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2017 Chevy Volt

DIY self-driving cars are closer than they appear (and we're not talking about in the mirror)

Develop a self-driving car and regulatory trouble may follow, as Uber has discovered. Develop a self-driving car kit and the situation is the same. George Hotz's tried this with its $999 Comma One kit to give recent Honda Civics and some Acura models adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist capabilities. But …
Thomas Claburn, 09 Jun 2017
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Mcubed: More speakers join machine learning and AI extravaganza

The speaker lineup for Mcubed – our three-day dive into machine learning, AI and advanced analytics – is virtually complete, meaning now would be a really good time to snap up a cut-price early-bird ticket. Latest additions include Expero Inc's Steve Purves, who'll be discussing graph representations in machine learning, while …
Team Register, 09 Jun 2017

DeepMind takes a shot at teaching AI to reason with relational networks

Analysis The ability to think logically and to reason is key to intelligence. When this can be replicated in machines, it will no doubt make AI smarter. But it’s a difficult problem, and current methods used in deep learning aren’t advanced enough. Deep learning is good for processing information, but it can struggle with reasoning. …
Katyanna Quach, 09 Jun 2017
Data scientist image via Shutterstock

Boffins have figured out a way of speeding up X-ray data collection

Researchers have developed a method to improve the characterisation of superfast X-rays that they say will allow data to be collected up to a thousand times faster. Physicists, biologists and chemists use X-ray pulses created by free-electron lasers, known as XFELs, to probe the structures and interactions of molecules. …
Rebecca Hill, 06 Jun 2017
iMac Pro graphic

Every time Apple said 'machine learning', we had a drink andsgd oh*][

WWDC While touting forthcoming operating system features at its annual developer conference on Monday, Apple made sure to mention machine learning and related AI-oriented terminology over and over. Kevin Lynch, technology veep, talked about Siri, Apple's personal assistant software, becoming more proactive and more aware of watchOS …
Thomas Claburn, 06 Jun 2017
Green data centre

Russian data scientist unable to claim £12,000 prize in Brit competition

A data scientist claims the UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) diddled him out of a £12,000 research competition prize because he is Russian – despite assurances he'd be able to claim the money. Vladimir Iglovikov entered DSTL's Data Science Challenge earlier this year. The section of the challenge he …
Gareth Corfield, 05 Jun 2017
Las Vegas - Circa July 2016: Microsoft Retail Technology Store Mall Location III Editorial credit: Jonathan Weiss /

Microsoft boosts its AI framework with Cognitive Toolkit 2.0

Microsoft has updated its AI framework with the launch of Cognitive Toolkit 2.0 on Thursday. All major companies investing in deep learning have some sort of packaged software that helps developers create neural network models. Google has TensorFlow, DeepMind released Sonnet, Facebook recently announced Caffe2, and Amazon …
Katyanna Quach, 01 Jun 2017

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence experts gather in London

Events We’re thrilled to reveal the first batch of conference speakers for the Minds Mastering Machines (M3) three-day dive into machine learning, AI and advanced analytics this autumn. The event is on October 9, 10, and 11 in London and features keynotes from Google’s Melanie Warrick and professor Mark Bishop of Goldsmiths, …
Joe Fay, 01 Jun 2017
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Real brains discuss artificial brains in real-world London

We’re thrilled to announce the first tranche of conference speakers for the Minds Mastering Machines (M3) three-day dive into machine learning, AI and advanced analytics this Autumn. We’ll be gathering a wide range of experts together at 30 Euston Square from October 9 to 11, who will help you not just grasp the potential of …
Team Register, 30 May 2017
AI Robot viewed from the back against an arty landscape. Pic via SHuttertock

Your job might be automated within 120 years, AI experts reckon

Hundreds of AI researchers have taken a glimpse into their crystal balls to try to determine when machines will finally exceed human capabilities. A survey run by the Future of Humanity Institute, a research center that studies existential risks at the University of Oxford in the UK and Yale University in the US, asked 352 …
Katyanna Quach, 26 May 2017

Machine 1, Man 0: AlphaGo slams world's best Go player in the first round

AlphaGo yesterday one-upped man as it won the first out of three games against Ke Jie, the world’s number one player in Go. AlphaGo is currently taking another pop at humans as it plays its second competitive match during The Future of Go Summit – a five-day festival celebrating the ancient Chinese game. Last year, it won …
Katyanna Quach, 25 May 2017
Fuel pump

