1 – Computer Vision Leader Fei-Fei Li on Why AI Needs Diversity

While computer science and AI has historically been dominated by men, the numbers of women entering these fields, according to The American Association of University Women, as been reduced from 37 percent in 1984 to just 18 percent today. Stanford’s Fei-Fei Li sees this as a real problem, and not just for gender equality. She outlines three ultimate reasons why more diversity is needed in the field of AI: 1. Economics – we need a larger labor force to handle all of the work that needs and is being done in the area of AI today 2. Creativity – evidence shows that when people work in more diverse groups, they tend to produce more ingenious solutions 3. Fairness – teaching machines requires the knowledge and expertise of humans; a dominant demographic is likely to instill even unintentional biases when training machines on the massive data sets that are required. Li believes educators, business leaders, and others can help diversify the playing field by presenting AI in a humanistic light, as a potentially great tool that can be used to help serve society in a multitude of ways.

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(Read the full article on IEEE Spectrum)

2  – Stripe Ramps Up Payments Fraud Prevention

Stripe, a Silicon Valley-based merchant account provider, debuted this week its fraud-detection tool Radar, which uses machine learning technology to learn from hundreds of thousands of business transactions every second. While Stripe has used some algorithms in the past to help detect fraud, Radar allows them to see which charges have been blocked and the reasons behind those blocks. In a 2-month trial, Stripe founders Patrick and John Collision claim that Radar was able to block $40 million of attempted fraud for Watsi, a non-profit that helps fund medical treatments. Increasingly smart fraud-detection tools will likely be rolled across similar companies over the next few years.

(Read the full article on Fortune)

3 – That Pilot in the Cockpit May Someday Be a Robot

On Monday at Manassas Airport in Virginia, a Cessena Caravan aircraft took off with a robot copilot and its human pilot at the controls. The display is part of the Aurora Flight Sciences’ Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS), funded by DARPA, and which aims to have robots in the cockpit to augment human pilots within the next five to 10 years. The arguments for robots include the fact that they never tire, and that they’re quicker to react with all of the knowledge available to them. Some opponents have argued that it still takes the intuition and dexterity of human beings – often times multiple human beings – to be able to overlook too many emergency signals and make the necessary calls to land a damaged plane safely. Either way, there will need to be a major overhaul of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines before robot pilots take to the sky

(Read the full article on the Associated Press)

4 – Stephen Hawking Opens British Artificial Intelligence Hub

Stephen Hawking announced this week the opening of a new artificial intelligence research center, based at Cambridge University. Named the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) and funded by a $12.3 million grant from the Leverhulme Trust, the center’s stated aim is to ensure that AI is used to benefit humanity (similar to U.S.-based OpenAI and the recently-formed Partnership on AI).

While Hawking supports the potential benefits that AI brings in helping find solutions to some of society’s greatest challenges – such as poverty and global climate change – he has stated,

“Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many. It will bring disruption to our economy. And in the future, AI could develop a will of its own—a will that is in conflict with ours.”

The center is a collaboration between collaboration between the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, and Berkeley, California.

(Read the full article on Phys.org)

5 – Apple Just Hired This Artificial Intelligence Expert

Carnegie Mellon’s Ruslan Salakhutdinov, an associate professor in the school of computer science’s machine learning department, joined Apple this week as director of AI Research. Salakhutdinov, who will also continue in his position at Carnegie Mellon, specializes in deep learning. He will help lead and evolve Apple’s technologies against other leading tech companies (Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc.) that have historically outpaced Apple in AI talent and resources.

(Read the full article on Fortune)

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