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Researchers create AI attacker to defeat AI malware defender

Adversarial models, already known to defeat the artificial intelligence behind image classifiers and computer audio, are also good at defeating malware detection. Last year, researchers from NVIDIA, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the University of Maryland probably felt justifiably pleased with themselves when they trained a neural …
perplexed woman on phone

Fun fact of the day: Voice recognition tech is naturally sexist

Voice recognition systems are sexist: they struggle to deal with female voices compared to male ones. It's a headache that has been lingering for a while in the machine-learning world. The issue was brought back into the spotlight again by Delip Rao, CEO and co-founder of R7 Speech Sciences, a startup using AI to understand …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Mar 2018
Doctor Nick Riviera

Identifying planets with machine learning, dirty AI searches, and OpenAI scholarships

Roundup Hello, here’s this week’s AI roundup. There is new code to play around with for those interested in machine learning and space, a model that predicts hilarious search trends for sex site YouPorn, and another funny story about an ostensibly intelligent medical chatbot in New Zealand. Hunting exoplanets with ML – The machine …
Katyanna Quach, 10 Mar 2018
Image by Ryger

EU lawmakers seek coordinated hand-wringing over AI ethics

European policymakers have asked for help unravelling the "patchwork" of ethical and societal challenges as the use of artificial intelligence increases. The European Commission’s group on ethics in science and new technologies on Friday issued a statement (PDF) warning that existing efforts to develop solutions to the ethical …
Rebecca Hill, 09 Mar 2018
Drinks party at M3 day one

Yes, Alexa is all very well... but we want YOU to talk machine learning and AI

MCubed returns to London in October, and we want to hear how your organisation is using artificial intelligence, machine learning algorithms, deep learning, and predictive analytics to solve real world business and technology problems. We’re looking to put together a conference schedule that shows how business and academia are …
Team Register, 08 Mar 2018

Hey Alexa, Siri and Cortana: Cisco says you’re bad at business

VID Cisco will shortly give the world a voice assistant it believes has a shot at making life uncomfortable for Siri, Cortana and Alexa in the office. The company’s effort won’t be a general-purpose bot. Instead the company plans to make it a part of its Spark collaboration portfolio and have it do things like place calls, find …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Mar 2018

Google assisting the Pentagon in developing AI for its drones

Google is working with the US Department of Defense to develop AI algorithms to identify objects in videos taken by drones. So far, it’s unclear exactly what technology is being used and how involved Google are. But it’s all part of Project Maven, a programme launched by the Pentagon last year in April. The goal is to start …
Katyanna Quach, 07 Mar 2018
Drone shooting

US Army warns of the potential dangers of swarming toy drones on US soldiers

US warplanners are going to have to deal with an increasing drone threat, both from off-the-shelf hardware today to possibly more intelligent dangers. The increasing power and sophistication of "hobby drones" is making them attractive to insurgents, according to a report drafted by the US National Academy of Sciences, …
Katyanna Quach, 06 Mar 2018
AI Robot viewed from the back against an arty landscape. Pic via SHuttertock

Senate mulls offensive AI, new training tools and now Chinese faceswaps Trump

Roundup Your weekly dose of tidbits from the AI world, beyond everything we've already covered, begins with a senate committee hearing in which a US lieutenant general, currently a nominee for the role of the director of the NSA, spoke about his concerns around the technology. And it ends with a CEO of a Chinese AI startup …
Katyanna Quach, 03 Mar 2018
Cartoon of someone stealing information from a Mac

Boffins baffled as AI training leaks secrets to canny thieves

Private information can be easily extracted from neural networks trained on sensitive data, according to new research. A paper released on arXiv last week by a team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, National University of Singapore, and Google Brain reveals just how vulnerable deep learning is to …
Katyanna Quach, 02 Mar 2018
Screenshot of Qbert video game

AI racks up insane high scores after finding bug in ancient video game

Video An AI bot managed to exploit a hidden bug in popular 1980s arcade game Q*bert to rack up impossibly high scores after being programmed using evolution strategy algorithms. Evolution strategies (ES) offer an alternative to the more traditional reinforcement learning (RL) methods that have been used to train machines to beat …
Katyanna Quach, 02 Mar 2018
smart city concept drawing - self-driving cars, wifi hotspots etc - but no people

Super Cali's futuristic robo-cars in focus. Even though a watchdog says tech is quite atrocious

The US state of California will allow fully driverless, human-free autonomous vehicles on its streets from April 2. From March 2, organizations can apply for to Cali's Department of Motor Vehicles for permits to test software-driven vehicles in public traffic with no meatbags present, either on a backseat, behind the wheel or …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Feb 2018
Not Hot Dog skit from Silicon Valley