AI-powered dynamic pricing turns its gaze to the fuel pumps

Analysis "AI" could soon be making petrol more expensive at times of peak demand like the start of a bank holiday weekend or the school run. Danish data analytics company a2i touts fuel pricing as an ideal implementation of its learning algorithms. The company claims that PriceCast Fuel, its dynamic pricing product, can improve fuel …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 May 2017
Jimmy Carr

8 out of 10 cats fear statistics – AI doesn't have this problem

If statistics were a human being, it would have been in deep therapy all of its 350-year life. The sessions might go like this: Statistics: "Everyone hates me." Pause. Therapist: "I'm sure it's not everyone..." Statistics: "And they misunderstand me." Pause. Therapist: "Sorry, I didn't quite get what you meant there..." …
Mark Whitehorn, 24 May 2017

Cloud giants 'ran out' of fast GPUs for AI boffins

Top cloud providers struggled to provide enough GPUs on-demand last week, AI experts complained to The Register. As a deadline for research papers loomed for a major conference in the machine-learning world, teams around the globe scrambled to rent cloud-hosted accelerators to run tests and complete their work in time to …
Katyanna Quach, 22 May 2017
Young robot studying photo via Shutterstock

Has AI gone too far? DeepTingle turns El Reg news into terrible erotica

NSFW Forget about intelligent machines solving grand problems in healthcare and science – here’s an AI that can write awful gay porn. It even had a crack at writing a steamy version of The Register's tech coverage, and certainly came up with a steaming something. Thing is, it's deliberately trying hard - really hard, over and over …
Katyanna Quach, 22 May 2017
watching smut on a smartphone. Pic by shutterstock

AI smut-finder is now an Android app

The developers of Miles Deep, the porn AI editor we wrote about last year have made an app called MelonDream. Miles Deep’s AI can be used to classify adult material, or to identify and remove sequences to make a video “safe”. The developers claim it is far more sophisticated than Yahoo!’s open source flesh detector AI, “NSFW …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 May 2017

Self-driving car devs face 6-month backlog on vital $85,000 LIDAR kit

Analysis A closer look at LIDAR sensors – a key component in autonomous vehicles – reveals the lucrative and competitive nature of the self-driving car industry. Essentially, if you want to enter this space, and take on the likes of Waymo and BMW and Ford, you'll need deep pockets – tens of thousands of dollars per test vehicle – and …
Katyanna Quach, 18 May 2017
Sundar Pichai at Google I/O 2017

Like a celeb going bonkers with botox, Google injects 'AI' into anything it can

Google I/O On Wednesday, Google kicked off its annual developer conference and media spectacle, Google I/O, at the Shoreline Amphitheater, a stone's throw from its Mountain View, California, headquarters. CEO Sundar Pichai reviewed the requisite user milestones, noting that there are now two billion active Android devices. Then he …
Thomas Claburn, 17 May 2017
Aurora Flight Sciences' ALIAS robot in a simulated 737 cockpit

Robot lands a 737 by hand, on a dare from DARPA

An outfit called Aurora Flight Sciences is trumpeting the fact that one of its robots has successfully landed a simulated Boeing 737. Aviation-savvy readers may well shrug upon learning that news, because robots – or at least auto-landing systems - land planes all the time and have done so for decades. Aurora's excitement is …
Simon Sharwood, 17 May 2017
Facebook's Mechanical Turk interface for ParlAI

Facebook parlays bot bet into ParlAI dialog framework

Facebook's artificial intelligence research team, which operates under the self-endorsing acronym FAIR, has released an open-source research framework called ParlAI to train bot software to chat more coherently with people. ParlAI, a Python-based tool for developing and evaluating chatbot dialog models, tries to teach bots by …
Thomas Claburn, 16 May 2017

Google DeepMind's use of 1.6m Brits' medical records to test app was 'legally inappropriate'

Updated Google's use of Brits' real medical records to test a software algorithm that diagnoses kidney disease was legally "inappropriate," says Dame Fiona Caldicott, the National Data Guardian at the UK's Department of Health. In April 2016 it was revealed the web giant had signed a deal with the Royal Free Hospital in London to …
Iain Thomson, 16 May 2017

