Screen captures from videos generated by VidPress
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Text to Video in Two Minutes

Will reading soon become obsolete? A new system converts text articles into videos. VidPress, a prototype project from Chinese tech giant Baidu, currently generates more than 1,000 narrated video summaries of news stories daily.
2 min read
Generative BST example and graph
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Big Bot Makes Small Talk

Facebook recently rolled out its entry in the World’s Biggest Chatbot sweepstakes. In keeping with the company’s social-networking dominance, the bot is designed to excel at chitchat on any subject.
2 min read
A chatbot called Meena and a graph comparing it with other chatbot services
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Toward Open-Domain Chatbots

Progress in language models is spawning a new breed of chatbots and, unlike their narrow-domain forebears, they have the gift of gab. Recent research tests the limits of conversational AI.
2 min read
Animated drawing of hardware related to AI
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Horsepower for Next-Gen Networks

The for-profit research organization OpenAI has a new supercomputer to help achieve its dream of building the world’s most sophisticated AI. Microsoft engineered the new hardware network to train immense models on thousands of images, texts, and videos simultaneously.
1 min read
Supermarket empty shelves
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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
Information and examples of CheXbert, a network that labels chest X-rays
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Human-Level X-Ray Diagnosis

Like nurses who can’t decipher a doctor’s handwriting, machine learning models can’t decipher medical scans — without labels. Conveniently, natural language models can read medical records to extract labels for X-ray images.
2 min read
False information about Covid-19 on Facebook posts
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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
Brains and neural signals reading
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Listening to the Brain

AI has added an unlikely language to its catalog of translation capabilities: brain waves. Joseph Makin led a group from the University of California San Francisco to render a person’s neural signals as English text while the person while the person read a sentence aloud.
2 min read
Graph related to a machine learning model that reads the titles of bug reports
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Bug Squasher

A new algorithm can triage programming bugs, highlighting dangerous flaws. Microsoft researchers developed a machine learning model that reads the titles of bug reports and recognizes those describing flaws that compromise security.
2 min read
Screen capture of online conference called Covid-19 and AI
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Online Conference Goes Antiviral

AI experts convened to discuss how to combat the coronavirus crisis. An online conference hosted by Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered AI explored how machine learning is being deployed to address this pandemic — and prepare for the next one.
2 min read
Information related to machine learning
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(Science) Community Outreach

Are your scientist friends intimidated by machine learning? They might be inspired by a primer from one of the world’s premier tech titans. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Cornell PhD candidate Maithra Raghu school scientists in machine learning in a sprawling overview.
1 min read
Chatbot asking for Covid-19 symptoms
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Chatbots Disagree on Covid-19

Chatbots designed to recognize Covid-19 symptoms dispense alarmingly inconsistent recommendations. Given the same symptoms, eight high-profile medical bots responded with divergent, often conflicting advice.
1 min read
Data and graphs related to equations that optimize some training parameters.
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Optimize Your Training Parameters

Last week we reported on a formula to determine model width and dataset size for optimal performance. A new paper contributes equations that optimize some training parameters.
2 min read
15.ai screen capture with a character from My Little Pony
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Voice Cloning for the Masses

Are you secretly yearning to have a My Little Pony character voice your next online presentation? A new web app can make your dreams come true. 15.ai translates short text messages into the voices of popular cartoon and videogame characters.
1 min read
Heat treatment on metal
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Satellite Data Hints at China Upswing

Neural networks revealed both how hard Covid-19 has hit the Chinese economy, and hopeful signs that a renaissance may be underway. Researchers analyzed satellite imagery, GPS signals, and social media to get a multifaceted view of the pandemic’s impact.
2 min read

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