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EU: Companies Working with AI Need to Install Accountability Mechanisms to Prevent Being Misused

The European Union initiative taps in to a global debate about when or whether companies should put ethical concerns before business interests

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FILE - An activist from the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a coalition of non-governmental organizations opposing lethal autonomous weapons or so-called 'killer robots', protests at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, March, 21, 2019. VOA

Companies working with artificial intelligence need to install accountability mechanisms to prevent its being misused, the European Commission said on Monday, under new ethical guidelines for a technology open to abuse.

AI projects should be transparent, have human oversight and secure and reliable algorithms, and they must be subject to privacy and data protection rules, the commission said, among other recommendations.

The European Union initiative taps in to a global debate about when or whether companies should put ethical concerns before business interests, and how tough a line regulators can afford to take on new projects without risking killing off innovation.

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AI projects should be transparent, have human oversight and secure and reliable algorithms. Pixabay

“The ethical dimension of AI is not a luxury feature or an add-on. It is only with trust that our society can fully benefit from technologies,” the Commission digital chief, Andrus Ansip, said in a statement.

AI can help detect fraud and cybersecurity threats, improve healthcare and financial risk management and cope with climate change. But it can also be used to support unscrupulous business practices and authoritarian governments.

The EU executive last year enlisted the help of 52 experts from academia, industry bodies and companies including Google , SAP, Santander and Bayer to help it draft the principles.

Companies and organizations can sign up to a pilot phase in June, after which the experts will review the results and the Commission decide on the next steps.

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AI has the potential to increase India’s annual growth. Pixabay

IBM Europe Chairman Martin Jetter, who was part of the group of experts, said guidelines “set a global standard for efforts to advance AI that is ethical and responsible.”

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The guidelines should not hold Europe back, said Achim Berg, president of BITKOM, Germany’s Federal Association of Information Technology, Telecommunications, and New Media.

“We must ensure in Germany and Europe that we do not only discuss AI but also make AI,” he said. (VOA)

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Facebook AI Research Team Develops ‘RegNet’

Facebook AI model beats Google, runs 5 times faster on GPUs

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Facebook AI Research (FAIR) has developed a novel low-dimensional design space called 'RegNet' that outperforms traditional available models. Pixabay

A team from Facebook AI Research (FAIR) has developed a novel low-dimensional design space called ‘RegNet’ that outperforms traditional available models like from Google and runs five times faster on GPUs.

RegNet produces simple, fast and versatile networks and in experiments, it outperformed Google’s SOTA EfficientNet models, said the researchers in a paper titled ‘Designing Network Design Spaces; published on pre-print repository ArXiv. The researchers aimed for “interpretability and to discover general design principles that describe networks that are simple, work well, and generalize across settings”.

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The Facebook AI team conducted controlled comparisons with EfficientNet with no training-time enhancements and under the same training setup.

Introduced in 2019, Google’s EfficientNet uses a combination of NAS and model scaling rules and represents the current SOTA.
With comparable training settings and Flops, RegNet models outperformed EfficientNet models while being up to 5× faster on GPUs.

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Facebook AI research team recently developed a tool that tricks the facial recognition system to wrongly identify a person in a video. Pixabay

Rather than designing and developing individual networks, the team focused on designing actual network design spaces comprising huge and possibly infinite populations of model architectures. Design space quality is analyzed using error empirical distribution function (EDF).

Analyzing the RegNet design space also provided researchers other unexpected insights into network design. They noticed, for example, that the depth of the best models is stable across compute regimes with an optimal depth of 20 blocks (60 layers).

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“While it is common to see modern mobile networks employ inverted bottlenecks, researchers noticed that using inverted bottlenecks degrades performance. The best models do not use either a bottleneck or an inverted bottleneck, said the paper. Facebook AI research team recently developed a tool that tricks the facial recognition system to wrongly identify a person in a video.

The “de-identification” system, which also works in live videos, uses machine learning to change key facial features of a subject in a video. FAIR is advancing the state-of-the-art in artificial intelligence through fundamental and applied research in open collaboration with the community.

