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What herd immunity looks like in a maximum security prison

Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here. Hola Pandemic Pals, Just so you know, I spent well over 10 minutes trying to find a joke to start this newsletter off with. But nothing seems particularly funny right now.  The LA Times recently published an article detailing the plight of the inmates incarcerated at the San Quentin men’s correctional facility in Cali...
Tags: Startups, Politics, Science, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, LA Times, San Quentin, Coronavirus, California San Quentin


Researchers use AI to determine which face masks work best for COVID-19

A growing range of face masks are popping up around the world, but many haven’t proven their effectiveness against COVID-19. A new technique developed at Duke University aims to measure which ones provide the most protection by counting the respiratory droplets they emit during speech. The system is compromised of a black box, a laser, and a cell phone camera. It works by measuring the droplets produced when someone speaks through the mask. The wearer first places their mouth at a hole in the fr...
Tags: Startups, Science, Artificial Intelligence, Duke University, Neural, Coronavirus


R&D Roundup: Supercomputer COVID-19 insights, ionic spiderwebs, the whiteness of AI

I see far more research articles than I could possibly write up. This column collects the most interesting of those papers and advances, along with notes on why they may prove important in the world of tech and startups. This week: supercomputers take on COVID-19, beetle backpacks, artificial spiderwebs, the “overwhelming whiteness” of AI and more. First off, if (like me) you missed this amazing experiment where scientists attached tiny cameras to the backs of beetles, I don’t think I have to ex...
Tags: Apple, TC, Science, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Ucla, Shyam Gollakota, Extra Crunch


Here are a few ways GPT-3 can go wrong

Liz O'Sullivan Contributor Share on Twitter Liz O’Sullivan is a co-founder and VP of Commercial at Arthur, an AI monitoring and explainability company. She is also Technology Director of STOP, the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, where she fights the ever-growing threat of technology-enabled surveillance. John P. Dickerson Contributor Share on Twitter ...
Tags: TC, Column, Science, Developer, Opinion, Wikipedia, Tech, Diversity, Bbc, Artificial Intelligence, Policy, New York Times, Reddit, Machine Learning, Api, Black Lives Matter


Algorithm reveals some of us have DNA from a mystery ancestor

Interbreeding gets a bad rap these days, but early humans loved a bit of interspecies action. Genes from fossils show our ancestors had entanglements with both Neanderthals and an ancient group called Denisovans. But new research suggests they also got it on with another mystery relative, whose DNA still exists in people today. Scientists from Cornell University and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory made the discovery by developing an algorithm that analyzes genomes. The software can identify segmen...
Tags: Startups, Science, Artificial Intelligence, Cornell University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Neural


This AI-Powered Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Text Game Is Super Fun and Makes No Sense

Last year, AI Dungeon debuted as a free text adventure game. Now the game’s AI system has been upgraded to GPT-3, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer, which has a language model that uses deep learning to produce human-like text. According to game creator Nick Walton, it’s “one of the most powerful AI models in the…Read more...
Tags: Science, Artificial Intelligence, GPT, Nick Walton, Open Mailbox, Ai Dungeon, Gpt 3, Ai Powered Games


Researchers use neuromorphic chips and electronic ‘skin’ to give robots a sense of touch

We take our sense of touch for granted. Simple tasks like opening a jar or tying our shoelaces would be a whole lot more complex if we couldn’t feel the object with our hands. Robots typically struggle to replicate this sense, restricting their ability to manipulate objects. But researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) might have found a solution: pairing artificial skin with a neuromorphic “brain.”  The system was developed by a team led by Assistant Professors Benjamin Tee, ...
Tags: Startups, Science, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, National University of Singapore NUS, Neural, Benjamin Tee, Harold Soh


How the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Breaking Artificial Intelligence and How to Fix It

As covid-19 disrupted the world in March, online retail giant Amazon struggled to respond to the sudden shift caused by the pandemic. Household items like bottled water and toilet paper, which never ran out of stock, suddenly became in short supply. One- and two-day deliveries were delayed for several days. Though…Read more...
Tags: Amazon, Science, Artificial Intelligence, Infrastructure, Systems, Ai, Coronavirus, Covid 19


