Men on either side of Blue Nile River in Ethiopia pull each other across the broken bridge by a rope
May 13, 2020

The Batch: Covid Mask Detection, Brain To Text Translation, AI Chooses Tax Brackets, Neural Network Security

Inflection points in society create opportunities. The rise of online video was an inflection point that enabled scalable online education. The rise of the GPS-enabled smartphones similarly enabled Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, and many other services.
Two partial images of a retina
May 06, 2020

The Batch: Pandemic Triage, Asia's AI Advantage, Detecting Deepfakes, Cleaning Oceans, Music Industry in a Box

There has been a lot of excitement about the idea of using deep learning to diagnose diabetic retinopathy: That is by taking a photo of the retina and using AI to detect signs of disease.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai
Apr 29, 2020

The Batch: Tesla Parts the Curtain, Detecting Dangerous Bugs, Mapping Disaster Zones, Detecting Humans from Wi-Fi

In an earlier letter, I wrote about the challenge of robustness: A learning algorithm that performs well on test data often doesn’t work well in a practical production environment because the real world turns out to be different than the test set.
Slide with info about school closures as of April 20, 2020
Apr 22, 2020

The Batch: AI Versus Covid Wake-Up Call, Straight Poop from a Smart Toilet, Sharper Image Inputs, Predicting Farm Yields

I spoke on Tuesday at Coursera’s annual conference. It was the company’s most well-attended conference yet, and the first to be held online. Higher education is in for turbulent times. With campuses shut down indefinitely...
Neural network with the Caduceus sign
Apr 15, 2020

The Batch: AI For Medicine Special! Eric Topol’s Planetary Health System, Discovering Drugs, Diagnosing Heart Disease

This week’s issue of The Batch is all about medical applications of AI. Amid the current pandemic, the marriage of AI and medicine is more urgent than ever. My father is a practicing doctor, and I grew up seeing firsthand how the right...
Flatten the curve campaign image
Apr 08, 2020

The Batch: Antiviral Resources, Robot Superstars, AI for Scientists, 3D Data Augmentation, BatchNorm Demystified

Last week, I asked readers to tell me what they’re doing to address the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of you wrote to say you’re taking actions such as shopping for neighbors, making masks, and creating posters that promote Covid-safe practices...
Neural network over a world map
Apr 01, 2020

The Batch: AI-Against-Coronavirus Datasets, Voice Cloning for the Masses, Finding Unexploded Bombs, Seeing See-Through

In the earlier weeks of Covid-19, I didn’t want to contribute noise, so that experts in infectious disease could be heard. But now the situation has worsened. I spoke yesterday with Eric Topol, a cardiologist at Scripps Institute and author of Deep...
Andrew Ng working on three computers at the same time
Mar 25, 2020

The Batch: Tracking China's Covid-19 Revival, A Robot Star is Born, Discovering New Antibiotics, Rightsizing Neural Networks

When I was younger, I was not a fan of working from home. Too many distractions! So I worked a lot in coffee shops. They turned out to be convenient places to talk to strangers and ask for feedback about products I was working on...
Animated symbol of Covid-19 virus structure
Mar 18, 2020

The Batch: AI Versus Coronavirus, Quantum Neural Networks, Workers Prepare for Job Losses, Translating Cuneiform

The unfolding Covid-19 crisis calls for individuals and organizations to step up and contribute to the common good. I believe that the tech community has an important role to play in slowing the progress of the virus and shortening the time...
Welcome slide for the Global Interactive AI Conference
Mar 11, 2020

The Batch: Mind-Controlled Robot Hand, Fashions by GAN, Face Recognition Countermeasure, More Realistic Deepfakes, Learning From

The Covid-19 pandemic is a tragedy that demands urgent and humane response. It’s also pushing us toward new ways of gathering and sharing information — and that may be a faint silver lining that might grow brighter over time.
Economic surplus
Mar 04, 2020

The Batch: Standing Up for Ethical AI, Efficient Transformers, Up-Rezzing Old Movies, Watching the Factory Floor, Pumping Iron

In addition to creating tremendous value, AI is creating tremendous concentrations of power. Our community is wrestling with what constitutes fair use of that power.
Lex Fridman and Andrew Ng chatting
Feb 26, 2020

Political Deepfakes, Tree-Dodging Drones, Faster Brain Surgery, Robot Chicken Overlords

I chatted recently with MIT researcher Lex Fridman on his Artificial Intelligence podcast, where we discussed our experiences teaching deep learning.
Transfer Learning and Self-taught Learning examples
Feb 19, 2020

The Batch: Chatbots Sue Telemarketers, Neural Nets See Around Corners, Police Read License Plates, Deep Learning Pioneers Speak

Nearly a decade ago, I got excited by self-taught learning and unsupervised feature learning — ways to learn features from unlabeled data that afterward can be used in a supervised task. These ideas contributed only marginally to practical performance back then, but I’m pleased
A screenshot from The Wizard of Oz
Feb 12, 2020

The Batch: Hotter Dating Profiles, Pandas in Love, Compute for Coronavirus, Deepfake Detection, Self-Driving Cars Run Amok

A student once asked me, “Can an AI ever love?”Since the early days of AI, people have wondered whether AI can ever be conscious or feel emotions. Even though an artificial general intelligence may be centuries away, these are important questions.
Glasses on a laptop. Pile of books and a cup in the back.
Feb 05, 2020

The Batch: Robot Warehouse Workers, Cities Under Surveillance, Chatbot Comedian, Automated Drug Design

Many of us apply labels to ourselves that shape our identity. Some say, “I’m a sports fan,” and this attitude motivates behaviors such as cheering for the home team. Others identify themselves as introverts, extroverts, vegetarians, gamers, athletes, scientists, and/or engineers.

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