A computational life

By ast | Issues at the intersection of computation and social life.

Most of AI’s Business Uses Will Be in Two Areas

While overall adoption of artificial intelligence remains low among businesses (about 20% upon our last study), senior executives know that AI isn’t just hype. Organizations across sectors are looking closely at the technology to see what it can do for their business. As they should—we estimate …

Artificial Intelligence

What Do We Know About False News?

As false news has become a global phenomenon, scholars have responded. They’ve ramped up their efforts to understand how and why bad information spreads online — and how to stop it. In the past 18 months, they’ve flooded academic journals with new research and have raised the level of urgency. In a …

Critical Thinking

'I was shocked it was so easy': ​meet the professor who says facial recognition ​​can tell if you're gay

Progress makes people uncomfortable. When the first monkeys walked, other monkeys probably said, 'This is outrageous!'<p>Kosinski received emails from people confused about their sexuality who hoped he'd run their photo through his algorithm<p>If you basically accept we’re just computers, then computers …

Machine Learning

The rise of 'pseudo-AI': how tech firms quietly use humans to do bots' work

It’s hard to build a service powered by artificial intelligence. So hard, in fact, that some startups have worked out it’s cheaper and easier to get humans to behave like robots than it is to get machines to behave like humans.<p>“Using a human to do the job lets you skip over a load of technical and …

Artificial Intelligence

When Is It Important for an Algorithm to Explain Itself?

Many efforts to apply machine learning get stuck due to concerns about the “black box” — that is, the lack of transparency around why a system does what it does. Sometimes this is because people want to understand <i>why</i> some prediction was made before they take life-altering actions, as when a …

Machine Learning

Algorithm matches human cardiologists in detecting heart attacks - MIT Technology Review

A myocardial infarction, or heart attack, occurs when the blood supply to the heart muscle is permanently disrupted by a blockage of some type. The …

Machine Learning

Tech companies just woke up to a big problem with their AI

Tech companies are beginning to accept that the artificial intelligence they’re building their futures on could be flawed. From studies showing that language-processing AI can be sexist to more recent research on facial recognition’s failures on darker skin tones, years of research have erupted …

Artificial Intelligence

Unmasking A.I.'s Bias Problem

<b>WHEN TAY MADE HER DEBUT</b> in March 2016, Microsoft had high hopes for the artificial intelligence–powered “social chatbot.” Like the automated, …

Artificial Intelligence

The reason thousands of Swedish people are inserting microchips into themselves

Thousands of people in Sweden have inserted microchips, which can function as contactless credit cards, key cards, and even rail cards, into their bodies. Once the chip is underneath your skin, there is no longer any need to worry about misplacing a card or carrying a heavy wallet. But for many …

Singularity

This is how the robot uprising finally begins - MIT Technology Review

The robot arm is performing a peculiar kind of Sisyphean task. It hovers over a glistening pile of cooked chicken parts, dips down, and retrieves a …

Artificial Intelligence

This tool lets you see–and correct–the bias in an algorithm

Accenture’s new Fairness Tool is a way to quickly evaluate whether your data is creating fair outcomes.<p>Algorithms might help decide the terms of your next loan, pull data from your online shopping history to help determine your credit score, assess whether you should be offered a job, or decide …

Artificial Intelligence

Why Won't Facebook Talk About How Often Its Algorithms Are Wrong?

Two weeks ago Facebook released yet another glossy marketing infographic site and video touting how its state of the art technology, top engineers and teams of experts have made massive strides in conquering yet another scourge of the online world through the power of advanced algorithms. This past …

Internet

Supervised Machine Learning Trainer 3607A

In the near future, cities are filled with smart infrastructures such as decentralized security cameras, self-sorting trashcans, and intelligent …

Why Algorithm Matching Matters to the Gig Economy

Yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released data indicating that independent contractors make up 6.9 percent of the workforce, down from 7.4 percent in 2005. The media has expended a lot of energy discussing the explosive growth of the gig economy, making this decline seem like a surprise. …

