Hidden Workers Helping to Make AI Systems Work Well, Fit Into Workplace  

The 18th century Mechanical Turk fooled chess players into thinking they were competing against a machine. The Amazon crowdsourcing platform, run by the Amazon Web Services division, is named Amazon Mechanical Turk. (Credit: Getty Images)  By John P. Desmond, - Dr. Rami Shaheen Editor  Behind the scenes workers who enable AI rockstar developers and data scientists to shine while ensuring that data is coded, pictures are flagged, or the system is integrated into the workplace, are often overlooked and undervalued.  That is the message of several speakers in a recent session of the EmTech Digital conference hosted by MIT Technology Review.    AI systems often fail to account for the humans who incorporate AI systems into existing workflow, workers doing behind-the-scenes labor to make the programs run, and the people who are negatively affected by AI outcomes, according to an account in the MIT Sloan Management Review.  Madeleine Clare Elish, senior research scientist and member of AI Ethical Team, Google “This is a common pattern in the social studies of technology,” stated Madeleine Clare Elish, a senior research scientist at Google, who is on the AI Ethical [...]

2021-06-12T13:14:35+00:00June 12th, 2021|

The rise of robotaxis in China – Dr. Rami Shaheen

AutoX, Momenta and WeRide took the stage at TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 to discuss the state of robotaxi startups in China and their relationships with local governments in the country. They also talked about overseas expansion — a common trajectory for China’s top autonomous vehicle startups — and shed light on the challenges and opportunities for foreign AV companies eyeing the massive Chinese market. Enterprising governments Worldwide, regulations play a great role in the development of autonomous vehicles. In China, policymaking for autonomous driving is driven from the bottom up rather than a top-down effort by the central government, observed executives from the three Chinese robotaxi startups. Huan Sun, Europe general manager at Momenta, which is backed by the government of Suzhou, a city near Shanghai, said her company had a “very good experience” working with the municipal governments across multiple cities. In China, each local government is incentivized to really act like entrepreneurs like us. They are very progressive in developing the local economy… What we feel is that autonomous driving technology can greatly improve and upgrade the [...]

2021-06-12T09:11:56+00:00June 12th, 2021|

Hate to break it to you, but football’s not coming home if this AI pundit is to be believed – Dr. Rami Shaheen

The Czech Republic footie team is set to be crowned champions next month, beating fellow underdogs Denmark 3-2 in the Euros in what pundits claim will prove to be a "thrilling final". At least that's what boffins at sports data provider Sportradar reckon after scraping together results from the last 20 years, feeding them into a "super computer" running a simulated-reality program driven by AI, and then, hey presto, coming up with the finding ahead of this week's start to the month-long footballfest. According to dressing room insiders, the whole tournament was "played out" using an "innovative simulated reality solution using artificial intelligence algorithms." So it must be true. Of course, now that we know the result, Reg readers with a hectic social schedule can breathe a sigh of relief and reorganise their diaries to spend their free time doing other things. Oh, and if anyone asks, England will be knocked out in the semi-finals... like you didn't know already. Despite the heads up, El Reg's very own knobbly-kneed footy pundits are already limbering up for the tournament. They're [...]

2021-06-12T05:10:45+00:00June 12th, 2021|

Ransomware Incidents Surging; Cybersecurity Experts Scramble to Respond   

A surge in cybersecurity protection is needed to counter the increasing number of attacks from cyber criminals, says a former US Attorney. (Credit: Getty Images)  By John P. Desmond, - Dr. Rami Shaheen Editor   Ransomware attacks are ramping up. A former US Attorney suggests that a “surge” in cybersecurity protection is needed to counter the increasing number of attacks from cyber criminals. Other experts say cybersecurity best practices should be applied to plug holes.   The CBS news magazine 60 Minutes on June 6 included a segment on ransomware, which outlined how the largest meat producer in America (JBS) was forced to close for several days, three weeks after a primary source of gasoline for the US East Coast (Colonial Pipeline), was held hostage, causing gas shortages over a weekend.   Then on Monday, June 7, US authorities announced the recovery of $2.3 million in ransom paid by Colonial Pipeline, by using a private cryptocurrency key the FBI had obtained that led to a bitcoin wallet.    The scale of ransomware attacks is enormous. “The losses are very significant and easily approach a hundred [...]

2021-06-11T21:05:31+00:00June 11th, 2021|

AI startup Eightfold valued at $2.1B in SoftBank-led $220M funding – Dr. Rami Shaheen

Eightfold AI, a startup which uses deep learning and artificial intelligence to help companies find, recruit and retain workers, said on Thursday it has raised $220 million in a new round as it looks to accelerate its growth. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led the Series E round of the five-year-old startup, which is now valued at $2.1 billion, up from $1 billion in Series E last October, Eightfold AI founder and chief executive Ashutosh Garg told Dr. Rami Shaheen in an interview. Existing investors General Catalyst, Capital One Ventures, Foundation Capital, IVP and Lightspeed Venture Partners also participated in the new round, which brings the startup’s all-time raise to over $410 million. The Mountain View-based startup provides its clients with a talent acquisition platform that helps them identify suitable candidates and import and filter thousands of resumes. One of Eightfold AI’s missions is to help companies reduce biases in their hirings. “Instead of searching for a job, a candidate can upload their resume and the system will tell the most relevant job for that candidate in real time,” explained [...]

