Posts Under: AI and Automation

Google Implements Latest Steps to Combat Online Extremism

In the wake of the tragic violence in Charlottesville earlier this month, it’s even more evident that online extremism continues to pose serious threats to society. While battling extremism is an important step in preventing the spread of hate and violence around the world, there are many inherent challenges, including the sheer volume of daily posts, complexity of purpose for videos, and the need to adhere to free speech rights.  In spite of these challenges, industry has been committed to this effort for many years—we’ve highlighted some of this in the past, including industry efforts to cooperate with law enforcement, and formation of a partnership to fight terrorism.

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AI Spotlight: YouTube’s AI Tools Show Promise for Extremist Content Removal

Terrorists and other hate groups like al-Qaeda, ISIS, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis use social media and video streaming platforms to publish and spread their hateful and offensive content for radicalization, propaganda, or organizational purposes. After the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, the tech community has been figuring out ways to respond.  Platforms have increased the rate of which they either take down white supremacist content or make it harder to find.  But, many companies and platforms have been flagging and taking down such harmful for a long while, especially pertaining to terrorist content.

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AI Spotlight: Envirobot Swims through Water Autonomously to Predict and Find Sources of Pollution

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a majority of rivers and streams in America cannot support healthy life with the number of rivers being polluted trending upwards.  55 percent of waterways in America are currently listed as “poor” and another 23 percent are listed as “fair.”  Additionally, millions of Americans drink water that contains unsafe levels of industrial chemicals according to Environmental Science & Technology Letters.  When it comes to water pollution specifically, AI technology can help detect the sources of pollution for clean-up. This week’s AI spotlight is on a robot called Envirobot which uses AI technology to find sources of pollution in bodies of water.  Developed by scientists at the Swiss research institute, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Envirobot is a four-foot long eel-like robot that is made up with small compartments attached to each other.  Ea ...

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AI Spotlight: Artificial Intelligence Can Provide Help to Those Who Attempt Suicide

Suicide is ranked as the third leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 14 and second among people ages 15 to 24 according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  Obviously, suicide and depression are a serious problem facing society. People who are contemplating suicide often feel helpless and reach out, but hearing and acting on cries for help doesn’t always happen in time. Tragically, many people who have struggled with depression and/or suicidal thoughts have used social media to post notes about their intentions to take their own lives or even live stream their suicides. In response, Facebook announced a few months ago that it would be taking more initiative in using its platform for social good.  One of Facebook’s tools to aide with suicide prevention is artificial intelligence. Facebook has developed algorithms that recognize patterns in user’s posts to flag them in case they are at risk of committing suicide.  Critics hav ...

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We Need Intelligent Government Policy on AI, not an AI Regulatory Agency

My recent InfoWorld blog took aim at Elon Musk’s recent call for regulation of AI research.  While a deregulation-minded Washington is unlikely to set up a new federal AI agency to oversee AI applications and research, Musk insists that he wants exactly that. In remarks after his comments to the National Governors Association meeting, Musk clarified that “the process of seeking the insight required to put in place informed rules about the use and development of AI should start now. Musk compared it to the process of establishing other government bodies regulating use of technology in industry, including the FCC and the FAA. “I don’t think anyone wants the FAA to go away,” he said.” But this is even more worrisome.  He is proposing establishing an agency with full regulatory authority over every use of AI.  After setting up such an omnibus regulatory structure, then he wants the agency to figure out what it should do! But this ...

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AI Spotlight: Competitions that Use AI to Exploit Vulnerabilities Can Strengthen Cybersecurity

So far in 2017, cyberattacks like WannaCry and Petya have left the world wondering what can be done to prevent such attacks in the future before people lose millions of dollars to ransomware, or worse.  While no digital system is ever completely secure, finding and patching vulnerabilities before they can be exploited is the best defense, but continues to be a challenge.  One tool that can help detect vulnerabilities is artificial intelligence (AI).  AI technology can look for bugs that need to be patched in a faster, more in-depth way that produces more results than humans can.  In this vein, this week’s AI spotlight is about using AI in data science competitions like those held by Kaggle, which is part of Google’s cloud platform, or those held by the U.S. Department of Defense.  Typically, Hackathons pit human versus human or human versus system in competitions which also show how particular systems can be vulnerable and need to be fixed, like ...

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AI Spotlight: To Catch a Terrorist

Groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda have clusters all over the world, and finding where these groups or their operatives are located is a major challenge to fighting terrorism.  Law enforcement officials can track terrorists through the monitoring of financial transactions for irregularities.  Typically, banks have helped law enforcement catch terrorists with software that that uses hard-coded “if -> then” triggers.  For example, a bank’s software might flag any transaction with an amount of seven figures or any transaction made from a different country than the one the account is based in – IF Pam in Indonesia sends $7,000,000 dollars to Jim in the UK, THEN Pam might be a terrorist or drug lord. But, what if Pam is only sending Jim money in hundred-dollar increments?  Or what if the $7,000,000 then gets shifted to other companies that are all owned by Pam? Terrorist groups will often transfer small sums of money at an infrequent rate, or la ...

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AI Spotlight: RAVN Helps U.K. Government Detect Corruption; AI Technology Shows Opportunity in the Practice of Law

 Towards the conclusion of many legal investigations, lawyers typically find themselves mired in paperwork, documents that span several years if not decades of information pertaining to a specific issue.  Legal teams are then tasked with the seemingly insurmountable challenge of sifting through millions of these spreadsheets, emails, and other documents and sorting them into the necessary categories.  Not only is this process extremely inconvenient and inefficient, it is also incredibly costly and runs the risk of missing important information that is relevant to a case, information that could show that fraud has taken place. A few weeks ago, SIIA published an AI Spotlight on the benefits of FICO’s AML Threatscore tool which uses artificial intelligence to detect for irregular financial activities like money laundering, terrorist financing, and fraud.  In that same vein, this week’s Spotlight is on AI technology that intuitively aids in the sifting an ...

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Catching the Bad Guys Using Artificial Intelligence

You probably have gotten a call or email from your credit card issuer asking if you made a particular transaction. Ever wonder what triggered it?  Turns out it is a form of artificial intelligence called a neural network.  Instead of creating general rules about what transactions are likely to be fraudulent, a neural network just looks at all your transactions and figures out your very own individual pattern of usage. If a new transaction is significantly out of pattern, that’s when you get the call or the email.

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Alexa, bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States

U.S. companies have been bringing manufacturing home, and with this has come almost a quarter of a million jobs since 2010. And more are on their way — Deloitte reports that about half of U.S. manufacturing executives plan to bring home some portion of their operations by 2020. But there’s a hard truth beneath this positive trend: While domestic manufacturing is near all-time highs, America is not fully prepared to fill the jobs of the future.

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