It’s easier than you think to craft AI tools without typing a line of code

A lot of companies are trying to make it easier to use artificial intelligence, but few are making it as simple as Lobe. The startup, which launched earlier this year, offers users a clean drag-and-drop interface for building deep learning algorithms from scratch. It’s mainly focused on machine …

Machine Learning

AI that counts and identifies wildlife could be a game-changer for ecologists

Despite how much they know about the natural world, ecologists and wildlife experts sit atop a treasure trove of unexamined information. They’re …

What We Know About Facebook’s Latest Data Scandal

A new report raises questions about just how much Facebook data phone manufacturers could access.<p>A new report in <i>The New York Times</i> contains a startling fact: Working with a 2013 BlackBerry device, a reporter was recently able to use special access Facebook had granted the phone manufacturer to …

The smart infrastructure that will save us from our dumb cities

In cities around the world, streetlights are monitoring traffic flow to alleviate congestion, sensors are guiding drivers to empty parking spaces and …

Smart Cities

Why No One Answers Their Phone Anymore

Telephone culture is disappearing.<p>The telephone swept into Americans’ lives in the first decades of the 20th century. At first, no one knew exactly how to telephone. Alexander Graham Bell wanted people to start conversations by saying, “Ahoy-hoy!” AT&T tried to prevent people from saying “hello,” …

20th Century

Amazon needs to come clean about racial bias in its algorithms

We shouldn’t be using unaudited facial recognition systems on public streets<p>Yesterday, Amazon’s quiet Rekognition program became very public, as new documents obtained by the ACLU of Northern California showed the system partnering with the city of Orlando and police camera vendors like Motorola …

Northern California

Debiasing Our Statistical Algorithms Down to Their Roots

Eliminating bias in the data and algorithms that drive artificial intelligence and machine learning initiatives requires constant vigilance on the …

Tech Firms Move to Put Ethical Guard Rails Around AI

One day last summer, Microsoft’s director of artificial intelligence research, Eric Horvitz, activated the Autopilot function of his Tesla sedan. The …

Marketing in the Age of Alexa

T<i>he autonomous car dropped Lori at her home and then left for its scheduled service at the dealership. It would be back in time to take her to the airport the next morning. On the way into her house, Lori gathered the drone deliveries from the drop box on her stoop. The familiar voice of Eve, a</i> …

23andMe Wants Its DNA Data to Be Less White

The company is offering free kits to researchers studying populations in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere—but the ethics are tricky.<p>23andMe is best known for selling DNA test kits, but the company’s real value lies in the data of its 5 million customers. The bigger its genetic database, the more …

Nobody is safe from Russia's colossal hacking operation

No-one is too unimportant to be targeted by Russia-backed, state-sponsored hackers. While that may be good for the self-esteem, it's bad news for …

Cybersecurity

Palantir Knows Everything About You

Trump<p>White<p>House<p>Justin<p>Mikolay<p>EMPLOYEE OF<p>EMPLOYEE OF<p>Kevin<p>Harrington<p>EMPLOYEE OF<p>Thiel<p>Capital<p>FORMER<p>OPERATOR OF<p>Alexander<p>Karp<p>FORMER<p>OPERATOR<p>OF<p>FORMER<p>OPERATOR …

Researchers teach AI to think like dogs and find out what they know about the world

They say AI trained on dog behavior could be useful for teaching robots<p>What can artificial intelligence learn from dogs? Quite a lot, say researchers from the University of Washington and Allen Institute for AI. They recently trained neural networks to interpret and predict the behavior of canines. …

Who’s a good AI? Dog-based data creates a canine machine learning system

We’ve trained machine learning systems to identify objects, navigate streets and recognize facial expressions, but as difficult as they may be, they don’t even touch the level of sophistication required to simulate, for example, a dog. Well, this project aims to do just that — in a very limited …

Machine Learning

Stopping racist AI is as difficult as stopping racist people

In early 2016, Microsoft launched Tay, an AI chatbot that was supposed to mimic the behavior of a curious teenage girl and engage in smart discussions with Twitter users. The project would display the promises and potential of AI-powered conversational interfaces.<p>However, in less than 24 hours, the …

Artificial Intelligence