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The social networking giant created the Facebook AI Research (FAIR) group in 2014 to advance the state of the art of AI through open research for the benefit of all.

Since then, FAIR has grown into an international research organization with labs in Menlo Park, New York, Paris, Montreal, Tel Aviv, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and London. (IANS)

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Researchers Design AI-Based System That Can Predict Battery Health

The researchers designed a new way to monitor batteries by sending electrical pulses into them and measuring the response

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The researchers also showed that the machine learning model can be interpreted to give hints about the physical mechanism of degradation. Pixabay

Researchers have designed an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system that can predict battery health with 10 times higher accuracy than current industry standard.

The findings, detailed in the journal Nature Communications, could aid in the development of safer and more reliable batteries for electric vehicles and consumer electronics as predicting the state of health and the remaining useful lifespan of lithium-ion batteries is one of the big problems limiting widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

It is also a familiar annoyance to mobile phone users. “Safety and reliability are the most important design criteria as we develop batteries that can pack a lot of energy in a small space,” said Alpha Lee from University of Cambridge who co-led the research.

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The researchers designed a new way to monitor batteries by sending electrical pulses into them and measuring the response. The measurements were then processed by a machine learning algorithm to predict the battery’s health and useful lifespan.

The researchers performed over 20,000 experimental measurements to train the model.
Their method is non-invasive and is a simple add-on to any existing battery system.

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Researchers have designed an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system that can predict battery health with 10 times higher accuracy than current industry standard. Pixabay

The researchers also showed that the machine learning model can be interpreted to give hints about the physical mechanism of degradation.

The model can inform which electrical signals are most correlated with ageing, which in turn allows them to design specific experiments to probe why and how batteries degrade.

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“By improving the software that monitors charging and discharging, and using data-driven software to control the charging process, I believe we can power a big improvement in battery performance,” Lee said. (IANS)

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Find Out How AI-Based ‘Smart’ Systems Help in Communication Amid Pandemic

AI-based 'smart' communication way to go during a pandemic

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Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based smart systems could play a major role in keeping our conversations on track, say researchers. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Daily life during a pandemic means social distancing and finding new ways to remotely connect with friends, family and co-workers via Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based smart systems could play a major role in keeping our conversations on track, say researchers.

According to the study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, humans having difficult conversations said they trusted artificially intelligent systems – the ‘smart’ reply suggestions in texts – more than the people they were talking to.

“We find that when things go wrong, people take the responsibility that would otherwise have been designated to their human partner and designate some of that to the artificial intelligence system,” said study first author Jess Hohenstein from Cornell University in the US.

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“This introduces a potential to take AI and use it as a mediator in our conversations, for example, the algorithm could notice things are going downhill by analyzing the language used, and then suggest conflict-resolution strategies,” Hohenstein added. The study was an attempt to explore the myriad ways – both subtle and significant – that AI systems such as smart replies are altering how humans interact.

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In addition to shedding light on how people perceive and interact with computers, the study offers possibilities for improving human communication – with subtle guidance and reminders from AI. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Choosing a suggested reply that’s not quite what you intended to say, but saves you some typing, might be fundamentally altering the course of your conversations – and your relationships, the researchers said. “Communication is so fundamental to how we form perceptions of each other, how we form and maintain relationships, or how we’re able to accomplish anything working together,” said co-author Malte Jung.

“This study falls within the broader agenda of understanding how these new AI systems mess with our capacity to interact,” Jung said. “We often think about how the design of systems affects how we interact with them, but fewer studies focus on the question of how the technologies we develop affect how people interact with each other,” Jung added.

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In addition to shedding light on how people perceive and interact with computers, the study offers possibilities for improving human communication – with subtle guidance and reminders from AI.

The researchers said they sought to explore whether AI could function as a “moral crumple zone” – the technological equivalent of a car’s crumple zone, designed to deform in order to absorb the crash’s impact.

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“There’s a physical mechanism in the front of the car that’s designed to absorb the force of the impact and take responsibility for minimizing the effects of the crash,” Hohenstein said. “Here we see the AI system absorb some of the moral responsibility,” Hohenstein added. (IANS)