🤝 Tech and the govt need to work together to stay ahead in AI, according to tech leaders

Plus: guess how many 🖐️👁️👨scans Homeland Security plans to have soon?

Hi! I think the note should actually go here if my header gets this fancy, don’t you?

Story of the week

The US need AI, stat! At least that is according to a 101-page report submitted to Congress this week by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. The 15 people behind it come from places like NASA and academia, but tech is also well-represented with people like Eric Schmidt and leaders at Amazon and Oracle. A lot of the insights, like how the US adopts AI “will have profound ramifications for our immediate security, economic well-being, and position in the world” is pretty straightforward and obvious.

Other points, like how China could overtake the US’s dominance on AI, is not even a framing everyone would agree with (there is more talk in the research community about working together, not in opposition). Also, the argument that the government needs to work closely with Silicon Valley to keep ahead coming from a bunch of tech leaders seems pretty self-dealing and probably should have come elsewhere for a bigger impact. Still, it is good to see people in power commissioning these types of reports and at least trying to think through the future of AI. Here is a good overview from Wired for more.

More News

Explode Linda Hamilton GIF by Terminator: Dark Fate

My review of the new Terminator movie: 👍👍 especially the idea of three women teaming up to kick ass and a lot of jokes from Arnold appeals to you.

Starbucks has an AI product called Deep Brew that can do everything from be a “personalization engine, optimize store labor allocations and drive inventory management in stores.”

Presidential hopeful and current NJ Senator Cory Booker introduced a bill that bans face rec tech in public housing.

Microsoft wants to sell companies AI software that teaches their machines how to learn on their own and be more autonomous.

OpenAI released a text-generating AI that it said was too dangerous to release after now finding there is “no strong evidence of misuse.”

A Chinese court will hear a challenge to how a zoo uses face rec tech that could change how China regulates the technology.

American baseball is getting robo-umpires (in the form of an automated strike zone) in some minor league ballparks next season.

A new way to spot wildfires from space with the help of AI (yours truly has a piece cited in this updated story).

AI-grammar helper app Grammarly created a new ‘tone detector’ tool. This email was rated confident 🤝, friendly 🤗, and informal ✏️. My take: 🤔.

Prospecting ArXiv

Humans are great at predicting what comes next, even in a novel situation. Haven’t driven this particular road before? It’s okay, you have a pretty good idea of what comes next. This is harder for AI, but researchers are trying to train algorithms on video data and get it to predict (and produce) a few frames that would likely come next. The latest attempt is by a group of researchers coming from Google, Adobe, and the University of Michigan, in a paper accepted at this year’s NeurIPS conference.

Previous attempts latched onto specialized methods like tracking landmarks, creating foreground/background masks or doing the work in simpler settings like Atari games. These researchers, however, took a much less fussed with neural network and gave it more computing power. The paper references an interest in tackling a larger question in the AI world right now: whether breakthroughs come from handcrafted models (like the previous attempts) or from less bespoke models with more computing power.

There is a bunch of testing they did, but the TL;DR is that when asked what is more realistic, evaluators from Amazon Turk overwhelming voted for the examples coming from the bigger models. A win for team absolute units!

Datapoint of the week

How many fingerprints, iris, and face scans Homeland Security expects to have by 2022.


“The system design did not include a consideration for jaywalking pedestrians.”

—The NTSB’s Vehicle Automation Report describing the fatal 2016 Uber accident, reported in Wired.


I’ll be back (a joke in Dark Fate that Arnold *doesn’t* get to make),