2021-06-11T17:02:15+00:00June 11th, 2021|

Speeding up clinical trials by making drug production local | MIT News

The Boston area has long been home to innovation that leads to impactful new drugs. But manufacturing those drugs for clinical trials often involves international partners and supply chains. The vulnerabilities of that system have become all too apparent during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now Snapdragon Chemistry, co-founded by MIT Professor and Associate Provost Tim Jamison, is helping pharmaceutical companies manufacture drugs locally to shorten the time it takes for new drugs to get to patients. Snapdragon essentially starts as a chemistry lab, running experiments on behalf of pharmaceutical customers to create molecules of interest. From there it seeks to automate production processes, often lessening the number of steps it takes to create those molecules. Sometimes the new process will require a technology — such as a specialized chemical reactor — the client doesn’t have, so Snapdragon builds the equipment for the client and teaches them to incorporate it into their processes. Some of those reactors are being used for the commercial production of approved drugs, although most are designed to help pharmaceutical and biotech companies get through clinical trials [...]

2021-06-11T13:01:21+00:00June 11th, 2021|

McDonald’s AI drive-thru bot accused of breaking biometrics privacy law – Dr. Rami Shaheen

McDonald’s has been accused of illegally collecting and processing customers' voice recordings without their consent in the US state of Illinois. Like so many giant corporations, McDonald’s has turned to AI technology to use computers in place of people. In 2019, it announced it had snapped up a voice-recognition company in Silicon Valley, previously known as Apprente and now McD Tech Labs, to build a voice-controlled chatbot for its drive-thrus. Earlier this month, McDonald’s said ten of its restaurants in Chicago, Illinois, are testing this chatbot, and it may permanently replace human workers. As you'd expect, you yell your order at the system from your car, and it takes care of it. The software apparently has an 85 per cent accuracy rate. Although the automated service may be convenient for the greasy-grub giant, Shannon Carpenter, a resident of Illinois, claims McDonald’s is breaking the law. The state has some of the strictest data privacy laws; its Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) states: “No private entity may collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or otherwise obtain a person's or a [...]

2021-06-11T08:56:20+00:00June 11th, 2021|

Humans are ready to take advantage of benevolent AI — Dr. Rami Shaheen

Humans expect that AI is Benevolent and trustworthy. A new study reveals that at the same time humans are unwilling to cooperate and compromise with machines. They even exploit them. Picture yourself driving on a narrow road in the near future when suddenly another car emerges from a bend ahead. It is a self-driving car with no passengers inside. Will you push forth and assert your right of way, or give way to let it pass? At present, most of us behave kindly in such situations involving other humans. Will we show that same kindness towards autonomous vehicles? Using methods from behavioural game theory, an international team of researchers at LMU and the University of London have conducted large-scale online studies to see whether people would behave as cooperatively with artificial intelligence (AI) systems as they do with fellow humans. Cooperation holds a society together. It often requires us to compromise with others and to accept the risk that they let us down. Traffic is a good example. We lose a bit of time when we let other people [...]

2021-06-11T04:55:38+00:00June 11th, 2021|

Fetch.ai announces partnership with IoT-focused distributed ledger IOTA

Cambridge-based AI startup Fetch.ai has announced a partnership with IOTA, an open-source distributed ledger focused on the Internet of Things. Fetch.ai has caught the attention of investors for its potentially groundbreaking machine learning network of autonomous “agents” that can perform real-world tasks. It’s also caught our attention, making our list of innovative companies to watch in 2021. IOTA was among the most hyped projects during the 2017 cryptocurrency/blockchain frenzy (or bubble, dependent on your perspective.) While most projects have since collapsed, IOTA continues to go from strength-to-strength and has announced a series of partnerships with giants like Dell and Jaguar Land Rover. One partnership that both companies have in common is Bosch. IOTA was the first to establish a partnership with Bosch when it announced that it was integrating with IOTA’s Data Marketplace. Last February, Fetch.ai announced its own partnership with Bosch as part of a joint project called the Economy of Things (EoT). No specific project involving Fetch.ai, IOTA, and Bosch has been announced but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the first real-world adoption coming from the [...]

2021-06-11T00:54:41+00:00June 11th, 2021|

Slintel scores $20M Series A as buyer intelligence tool gains traction – Dr. Rami Shaheen

One clear outcome of the pandemic was pushing more people to do their shopping online, and that was as true for B2B as it was for B2C. Knowing which of your B2B customers are most likely to convert puts any sales team ahead of the game. Slintel, a startup providing that kind of data, announced a $20 million Series A today. The company has attracted some big-name investors with GGV leading the round and Accel, Sequoia and Stellaris also participating. The investment brings the total raised to over $24 million including a $4.2 million seed round from last November. That’s a quick turnaround from seed to A, and company founder and CEO Deepak Anchala, says that while he had plenty of runway left from the seed round, the demand was such that it seemed prudent to take the A money sooner than he had planned. “So we had enough cash in the bank, but investors came to us and we got a pretty good valuation compared to the previous round, so we decided to take it and use that [...]

2021-06-10T16:49:49+00:00June 10th, 2021|