Blame the neanderthals

Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here. Hola Pandemic Pals, Sorry we’re late today. My toddler has a stomach bug and we’re out of toilet paper. I had to print out a bunch of copies of Breitbart’s home page to handle the mess. Why the unsolicited jab at Steve Bannon’s propaganda outlet? Because it published a video last night spreading purposely harmful COVI...
Tags: Startups, Science, America, Newsletter, Insights, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Breitbart, Steve Bannon, Neural, Coronavirus


A beginner’s guide to the AI apocalypse: Humanity joins the hivemind

Welcome to the latest article in TNW’s guide to the AI apocalypse. In this series we’ll examine some of the most popular doomsday scenarios prognosticated by modern AI experts.  It’s pretty easy to think up new ways for robots to destroy us. We’re pretty squishy. But what if AI doesn’t want us dead? Maybe our future overlords will see our weaknesses and, in their infinite benevolence, choose to upgrade us. Perhaps humanity goes extinct through evolution instead of extermination. Welcome to the h...
Tags: Startups, Facebook, Science, Insights, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, TNW, Neural, Coronavirus


This AI tool can identify individual birds with 90% accuracy

Birdwatchers armed with binoculars and fields books can be great at spotting species, but they struggle to identify individuals in a flock. Luckily for them, a new AI tool can do the tricky task for them — and potentially offer new insights into bird behaviors. Scientists first trained the AI on labeled images of wild great tits and sociable weavers, as well as captive zebra finches. They then tested the system on new pictures of the same birds that it had never seen before. The team says the AI...
Tags: Startups, Science, Artificial Intelligence, Neural


Here’s why AI didn’t save us from COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic began we were all so full of hope. We assumed our technology would save us from a disease that could be stymied by such modest steps as washing our hands and wearing face masks. We were so sure that artificial intelligence would become our champion in a trial by combat with the coronavirus that we abandoned any pretense of fear the moment the curve appeared to flatten in April and May. We let our guard down. Pundits and experts back in January and February very careful...
Tags: Startups, Science, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Neural, Coronavirus, COVID


Take a Brief Vacation From Reality With These 6 Short Sci-Fi and Horror Films

Dreaming of other planets, other realities, or other timelines? So far, 2020 has us wishing we could be literally anywhere else. Here’s a temporary escape hatch: these awesome new short films, all of which share glimpses of a future where so much more has gone wrong. At least we aren’t there... yet?Read more...
Tags: Space, Science, Horror, Artificial Intelligence, Animation, Robots, Sci Fi, Short Films, John Panton, Short Sci Fi


Elon Musk claims his brain chip can stimulate your pleasure center

Neuralink‘s mission has never quite been clear. We know it’s working on a chip designed to be surgically inserted into the human skull called a brain-computer interface (BCI), but exactly what and who it’s for remains a bit of a mystery. As best we can tell based on what’s been revealed so far, it’s shaping up to be a terrifying hormone hijacker capable of potentially giving you forced mental orgasms or making you fall in love. Yes — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 19, 2020 Musk originally said the g...
Tags: Startups, Elon Musk, Science, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Neural, Neuralink


AI researchers say we’ve squeezed nearly as much out of modern computers as we can

Deep learning‘s reached the end of its rope. At least according to a group of MIT researchers who recently conducted an audit of more than 1,000 pre-print papers on arXiv. We’ve run out of compute, basically. The researchers claim we’ll we’ll soon reach a point where it’s no longer economically or environmentally feasible to continue scaling deep learning systems. Per the team’s paper: Progress along current lines is rapidly becoming economically, technically, and environmentally unsustainable. ...
Tags: Startups, Science, Tech, Mit, Artificial Intelligence, Neural


Activ Surgical raises $15 million to advance autonomous and collaborative robotic surgery

