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The Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, convened under the National Science and Technology Council, was announced yesterday by Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the president and deputy chief technology officer, at a White House event that brought together government leaders, representatives from numerous industries, and several prominent AI experts.
The meeting and the select committee signal that the administration takes the impact of artificial intelligence seriously. This has not always been apparent. In his campaign speeches, Trump suggested reviving industries that have already been overhauled by automation. The Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, also previously said that the idea of robots and AI taking people’s jobs was “not even on my radar screen.” For ways in which India is trying to up their AI game, check out this
Over the last two years, researchers in China and the United States have begun demonstrating that they can send hidden commands that are undetectable to the human ear to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Inside university labs, the researchers have been able to secretly activate the artificial intelligence systems on smartphones and smart speakers, making them dial phone numbers or open websites. In the wrong hands, the technology could be used to unlock doors, wire money or buy stuff online — simply with music playing over the radio.
A group of students from University of California, Berkeley, and Georgetown University showed in 2016 that they could hide commands in white noise played over loudspeakers and through YouTube videos to get smart devices to turn on airplane mode or open a website.
With the exception of a few governments big enough to run their own auctions, anyone wishing to issue bonds must seek bankers’ help. A hefty fee will buy assistance in calibrating the size, structure and timing of a bond issue, as well as connections to lots of buyers. And once a bank has agreed to underwrite an issue, it bears the risk of failing to get a good price for the bonds. But the process is old-fashioned and inefficient (the head of bond origination at one American bank jokes that “not a lot has changed since 1933”), and the accuracy of the advice is hard to gauge. Overbond, a financial-technology startup in Toronto, wants to change all that.
Its main offering is a set of machine-learning algorithms powered by neural networks, a type of artificial intelligence, that predict the timing and pricing of new bond issues. The service is already fully in place for the Canadian corporate-bond market, and partly so for the American one. The algorithms crunch through credit ratings and real-time data on secondary trading for a firm and its peers, among other things. Recent predictions for the yield on new bond issues have been, on average, off by less than 0.02 percentage points.
Toyota Motor plans to shell out a record 2.45 trillion yen ($22.3 billion) on R&D and capital spending this fiscal year as the advent of technologies such as self-driving cars forces the automaker to compete with deep-pocketed tech giants such as Apple and Google.
The planned investment of 2.45 trillion yen, the
automaker’s first record in 11 years, represents a 30% increase from five years earlier. The figure includes an all-time high of 1.08 trillion yen for R&D, with 35% going toward autonomous driving and other emerging technologies, in part to compete with foreign tech companies like Google and China’s Baidu.
From September 1,000 people who have lodged an asylum application will be allocated to different cantons using a computer algorithm developed by researchers at the ETH Zurich and Stanford University in the United States, SRF television’s 10vor10 news programme reported.
Instead of distributing applicants randomly, as at present, the authorities will be able to place them in the cantons where they have the best chances of employment. At present only 15 percent of asylum seekers have managed to find a job after three years, according to SRF. It is hoped that using the computer programme the number finding work after three years will increase to 30 percent.
“AI for Everyone, Everywhere” may sound like a science-fiction slogan, but it’s actually the name given to software from XNOR.ai that’s already making devices smarter in the real world. The self-service software development platform is a new product for the Seattle startup, which is also announcing a $12
million Series A funding round led by Madrona Venture Group.
XNOR CEO Ali Farhadi says the new investment will help his company, which was spun out from the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence last year, develop a high-end version of the “AI for Everyone, Everywhere” platform for enterprise-level applications.
Check out this great piece from musician Taryn Southern in TechCrunch. She writes: “One year ago, I began working on an album. I write vocal melodies and lyrics, while my partner does the composition. We both work on instrumentation, and complement each other well. The only odd part of the relationship is…my partner isn’t human. It’s AI.”
Many inquired: are
you worried AI will be more creative than you? No. In many ways, AI helped me become more creative, evolving my role into something resembling more of an editor or director. I gave AI direction (in the form of data to learn from or parameters for the output), and it sends back raw material, which I then edit and arrange to create a cohesive song. It also allowed me to spend more time on other aspects of the creation process like the vocal melodies, lyrics, and music videos. It’s still creative, just different. But technophobes, rejoice: AI isn’t a perfect companion just yet.