Two reindeers with masks on a snowy night
AI & Society

Coping With Covid

AI accelerated the search for a coronavirus vaccine, detected Covid-19 cases, and otherwise softened the pandemic’s blow. Machine learning researchers worldwide scrambled to harness the technology against the coronavirus.
2 min read
Transkribus transcribing centuries-old letters and manuscripts
AI & Society

Written by Quill, Read by Computer

The secrets of history are locked in troves of handwritten documents. Now a machine learning platform is making them amenable to digital search. Transkribus is transcribing centuries-old records en masse and making them available to scholars worldwide.
1 min read
AI-driven balloon reaching high altitude
AI & Society

How to Drive a Balloon

Helium balloons that beam internet service to hard-to-serve areas are using AI to navigate amid high-altitude winds. Loon, the Alphabet division that provides wireless internet via polyethylene blimps.
2 min read
Animations depicting benchmarking, datasets and best practices
AI & Society

Prosperity of the Commons

A new consortium of companies, schools, and research labs is building open tools for next-generation machine learning. MLCommons aims to foster innovation in machine learning by developing new benchmarks, datasets, and best practices.
1 min read
Results of a survey related to trust, transparency and AI
AI & Society

Labor Pushes Back

Labor unions aim to give workers more protection against the automated systems that increasingly rule the workplace. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) launched a task force to lobby for collective bargaining, increased transparency, and legal protections related to AI in the workplace.
1 min read
Video showing a Google app helping to keep a runner with impaired vision on track
AI & Society

Seeing Eye AI

A computer vision system is helping to keep runners with impaired vision on track.What’s new: A prototype smartphone app developed by Google translates camera images into audio signals.
2 min read
Fighter pilot in action
AI & Society

Phantom Menace

A fighter pilot battled a true-to-life virtual enemy in midair. In the skies over southern California, an airman pitted his dogfighting skills against an AI-controlled opponent that was projected onto his augmented-reality visor.
2 min read
Screen captures of AI Incident Database, a searchable collection of reports on the technology’s missteps
AI & Society

Cataloging AI Gone Wrong

A new database tracks failures of automated systems including machine learning models. The Partnership on AI, a nonprofit consortium of businesses and institutions, launched the AI Incident Database, a searchable collection of reports on the technology’s missteps.
1 min read
Graphs with data related to AI use cases
AI & Society

Washington Wrestles with AI

The U.S. government’s effort to take advantage of AI has not lived up to its promise, according to a new report. Implementations of machine learning systems by federal agencies are “uneven at best, and problematic and perhaps dangerous at worst".
2 min read
Screen capture of a Semantic Scholar search with TLDR summaries generated by AI
AI & Society

Very Short, Did Read

A new summarization model boils down AI research papers to a single sentence. TLDR from Allen Institute for AI creates at-a-glance summaries of scientific research papers. It’s up and running at Semantic Scholar, a research database, where searches now return its pithy precis.
2 min read
Collage of self portraits
AI & Society

Unsupervised Prejudice

Social biases are well documented in decisions made by supervised models trained on ImageNet’s labels. But they also crept into the output of unsupervised models pretrained on the same dataset.
2 min read
Data related to AI patents in the U.S.
AI & Society

Charting the AI Patent Explosion

A new study used AI to track the explosive growth of AI innovation. Researchers from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office deployed natural language processing to track AI’s increasing presence in four decades of patent data.
1 min read
Person choosing answers from a poll
AI & Society

AI Versus Voters

Major polling organizations took a drubbing in the press after they failed to predict the outcome in last week’s U.S. elections. At least one AI-powered model fared much better.
2 min read
Security cameras with face recognition inside a building in Argentina
AI & Society

That Kid Looks Like a Criminal

In Argentina, a municipal face recognition system could misidentify children as suspected lawbreakers. Authorities in Buenos Aires are scanning subway riders’ faces to find offenders in a database of suspects but the system mixes criminal records with personal information about minors.
2 min read
Face recognition system identifying cops
AI & Society

Face Recognition Face-Off

Private citizens are using AI-driven surveillance to turn the tables on law enforcement. Activists are using face recognition to identify abusive cops, according to The New York Times.
1 min read

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