AI-Alerts



Roomba maker may share maps of users' homes with Google, Amazon or Apple

The Guardian

The maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum, iRobot, has found itself embroiled in a privacy row after its chief executive suggested it may begin selling floor plans of customers' homes, derived from the movement data of their autonomous servants. However, this is not necessarily personal data as protected under data protection law. The company's terms of service appear to give the company the right to sell such data already, however. When signing up for the company's Home app, which connects to its smart robots, customers have to agree to a privacy policy that states that it can share personal information with subsidiaries, third party vendors, and the government, as well as in connection with "any company transaction" such as a merger or external investment.


For Computers, Too, It's Hard to Learn to Speak Chinese

MIT Technology Review

In China today, voice assistant technology works by turning a user's voice commands into text and generating a response based on the meaning of the text. They will also have to understand emotions, since humans' decision making is not based solely on logic, notes Jia Jia, an associate professor at Tsinghua University who studies social affective computing. As of the end of 2016, Baidu claimed 665 million monthly active mobile users, and as of March this year, Alibaba had 507 million mobile monthly active users. For example, to train a neural network to understand texts in sports medicine, you could draw upon data from sports and data from medicine.


Bikes May Have To Talk To Self-Driving Cars For Safety's Sake

NPR

Anthony Rowe, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, wants bikes to feed information to nearby cars to avoid collisions. Anthony Rowe, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, wants bikes to feed information to nearby cars to avoid collisions. In Pittsburgh, where Uber is testing self-driving cars, each autonomous vehicle has two employees in the front seat; one is ready to grab the wheel and apply a foot to the brake pedal, the other in the passenger seat, has a computer screen showing what the car's rooftop laser-bouncing radar is seeing. In Pittsburgh, where Uber is testing self-driving cars, each autonomous vehicle has two employees in the front seat; one is ready to grab the wheel and apply a foot to the brake pedal, the other in the passenger seat, has a computer screen showing what the car's rooftop laser-bouncing radar is seeing.


I Sink, Therefore I Am: This Robot Wasn't Programmed For Existential Angst

#artificialintelligence

A Knightscope K5 security robot roamed the Prudential Center in Boston in May. A Knightscope K5 security robot roamed the Prudential Center in Boston in May. Some of the best minds of our times, including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, have warned that human beings may invent intelligent machines that could wind up destroying humankind. A Knightscope K5 security robot that patrolled an office complex along the Georgetown waterfront in Washington, D.C., rolled itself into a shallow fountain on Monday -- and drowned.


Drones will have to be registered in UK safety clampdown

The Guardian

Drones will have to be registered and users forced to take a safety awareness test under new regulations announced by the UK government. The move follows research that showed strikes by drones of more than 400g could critically damage helicopter windscreens, while a bigger drone of about 2kg could critically harm airliner windscreens at higher speeds. It said the research tests, conducted on behalf of Balpa along with the government and military aviation authorities, showed that the impact of drones hitting aircraft windscreens and helicopter rotors could be catastrophic even at modest speeds with small drones. Commercial drone operators are already obliged to complete a training course and register their drones with the CAA.


You have a lot to teach your grandkids, and that might explain menopause

Popular Science

Using a computational model, the researchers found that older women's ability to "grandmother"--that is, devote their resources to grandchildren--and use their cognitive abilities to support their offspring may have been crucial to the evolution of menopause Existing hypotheses suggest that menopause protects humans from risky pregnancies at an older age (the Maternal Hypothesis) or might allow older mothers to invest their energy in supporting the survival of their grandchildren (the Grandmother Hypothesis). For example, to test whether the model supported the Grandmother Hypothesis, they removed the variables allowing the woman to offer more support to children who had more children of their own. When the neural network's model prevented women from caring for their grandchildren--or assumed that cognitive resources didn't affect offspring's skills--menopause did not evolve and women continued reproducing into old age. Aime acknowledges that there are some limitations to the team's neural network model--for example, it only simulates women, so in future studies, she hopes to expand the model to include men.


Google's AI guru says that great artificial intelligence must build on neuroscience

#artificialintelligence

Currently, most AI systems are based on layers of mathematics that are only loosely inspired by the way the human brain works. Building AI that can perform general tasks, rather than niche ones, is a long-held desire in the world of machine learning. It argues that deep learning, which uses layers of artificial neurons to understand inputs, and reinforcement learning, where systems learn by trial and error, both owe a great deal to neuroscience. The solution, Hassabis and his colleagues argue, is a renewed "exchange of ideas between AI and neuroscience [that] can create a'virtuous circle' advancing the objectives of both fields."


This Is Microsoft's Gorgeous New Nest Competitor

TIME

Following a demonstration of how its Cortana virtual assistant would work in cars and living rooms last May, the company just revealed it's working on a smart thermostat called GLAS. Contrasted with rivals like the Nest Learning Thermostat and Honeywell Lyric, both of which have round shapes that resemble more traditional thermostats, GLAS appears to be a sleek, transparent touchscreen mounted on a wall. The screen can also be used to summarize energy savings, display a calendar and outline air quality. The news also comes as an increasing number of home devices are adding support for Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant.


AI suggests recipe for a dish just by studying a photo of it

New Scientist

Researchers have devised a machine learning algorithm that looks at photos of food and predicts the recipe that created the dish. The AI can also work out from a photo what ingredients went into a food: presented with an image of a plate of biscuits, for example, it knows that they are likely to include flour, eggs and butter. App such as MyFitnessPal already let people track calorie intake, but they have to manually input what they eat. But image recognition algorithms can only go so far, says Christoph Trattner at MODUL University Vienna in Austria.