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Posts tagged ‘AI’

MIT building A 1 Billion Dollar AI College

Massachusetts Institute of Technology will not just look to churn out single-discipline artificial intelligence graduates, but work to integrate machine learning into other fields — whether that’s history, politics, chemistry, or anything else. The college will equip students and researchers in any discipline to use computing and A.I. to advance their disciplines and vice-versa, as well as to think critically about the human impact of their work

Nestle Wants Your DNA To Provide You With Healthy Snacks

Former Nestle chief Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has said personalised diets and 'individual nutrient cocktails' are the future of nutrition

Former Nestle chief Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has said personalised diets and ‘individual nutrient cocktails’ are the future of nutrition ( Rex Features )

Nestle, the world’s largest food company, has joined the trend for personalized nutrition with a blend of artificial intelligence, DNA testing and the modern obsession with Instagramming food.

The program, that began in Japan, could provide the Swiss company with a wealth of data about customers’ wellness and diet as it pivots towards consumers who are seeking to improve their health and longevity.

In Japan, some 100,000 users of the “Nestle Wellness Ambassador” program send pictures of their food via the popular Line app that then recommends lifestyle changes and specially formulated supplements. The program can cost $600 (£463) a year for capsules that make nutrient-rich teas, smoothies and other products such as vitamin-fortified snacks.

The company is trying to figure out the algorithm between the test results and the genetic information and what they recommend as a solution.

 

Robotics & Racism

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A 2016 investigation by ProPublica found that an algorithm used in the U.S. to influence prison sentencing, was racially biased, predicting that black defendants pose a higher risk of repeating offences than they actually do.

While in office, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder voiced concerns about these technologies to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and making sure the use of aggregate data analysis won’t have unintended consequences.

According to experts, users should not assume that there will be algorithmic fairness and lack of bias in AI programming, especially when these algorithms are trained from human-created datasets.

Because AI algorithms are also designed to perceive patterns in human decision making, they can pick up the implicit biases of their creators.

The criminal justice system is not the only realm in which the implementation of these algorithms have backfired, creating tension between government agencies, technology companies, and directly affected citizens.

Twitter’s attempt at using artificial intelligence to engage with millennials in the U.S. in 2016 went awry after Tay, their verified Twitter chatbot, began spewing anti-semitic and racist comments at users.

Experts agree that A lack of laws exclusively designed to protect against discrimination in relation to big-data and machine learning is a problem. Researchers and computer scientists now face the challenge of creating cutting-edge technology that refrains from relying on decades-old trends of institutional biases and discrimination.

Samsung Opens AI Research Hub In New York City

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Samsung has opened its second U.S. artificial intelligence (AI) research facility (sixth globally), as the Korean electronics giant continues to double down on its investments in transformative technologies. Its latest center, which will focus chiefly on robotics, is located in Chelsea, New York City and was officially opened at a ceremony featuring renowned AI expert Daniel D. Lee, executive vice president of Samsung Research.

 

 

Mishandled CIA Communications System Helped Blow Cover of Chinese Agents

New report has described how a catastrophic failure on the part of the Central Intelligence Agency, combined with the Chinese government’s steadily more sophisticated internet monitoring capabilities, led to the dramatic collapse of an American intelligence network in China and the executions of dozens of spies and their associates. The incident is just one example of how authorities in Beijing are overseeing the creation of an ever more effective police state, complete with technology and tactics straight out of a certain genre of near-future science fiction movie.

It is considered as one of the CIA’s worst failures in decades: Over a two-year period starting in late 2010, Chinese authorities systematically broke up the agency’s network of agents across the country, executing dozens of suspected U.S. spies. But since then, a question has loomed over the entire debacle.

Foreign Policy revealed how Chinese state security officials were able to completely demolish a CIA-run intelligence operation over the course of two years, beginning in 2010.  The New York Times first broke the news of the debacle in 2017, but its sources either did not disclose or did not know exactly what had happened or the true scale of China’s response. In May 2018, U.S. officials charged former CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee with conspiracy to commit espionage over the affair, nearly five months after indicting him for retaining classified information.

The CIA turned to the FBI to help uncover the source of the leak, according to the report. That investigation helped turn up Lee, who allegedly received tens of thousands of dollars to deliver information to the Chinese Ministry of State Security, which oversees both foreign and internal intelligence operations.

Xinjiang, where Uighurs, a non-Chinese Turkic ethnic group that is predominantly Muslim, make up the bulk of the population, has been an ideal setting to test out new equipment and concepts of operation far from both Han Chinese and outside observers.

To help exercise social control, China has put into place one of the most elaborate surveillance architectures in the world, complete with omnipresent cameras connected to monitoring stations running advanced facial recognition software, checkpoints with paramilitary police, and a system of systems all tied to a government-issued identification card that includes a “score” of how much a threat an individual poses to the state. Authorities have also begun implementing mass biometric data collection, including blood and DNA samples, to go along with other official information on file. All this can limit a person’s ability to buy goods and services or get a job.

The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP

An archway with no less than seven cameras in front of the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgarin in Xinjiang.

After a spate of knife attacks in Xinjiang by alleged separatists, Chinese officials instituted a policy where cutlery vendors must physically laser-etch a QR code linked the buyer’s ID into the blade.

In July 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that some 11,500 Uighurs that the Chinese government had approved to go on the Hajj, the sacred Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, had to carry special cards with a GPS tracker inside on a lanyard around their necks. Ostensibly for their own safety in the event of some sort of crisis, this system would obviously be able to monitor their every movement and it seems likely that anyone who decided to leave it behind would, if nothing else, take a serious hit on their social scorecard.

