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Inside AI (Jun 28th, 2019)

1. Many thanks to IBM Watson for sponsoring our first-ever Inside AI Live conference last month in San Francisco, and to our sponsors Talla, Half Court Ventures, and LAUNCH. Today we're presenting the talk, "Autonomous AI and Tolerable Error Rate," from Tobenna Arodiogbu, co-founder and CEO of Scotty Labs.

San Francisco-based Scotty Labs is a driving company spun out of SRI International that's building an autonomous trucking solution. Unlike other companies in the self-driving industry, Scotty is not a believer in the idea of getting the driver out of the truck as soon as possible, says CEO Tobenna Arodiogbu. "There are a bunch of steps we need to take before we get there," he explains.

At Scotty Labs, Arodiogbu says they always have to think about how much testing is enough to bring their autonomous trucks to market.

In the case of building autonomous vehicles, the tolerable response time is under 100 milliseconds. That means there are no shortcuts; you have to have a really good product, he says. For the past two years, Scotty has been building its products, testing them in simulations, testing them on private roads and then public roads.

Rather than thinking about ways to increase the acceptable error rate or response time, Scotty narrowed the operational design domain of the products.

"We're not trying to build something that works everywhere," Arodiogbu says. "We're not trying to build something that takes the truck driver out of the truck."

The specific problems the company wants to tackle first are, how do they extend driver hours of service, and how do you increase the comfort and safety of the driver? That means their testing is limited to specific roads and highways and weather conditions, with no driving at nighttime or above 55 mph.

In addition, if you're building a product with a low tolerable error rate, that means you need a lot of capital, Arodiogbu says. "All AI products are not created equal," he adds.

To watch all of Arodiogbu's presentation, check out the full video here.

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2. An app that used GANs to "undress" women in photos has been shut down. The app, called DeepNude, generated a lot of controversy over its use of AI to create "deepfake" images of nude women without their consent. Motherboard first reported on the app on Thursday. By Friday morning, its creators stopped selling it, saying that they “greatly underestimated” interest in the app and that “the probability that people will misuse it is too high.” - MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW

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3. A significant number of jobs at Apple's new Seattle campus are in the AI field. The company just announced plans to hire 2,000 additional employees for the campus, which will be located near Amazon’s headquarters. Apple’s jobs page shows openings at the new campus for machine learning research scientists, natural-language processing experts, and senior software engineers for Siri. One post, for example, is seeking a machine learning engineer to "design and implement new machine learning, deep learning, NLP and computer vision algorithms, and incorporate them" into Apple's platform. - DIGITAL TRENDS

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4. Researchers developed the first AI universe simulator, which can generate 3D simulations of the universe. According to Futurism's Kristin Houser, the Deep Density Displacement Model, or D3M for short, is both fast and accurate and has baffled researchers with its ability to accurately simulate how the universe would look after tweaking certain parameters, even without receiving training data. “It’s like teaching image recognition software with lots of pictures of cats and dogs, but then it’s able to recognize elephants,” researcher Shirley Ho said. “Nobody knows how it does this, and it’s a great mystery to be solved.” The scientists detailed D3M's creation in a study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. - INTERESTING ENGINEERING

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5. AI is helping marketers and casinos better predict people's behavior, which experts say could be a danger to people with gambling addictions. Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said the AI-based efforts could "be devastating and even life-threatening" to gambling addicts, whose movements and habits are tracked and can be used to personalize the gambling or shopping experience, making them more likely to commit. One example is in Macau, where local casinos are using facial recognition, hidden cameras, and AI analytics to tailor incentives offered to players. - AXIOS

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6. BBC editors who attended the AI for Good Summit in Geneva said there are two main hurdles to overcoming major AI-related advances in the healthcare field: a lack of good quality digital data and non-advanced AI. The World Health Organization estimates that less than 20 percent of medical data worldwide is currently in forms usable in machine learning algorithms, the BBC noted. In addition, AI chatbots in the healthcare sector lag behind real-world doctors. Despite claims from companies such as Babylon, it's important to note that virtual assistants can't replace doctors and their abilities shouldn't be exaggerated, says Hadas Bitran, head of Microsoft Healthcare Israel. - BBC

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7. At the Amazon re:MARS conference, CNET spoke with four Amazon executives regarding the company's AI developments thus far. Their conversations revealed just how critical AI has become in helping Amazon compete against rival retailers like Walmart and cloud-service providers like Microsoft and Google, as well as how little the execs are worried about automation displacing human jobs. Instead, they noted that they continue to hire thousands of additional people to work alongside warehouse robots and create updated machine learning code. "It's not, 'Oh, do we have too many people?' That's never the problem we're trying to solve. We're growing, we need to hire more people," said Brad Porter, an Amazon robotics vice president. This story first appeared in Inside Amazon, our newsletter of in-depth news and analysis about Amazon. - CNET

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8. Salesforce announced a new initiative to bring common sense to AI. While AI and machine learning have improved greatly, especially in sales tools, the technology doesn't use human discernment when mimicking the human brain. The CRM giant is looking to use this technology to have more intelligent chatbots and smarter digital assistants which could help sales teams greatly. For more stories about how AI is being used in the sales industry, check out our newsletter Inside Sales. - SILICON ANGLE

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9. A 3D-printed hand that's powered by machine learning could one day reduce the cost of prosthetics. Researchers in Japan created a system that's trained to distinguish each finger's motions to develop the skills to perform more complex gestures (such as multiple fingers moving together simultaneously.) The myoelectric prosthetic system is described in a research article published in Science Robotics. - MASHABLE

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10. Data provided by Indeed showed that AI job postings grew nearly 30 percent on the job postings platform between May 2018 and May 2019. Machine learning engineers, which were the most sought after title, had the highest paying average salary at $142,859. Indeed VP of Product Raj Mukherjee said, "Companies are now using AI and seeing tangible business results from doing so." For a closer look, here are the five AI jobs with the highest salaries, according to TechRepublic. - BLOOMBERG

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Written and curated by Beth Duckett in Orange County. Beth is a former reporter for The Arizona Republic who has written for USA Today, Get Out magazine and other publications. Follow her tweets about breaking news and other topics in southern California here.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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