Study: Only 18% of data science students are learning about AI ethics

554A03CB-2EBD-4F94-A94F-7A660AD1C715

The neglect of AI ethics extends from universities to industry

 A study by data science firm Anaconda found an absence of AI ethics initiatives in both academia and industry.

Amid a growing backlash over AI‘s racial and gender biases, numerous tech giants are launching their own ethics initiatives — of dubious intent.

The schemes are billed as altruistic efforts to make tech serve humanity. But critics argue their main concern is evading regulation and scrutiny through “ethics washing.”

At least we can rely on universities to teach the next generation of computer scientists to make. Right? Apparently not, according to a new survey of 2,360 data science students, academics, and professionals by software firm Anaconda.

Only 15% of instructors and professors said they’re teaching AI ethics, and just 18% of students indicated they’re learning about the subject.

Continue reading… “Study: Only 18% of data science students are learning about AI ethics”

Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott believes artificial intelligence will help reprogram the American dream

0C53BE49-D9CC-4B35-AF12-3B90019594EF

Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott rise to his current post is about as unlikely as you will find. He grew up in Gladys, Virginia, a town of a few hundred people. He loved his family and his hometown to such an extent that he did not aspire to leave. He caught the technology bug in the 1970s by chance, and that passion would provide a ticket to bigger places that he did not initially seek.

The issue was one of opportunity. In his formative years, jobs were decreasing in places like Gladys just as they were increasing dramatically in tech hubs like Silicon Valley. After pursuing a PhD in computer science at the University of Virginia, he left in 2003 prior to completing his dissertation to join Google. He would rise to become a Senior Engineering Director there. He left Google for LinkedIn in 2011. He would eventually rise to become the Senior Vice President of Engineering & Operations at LinkedIn. From LinkedIn he joined Microsoft three and a half years ago as CTO. He is deeply satisfied with the course of his career and its trajectory, but part of him laments that it took him so far from his roots and the hometown that he loves.

As he reflected further on this conundrum, he put his thoughts to paper and published the book, Reprogramming the American Dream in April, co-authored by Greg Shaw. As he noted in a conversation I recently had with him, “Silicon Valley is a perfectly wonderful place, but we should be able to create opportunity and prosperity everywhere, not just in these coastal urban innovation centers.”

Scott believes that machine learning and artificial intelligence will be key ingredients to aiding an entrepreneurial rise in smaller towns across the United States. These advances will place less of a burden on companies to hire employees in the small towns, as some technical development will be conducted by the bots. He also hopes that as some of these businesses blossom, more kids will be inspired to start their own businesses powered by technology, creating a virtuous cycle of sorts.

Continue reading… “Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott believes artificial intelligence will help reprogram the American dream”

Artificial intelligence makes blurry faces look more than 60 times sharper

 72CA34AD-D226-4EE2-9CF0-0D37841603BC

This AI turns blurry pixelated photos into hyperrealistic portraits that look like real people. The system automatically increases any image’s resolution up to 64x, ‘imagining’ features such as pores and eyelashes that weren’t there in the first place.

Duke University researchers have developed an AI tool that can turn blurry, unrecognizable pictures of people’s faces into eerily convincing computer-generated portraits, in finer detail than ever before.

Previous methods can scale an image of a face up to eight times its original resolution. But the Duke team has come up with a way to take a handful of pixels and create realistic-looking faces with up to 64 times the resolution, ‘imagining’ features such as fine lines, eyelashes and stubble that weren’t there in the first place.

“Never have super-resolution images been created at this resolution before with this much detail,” said Duke computer scientist Cynthia Rudin, who led the team.

The system cannot be used to identify people, the researchers say: It won’t turn an out-of-focus, unrecognizable photo from a security camera into a crystal clear image of a real person. Rather, it is capable of generating new faces that don’t exist, but look plausibly real.

While the researchers focused on faces as a proof of concept, the same technique could in theory take low-res shots of almost anything and create sharp, realistic-looking pictures, with applications ranging from medicine and microscopy to astronomy and satellite imagery, said co-author Sachit Menon ’20, who just graduated from Duke with a double-major in mathematics and computer science.

Continue reading… “Artificial intelligence makes blurry faces look more than 60 times sharper”

Microsoft sacks journalists to replace them with robots

B64D68A0-EB66-4829-9E25-03698691FDA1

Users of the homepages of the MSN website and Edge browser will now see news stories generated by AI

Dozens of journalists have been sacked after Microsoft decided to replace them with artificial intelligence software.

Staff who maintain the news homepages on Microsoft’s MSN website and its Edge browser – used by millions of Britons every day – have been told that they will be no longer be required because robots can now do their jobs.

Around 27 individuals employed by PA Media – formerly the Press Association – were told on Thursday that they would lose their jobs in a month’s time after Microsoft decided to stop employing humans to select, edit and curate news articles on its homepages.

Continue reading… “Microsoft sacks journalists to replace them with robots”

Self-supervised learning is the future of AI

DAF3C609-529C-44E1-A84B-3C1B16C3A64E

Despite the huge contributions of deep learning to the field of artificial intelligence, there’s something very wrong with it: It requires huge amounts of data. This is one thing that both the pioneers and critics of deep learning agree on. In fact, deep learning didn’t emerge as the leading AI technique until a few years ago because of the limited availability of useful data and the shortage of computing power to process that data.

Reducing the data-dependency of deep learning is currently among the top priorities of AI researchers.

Continue reading… “Self-supervised learning is the future of AI”

Yale researchers say humans would like robots better if they were more vulnerable

2409415C-B9C5-4BAA-A7C2-5710E0B00297

Three humans and a robot form a team and start playing a game together. No, this isn’t the beginning of a joke, it’s the premise of a fascinating new study just released by Yale University.