Boston-based startup Activ Surgical has raised a $15 million round of venture funding led by ARTIS ventures, and including LRVHealth, DNS Capital, GreatPoint Ventures, Tao Capital Partners and Rising Tide VC. The round will help Activ continue to develop and expand availability of its software platform, which it launched to market in May. Activ Surgical’s ActivEdge platform uses data collected from surgical implements, outfitted with sensors created by the company to collect real-time data du...
Tags: Health, TC, Science, Medicine, Boston, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, United States, Surgery, Machine Learning, Fda, Robotics, Telemedicine, Artis, Real Time Data, Tao Capital Partners


Lunar Rover Footage Upscaled With AI Is as Close as You'll Get to the Experience of Driving on the Moon

The last time astronauts walked on the moon was in December of 1972, decades before high-definition video cameras were available. They relied on low-res grainy analog film to record their adventures, which makes it hard for viewers to feel connected to what’s going on. But using modern AI techniques to upscale classic…Read more...
Tags: Science, Nasa, Artificial Intelligence, Ai, Deep Learning, Neural Networks, Apollo 16


AI finds 250 foreign stars that migrated to our galaxy

Astrophysicians have used AI to discover 250 new stars in the Milky Way, which they believe were born outside the galaxy. Caltech researcher Lina Necib named the collection Nyx, after the Greek goddess of the night. She suspects the stars are remnants of a dwarf galaxy that merged with the Milky Way many moons ago. To develop the AI, Necib and her team first tracked stars across a simulated galaxy created by the Feedback in Realistic Environments (FIRE) project. They labeled the stars as either ...
Tags: Startups, Space, Science, Artificial Intelligence, Caltech, Neural, Lina Necib


New ‘Computer Prophet’ generates profound metaphors for life and death

Life is a prison in which we all live. Once the bars are down, it becomes obscene what everybody else is doing. So says the Computer Prophet, a new AI system that spits out pearls of wisdom in the form of metaphors. The project is the brainchild of UCLA student Elias Henriksen, who created it to help us answer life’s most profound questions. We often express our existential concerns through metaphors, as they help us relate our own experiences to abstract concepts. Research suggests that people ...
Tags: Startups, Science, Tech, Research, Artificial Intelligence, Ucla, Neural, Elias Henriksen


Autonomous driving startup turns its AI expertise to space for automated satellite operation

Hungarian autonomous driving startup AImotive is leveraging its technology to address a different industry and growing need: autonomous satellite operation. AImotive is teaming up with C3S, a supplier of satellite and space-based technologies, to develop a hardware platform for performing AI operations onboard satellites. AImotive’s aiWare neural network accelerator will be optimized by C3S for use on satellites, which have a set of operating conditions that in many ways resembles those onboa...
Tags: TC, Space, Science, Tech, Earth, Artificial Intelligence, Telecommunications, Computing, Satellites, Satellite, Satellite Imagery, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Spacecraft, Imaging, Neural Network


R&D Roundup: Tech giants unveil breakthroughs at computer vision summit

Computer vision summit CVPR has just (virtually) taken place, and like other CV-focused conferences, there are quite a few interesting papers. More than I could possibly write up individually, in fact, so I’ve collected the most promising ones from major companies here. Facebook, Google, Amazon and Microsoft all shared papers at the conference — and others too, I’m sure — but I’m sticking to the big hitters for this column. (If you’re interested in the papers deemed most meritorious ...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Ecommerce, Photography, Video, Science, Microsoft, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Facebook Google Amazon, Market Analysis, CVPR, Growth Marketing, Extra Crunch


YouTube Will Let AI Suggest Replies to Video Comments

Google announced Wednesday that it had implemented its SmartReply system for YouTube creators, which will give those users access to suggested replies based on what someone has commented. Unlike the SmartReply system Google currently uses for Gmail, SmartReply on YouTube required some further tweaking because of the…Read more...
Tags: Google, Science, Youtube, Artificial Intelligence


MIT Takes Down Popular AI Dataset Due to Racist, Misogynistic Content

Earlier this week, MIT permanently pulled its 80 Million Tiny Images dataset—a popular image database used to train machine learning systems to identify people and objects in an environment. The reason? It used racist, misogynistic, and other offensive terms to label photos. Read more...
Tags: Science, Mit, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, ImageNet, 80 Million Tiny Images


