1 – Google’s AI Wins First Game in Historic Match With Go Champion

AlphaGo, Google’s AI-playing Go Champion, has so far beat out top human Go player Lee Sedol. The match, held Wednesday in Seoul, was front-page news in Korea and a top news story throughout much of the world. The match officially lasts until next Tuesday, March 15. The game was held in a small closed room with only Mr. Sedol, AlphaGo’s operator DeepMind Researcher Aja Huang, and other officials. AlphaGo started off playing a “balanced, peaceful” game, but about 12 moves into the game went on the offensive. While the technology made a few fundamentals errors in early play, it avoided similar mistakes in later play, demonstrating its unique ability to learn from its’ and other’s mistakes and make more complicated moves using machine learning techniques. While other matches remain to be played, AlphaGo has already proven its worthiness as a masterful rival.

(Read the full article on Wired)

2 – Stanford Researchers Using Toronto-Based Wattpad’s Stories to Inform Artificial Intelligence

Wattpad, a “corpus” of collected fictional chapters written by anyone who chooses to use the technology, was used by Stanford researchers to help education an AI system in human behavior in context. Named Augur, the AI-powered system used natural language to read the to-date (almost) 2 billion words of Wattpad fiction, along with computer vision technology (Google Glass) to identify objects described in the text. The team’s process and findings are presented in a new paper called “Augur: Mining Human Behaviors from Fiction to Power Interactive Systems”. Stanford scientists plan to open-source Augur as a tool on which other researchers can build future work.

(Read the full article on The Globe and Mail)

3 – Machine-Learning Algorithm Aims to Identify Terrorists Using the V Signs They Make

Identifying terrorists in the gruesome videos that have surfaced over the past few years has been a challenge for military and law enforcement professionals, though a new method out of Mu’tah University in Jordan may add a helpful tool for solving such puzzles. In most images, the accused raises two fingers in the sign of a V (for victory) over the victim. Ahmad Hassanat and his team pinpointed this gesture as a biometric measure that can be used as a way to help identify individuals. Using a database of collected images, the team trained a machine-learning algorithm to recognize various V gestures. This, combined with other related techniques, produced an accuracy of over 90 percent in some cases. While it’s not necessarily a new idea or as yet a foolproof method, the method may lead to better development or other creative uses of biometric measures in investigative work.

(Read the full article on MIT Technology Review)

4 – Google’s Psychedelic ‘Paint Brush’ Raises the Oldest Question in Art

A recent San Francisco-based art show and charity auction, hosted by Google in support of the nonprofit Gray Area, included works created with the help of a new Google-pioneered software. The software allows artists to input images and then direct the software to “see” a specific object in the image, producing hallucinatory-type products. A London-based artist who used the software to create his digital images sold one piece for $8,000. Introduction of “creative” AI software is opening new debate about whether such productions should be attributed to the computer software, the computer software maker, the artist, or a combination thereof.

(Read the full article on The Washington Post)

5 – Facebook is Using AI to Decide Where to Beam its Free Internet

Facebook is leveraging its artificial intelligence technology to create its own population maps, with a particular focus on more sparsely-populated areas. With more accurate maps in hand, the company is then using this knowledge to better position its solar-powered planes, known as Aquila, and beam down better Internet connectivity. To date, Facebook has collected some 15.6 billion satellite images, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said will be openly shared with communities for better planning in energy, health, transportation, and other imperative sectors. This effort also ties into Zuckerberg’s Internet.org initiative, with a mission of connecting the billions of people still without Internet access.

(Read the full article on Venture Beat)

Image credit: Wired