Researchers were interested to see how the robot’s actions and statements would influence the three humans’ interactions among one another. They discovered that when the robot wasn’t afraid to admit it had made a mistake, this outward showing of vulnerability led to more open communication between the people involved as well.

Continue reading… “Yale researchers say humans would like robots better if they were more vulnerable”

The intelligence community is developing its own AI ethics

5BD80116-A928-4E71-B66A-97BC0CB47E43

While less public than the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, the intelligence community has been developing its own set of principles for the ethical use of artificial intelligence.

The Pentagon made headlines last month when it adopted its five principles for using artificial intelligence, marking the end of a months-long effort over what guidelines the department should follow as it develops new AI tools and AI-enabled technologies.

Less well known is that the intelligence community is developing its own principles governing the use of AI.

“The intelligence community has been doing it’s own work in this space as well. We’ve been doing it for quite a bit of time,” Ben Huebner, chief of the Office of Director of National Intelligence’s Civil Liberties, Privacy, and Transparency Office, said at an Intelligence and National Security Alliance event March 4.

Continue reading… “The intelligence community is developing its own AI ethics”

Elon Musk says all advanced AI development should be regulated, including at Tesla

65F8BE23-59EC-4AEB-A322-656737E57985

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is once again sounding a warning note regarding the development of artificial intelligence. The executive and founder tweeted on Monday evening that “all org[anizations] developing advance AI should be regulated, including Tesla.”

Musk was responding to a new MIT Technology Review profile of OpenAI, an organization founded in 2015 by Musk, along with Sam Altman, Ilya Sutskever, Greg Brockman, Wojciech Zaremba and John Schulman. At first, OpenAI was formed as a non-profit backed by $1 billion in funding from its pooled initial investors, with the aim of pursuing open research into advanced AI with a focus on ensuring it was pursued in the interest of benefiting society, rather than leaving its development in the hands of a small and narrowly-interested few (i.e., for-profit technology companies).

Continue reading… “Elon Musk says all advanced AI development should be regulated, including at Tesla”

Meet Ella: New Zealand Police unveil first artificial intelligence officer

The police have unveiled their first AI officer, with hopes she’ll soon be smiling and blinking out of screens in stations all around New Zealand.

Ella, the artificial intelligence cop at the centre of the police’s new digital services, was revealed at the police national headquarters in Wellington this morning.

Ella, which stands for Electronic Lifelike Assistant, is part of two new digital kiosks police have designed to help reduce queues in stations and to provide a modern way to connect with the public.

Continue reading… “Meet Ella: New Zealand Police unveil first artificial intelligence officer”

8 powerful examples of AI for good

4322A5D9-586E-4BAC-B6AD-A9649D6A5773

Amid the cacophony of concern over artificial intelligence (AI) taking over jobs (and the world) and cheers for what it can do to increase productivity and profits, the potential for AI to do good can be overlooked. Technology leaders such as Microsoft, IBM, Huawei and Google have entire sections of their business focused on the topic and dedicate resources to build AI solutions for good and to support developers who do. In the fight to solve extraordinarily difficult challenges, humans can use all the help we can get. Here are 8 powerful examples of artificial intelligence for good as it is applied to some of the toughest challenges facing society today.

There are more than 1 billion people living with a disability around the world. Artificial intelligence can be used to amplify these people’s abilities to improve their accessibility. It can facilitate employment, improve daily life and help people living with disabilities communicate. From opening up the world of books to deaf children to narrating what it “sees” to those with visual impairments, apps and tools powered by artificial intelligence are improving accessibility.

Continue reading… “8 powerful examples of AI for good”

How AI is helping reinvent the world of manufacturing

654F40C4-A154-491B-9459-09A803B021F2

Throughout each industrial era, the companies best able to embrace change have become the most likely to succeed. This dates back to the development of steam and combustion engines through to electricity, microprocessors and now artificial intelligence.

In The Future Computed: AI and Manufacturing, Microsoft Senior Director Greg Shaw explores how AI, automation and the internet of things (IoT) present new challenges and opportunities.

Here are some of the manufacturers already demonstrating how the latest tech advances are changing the way they work.

Continue reading… “How AI is helping reinvent the world of manufacturing”

AI can help find illegal opioid sellers online. And wildlife traffickers. And counterfeits.

D18C80AF-1ABB-4028-B6E0-DD56AF8DA35B

Tablets suspected by the Drug Enforcement Administration to be fentanyl. Don Emmert/Getty Images

The government is investing in an AI-based tool that could help catch illegal opioid sales on the internet. But the same approach could find lots of other illicit transactions.

An estimated 130 people die from opioid-related drug overdoses each day in the United States, and 2 million people had an opioid use disorder in 2018. This public health crisis has left officials scrambling for ways to cut down on illegal sales of these controlled substances, including online sales.

Now the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, is investing in an artificial intelligence-based tool to track how “digital drug dealers” and illegal internet pharmacies market and sell opioids (though online transactions are likely not a large share of overall illegal sales).

New AI-based approaches to clamping down on illegal opioid sales demonstrate how publicly available social media and internet data — even the stuff you post — can be used to find illegal transactions initiated online. It could also be used to track just about anything else, too: The researcher commissioned by NIDA to build this tool, UC San Diego professor Timothy Mackey, told Recode the same approach could be used to find online transactions associated with illegal wildlife traffickers, vaping products, counterfeit luxury products, and gun sales.

Continue reading… “AI can help find illegal opioid sellers online. And wildlife traffickers. And counterfeits.”

Discover the Hidden Patterns of Tomorrow with Futurist Thomas Frey
Unlock Your Potential, Ignite Your Success.

By delving into the futuring techniques of Futurist Thomas Frey, you’ll embark on an enlightening journey.

Learn More about this exciting program.