#463 June 6, 2016 – AI Gets Real

This week’s headline story: AI Gets Real

irobot-glance-300x170The “AI dream is finally arriving” according to Bill Gates, who spoke at the Code Conference in Southern California. “This is what it was all leading up to” Gates said. He believes that enough progress has been made to ensure that in the next 10 years there will be robots managing tasks like driving and warehouse work and AI’s that out pace humans in certain areas of knowledge. He also mentioned that it could be a major concern for the future of humanity.

The Obama administration agrees. Last week, the White House hosted the first of four workshops to examine how to address an increasingly AI-powered world. The participants are considering how to regulate and use powerful AI technology while it is still dependent on humans. “One thing we know for sure is that AI is making policy challenges already, such as how to make sure the technology remains safe, controllable, and predictable, even as it gets much more complex and smarter,” said Ed Felten, the deputy US chief of science and technology policy. “Some of these issues will become more challenging over time as the technology progresses, so we’ll need to keep upping our game.”

Meanwhile Google is upping its game when it comes to providing safeguards against an AI takeover. As Google develops artificial intelligence that has smarter-than-human capabilities, it’s teamed up with Oxford University researchers to create a panic button to interrupt a potentially rogue AI agent. The researches have proposed a framework that allows humans to repeatedly and safely interrupt an AI agent’s reinforcement learning while simultaneously blocking its ability to learn how to prevent a human operator from turning off its machine-learning capabilities.

other Technology Headlines…

  • EU Links Up With Twitter, Tech Firms To Combat Hate Speech [NewsFactor]
    The European Union reached an agreement with some of the world’s biggest social media firms, including Facebook and Twitter, on ways to combat the spread of hate speech online. Under the terms of a code of conduct, the firms have committed to “quickly and efficiently” tackle illegal hate speech directed against anyone over issues of race, color, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. Social media sites have often been used by terrorist organizations to relay messages and entice hatred against certain individuals or groups.

in Information Security News…

  • Google plans to replace smartphone passwords with trust scores [New Scientist]
    Google Has a Plan to Kill Off Passwords [MIT Technology Review]
    Sick and tired of remembering passwords?
    Google’s working to do away with them on Android devices. Daniel Kaufman, head of Google’s advanced technology projects, announced that the company plans to phase out password access to its Android mobile platform in favor of a trust score by 2017. Your trust score would be based on a suite of identifiers such as what Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth devices you’re connected to and your location, along with biometrics, including your typing speed, voice and face. The phone’s sensors will harvest this data continuously to keep a running tally on how much it trusts that the user is you. A low score will suffice for opening a gaming app. But a banking app will require more trust.

and in Tech Industry News…

  • Intel Goes Extreme With 10-Core Desktop Chips [NewsFactor]
    Intel has unveiled four new extreme chips designed for content creators and gamers. They come with six, eight or 10 cores. The 10-core model alone will set you back a cool $1,723.
  • Uber and Lyft Drivers Are Safer than the Average American Driver [NewsFactor]
    A new study by automotive analytics firm Zendrive and research firm Aite GroupDrivers found that drivers for ride-hailing services Uber, Lyft, and HopSkipDrive are generally safer than the average American driver. The research compared data collected anonymously from the smartphones of about 12,000 ride-hailing drivers across the U.S. to millions of data points from trips taken by average American drivers and found that ride-hailing drivers were less likely to speed, drive aggressively or fumble with their phones during a trip.


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