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Category Archives: AI

Eye-catching advances in some AI fields are not real

Science: “Artificial intelligence (AI) just seems to get smarter and smarter. Each iPhone learns your face, voice, and habits better than the last, and the threats AI poses to privacy and jobs continue to grow. The surge reflects faster chips, more data, and better algorithms. But some of the improvement comes from tweaks rather than the core innovations their inventors claim—and some of the gains may not exist at all, says Davis Blalock, a computer science graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Blalock and his colleagues compared dozens of approaches to improving neural networks—software architectures that loosely mimic the brain. “Fifty papers in,” he says, “it became clear that it wasn’t obvious what the state of the art even was.” The researchers evaluated 81 pruning algorithms, programs that make neural networks more efficient by trimming unneeded connections. All claimed superiority in slightly different ways. But they were rarely compared properly—and when the researchers tried to evaluate them side by side, there was no clear evidence of performance improvements over a 10-year period. The result, presented in March at the Machine Learning and Systems conference, surprised Blalock’s Ph.D. adviser, MIT computer scientist John Guttag, who says the uneven comparisons themselves may explain the stagnation. “It’s the old saw, right?” Guttag said. “If you can’t measure something, it’s hard to make it better.”…

New tools aim to tame pandemic paper tsunami

COVID-19 – New tools aim to tame pandemic paper tsunami, Jeffrey Brainard, Science  29 May 2020: Vol. 368, Issue 6494, pp. 924-925. DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6494.924. “Timothy Sheahan, a virologist studying COVID-19, wishes he could keep pace with the growing torrent of new scientific papers related to the pandemic. But there have just been too many—more than… Continue Reading

Mining Parliamentary Speeches for Insights

Harvard Dataverse: “ParlSpeech V2 contains complete full-text vectors of more than 6.3 million parliamentary speeches in the key legislative chambers of Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, covering periods between 21 and 32 years. Meta-data include information on date, speaker, party, and partially agenda item… Continue Reading

Facebook released dataset of 10,000 hateful memes

Facebook AI Blog: “…In order for AI to become a more effective tool for detecting hate speech, it must be able to understand content the way people do: holistically. When viewing a meme, for example, we don’t think about the words and photo independently of each other; we understand the combined meaning together. This is… Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence Is Driving A Silicon Renaissance

Forbes: “The semiconductor is the foundational technology of the digital age. It gave Silicon Valley its name. It sits at the heart of the computing revolution that has transformed every facet of society over the past half-century. The pace of improvement in computing capabilities has been breathtaking and relentless since Intel introduced the world’s first… Continue Reading

Facebook uses 1.5bn Reddit posts to create chatbot

BBC News: “Facebook has launched a new chatbot that it claims is able to demonstrate empathy, knowledge and personality. “Blender” was trained using available public domain conversations which included 1.5 billion examples of human exchanges. The social media giant said 49% of people preferred interactions with the chatbot, compared with another human. But experts say… Continue Reading

Libraries and the practice of freedom in the age of algorithms

Barbara Fister – Libraries and the Practice of Freedom in the Age of Algorithm – “Abstract: How prepared are librarians, and the students they serve, to navigate technologies that are fundamentally changing how we encounter, evaluate, and create information? In the past decade, a handful of platforms have become powerful information intermediaries that help us search… Continue Reading

Dressing for the Surveillance Age

The New Yorker – As cities become ever more packed with cameras that always see, public anonymity could disappear. Can stealth streetwear evade electronic eyes? By John Seabrook: “…Advances in computer vision have occurred so rapidly that local and national privacy policies—what aspects of your face and body should be protected by law from surveillance machines—are… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends Weekly highlights on cyber security issues March 8, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends Weekly highlights on cyber security issues March 8, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading

Live Facial Recognition Is Spreading Around the World

The surveillance technology can already be found in Argentina, India, and soon the United States – “…While it’s become common for law enforcement, from local police to the federal government, to use facial recognition, it’s often used retrospectively. That means instead of scanning everyone’s face whose face appears in a live video, they analyze an… Continue Reading

Power Through apps, not warrants, ‘Locate X’ allows federal law enforcement to track phones

protocol: “U.S. law enforcement agencies signed millions of dollars worth of contracts with a Virginia company after it rolled out a powerful tool that uses data from popular mobile apps to track the movement of people’s cell phones, according to federal contracting records and six people familiar with the software. The product, called Locate X… Continue Reading