This new book explores the difficulty of aligning AI with our values

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For decades, we’ve been trying to develop artificial intelligence in our own image. And at every step of the way, we’ve managed to create machines that can perform marvelous feats and at the same time make surprisingly dumb mistakes. After six decades of research and development, aligning AI systems with our goals, intents, and values continues to remain an elusive objective. Every major field of AI seems to solve part of the problem of replicating human intelligence while leaving out holes in critical areas. And these holes become problematic when we apply current AI technology to areas where we expect…

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The youngest AI programmer in the world is a 7-year-old Guinness record holder

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Kautilya Katariya, a computer whiz from the UK, became the youngest qualified computer programmer in the world last year at just six-years-old after taking a series of computer lessons including AI courses from IBM. When I was six, I thought action figures with Kung-Fu grip were the epitome of technology. Katariya currently has at least six different certifications across AI and data science and what’s sure to be a sky’s-the-limit career in the STEM world. Per an IBM blog post: Leading up to his world record, Kautilya began reading IBM’s course materials to help him understand computer programming and Python…

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Scientists develop AI-powered ‘puff technology’ to help smokers quit

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Scientists are developing an AI device that helps people quit smoking by predicting when they’ll crave a nicotine hit. The “Level” system is an onboard computer for e-cigarettes that precisely monitors vaping behavior. It’s designed to help users control their cravings or reduce the amount of nicotine they’re inhaling. Level will incorporate insights from an observational study launched today by the University of East Anglia. The research team has developed a small monitoring device that screws onto tank-based e-cigs. It then measures the number and duration of a user’s vapes, the time between each drag, and the power used per puff. This data will create a personalized…

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OnePlus’ co-founder Carl Pei’s new gadget brand is here — and it’s called NOTHING

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Former OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has finally launched his new venture today — and it’s called NOTHING. Apart from the brand name, the company hasn’t given many details about its product roadmap. It said that it’ll launch smart devices in the first half of the year. Pei’s message on the launch was cryptic. He said that the company wants to remove boundaries between people and tech: t’s been a while since anything interesting happened in tech. It is time for a fresh breeze of change. Nothing’s mission is to remove barriers between people and technology to create a seamless digital…

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What real AI developers and Black Mirror both get wrong about digital resurrection

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One day we’re all going to die. Science and technology can put it off for awhile, but the march of time stops for no human. Sadly, most of us will be forgotten. It’s a bleak prognosis but that’s how things have always been. And that’s unlikely to change, despite the best efforts of the AI community. There’s a new tech trend (that’s actually a dumb old trope) sweeping through big tech, little tech, and South Korean TV stations: digital resurrection. The premise is simple. A person living in the modern world leaves tiny traces of who they are in everything…

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Signal is drama-free for now, but it should prepare for the worst

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Technology journalist Casey Newton has a worrying revelation in the latest issue of his Platformer newsletter: amidst rapid growth, Signal is reportedly not ready for all the ways it could be misused. The messaging app presently runs as a non-profit, and is funded by donations from users and a $50 million loan from WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton. Between its lack of vested business interests, its promise of end-to-end encryption via the open-source Signal protocol, and the recent changes to WhatsApp’s privacy policy that spooked its user base, Signal is now the new darling of the messaging world. The trouble is, it…

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Report: Brexit could help China and the US in the global AI race

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The EU is falling further behind the US and China in the AI race, and will lose more ground after Brexit, according to a new report. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation assessed the trio’s AI capabilities by analyzing data across six categories: talent, research, commercial development, hardware, adoption, and data. The think tank found that while the US still holds a substantial overall lead, China is reducing the gap in several important areas — while the EU’s position is slipping: Absent significant policy changes in both the EU and United States — particularly the EU changing its regulatory system to be more innovation-friendly, and the United States developing and funding…

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