GOOD MORNING, MY LITTLE CYBORGS!
Welcome to the latest edition of the Sunday AI Review – the top news from the week in artificial intelligence.
As many of you will be more than aware, it’s been half term this week. It’s always a mixed blessing for working parents, but one that I have enjoyed immensely this time around. As my daughter approaches her 10th birthday, she is proving to be the best of company, so taking a couple of days off to spend with her has been a delight. Back to school in the morning, though, and I have to say I’ll be sad not to have her around in the daytime, while I’m typing away in silence once more.
Though she has had the bulk of my attention all week, I’ve still been avidly gathering news from the world of AI over the last seven days. This has culminated in this piece I published on Friday, which you may be interested to read:
It’s about the disturbing stuff that China is up to with citizen data and my tinfoil hat worries about whether it’ll arrive on our shores. Let me know your thoughts.
On Thursday this week, I’ll be on a panel at We Are Robots 2017 discussing the use of AI in Music and Interactive Entertainment. It’s set to be an incredible festival exploring tech and music and is on all this week at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. Hope to see you there!
Moving on, let’s get onto the news of the week in AI…
It’s always a pleasure to read a piece by the wonderful Cade Metz, a writer whose career I covet immensely. And this piece is no less of a pleasure, adding to recent reports about the lack of talent in AI. With so much being bet on AI right now, Silicon Valley is grasping hard for any talent in the area that it possibly can. Though some (i.e. Google) are learning how to replace their staff with AI itself, the fact remains that lots of people are needed, and moreover, few have the skills required to really make a difference. But they are still getting paid big money.
So, the week’s nuttiest news comes all the way from Saudi Arabia, via The Independent, which was not alone in reporting that SA has a brand new citizen. Sophia has been showing up everywhere over the last couple of years, drawing awe for being a humanoid that has some degree of artificial intelligence built in. The two together seem to be an amusing curiosity for people in general, and even if her skills are quite rudimentary, what Sophia represents is something that both troubles and inspires us about the future to come. Granting her citizen status, in a country where many humans have fewer rights than she does, is what makes this news all the weirder…
Kevin Frans is still working on his college applications, but this week he published a paper for OpenAI (Elon Musk’s non-profit AI lab). This article from Wired is all about Frans and his paper, and shines a ray of light on our worries about bringing decent talent to the AI space in coming years.
Lamentably, it seems the pendulum has swung back the other way this week. Last week I shared the happy news that AI was creating more jobs than it was taking, but now it seems things have completely changed. In just seven days. How about that?
All joking aside, the pendulum spends much more time on the negative side in the developing world. India has come on leaps and bounds as a result of its ability to be a centre for outsourcing in both customer and IT services (not to mention manufacturing). For those already losing their jobs to AI, the automation revolution is no laughing matter.
That’s all for this week, folks! But if you would like to receive this review into your email inbox every Sunday instead of clicking here each week, then do fill in the box below and join my happy throng!
Have a wonderful week, all of you.
May the force be with you,