Happy Sunday and welcome to InsideAI! I'm Rob May, a Partner at PJC, where I invest in AI and Robotics. Before that I founded Backupify, which became a big part of Datto (which just filed their S-1 to go public), and then Talla. I also write more in-depth, less news-centric content at Technically Sentient. I write the weekend commentary here at InsideAI to cover some things I'm seeing in the AI space in general. This week, I have some interesting parcels from the State of AI report.
But first lets cover the most popular articles from last week, in case you missed them:
Some test takers of California's remote bar exam - particularly people of color - reported problems with ExamSoft’s facial recognition system. As expected, some nonwhite test-takers said the AI software did not recognize them - a recurring problem with the technology - and they were forced to submit selfies repeatedly, call tech support, or shine a light on their faces to verify their identities during this week's exam.
Nearly 60% of tenure-track AI faculty at four universities — Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, and the University of Toronto — have received financial support from big tech companies, according to a new study. Leading the study were Toronto AI grad student Mohamed Abdalla and his brother Moustafa Abdalla, who said that such funding shows how 14 prominent tech firms can potentially distort the academic landscape to suit their needs.
Miso Robotics' commercialized its Flippy Robot-on-a-Rail, or ROAR, which can flip meat, fry food, and move between workstations on rails. The robot, which starts at $30k, is now being sold to restaurants and fast food places globally, potentially replacing many human workers. Miso says its plans to lower the cost of the robot to $20k in the near future. It also offers a $1,500 monthly fee that includes maintenance and upgrades, which Miso says it less expensive than paying human workers. A video of Flippy is available on YouTube.