GOOD MORNING, MY LITTLE CYBORGS!
The Zuckerberg hearing was top of the agenda in the tech world this week. I watched a lot of it, rather ironically, via a series of live streams from The Verge’s Facebook page. It was actually pretty good viewing – both in terms of insight and for sheer comic value.
One of the major takeaways for me was Zuck’s regularly repeated comments about how Facebook needed more and better AI to overcome the privacy ‘challenges’ the social media monolith is facing. One can’t help but wonder about the myriad new mishaps that more AI could bring about for flailing Facebook. With a tinge of schadenfreude, I would be very interested to see what could go wrong for MZ next.
In the midst of the deadpan sitcom, one voice – rather predictably – pipes up. Yes, Elon Musk has weighed in, spotting a ripe opportunity for driving home his continuing narrative about regulation of AI. This week, he’s combined his calls for regulation of AI to include social media. Keeping it current there, Elon. Good work.
“I do think there should be some regulations on AI. I think there should be regulations on social media to the degree that it negatively affects the public good,” Musk told CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King.
Moving on from the Facebook furore, the MIT Technology Review announces FDA approval of an AI-powered diagnostic tool for diabetic retinopathy, which can operate without the assistance of human physicians. This follows the recent approval of an AI-powered software for detecting strokes. The FDA has stated that it’ll be approving more and more AI tools for diagnosis and other uses.
Meanwhile, Forbes has gone with a story that seems to contradict the evidence above. It’s gone with the headline ‘Artificial Intelligence Still Needs Human Help’, counting out all the areas where AI isn’t really pulling its weight.
AI has got a long way to go, but everyone knows that so I don’t really see the point of going over it again, unless it’s for the purpose of distracting us from the ways in which artificial intelligence is powering ahead in ways we’re not quite comfortable with. But also, of coursehumans need to be involved in AI at every step of the way… surely that’s obvious.
Next up, it’s our weekly update on how much better at AI China is. This news comes from Bloomberg Technology, reporting that SenseTime Group Ltd has this week become the most valuable AI startup in the world. SenseTime specialises in image, and specifically facial, recognition systems. Its total incoming investment has now exceeded $3bn, including $600m from Alibaba.
With China taking the spotlight, and the US being home to Silicon Valley and all the rest of the great stuff in AI, Europe has been putting its collective minds together in a so-called ‘artificial intelligence pact’ which sounds somewhat more interesting than it is. Can Europe really compete?
And perhaps more importantly (to us in the UK at least) and beyond the bounds of this article from Euractiv, how will our own itty bitty island fare in the AI arms race after we burn our bridges for good?