The Facebook Portal Smart Speaker Is Back, Now With More AI

“Portal’s main feature when it first launched was person-tracking artificial intelligence that crops the video to keep everyone around the device in the frame, and can follow a specific person. Facebook executives say this AI technology is now more accurate, thanks to new tricks like using the color of a person’s clothes to distinguish them from others. They also say the device’s ability to track people’s body’s could one day be used to add interactive features, such as new videogames.”

For a more dangerous age, a delicious skewering of current AI

    • “NYU professor and entrepreneur Gary Marcus has been a relentless critic of modern deep learning forms of AI. He talked with ZDNet about what he hopes to accomplish with the book, Rebooting AI, and with his startup company,
    • ‘The net effect of a tendency of many in the media to overreport technology results is that the public has come to believe that AI is much closer to being solved than it really is,’
    • Systems such as OpenAI’s massive natural language program, “GPT-2,” introduced this past February, are ‘pretty impressive but totally incoherent,’ he points out. 
    • ‘We are very optimistic about what AI could do, and we are depressed about how little has been accomplished,’
    • As a scholar and critic, and now an entrepreneur, Marcus is engaged in a debate that sometimes breaks out on Twitter with the luminaries who defend current AI. They include Facebook’s AI research director, Yann LeCun, and the University of Toronto professor Geoffrey Hinton who also works at Google’s Google Brain unit.”

    Facebook is funding brain experiments to create a device that reads your mind

    • “Today, some of that research was described in a scientific paper from the University of California, San Francisco, where researchers have been developing “speech decoders” able to determine what people are trying to say by analyzing their brain signals.
    • Facebook has plans to demonstrate a prototype portable system by the end of the year, although the company didn’t say what it would be capable of, or how it would measure the brain.”

    3 female AI trailblazers reveal how they beat the odds and overcame sexism to become leaders in their field

    Claudia Exeler, the 29-year-old using AI to help Facebook track down hacked accounts

    Sandra Wachter, the Oxford and Turing Fellow researcher whose work has been picked up by Google

    Doina Precup, the Romanian-born academic who was personally headhunted by the boss of DeepMind

    AI Weekly: Highlights from VentureBeat’s AI conference Transform

    • “Developing an data strategy should come before considering AI for your business
    • If you “don’t have top-down support and understanding for bottom-up initiatives, you’re going to fail miserably because there’s going to be … a longer timeline for ROI.”
    • Accelerating scale of compute use is “what keeps me up at night.” Advances in optimization and software will be essential to the future of AI, he  said. OpenAI found that compute necessary for state-of the-art results has grown 10 times annually since 2012.
    • Google Cloud Platform AI head Andrew Moore urged developers to skip job offers from companies that have trouble articulating their purpose.”