amazon
Amazon Shareholders Fail to Limit Company’s Sale of Facial Recognition Software

Long-simmering concerns over Amazon’s facial recognition software came to a head this week during the company’s annual shareholder meeting, where activist investors put forward several agenda items that would increase oversight of the software and limit who could use it. Read More >>

ai
Samsung Now Has a Way to Make Ultrarealistic Fake Videos With Just One Photo

Fake videos are getting really damn good, and now they’re getting even easier to make. For innocuous purposes like, say, a moving avatar, it’s a pretty cool development. But for more insidious use cases, like exploiting the technology to harass someone online, it’s unsettling. Read More >>

amazon
This Week, Amazon Has a Chance to Prove It Can Do the Right Thing on Its Own

Today, during an Amazon shareholder meeting, investors will vote on proposals pushing for more oversight on the tech giant’s facial recognition efforts. But there are a number of caveats. Read More >>

ai
This Company Is Betting the Future Is Personal AI Avatars, So It Made Me One

In January 2019, when China Central Television, the largest broadcast network in the most populous nation in the world, aired a special to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the hosts welcomed four life-sized “personal artificial intelligences” to share the stage with them. Called PAIs, they were three-dimensional holographic replicas of the presenters that moved, spoke, and sang to the delight of the cheering live audience. The program was viewed some 1.8 billion times. One of the most-watched TV shows in the world had been hosted by AI avatars. Read More >>

ai
This AI-Generated Joe Rogan Voice Sounds Eerily Like the Real Thing

In recent years, eerily accurate deepfake videos have gotten a lot of press, but automated voice replication has been quietly sliding into the uncanny valley as well. Case in point: The AI company Dessa has created a simulation of podcaster Joe Rogan’s voice that is nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. Read More >>

google
Google Wants to Use AI to Track Pollution from Every Power Plant on Earth

Satellites are our eyes in the sky or, er, in space. Now, a coalition of groups is turning to satellites and AI technology to help monitor emissions from all the world’s power plants. Read More >>

ai
AI-Powered Gun Detection Is Coming to Mosques Worldwide Following Christchurch Shootings

In March, a gunman walked into two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, opened fire, and killed dozens of worshippers. According to a police official, the suspected gunman was arrested 36 minutes after police were called to the scene. Now, a tech company believes its smart security cameras can prevent attacks like the tragedy in Christchurch, and says it plans to install its AI-powered systems in mosques around the world. Read More >>

privacy
‘Private Post’ Means Something Slightly Different to Facebook

When you privately share something to a specific group of friends on Facebook, there’s a chance other people will read it. Reuters reports that Facebook employs a couple hundred contractors to read all Facebook posts, including the private ones, in order to train the company’s software. There’s no way to opt out of this. Read More >>

anki
Anki, Maker of Adorable Robots That Don’t Do All That Much, Abruptly Shuts Down

Robotics company Anki, the manufacturer of an adorable line of tiny home robots like Cozmo and its bigger brother, the £250 Vector, has unexpectedly and abruptly folded, Recode reported on Monday. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
AI Might Soon Make it Easy to Put Yourself In Your Favourite Video Game

In a rare move by Facebook that doesn’t have the world shaking its head in disbelief, the company’s AI researchers have developed a way to easily turn real people into playable game characters by simply analysing videos of them going through specific motions. My dreams of finally being an unlockable character in NBA Jam just got one step closer. Read More >>

photography
Google Adds AI That Automatically Stops You From Filling Your Pixel 3 With Selfie Rubbish

Take a peek at your smartphone’s camera roll and you’ll probably find hundreds of duplicate shots, all snapped while trying to take the perfect selfie. To remedy this, Google is bringing some new AI smarts to its camera app so that it only takes a photo when everyone is selfie-ready. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
‘Automated Racism’: Chinese Police Are Reportedly Using AI to Identify Minority Faces

Facial recognition technology can target entire populations of a specific demographic, and in the wrong hands, can be used as a powerful tool for discrimination. In China, this isn’t a cautionary tale, it’s already happening. Read More >>

ai
The World’s First Sport Invented By an AI Still Looks Less Absurd Than Synchronised Swimming

It’s not uncommon for new technology to spawn a new sport: Drone racing has become hugely popular around the world, and Segway Polo is apparently still a thing. It’s now artificial intelligence’s turn to give us a new pastime, but will the sport it invented, Speedgate, take the world by storm, or will it be relegated to this advertising agency’s company picnic? Read More >>

artificial intelligence
The First Machine-Generated Book by a Scholarly Publisher Is a Boring Read

Amazon’s online book store is plagued with thousands of auto-generated ebooks crudely hacked together from other texts by shady "authors" just looking to cash in. Most are unreadable, but it’s not always going to be that way. Springer Nature, a publisher serving the research community, just published its first book that was generated by an algorithm using machine learning. It’s no Stephen King page-turner, but that’s not why this book was created. Read More >>