A cognitive hearing aid using AI and brain waves

Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science researchers have designed a hearing aid that can read brain activity to determine which voice a hearing aid user is most interested in listening to and then focus in on it. The resulting “cognitive hearing aid” could be transformative in settings like crowded rooms in which multiple people are speaking at the same time. While the latest hearing aids feature technology designed to suppress background noise, these hearing aids have no way of knowing which voices a wearer wants to listen to. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/cognitive-hearing-aid-columbia/

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Deepfakes – challenge and opportunity for innovators

Facebook, Microsoft and a number of US-based Universities have joined forces to sponsor a contest promoting R&D to combat deepfakes, or images/ videos/ other content altered through artificial intelligence (AI) to mislead viewers. Misleading information (or misinformation) is not new – propaganda is a tactic as old as time. However, with advancements in AI and a glut of data being generated and consumed on a daily basis, our ability to discern integrity at scale, in what we see, hear or read, is increasingly complex. why is this important? Isn’t trust the bedrock of a functioning and civil society? ie voting (democratic elections), news, media, personal reputations, business transactions, politics. In the first known case of phishing and scamming using audio deepfakes – in March malicious actors were able to create a near-perfect impersonation of a chief executive’s voice – and then used the audio to fool his energy company into transferring euro220K/USD$243K to their bank account. We need to build capacity & capability to detect when something doesn’t have integrity – video, audio, image, text. At the moment, we rely on our human intuition and capabilities but this is becoming difficult to discern (and how do we teach these human skills going forward?) The deepfake detection challenge is a start to what should be huge investment & innovation opportunities going forward. the challenge: https://deepfakedetectionchallenge.ai/ Image by analogicus from Pixabay

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Increasingly human like conversations with AI

Nvidia’s latest innovation in AI, is off the back of their aggressive focus to remove the latency of conversational AI capabilities. They’ve been able to drop the time it takes for a computer to understand and respond to the spoken word to milliseconds, which will allow AVR (automated voice response) solutions to become far more conversational and to emulate real people far better. Will this improve our customer experience from the slow and inaccurate (here’s to less frustration all round) to a more lifelike localised experience? Or should we expect the rise of the voice-enabled spammer? https://www.eweek.com/innovation/nvdia-conversational-ai-breakthrough  

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New self-driving scooter

The KickScooter T60 is a new self-driving scooter that was introduced in China to drive itself to a charging station. Most countries are falling behind with the new technology, having to gather their scooters around the town every night for them to be charged. However, this new idea prevents all that work as it uses AI to navigate its way back to the charging stations without a person. https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/16/20809002/segway-ninebot-electric-scooter-self-driving-uber-lyft-charging-station

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Fighting motion sickness using AI

ZF, a German supplier of car parts is working on advanced technology that will make someone less likely to feel sick on long journeys. Rather than curing the motion sickness, the purpose is teaching your car how to drive and avoid it. By analysing the correlation between motion sickness and the dynamics of the moving vehicle, the technology is intended to also store preferred driving styles of each passenger in order to prevent any triggers to feeling sick. ZF is wanting to reduce the feeling of motion sickness and discomfort – including dizziness, headaches and nausea. https://www.just-auto.com/news/zf-teams-with-scientists-to-combat-motion-sickness_id190113.aspx

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New cyber security research could protect data, even when attackers break in

A UC researcher in the US, recently named in MIT’s Top 35 Innovators under 35, found a breakthrough in cyber security mechanisms, to enable our insatiable appetite for data to be better protected than traditional perimeter techniques. This is a huge field and rightly so. – we need better mechanisms to help protect data and data custodians, and by doing so we enable greater & wider data sharing and collaboration. Raluca Ada Popa’s recent research showed that her encryption methods work with a range of applications and provide a level of protection that firewalls cannot: even if attackers break in, they have no way to decipher the data. A recent use case sees this new approach applicable to hospitals, to help share and aggregate patient records. It can accelerate innovation if considered during the ideation/ design phase! https://www.technologyreview.com/lists/innovators-under-35/2019/visionary/raluca-ada-popa/ research: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334534372_Helen_Maliciously_Secure_Coopetitive_Learning_for_Linear_Models  

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How to stress test AI algorithms & build trust – a melbourne platform

As society becomes increasingly dependent on algorithms for advice and decision-making, the question of how we can trust them is reaching critical mass. Among the various initiatives (ethical frameworks, transparency research, bias reducing methods etc), a Melbourne University research team has taken a different approach. What if we could stress-test algorithms, visualise them and their possible scenarios? After more than a decade of research, the new online algorithm analysis tool – MATILDA: Melbourne Algorithm Test Instance Library with Data Analytics – has been launched. Check it out. Maybe if Google had used it earlier on some of their Maps algorithms, it could have prevented the last mile error that got 100 drivers stuck on a private muddy road! https://www.smartcompany.com.au/startupsmart/analysis/algorithms-stress-test/ MATILDA: https://matilda.unimelb.edu.au/matilda/ Google Maps – the algorithm error: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/26/us/google-maps-detour-colorado-trnd

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China experiments with AI to create its ‘intelligent’ nation

It should be of no surprise to learn that AI is considered a national priority for China – various policy statements and plans point to their strong investment & focus (2017: the AIDP, 2015: Made in China 2025). China plans to build a domestic AI industry worth nearly USD$150bn in the next few years and become a leading AI power. To build greater wealth, economic and social power requires knowledge, creativity and capability in your population. So China’s experiment with AI in education is a natural strategic priority. Enter Squirrel AI – a personalised tutoring startup using AI algorithms. Early experiments with Squirrel AI point to a significant confidence boost in students and their test scores. One student, struggling in high-school level mathematics, was able to increase his test scores from 50% to 62.5% from one semester tutoring. Two years later, the same student scored 85% in his final exams. Squirrel AI is one of many learning & development focused AI startups. How this will change education and learning remains to be seen. Will it create a generation of rote learners or will it help with creating greater opportunity equality? Will China truly lead the world in AI driven innovation? https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614057/china-squirrel-has-started-a-grand-experiment-in-ai-education-it-could-reshape-how-the/

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Automated Valet Parking System

For about two years, Bosch and Daimler have been working for their automated parking system and their hard work paid off as Stuttgart’s regional administrative authority approved it as level four automation or the first true hands-off level of automation. The parking system has just been implemented at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. Once you bring your Mercedes into the garage, all you have to do is a quick tap on a smartphone to send the vehicle away to park. Then, it sends the signal to the sensor is called Bosch that can send information to the car about where to drive and where to park. It can also send a warning to the vehicle when there are obstacles and send back the car to its initial drop-off spot at the end of a driver’s visit. https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/bosch-daimler-approval-level-4-automated-parking-germany/

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AI & Cyber – the latest in a long line of much needed collaborations

With the cyber security skills shortage we hear so much about, the case for AI-approaches to a big data opportunity is a no-brainer.. Everything is now becoming an endpoint (we humans (biotech), mobile, autonomous cars/ transport etc), so expect to see more cyber security innovations (more preventative than detective cybersec) at the edge and silicon level over time.  http://old.ideaspies.com/ai-and-cyber-the-latest-in-a-long-line-of-much-needed-collaborations  

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