Realistic portraits of historical figures Vincent van Gogh, Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen Elizabeth
AI & Society

Photos From Before Photos Existed

An artist is using deep learning to create realistic portraits of historical figures like Napoleon Bonaparte, Vincent Van Gogh, and England’s first Queen Elizabeth.
1 min read
Examples of high-resolution versions of low-resolution images.
AI & Society

Image Resolution in Black and White

A new model designed to sharpen images tends to turn some dark faces white, igniting fresh furor over bias in machine learning. Photo Upsampling via Latent Space Exploration (Pulse) generates high-resolution versions of low-resolution images.
2 min read
Virtual bot speaking
AI & Society

Bots Don’t Need Social Distancing

A chatbot is providing companionship for the locked-down and lonely. Downloads of Replika, a chatbot designed to be a virtual friend, have spiked during the coronavirus pandemic, reports the New York Times.
1 min read
Partnership in AI, Amazon, Baidu, Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft logos
AI & Society

Baidu Leaves Partnership on AI

Baidu backed out of a U.S.-led effort to promote ethics in AI, leaving the project without a Chinese presence. The Beijing-based search giant withdrew from the Partnership on AI, a consortium that promotes cooperation on issues like digital privacy and algorithmic bias.
1 min read
Illustration of Noam Shazeer
AI & Society

AI Transformed

Noam Shazeer helped spark the latest NLP revolution. He developed the multi-headed self-attention mechanism described in “Attention Is All You Need,” the 2017 paper that introduced the transformer network.
3 min read
Illustration of a broken heart with a smirk in the middle
AI & Society

Outing Hidden Hatred

Facebook uses automated systems to block hate speech, but hateful posts can slip through when seemingly benign words and pictures combine to create a nasty message. The social network is tackling this problem by enhancing AI’s ability to recognize context.
2 min read
Face recognition system working on people wearing masks
AI & Society

Who Was That Masked Protester?

Vendors of face recognition are updating their tech as people don masks to protect against Covid-19. Police are bound to take notice. Companies that provide computer vision systems, including at least one that supplies law enforcement agencies, are training models to recognize obscured faces.
2 min read
Hamster running in a hamster ball
AI & Society

Running Fast, Standing Still

Machine learning researchers report better and better results, but some of that progress may be illusory. Some models that appear to set a new state of the art haven’t been compared properly to their predecessors, Science News reports based on several published surveys.
1 min read
Angry emoji over dozens of Facebook like buttons
AI & Society

Facebook Likes Extreme Content

Facebook’s leadership has thwarted changes in its algorithms aimed at making the site less polarizing, according to the Wall Street Journal. The social network’s own researchers determined that its AI software promotes divisive content.
2 min read
Replica of the video game Pac-Man generated by a GAN
AI & Society

Playing With GANs

Generative adversarial networks don’t just produce pretty pictures. They can build world models, too. A GAN generated a fully functional replica of the classic video game Pac-Man.
2 min read
Pumpjacks extracting oil during sunset
AI & Society

Do Oil and Algorithms Mix?

Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are developing machine learning tools for the fossil fuel industry even as they pledge to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
2 min read
Supermarket empty shelves
AI & Society

New Behaviors Derail Old Training

The pandemic has radically altered online shopping behavior, throwing a wrench into many AI systems. AI inventory trackers, recommendation algorithms, and fraud detection systems trained on pre-pandemic consumer behavior have been flummoxed by the different ways people now browse, binge, and buy.
1 min read
False information about Covid-19 on Facebook posts
AI & Society

Information Warfare: Covid Edition

Facebook’s AI can’t spot Covid-19 disinformation on its own. But with human help, it can slow the spread. Facebook uses a combination of humans and neural nets to crack down on messages that make false claims about Covid-19, which may have deadly consequences.
1 min read
Colorful chemical fragments bind to the main protease of the SARS-CoV-2 virus
AI & Society

Crowdsourcing a Cure

Researchers are drawing up blueprints for drugs to fight Covid-19. Machine learning is identifying those most likely to be effective. Covid Moonshot, an international group of scientists in academia and industry, is crowdsourcing designs for molecules with potential to thwart the coronavirus.
1 min read
Captures from AI's Got Talent
AI & Society

AI’s Got Talent

Music that features a “singing” koala bear took the prize in one of Europe’s highest-profile AI competitions yet. A team of Australian programmers, designers, and musicians won the inaugural AI Song Contest with a koala-tinged track called “Beautiful the World.”
2 min read

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