Good Morning, My Little Cyborgs!
December is fast approaching, should you need reminding. The festive season’s arrival has already been trumpeted in this week by the deluge of “Black Friday bargains” promised across the web and high street. I don’t know about you, but there is very little of any real note to actually take advantage of, as far as I can tell. I picked up an Echo Dot for £35 but I’m guessing that’s about the going rate now, anyway. Funny what they try to make us fall for, isn’t it?
What really got to me about the whole Black Friday thing this week, however, was the way all my favourite tech news outlets transformed themselves into catalogues for discount products. My inbox, usually packed with juicy stuff about new developments in technology, has been a wasteland of consumer trash. I’m not going to name and shame, but regular readers know which publications usually feature in this review. Maybe it’s just been a slow week?
Luckily, however, there’s always Buzzsumo to give us those all-important top five AI news pieces of the week. Weirdly, the most shared article to come up with the keyword ‘artificial intelligence’ was some distinctly ‘fake news’ piece about the first working head transplant. I haven’t done any further research, but I think I can safely assume that it wasn’t true. Plus, it didn’t even mention AI, so… wtf? Suffice to say, that’s all I will be saying about that one.
So let’s move straight on to second in line…
Meanwhile, in China…
The first robot to pass its medical exams to become a licensed practitioner has been announced. Xiaoyi, the AI-powered robot, scored 96 points above the pass threshold, meaning it could technically be a GP. So that’s something to look forward to.
2. The Incredible Ways Heineken Uses Big Data, The Internet of Things And Artificial Intelligence (Forbes)
Not sure exactly how ‘incredible’ this news is, really. All the use of data analytics and deep learning combined with connected devices etc etc is getting to be pretty standard practice now. If anything is interesting here, though, it’s on the second page of the article. So, aside from all the usual new processes our automated era is introducing to industry, the interesting bit is about a company called IntelligentX, which is experimenting with using AI to improve beer recipes and – get this – customise beer for individuals. Now that I will raise a glass to.
Ah yes, this old chestnut again! Lots of techxperts (can that be a thing?) like old Elon, Hawking, Gates, etc, have all been shouting about the dangers of killer robots for months. Now the issue seems to actually have reached the consciousness of the real big guns, who this week discussed automated weapons at the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons. No fewer than 22 nations called for an outright ban, spurred on by the open letter signed by hundreds of aforementioned techxperts (plus thousands more sent individually) urging for serious consideration of the huge threat such weapons pose. So, how did it go? Well, you’re just going to have to click to find out.
You remember Michal Kosinski? That’s right, the one who put his career on the line a couple of months ago with his highly controversial ‘gaydar’ AI. Let’s not get into that quicksand territory right now. Whilst this article goes into Kosinski’s work, the focus is really on opening the AI black box, as it were. How did the AI come to the uncomfortable conclusions it did? Making sure we understand our AI’s workings is perhaps even more important than getting the AI to do a thing in the first place. This article, therefore, is critical reading.
Of all the careers one might have thought was safe from automation, art historian was probably in the top five. Turns out, AI can do it better. Gone are the days of arduous lab testing to establish the veracity of a work of art. This algorithm can analyse the changing strength across a brushstroke, ascertaining how hard the artist pushed with the brush, thus accurately determining the individual artist. In tests, the AI was able to identify forged paintings 100% of the time, and individual artists 80% of the time.
6. Hillary Clinton: ‘We are totally unprepared’ for the rise of artificial intelligence’ (Yahoo News)
“Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, a lot of really smart people are sounding an alarm that we’re not hearing. And their alarm is artificial intelligence is not our friend. It can assist us in many ways if it is properly understood and contained. But we are racing headfirst into a new era of artificial intelligence that is going to have dramatic effects on how we live, how we think, how we relate to each other.”
Whilst Black Friday ruined my inbox offering this week, my colleagues at TDMB have pulled it out of the bag. Jon, Will, and Amy have put together some seriously good articles, which you can read by clicking below:
- AI RESEARCHERS ARE BEING POACHED – WHO’S ENSURING THE SAFETY OF THE HUMAN RACE?
- BRAIN-MACHINE INTERFACES AND THE POWER OF THE MIND
- TRACKABLE PILLS: NANOTECH MEETS MEDTECH
As always, you can subscribe to receive this review (well, variations thereof) every Sunday morning into your email inbox, by dropping me your email address below…
Have a great week, all!