Artificial Intelligence Bulletin – Machines with Soul

Posted By on March 15, 2017

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Each week on a Wednesday Nikolas Badminton, Futurist highlights the top stories from the past week relating to the incredible rise of artificial intelligence and its application in society, the workplace, in cities, and in our lives.

In Artificial Intelligence Bulletin – Machines with Soul we look at how chatbots get their personalities, AI fascists, flipping burger robots, business impact by 2020, and machine learning driving agency renaissance.

‘It Has To Have A Soul’: How Chatbots Get Their Personalities

In the year 2000, logging onto the Internet usually meant sitting down at a monitor connected to a dial-up modem, a bunch of beeps and clicks, and a “You’ve got mail!” notification. In those days, AOL Instant Messenger was the Internet’s favorite pastime, and the king of AIM was SmarterChild, a chatbot that lived in your buddy list.

A chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate human conversation, and SmarterChild was one of the first chatbots the public ever saw. The idea was that you would ask SmarterChild a question — “Who won the Mets game last night?” or “Where did the Dow close today?” — then the program would scour the Internet and, within seconds, respond with the answer. The company that built SmarterChild, a startup called ActiveBuddy, thought it could make money by building custom bots for big companies and made SmarterChild as a test case.

And people did use SmarterChild — a lot. At its height, SmarterChild chatted with 250,000 people a day.

Read more at NPR

Artificial intelligence is ripe for abuse, tech researcher warns: ‘a fascist’s dream’

As artificial intelligence becomes more powerful, people need to make sure it’s not used by authoritarian regimes to centralize power and target certain populations, Microsoft Research’s Kate Crawford warned on Sunday.

In her SXSW session, titled Dark Days: AI and the Rise of Fascism, Crawford, who studies the social impact of machine learning and large-scale data systems, explained ways that automated systems and their encoded biases can be misused, particularly when they fall into the wrong hands.

“Just as we are seeing a step function increase in the spread of AI, something else is happening: the rise of ultra-nationalism, rightwing authoritarianism and fascism,” she said.

All of these movements have shared characteristics, including the desire to centralize power, track populations, demonize outsiders and claim authority and neutrality without being accountable. Machine intelligence can be a powerful part of the power playbook, she said.

One of the key problems with artificial intelligence is that it is often invisibly coded with human biases. She described a controversial piece of research from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, where authors claimed to have developed a system that could predict criminality based on someone’s facial features. The machine was trained on Chinese government ID photos, analyzing the faces of criminals and non-criminals to identify predictive features. The researchers claimed it was free from bias.

“We should always be suspicious when machine learning systems are described as free from bias if it’s been trained on human-generated data,” Crawford said. “Our biases are built into that training data.”

Read more at The Guardian

New Burger Robot Will Take Command of the Grill in 50 Fast Food Restaurants

Would your burger taste as delicious if it was made by a robot?

You’ll soon be able to find out at CaliBurger restaurants in the US and worldwide.

Cali Group partnered with Miso Robotics to develop Flippy the burger robot, which made its debut this week at the Pasadena, California CaliBurger.

Read more at Singularity Hub

Artificial Intelligence to Have Dramatic Impact on Business by 2020, According to Tata Consultancy Services Global Trend Study

Tata Consultancy Services, a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, today unveiled its Global Trend Study titled, “Getting Smarter by the Day: How AI is Elevating the Performance of Global Companies.” Focused on the current and future impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the study polled 835 executives across 13 global industry sectors in four regions of the world, finding that 84% of companies see the use of AI as “essential” to competitiveness, with a further 50% seeing the technology as “transformative.”

About The 2017 Global Trends Study
The seventh annual Global Trends Study from TCS surveyed 835 leading executives from companies in four global regions, with an individual mean annual turnover of $20bn. The four regions surveyed were North America (including Canada), Europe (UK, Germany, France, Denmark and Switzerland), Asia-Pacific (India, China, Australia, and Japan) and Latin America (Brazil and Mexico).  The study was concluded in June 2016. For more information, or to download the study, go to

Read more at Yahoo

Using Machine Learning To Fuel An AI-Powered Renaissance For Agencies

Artificial intelligence can help agencies be more effective and profitable, but they can only do it when agency networks are willing to plug AI into creative development. In my ad design business, we use AI to capitalize on machine learning and big data, bringing agencies predictive performance insights, such as predicting the future performance of an ad on Facebook. This requires a fundamental reworking of the creative process.

For an outsider, the agency landscape can seem like feudal Italy, with different fiefdoms, duchies and principalities, constantly shifting loyalties and changing fortunes. Amongst agency networks, there are so many pockets of talent, skill, data and opportunity, but it’s a struggle to see a coherent proposition to advertisers. But like Italy in the Middle Ages, I believe agency networks could be the birthplace of a renaissance, a creative one that is driven by AI.



AI can truly pull the disparate agency roles together – churning through vast amounts of data, identifying gaps, and deciding on creative direction – enabling us to focus on what we do best: being creative. Allowing machine learning to output insights that benefit each team brings them together in achieving one goal: ensuring their clients succeed.

Read more at Forbes


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