NASA pays out $51 million to small businesses with big ideas

NASA has announced its latest batch of small business grants, providing more than 300 businesses a total of $51 million in crucial early-stage funding. These “phase I” projects receive up to $125,000 to help bring new technologies to market. The Small Business Innovation Research/Technology Transfer programs help entrepreneurs and inventors transition their work from lab to commercial availability. The money is like a grant, not an investment, and Phase I recipients are eligible for larger Ph...
Tags: TC, Space, Science, Tech, Nasa, Artificial Intelligence, Aerospace, SBIR, Sttr


Australian Authorities Want an AI To Settle Your Divorce

For better or worse, there’s a good chance your current love life owes something to automation. Even if you’re just hooking up with the occasional Tinder fling (which if you are, no judgment), you’re still turning to Tinder’s black-box algorithms to pick out that fling for you before turning to more black-box…Read more...
Tags: Science, Australia, Divorce, Artificial Intelligence, Breakups, Christian Porter


CMU researchers develop a an automatic politeness engine for text-based communications

If you’re a typically terse communicator who could probably benefit from a little more civility in your everyday communications, a new Carnegie Mellon University research project could be the answer. A team at CMU created an automated way to improve the politeness of written requests and communications, which could have a number of potential applications – including eventually providing the basis for a sort of Grammarly but designed for writing tone instead of adherence to grammar rules. The ...
Tags: Apple, TC, Science, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Language, Linguistics, Machine Learning, Ai, Carnegie Mellon University, Natural Language Processing, Grammarly, CMU, Enron, NLP, Chatbots


IBM’s new open-source ‘COVID notebooks’ arrive chocked full of data for deep analysis

IBM today launched ‘COVID notebooks,’ an open-source data solution designed to help overwhelmed developers, researchers, and policy-makers. When the big-wigs put their heads together to work on pandemic solutions, they need solid datasets full of up-to-date, organized, clean data. But coming up with these datasets is a monumental endeavor. According to IBM: The information landscape is overwhelming. A near-constant flow of data from research studies, news outlets, social media, and health organi...
Tags: Startups, Science, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Ibm, Neural, Coronavirus


Google’s 46-camera ‘light field videos’ let you change perspective and peek around corners

Google is showing off one of the most impressive efforts yet turning traditional photography and video into something more immersive: 3D video that lets the viewer change their perspective and even look around objects in frame. Unfortunately, unless you have 46 spare cameras to sync together, you probably won’t be making these “light field videos” any time soon. The new technique, due to be presented at SIGGRAPH, uses footage from dozens of cameras shooting simultaneously, forming a sort of g...
Tags: Google, TC, Facebook, Science, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, SIGGRAPH, Light Field, Photogrammetry, Google AI, Light Field Photography


How an AI learned to stitch up patients by studying surgical videos

You probably wouldn’t want a surgeon to stitch you up if they’d learned their craft by studying YouTube videos. But what about a robot? The prospect might not be as fanciful as it sounds. Researchers from UC Berkeley, Intel, and Google Brain recently taught an AI model to operate by imitating videos of eight human surgeons at work. The algorithm — known as Motion2Vec — was trained on footage of medics using da Vinci surgical robots to perform suturing tasks such as needle-passing and knot-tying....
Tags: Startups, Science, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, James Bond, Google Brain, Neural, UC Berkeley Intel


AI could help astronomers unravel the mystery of dark matter

Everything we see in the Universe around us — stars, planets, galaxies, and more — totals less than five percent of the total mass and energy that fills the Cosmos. The nature of dark matter and dark energy, which make up the vast majority of everything which exists, remains a mystery. While dark matter holds galaxies and galaxy clusters together, dark energy fuels the ever-increasing rate at which the Universe expands. Although these effects are visible to astronomers, neither dark matter nor d...
Tags: Startups, Space, Science, Artificial Intelligence, Syndication, Neural



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