The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP

A security guards man a checkpoint with a metal detector and an ID scanning system in a shopping mall in Xinjiang’s Kashgarin.

 Recently added in Xinjiang itself are small drones shaped like birds with realistically flapping wings, according to a June 2018 report from the South China Morning Post. These “Doves” can fly for thirty minutes and carry a small, color video camera and an ability to transmit the feed down to an individual on the ground. It reportedly has a GPS antenna and could be able to fly a pre-programmed route or operate under line-of-sight control.

The Chinese are “applying a very, very broad attempted solution to what they see as an ideological danger,” James Millward, who teaches Chinese history at The Georgetown University, told The Atlantic earlier in August 2018. “In Xinjiang, the definition of extremism has expanded so far as to incorporate.

Northwestern Polytechnical University

China’s “Dove” drone, a product of the country’s Northwestern Polytechnical University.

 

Imaginechina via AP

Chinese police officers and dogs, all with cameras, in Tiananmen Square.

China’s Police are now wearing Google Glass-style headsets with similar recognition capabilities to spot repeat offenders for crimes as minor as jaywalking. In the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, public restrooms use facial recognition software to give out only a specific amount of toilet paper per person. Even the police dogs have cameras.

 

 

Artificial Intelligence Changing The Way People Are Hired

 

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AI, can help HR understand whether they need to put in more sources to shorten hiring cycles for critical vacancies. Alongside, AI also helps HR pitch the job opportunity to extremely relevant candidates, thus weeding out outliers, and contributing to shortening the hiring cycle even more.

Recruitment agencies, as well as enterprise HR, have already adopted chatbots to perform many of the repetitive tasks that HR executives have to perform otherwise.

AI can help. Whether it’s sourcing, scheduling, or screening, AI-powered tools have a lot to offer to make the recruitment process better for everyone involved. AI-based programs can connect with different sources of candidate information and initiate email conversations.

The same tools can then build candidate profiles, keep on following up for a formal application, track application progress, and filter relevant applications from the larger set.

AI-powered tools can also engage in natural conversations with candidates on social media, mobile platforms, and instant messengers, using natural language processing capabilities to ensure the conversations are enjoyable and value adding. Apart from this AI has a role to play in scheduling candidate interviews and interactions without requiring an executive to do all the arrangements.

Cultural mismatch is a major reason why people leave organizations. AI can help you mitigate the cultural mismatch between your organization and your employees. AI-based tools can help build dynamic questionnaires which are used to assign cultural scores and grades to employees, and then match them with the cultural attributes of the organization, to determine better fits.

A 2017 Glassdoor report suggests that almost 66 percent of millennials expect to leave their current job by 2020. AI seeks to  reduce the numbers for your organization, saving you time and money.

Travel Trends & Technology

Expedia’s 2018 Travel Tech Trends and Industry Opportunities report, reveals that new technologies are seeing swift uptake from consumers, driven by consumers’ growing digital impatience and expectation for instant responses, answers and solutions to their queries and purchasing requests.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs, mimic human behavior and complete tasks.

This can be found in some of the simplest, daily things such as Chatbots, which are offshoots of AI. Chatbot systems on their websites to help relieve the load on its hotlines. With Chatbots, time-starved (or impatient) travelers can get their queries across and expect a quicker response than, say, sending through an e-mail.

Companies that use it:

  • Air New Zealand (named Oscar)
  • AirAsia
  • Finnair (named Finn)
  • Expedia
  • Allora (named Dorothy)
  • Skyscann

In February this year, Japanese tour firm First Airlines rolled out a one-of-a-kind service that allows passengers to virtually visit destinations in a short two-hour “flight,” that would otherwise take upwards of 10 hours.

Passengers just needed to be strapped into a simulator to enjoy “traveling” to their destination in the comfort of first and business class cabins. The experience included everything that one would experience on an actual flight such as a safety announcement by the cabin crew and a four-course fine-dining in-flight meal.

Upon “arrival,” travelers will then be given high-tech virtual reality headsets to put on to explore their destination’s sites.

Other travel companies, such as Thomas Cook, Flight Centre, and Virgin Holidays are also using VR in-store to promote destinations they’re selling by giving immersive tours.

Renowned multinational hospitality company Shangri-La Hotels was perhaps the first if not one of the first hotel group to use VR across all its global sales offices to promote its properties worldwide.

Even the aforementioned Niantic-developed PokemonGO was used by tourism authorities worldwide to promote their destinations.

 

Translation: We have confirmed that the frequency to encounter Lapras has been increased in the coastal area of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefecture. Apparently, it will continue until 23 Nov. It’s time to travel there where you can experience Tohoku district! We believe that you can find a lot of awesome things besides PokemonGO.

Blockchain

According to industry experts, emerging technology blockchain is the next major disruptor to the travel industry. And by the looks of how quickly companies are adopting cryptocurrencies, that seems to be true.

In February this year, Brisbane Airport, one of Australia’s biggest airports, announced it struck a game-changing deal with cryptocurrency travel firm TravelbyBit. The airport will become the world’s first airport to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a legitimate currency.

 

Southeast Asian travel firm Smiling Albino has also started acknowledging Bitcoin installments for all treks to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. The organization said it was “a more productive approach to pay for an excursion.”

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