The Sunday AI Review: 9-15th October 2017

POSTED BY   Michele Baker
15th October 2017
Artificial Intelligence News This Week


Welcome, again, to the latest news from the world of artificial intelligence this week.

Autumn is here in full force now. After feeling horribly depressed about the paste-grey sky and bare craggy trees making my neighbourhood look like some kind of post-apocalyptic nuclear winter, I have managed to pull myself out of it this weekend. Thanks to a hearty dose of good ol’ fashioned spending time with my daughter, I’m enjoying a far more bright and golden Sunday. I’m mid-way through cooking a Sunday roast (yes, I know, this review was due this morning – I’m sorry!) so, enough about me, let’s talk about AI.

Michele Sunday AI and ML review


What’s In Store This Week?

We’ve got: the need for human-centric AI, the seven deadly sins of AI predictions, Elon Musk’s latest fear, Facebook’s AI humiliation, why we should copy China, Google’s way of teaching you basic AI, the AI behind Spotify, why the Terminator isn’t really representative of AI, Google’s learning software that goes all inception on us, and more!



1. Google’s Learning Software Learns To Write Learning Software (Wired)


It’s no secret that it’s not very easy to find the sort of talent necessary to built cutting-edge AI systems. There aren’t enough new students coming into the field, and even fewer with the knowledge and expertise to get the job done. The BBC even reported on it this week. So, Google shrugged its shoulders and said, ‘well, let’s get the AI to do it’. Wait, what? Well, yeah. If there isn’t enough human brainpower knocking about, then we’ll have to use computer brain power. Makes sense.



2. Put Humans at the Center of AI (MIT Technology Review)

Whilst Google is busy automating its learning software, Director of Stanford’s AI Lab and Chief Scientist of Google Cloud, Fei-Fei Li, argues that the AI revolution needs to include more humans. Rises a wry smile in the context of the above news but, casting that aside, this is an insightful interview with Li herself.



3. The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions (MIT Technology Review)

From the classic ‘they’re gon’ take all our jobs’ to imagining that every Isaac Asimov novel is about to come to life on our doorstep, we have been terrifically guilty of jumping on the AI predictions bandwagon. This year has been an absolute plague of it, much to my own, personal enjoyment. This is a good article for getting things into perspective and for checking yourself before you go wrecking yourself.



4. Elon Musk Is Creeped Out by Google Clips, the Cute A.I. Camera (Inverse)

Elon is feeling a little neglected at the moment. Everyone seems to have stopped listening to his stories about the Singularity being upon us, and even lost interest in his whole Neuralink thing. Even his whole Hyperloop thing is getting a bit, well, boring (yes, pun very much intended). So he needed to find something new to get freaked out about. And Google has handed it to him on a plate. To be fair, he’s not completely off his rocker on this one, there is something a bit weird about Google Clips, the AI camera that takes pics for you and instantly uploads them to the cloud.



5. Facebook Quietly Enters Starcraft War For AI Bots, And Loses (Wired)


A Few More To Enjoy…


China’s AI Awakening (MIT Technology Review) 

The West shouldn’t fear China’s artificial-intelligence revolution. It should copy it.


Google’s new browser experiment lets you learn about basic AI (The Verge)



Spotify’s Discover Weekly: How machine learning finds your new music (Hackernoon)

The science behind personalized music recommendations


Lawmakers: Don’t Gauge Artificial Intelligence By What You See In The Movies (NPR)

Artificial intelligence is the subject of great hopes, dire warnings, and now — a congressional caucus.


Artificial intelligence sector ‘needs more brain power’ (BBC)

People may worry that robots are coming for their jobs – but the companies making the bots are struggling to find qualified employees, research suggests.


Scientists Can Read a Bird’s Brain and Predict Its Next Song (MIT Technology Review)

Next up, predicting human speech with a brain-computer interface.


Voice Assistants Aren’t So Easy To Fire (Wired)

Once I started granting Google’s artificial intelligence-driven network access to the minutiae of my life—what time I wake up, how I commute to work, what music I like to relax to, who I call, what food I order, and all of the other details that a voice assistant hoovers up in order to make itself useful to you—I would be placing a long-term bet.


Google’s Home Mini needed a software patch to stop some of them from recording everything (The Verge)

Categorize this under “one of the worst possible PR nightmares for a Google smart speaker.” According to Artem Russakovskii at Android Police, the Google Home Mini he was reviewing was randomly and near-constantly recording sounds in his home and transmitting them to Google. 


Facial Recognition for Porn Stars Is a Privacy Nightmare Waiting to Happen (Motherboard)

The underlying tech being used by Pornhub could one day be used by more nefarious actors to identify amateur and unwitting porn models.


Alibaba Aims to “Master the Laws” of AI and Put Virtual Helpers Everywhere (MIT Technology Review)

CTO of the e-commerce giant says its new $15 billion research academy will explore AI, fintech, and quantum computing.




And that’s that!

Time for roast dinner! Lovely! Have a wonderful week, everyone. See you back here for more next Sunday.

This is Baker, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off…


Don’t worry, we’ll never share details with anyone.

The Sunday AI Review: 9-15th October 2017

Michele Baker

Michele Baker is the Senior Content Strategist at TDMB. She began her journey into tech marketing via a Masters in Creative Writing, evolving from a prize-winning poet and short story writer to a futuristic content guru. Michele now writes endlessly about all aspects of technology, hosts the TDMB Presents… tech podcast, and speaks at numerous tech and marketing events.

Get in Touch With Michele Baker

01306 632 854

You may also like

Surviving AI: November’s TechTech Book Club
The Question Of Autonomous Vehicles and Morality
Our Pick Of The Best Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Events 2019