in almost every way. It’s smarter, faster, and easier to control than ever. Skydio’s drones aren’t like anything you’ve seen or flown before. They’re basically autonomous – they navigate entirely on their own with…

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Facebook’s new chatbot teaches employees how to answer difficult questions about the company

Working at Facebook was once a matter of pride for some people and their parents. Now, being employed by the social networking giant probably leads to uncomfortable questions from inquisitive relatives asking what part you, or your colleagues, played in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. For the past couple of years, Facebook’s reputation has diminished, so much so that peoples’ trust in the company dropped by 66 percent since the infamous data scandal last year. Because of this mess, Facebook’s own employees recently told their managers that they were worried about answering difficult questions about their workplace from friends and family.…

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Amazon unveils musical AI keyboard that teaches humans about machine learning

Last night, Amazon announced an AI-powered musical keyboard for developers at its re:Invent 2019 conference in Las Vegas. The keyboard, called AWS Deepcomposer, is available in physical and emulator form for folks to try their hand at machine learning. It has 32-keys in two octaves and pre-trained AI models in classical, jazz, rock, or pop genres to get started. You can use a pre-recorded tune or record one of your own, and then select parameters and validation sample for the model. It’ll then produce a tune based on the genre and parameters. Once you get comfortable with using Deepcomposer, you can train your own…

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How babies can teach AI to understand classical and quantum physics

A team of researchers from MIT recently tapped the amazing potential of the human brain to develop an AI model that understands physics as good as some humans. And by some, we mean three-month-old babies. It might not sound like much, but at three months old an infant has a basic grasp of how physical things work. They understand advanced concepts such as solidity and permanence – objects typically don’t pass through one another or disappear – and they can predict motion. To study this, researchers show infants videos of objects acting the way they should, such as passing behind…

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