Huawei's Not Hot Dog is possibly the Worst Tech Promo Ever

#F_AI_L Never base a promotional campaign around a satire of the thing you're trying to promote. You'd think that's an easy rule to follow, but Huawei seems to have forgotten. In what may be the most excruciating promotional stunt we've ever seen from a technology company in many years, Huawei based a promo for its AI on a satire of …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Feb 2018

Wanna build an AI robot? Don't have an actual robot yet? Try this Holodeck for droids

OpenAI today updated Gym – its system for training intelligent software – so that developers can teach physical robots to hold pens, pick up and move objects, and so on. Gym was launched in 2016, and is a toolkit for teaching programs new tricks, such as playing Atari games and balancing poles, via reinforcement learning (RL …
Katyanna Quach, 26 Feb 2018
Siri logo

Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

If you saw someone being assaulted, you'd probably whip out your phone and dial for help. But when one of our newly ubiquitous devices hears a crime, it does nothing. If Alexa or Google Assistant or Siri hears an assault, or a rape, they sit there waiting for their cues to act. But that's a load of malarkey. Listening for a …
Mark Pesce, 26 Feb 2018

Elon Musk blasts off from OpenAI to focus on cars, how to make smart code fair, and more

Roundup Welcome, friends. Here's your human-generated, totally not computer written, summary of this week's AI news, beyond what we've already covered. In short: Elon Musk steps down from OpenAI's board, Uber is looking to train new coders in machine learning, and there's a new AI conference. FAT conference – The inaugural Conference …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Feb 2018

When clever code kills, who pays and who does the time? A Brit expert explains to El Reg

Analysis On September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov, an officer in the Soviet Union's Air Defense Forces, heard an alarm and saw that the warning system he'd been assigned to monitor showed the US had launched five nuclear missiles. Suspecting an error with the system's sensors, he waited instead of alerting his superiors, who probably …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Feb 2018

Who wanted a future in which AI can copy your voice and say things you never uttered? Who?!

Artificially intelligent software can listen to someone's voice only a few times, and then speak just like them, like some kind of creepy cybernetic myna bird... according to a paper published by researchers from Baidu. This technology, when perfected, will be ideal for generating fake audio clips of people saying things they …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Feb 2018

Boffins: If AI eggheads could go ahead and try to stop their code being evil, that'd be great

AI experts have emitted a lengthy report spitballing how intelligent software may be turned against us humans in the near future. Their aim is to put in motion safeguards and policies to crackdown on malevolent uses of machine-learning technology, rather than whip up panic, and to make scientists and engineers understand the …
Katyanna Quach, 21 Feb 2018

Ayyy-EYE! Google code 'predicts heart disease' by eyeballing retinas

AI researchers at Google have developed algorithms that can assess the risk of heart attacks by analyzing retinal scans. By looking for common patterns in images of retinal scans and matching them up with the data in the patients’ medical records, one algorithm could determine if someone was a smoker or non-smoker to an …
Katyanna Quach, 21 Feb 2018
KFC - Shutterstock

KFC: Enemy of waistlines, AI, arteries and logistics software

Brits suffering through the nationwide KFC famine can enjoy with wry amusement the fact that an AI can be fooled into thinking an image of Colonel Sanders and the restaurant's logo are a stop sign. The fast food famine arose after KFC UK last week switched from logistics provider Bidvest to rival DHL. The result was delivery …
Man and robot...

Reinforcement learning woes, robot doggos, Amazon's homegrown AI chips, and more

Roundup Hello! Here's a brief roundup of some interesting news from the AI world from the past two weeks, beyond what we've already reported. Behold a fascinating, honest explanation of why reinforcement learning isn't all that, Amazon developing its own chips, and an AI that colors in comic books. Also, there's a new Boston Dynamics …
Katyanna Quach, 17 Feb 2018

If you don't like what IBM is pitching, blame Watson: It's generating sales 'solutions' now

Exclusive IBM is not just telling the world it needs "cognitive" computing: the company has bet the future of its own services business on Watson-branded services. Internal documents seen by The Register reveal the tech goliath has developed something it calls "cognitive solutioning," to be deployed when Big Blue is asked to do a job …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2018

Look out, Wiki-geeks. Now Google trains AI to write Wikipedia articles

A team within Google Brain – the web giant's crack machine-learning research lab – has taught software to generate Wikipedia-style articles by summarizing information on web pages... to varying degrees of success. As we all know, the internet is a never ending pile of articles, social media posts, memes, joy, hate, and blogs. …
Katyanna Quach, 15 Feb 2018

Roses are red, are you single, we wonder? 'Cos this moth-brain AI can read your phone number