Uber red-faced from Waymo legal row judge's repeated slapping

Uber has two weeks to make sure Waymo receives all of its stolen documents back and one month to give a full accounting of all its interactions with the former-Waymo engineer who stole them. That's the upshot of a damning partial injunction [PDF] issued by the judge in the trade secrets case on Monday – a judgment that …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 May 2017

Never mind custody decisions, let's AI up our police cars

HPC blog Not long after the news that UK cops may use artificial intelligence to make decisions on custody, Nvidia was showing off AI-for-cops at its GTC event – except this time it's the vehicular sort. Of course, all of this is par for the course at the GTC event, you’ll always hear about the latest car sensor technology, self- …
Dan Olds, 15 May 2017

Cisco gobbles AI biz MindMeld for $125m

Cisco is the latest member of the tech old guard to jump on to the artificial intelligence bandwagon by slurping MindMeld for $125m (£97m). The San Francisco-based startup claims to have developed an AI platform that lets customers build human-like conversational interfaces for any application or device via its proprietary …
Kat Hall, 11 May 2017

Your 90-second guide to new stuff Nvidia teased today: Volta V100 chips, a GPU cloud, and more

GTC Today at Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California, CEO Jensen Huang paraded a bunch of forthcoming gear – all aimed at expanding the graphics chip giant’s reach in AI. Or in other words, stealing a march on Intel's machine learning efforts: the x86 goliath is desperately bent on stopping Nvidia and others …
Katyanna Quach, 10 May 2017

Rich professionals could be replaced by AI, shrieks Gartner

Rise of the Machines Ball-gazers* at Gartner reckon robots could replace doctors, lawyers and IT workers in the next five years. Panic, all ye faithful. "The economics of AI and machine learning will lead to many tasks performed by professionals today becoming low-cost utilities," said Stephen Prentice, Gartner Fellow and veep. "AI's effects on …
Gareth Corfield, 09 May 2017

Sorry, Dave, I can't code that: AI's prejudice problem

Bureaucrats don’t just come in uniforms and peaked caps. They come in 1U racks, too. They’ll deny you credit, charge you more for paperclips that someone in another neighbourhood, and maybe even stop you getting out of jail. Algorithms are calling the shots these days, and they may not be as impartial as you thought. To some, …
Danny Bradbury, 08 May 2017
Google Voice Kit project

First cardboard goggles, now this: Google's cardboard 'DIY AI' box powered by an RPi 3

In what can be taken either as cloud platform rainmaking or continued refusal to take hardware seriously, Google has introduced AIY Projects, do-it-yourself endpoints of spit and string for jacking into the Chocolate Factory's brain candy machine. The first such project, Voice Kit, promises artificial intelligence – a term …
Thomas Claburn, 04 May 2017
Robot AI Woman

Israel-focused VCs sow cash around seed stage tech firms

A new multi-million dollar fund is planning to invest in promising Israeli tech startups. YL Ventures, based in both Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv, has put together a $75m war chest to invest in seed stage Israeli companies in high-growth sectors including cybersecurity, enterprise software, autonomous vehicles, drone …
John Leyden, 04 May 2017

Another AI assistant... It's getting crowded in here, isn't it, Siri?

Analysis Voice-activated speakers and digital assistants may just seem like the modern, more annoying version of the old Microsoft paperclip, continually offering help and reminders where they are not needed. But while Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Google Home/Now and Amazon Echo/Alexa may have a long way to go, we will look back on …
Wireless Watch, 03 May 2017
Washingmachines photo via Shutterstock

Washing machine AI? You'll thank AWS, Microsoft, Google (eventually)

There's a war brewing in the cloud, and machine learning may well determine the outcome. With infrastructure services trending toward commoditisation, each of the big-three cloud purveyors is racing to augment vanilla IaaS and PaaS with not-so-vanilla machine learning (ML)/artificial intelligence (AI) smarts. Sure, they're way …
Matt Asay, 27 Apr 2017
Young robot studying photo via Shutterstock

A bot lingua franca does not exist: Your machine-learning options for walking the talk

