Inside | Real news, curated by real humans
Inside AI

Inside AI (Jan 8th, 2020)

Dear readers,

Today we've decided to highlight some of the AI-related technology that's been featured during this week's CES, or Consumer Electronics Show. As Seeking Alpha points out, AI has been an overriding theme at this year's show, which is not surprising given that the International Data Corporation (IDC) expects three-quarters of all companies will be using some form of AI by 2022. The annual event in Las Vegas officially wraps up on Friday, so be sure to check out our Thursday and Friday editions for further updates.

We've also included a rundown of yesterday's news from the White House, which just released 10 principles directed toward government agencies when proposing AI regulations for the private sector.

Thanks for reading!

1. After much fanfare, Samsung's Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Labs unveiled its "Neon" AI project, which turned out to be digital avatars. The company has hyped up the project in the days preceding CES, but didn't offer much information until Tuesday. The technology is described as "a computationally created virtual being that looks and behaves like a real human, with the ability to show emotions and intelligence." Reports noted that the Neon AI "humanoids" are essentially video chatbots that can speak a variety of languages but are not AI assistants like Alexa that can answer basic questions and interface to the internet. As far as their uses, the company says they could be used in roles that interact with people, "such as friendly customer service," and work as concierges, TV anchors, spokespeople, and companions. Samsung hasn't specified when it could roll out the technology, which apparently uses AI to "learn" about each person it interacts with. - CNET

2. Samsung also unveiled its AI-based robot Ballie, which is designed to perform basic household tasks, the company says. The bot, which is still in the concept stages, uses a front-facing camera and AI systems to "see" and "be a fitness assistant and a mobile interface that seeks solutions for people’s changing needs." Similar to Neon, Samsumg didn't specify what forms of AI tech are used by the "life companion" bot, but did air a concept video showing it turning on a TV and washing machine, opening curtains, and sending someone a live feed of their dog at home. - GSMARENA

3. In its first-ever keynote at CES, Delta Air Lines announced plans to use an AI and machine learning platform that it says will help streamline operations. Among a slew of other tech-related company announcements, Delta said the AI system can analyze millions of data points – "from aircraft positions to flight crew restrictions to airport conditions" – to predict potential outcomes about flights and recommend how to manage disruptions like bad weather. It appears Delta's ultimate goal is to free up its more than 80,000 employees to do other work while the AI works behind the scenes. Unlike United's recent ConnectionSaver that holds planes for passengers, Delta's platform appears to be more broad, analyzing all of the company operations. It is scheduled to go online this spring. - TECHCRUNCH

4. Jason Levine, principal worldwide evangelist for Adobe Creative Cloud, took the stage at CES to demonstrate the company's AI-powered instant vertical video tech, which both creates vertical clips from horizontal ones and automatically follows and focuses on a subject. According to Levine, the technology combines Adobe's Sensei AI engine and Intel chips. The video tech eliminates or reduces the need for an editor, since it can track subjects automatically, he explained. On that note, Intel also announced a number of AI-related initiatives at CES, including improvements to its DL Boost technology to track athletes. - ENGADGET

5. Germany company Bosch introduced a "Virtual Visor" that uses AI to block out sun glare for drivers. It's essentially a transparent LCD screen coupled with an RGB camera. The system's AI locates the driver's eyes and other facial features to track shadows on their face, while an algorithm selectively blocks and unblocks sections of the Virtual Visor to shut out glare. Ahead of CES, CNET's Chris Paukert got the opportunity to try out the early prototype in a lab, and described it as "honeycomb-like large-pixel framework that you can see even when the screen isn't blocking anything," though "there's still a substantial tint to the transparent element." - CNET

6. During its CES press conference on Monday, LG focused on the future of AI and announced new lines of kitchen appliances and TVs that apparently use the technology. These include an LG ThinQ washer and dryer that can automatically select optimal wash cycle and send correct settings to the dryer. In addition, the company's six new models of so-called “real 8K” TVs will be equipped with LG’s Alpha 9 Gen3 AI processors, which can optimize picture and sound quality. The products are set to roll out later this year. - THE VERGE

7. Yesterday, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released 10 principles for AI in government, which is part of its American AI Initiative signed by President Trump last year. According to the White House, the principles have three main goals: to ensure public engagement, limit regulatory overreach, and promote trustworthy AI that is fair, transparent, and safe. The principles, as outlined by MIT Tech Review, are:

  • Public trust in AI: The government must promote reliable, robust, and trustworthy AI applications.
  • Public participation: The public should have a chance to provide feedback in all stages of the rule-making process.
  • Scientific integrity and information quality: Policy decisions should be based on science. 
  • Risk assessment and management: Agencies should decide which risks are and aren’t acceptable.
  • Benefits and costs: Agencies should weigh the societal impacts of all proposed regulations.
  • Flexibility: Any approach should be able to adapt to rapid changes and updates to AI applications.
  • Fairness and nondiscrimination: Agencies should make sure AI systems don’t discriminate illegally.
  • Disclosure and transparency: The public will trust AI only if it knows when and how it is being used.
  • Safety and security: Agencies should keep all data used by AI systems safe and secure.
  • Interagency coordination: Agencies should talk to one another to be consistent and predictable in AI-related policies.

Written and curated by Beth Duckett, a former reporter for The Arizona Republic who wrote a book about the solar industry and frequently covers hobby and commercial drones. You can follow her tweets about the latest news in artificial intelligence here.

Edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

Subscribe to Inside AI