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Last Week in AI #60

Improving AI news coverage, Europe's AI regulations, and more!

Last Week in AI #60

Image credit: Maxime Mouysset / Bloomberg Businessweek

Mini Briefs

There’s room to improve A.I. news coverage

An old XKCD comic quipped at the “two types of articles about machine learning”: the first being overly technical and the second being the equivalent of a bard on the street prophesying the apocalypse. While it’s fun for us to jab at unwarranted predictions, AI journalism has to grapple with a field that is truly unprecedented in its ethical implications and challenges. In a new paper in AI & Society, researchers dig into how news outlets think and write about new technology to understand how people think and feel about artificial intelligence.

Corresponding author Veljko Dubljević, an assistant professor of philosophy at North Carolina State University, states that while AI journalism includes sophisticated discussion, there’s plenty of room for improvement. For example, Dubljević notes that “[j]ournalists may benefit from reaching out to AI technology experts and ethicists to get the relevant facts and values straightened out.”

Even the Pandemic Doesn’t Stop Europe’s Push to Regulate AI

In 2018, the European Commission published the Communication on AI for Europe, which claims to reflect an ethical and legal framework to ensure that Europe develops AI in alignment with its values. In February of this year, the Commission unveiled its plan to strictly regulate AI—while not finalized yet, potential laws include a ban on “black box” AI systems that humans can’t interpret.

As with Europe’s privacy regulations, major tech companies and leaders in AI could be forced to modify their operations in response to European laws and regulations. And it appears that the coronavirus hasn’t stopped the EU’s stated plans to roll out regulations this year. We have seen the powerful role that AI is playing in the fight against coronavirus, but despite the fact that London’s DeepMind and other major organizations are developing AI that could help us in the fight, their innovations may be complicated by the AI laws the EU plans to unveil.


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Advances & Business

  • Three Ways Computer Vision Is Transforming Marketing - Recent data from McKinsey revealed that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to create $1.4 to $2.6 trillion of value in marketing and sales across the world’s businesses. Khurram Mahmood shares three computer vision techniques that have the ability to transform the marketing landscape.

  • Automation May Take Jobs–but AI Will Create Them - While there are continuing fears that more advanced automation will continue to put people out of jobs, AI has the potential to create different opportunities for human workers.

  • Artificial Or Human Intelligence? Companies Faking AI - Technical and data-based complexities of AI create challenges for technology companies to deliver on promises of AI-based solutions. Some companies are choosing to approach these AI challenges not by scaling back their AI ambitions, but rather by using humans to do the task that they are otherwise trying to get their AI systems to do.

  • Stanford researchers propose AI in-home system that can monitor for coronavirus symptoms - During the “COVID-19 and AI” livestream event run by the Stanford Institute of Human-Centered AI (HAI), Stanford professor and HAI codirector Dr. Fei-Fei Li presented a concept for an AI-powered in-home system that could track a resident’s health, including for signs of COVID-19, while ensuring privacy.

  • Hero Creates AI Doppelganger of Himself to Get Out of Zoom Video Meetings - Matt Reed, creative technologist at redpepper, a marketing design firm in Nashville, has introduced an AI-powered “Zoombot” that can sit in on video calls for you.

  • Google’s auto-complete for speech can cover up glitches in video calls - An artificial intelligence that mimics an individual speaker’s way of talking can smooth over the cracks by filling in small gaps with snippets of generated speech. Developed by a team at Google, the technology is now being used in Google’s video-calling app Duo.

Concerns & Hype

Expert Opinions & Discussion within the field

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