A pair of academics have reproduced part of a moth's brain as an artificial neural network – and taught it to recognize numbers to a fairly high accuracy with just a few training examples. The software, dubbed MothNet, can apparently discern handwritten digits with 75 per cent to 85 per cent accuracy, given 15 to 20 training …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Feb 2018

Creep learning: How to tamper with neural nets to turn them against us

Bit boffins from universities in China and the US have devised a way to tamper with deep learning models so they produce misleading results. In a paper posted to pre-print service ArXiv, "PoTrojan: powerful neural-level trojan designs in deep learning models," authors Minhui Zou, Yang Shi, Chengliang Wang, Fangyu Li, WenZhan …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Feb 2018
Many people, expressions of fear

Facial recognition software easily IDs white men, but error rates soar for black women

Updated Commercial AI is great at recognising the gender of white men, but not so good at doing the same job for black women. That's the conclusion of a new study, "Gender Shades: Intersectional Accuracy Disparities in Commercial Gender Classification", that compared gender classifiers developed by Microsoft, IBM, and Chinese startup …
Katyanna Quach, 13 Feb 2018
Robot maid

Talk down to Siri like it's a mere servant – your safety demands it

In the middle of the night, the 83-year-old woman received a call. A caller identifying himself as a policeman angrily reported that her grandson – identified by name – had landed in jail. He'd hit a policeman while driving and TXTing. The policeman said they needed $4,000 in bail – immediately. The old woman hung up, but the …
Mark Pesce, 12 Feb 2018
Half mechanical brain

Boffins upload worm's brain into a computer, teach it tricks

Boffins from the Technische Universität Wien in Austria have created a simulated brain, run it in a computer, and taught it a trick. "Brain" may be overstating things just a tad, because the simulation was of nematode C. elegans, a tiny worm that has just 300 or so neurons. We know that number because nematode C. elegans has …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Feb 2018
Mark Wahlberg and his come-to-life teddy bear in bed in the movie Ted. Copyright: Universal Pictures

It took us less than 30 seconds to find banned 'deepfake' AI smut on the internet

Fake AI-generated pornography has been banned by sites including Reddit and Pornhub, but others operations say they're fine with the practice of putting celebrities' faces on porn actresses' bodies. Such videos are made possible by neural network technology that can learn the features of anyone’s face and maps it onto bodies …
Katyanna Quach, 09 Feb 2018

Winter is coming for AI. Fortunately, non-sci-fi definitions are actually doing worthwhile stuff

When British Prime Minister Theresa May bigged up AI at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, it was as if she had nothing better to talk about. Name-dropping DeepMind, perhaps the only justification for her claim that the UK can be a "world leader in artificial intelligence", seemed a little desperate, especially as …

Is that you, T-1000? No, just a lil robot that can mimic humans on sight

Video Boffins have taught a robot how to imitate the way someone handles objects after watching them just once. While humans and animals are intelligent enough to mimic simple movements they've only just seen, this is beyond today's relatively dumb software. We're nowhere near T-1000 Terminator series levels, yet. Researchers from …
Katyanna Quach, 08 Feb 2018

I see you're writing a résumé?!.. LinkedIn parked in MS Word

Microsoft has glued LinkedIn and Office 365's Word together so it can automatically help folks write or update their résumés – and find them new jobs at the same time. Given Redmond has owned social-network-for-suits LinkedIn since 2016, we're floored it took this long. Specifically, Microsoft said today that Word and …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Feb 2018

Google code reckons it's smarter than airlines, AI funding, and lots more

Roundup It has been an interesting week in the AI world. There's a whole treasure trove of research papers to read, fresh AI problems to crack, and a new fund for startups. ICLR 2018 The list of papers accepted for this year’s International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) are out and they make interesting reading. The …
Katyanna Quach, 03 Feb 2018
phone burn

Tensorflow Lite: Neat, but an ordeal to get running on your mobe

Late last year, Google announced a new mobile library for Tensorflow on mobile devices: Lite. If you didn't know by now, Tensorflow is Google's framework for developing machine-learning models on a large scale and is proving popular with the community – even if many developers choose to use a higher level abstraction on top of …
Andrew Cobley, 31 Jan 2018
Drones hover above a smart city. Photo by shutterstock

On yer bike! Boffins teach AI drone to fly itself using cams on bicycles, self-driving car

Vid Researchers have taught a drone to fly autonomously through the streets of Zürich, Switzerland, by using a simple neural network. As tech companies toy with the idea of using mini-drones for delivery, monitoring buildings, or surveillance, then figuring out how to fly them without human control is vital if sales are to scale …
Katyanna Quach, 31 Jan 2018

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