So, you want to create a hugely successful machine-learning startup? Or you've been asked to start investigating ML for your firm? Well, you'd better get programming – but what language should you use? No languages have been designed specifically with ML in mind, but some do lend themselves to the task. Developers …
Danny Bradbury, 25 Apr 2017
His master's voice

Lyrebird steals your voice to make you say things you didn't – and we hate this future

Hastening the arrival of a world in which simulation is indistinguishable from reality, startup Lyrebird has announced plans to power up an online service that can imitate a person's voice. Given roughly a minute of voice samples from a specific person, the upstart's system can, via an API, convert supplied text into spoken …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Apr 2017
Robot drives a car. Conceptual illustration from Shutterstock

Give 'bots a chance: Driverless cars to be trialled between London and Oxford

Driverless cars using UK-made software will be tested on public roads and even motorways between London and Oxford. AI firm Oxbotica’s tech is at the heart of the Driven consortium’s latest driverless car trial, which will see manned-but-autonomous cars testing their software. Starting in the next week, the 30-month trial …
Gareth Corfield, 24 Apr 2017

CompSci boffins find Reddit is ideal source for sarcasm database

Over here at El Reg, we think that chatbots are, like, the best thing ever. Not. But would they be any better if they could detect sarcasm and retaliate with their own snide remarks? A group of computer scientists from Princeton University, USA, certainly think so. Mikhail Khodak, Nikunj Saunshi and Kiran Vodrahalli, all …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Apr 2017

Q. Why is Baidu sharing its secret self-driving sauce? A. To help China corner the market

Analysis Chinese tech powerhouse Baidu plans to "open up" its self-driving car designs to help automakers in China overtake Western rivals. Big corps around the world are racing to the finish line of building and selling the first proper autonomous rides. Competition is fierce – in California, 30 organizations including Tesla, Waymo, …
Katyanna Quach, 21 Apr 2017
Jack Russell in love photo via Shutterstock

The pain in your chest? That'll be Big Tech's AI arrow of love

If you couldn't feel the love this week, you're lacking a heart. Tech firms threw AI code and services at devs in a further attempt to secede and ultimately tie them into their respective ways of talking to machines. Facebook open-sourced its Caffe2 deep-learning framework – open-sourcing of code being a proven way in tech of …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Apr 2017

Google's healthcare cousin to stick 10,000 human guinea pigs under the microscope

Alphabet’s healthcare arm, and Google stablemate, Verily Life Sciences has today announced Project Baseline: a study that will glean massive amounts of healthcare records by monitoring thousands of patients over four years. Verily Life Sciences will work with the medical schools at Stanford University in California and Duke …
Katyanna Quach, 19 Apr 2017

Please don't call them Facebook chatbots, says Facebook's bot boss

F8 2017 Facebook all but admitted the failure of chatbots last month – with the announcement that developers building Messenger bot can hide text input boxes and offer menu-driven conversations instead. Chatbots were billed by some as the new user interface for apps: rather than tap on icons and swipe through screens, you tell the …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Apr 2017
Google cloud vision API errors once noise is added

Google's cloudy image recognition is easily blinded, say boffins

Google's Cloud Vision API is easily blinded by the addition of a little noise to the images it analyses, say a trio of researchers from the Network Security Lab at the University of Washington, Seattle. Authors Hossein Hosseini, Baicen Xiao and Radha Poovendran have hit arXiv with a pre-press paper titled Google’s Cloud Vision …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017
Users with laptop, mobile, tablet have tea in a coffee house. Pic via shutterstock

Facebook brews Caffe2 AI toolkit so apps can give SnapChat a slap

F8 2017 Facebook has open sourced Caffe2, the toolbox of deep-learning software its own developers use to train AI models and build apps. Caffe2 appears to be product driven, and is geared towards deploying machine-learning systems into smartphone applications and onto large-scale clusters. It differs from PyTorch, another software …
Katyanna Quach, 19 Apr 2017

Good job, everyone. We're making AI just as tediously racist and sexist as ourselves

Artificial intelligence can inherit the same racial and gender biases as humans do when learning language, according to a paper published in Science. AI and machine learning are hot topics. Algorithms are becoming more advanced, providing us with better internet searching and recommendations to potentially help us diagnose …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Apr 2017

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