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Google & HCA to develop healthcare algorithms / China tested facial recognition on Uighurs / NNs driving Pinterest growth

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Google has struck a deal with healthcare giant HCA to develop healthcare algorithms. The two will tap hospital chain HCA’s private patient records to train machine learning models, which could help monitor patients, improve operations, and guide doctors’ decision-making.More:The multi-year strategic partnership aims to develop a secure data analytics platform for HCA, which will advance AI models that improve workflows and provide new insights.While HCA will supply the records, Google will use its AI, Cloud Healthcare API, analytics, and BigQuery database to build custom tools for the healthcare provider.This includes workflow tools, analysis, and alerts that clinicians will be able to access on their mobile devices.HCA says it will strip its patient records of identifying information before sharing it with Google data scientists. Its data comes from roughly 32 million annual patient visits.The deal comes as more hospitals are pursuing data-driven care, including AI-based clinical decision support tools. Late last year, Google Cloud launched AI tools for healthcare users to address challenges with healthcare data and unstructured digital text during the pandemic.
The Chinese government used members of its Muslim Uighur minority to test a facial recognition system that it claims can gauge a person’s emotions, the BBC reports. A software engineer told the publication that he installed a camera system in police stations in Xinjiang, which uses AI to analyze Uighur’s facial expressions and generate graphs of their emotional states.More:The engineer, who asked to remain anonymous, said the recognition system was meant for “pre-judgment without any credible evidence.”The test subjects were placed in restraint chairs, locking their wrists and ankles in place, before being exposed to the camera and AI system, he said.The system can purportedly recognize minor changes in expressions to gauge both negative and positive emotions and display them in a pie graph.More than a million Uighurs are currently in detention centers in China’s autonomous northwest  Xinjiang territory.Zoom out:Dahua is the latest Chinese tech giant to come under fire for developing facial recognition software that can detect Uighur Muslims.Similar AI-based software — which is considered a form of ethnic-racial profiling — has been developed by Alibaba, Huawei and Megvii.Video surveillance research organization IVPM first discovered that Chinese tech companies Huawei and Megvii had first tested the AI-based camera software. The tests, which date back to 2018, included “Uighur alarms,” which sent automated alerts to the Chinese government when the system detected a Uighur.BBC 
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Podcast notes: Can you teach a machine to think?Karen Hao, MIT Technology Review’s senior AI reporter, and Will Douglas Heaven, its senior editor for AI, spoke on the Deep Tech podcast about the possibility of artificial general intelligence (AGI) — when AI can think and act like humans. For this special feature, we summarized some of their main talking points. [Note: Responses were lightly edited for clarity.]Heaven on the rise of AGI:“Building a machine that can think and do things that people can do has been the goal of AI since the very beginning, but it’s been a long, long struggle. And past hype has led to failure. So this idea of artificial general intelligence has become, you know, very controversial and very divisive — but it’s having a comeback. That’s largely thanks to the success of deep learning over the last decade.”Heaven on different kinds of general intelligence:“We’re sort of stuck on this idea of human-like intelligence largely I think because humans for a long time have been the best example of general intelligence that we’ve had, so it’s obvious why they’re a role model, you know, we want to build machines in our own image, but you just look around the animal kingdom and there are many, many different ways being intelligent. From the sort of the social intelligence that ants have, where they could collectively do really remarkable things, to octopuses, which we’re only just beginning to understand the ways that they’re intelligent, but they’re intelligent in a very alien way compared to ourselves.”Hao on the need for value alignment:“If you observe the conversations that are happening among people who talk about some of the ways that we need to think about mitigating threats around superintelligence or around AGI, however you want to call it, they will talk about this challenge of value alignment. Value alignment being defined as how do we get this super-intelligent AI to understand our values and align with our values. If they don’t align with our values, they might go do something crazy. And that’s how it sort of starts to harm people.”Hao on GPT-3:“What I think GPT-3 has done differently is the fact that there’s just orders of magnitude more data that is now being used to train this transformer technique. So what OpenAI did with GPT-3 is they’re not just training it on more examples of words from corpora like Wikipedia or from articles from the New York Times or Reddit forums or all of these things, they’re also training it on, sentence patterns and paragraph patterns, looking at what makes sense as an intro paragraph versus a conclusion paragraph.”Heaven on AI vs. the human brain:“In spite of the massive complexity of some of the neural networks we’re seeing today in terms of their size and their connections, we are orders of magnitude away from anything that matches the scale of a brain, even sort of a rather basic animal brain. So yeah, there’s an enormous gulf between that idea and the ability to do it, especially with the present deep learning technology.”Heaven on the importance of AI being different than us:“The very mission of building an AGI that is human is perhaps pointless because we have human intelligences, right? We have ourselves. So why do we need to make machines that do those things? It’d be much, much better to build intelligences that can do things that we can’t do. They’re intelligent in different ways to complement our abilities.”
Neural networks are driving “nearly 100%” of growth on Pinterest, according to SVP Jeremy King. The social media company uses AI to find images and advertisements that it thinks would attract specific users.More:The company’s machine-learning system drew an estimated 480 million users in Q1 2021, a 30% increase YoY.Pinterest ad sales have also more than doubled since 2018, compared to 80% and 56% increases for YouTube and Facebook, which is being largely driven by AI, King said.About a third of companies that use AI have or plan to adopt neural networks within the next 18 months, according to Forrester and International Data Corp.While data on users is fueling the neural networks, critics point out that the more layered networks face problems with “black box AI,” when a system’s owner can’t explain how the AI came to its decisions.THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 
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Microsoft launched an AI-powered autocomplete for code using GPT-3. The PowerApps software feature transforms natural language into Microsoft Power Fx code, a Microsoft’s Power Platform’s open source programming language based on Excel formulas used for database queries.More:Microsoft says the new features make it possible to, for example, build an e-commerce app by simply stating, “find products where the name starts with ‘kids.’” The user is then provided with options for turning the command into a Microsoft Power Fx formula, like “Filter(‘BC Orders’ Left(‘Product Name’,4)=”Kids”).This is Microsoft’s first commercial use case for GPT-3 after the tech giant acquired an exclusive license to the tech behind Open AI’s AI language tool in late 2020.A preview version of the new features will be available in English in North America by the end of June.GPT-3 is artificial intelligence research lab OpenAI’s latest AI language model, considered the most powerful one ever built. In July 2020, OpenAI gave some people public access to GPT-3 through an API after releasing research on it in May, inspiring many to share text-generations they are creating using the model across social media.With GPT-3, you just need todescribe the kind of layout you want, and the code for it will be generated, which you can check out examples of here. After inputting text, the model predicts what the input following it should be because its “memory” contains all text ever published by humans on the internet.A version of this story first appeared in Inside Dev, our roundup of news and links for developers.
Congress has yet to pass legislation regulating the use of facial recognition by law enforcement, more than a year after the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. Last week, Amazon indefinitely extended a ban on police usage of its facial recognition software. Privacy advocates praised Amazon’s decision but urged Congress to take additional steps.More:The House has already passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would prevent law enforcement from using facial recognition technology in body cameras. It’s unknown if this will pass in the Senate.The bipartisan Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act has been introduced in the Senate, which focuses on the Clearview AI facial recognition program used by police nationwide.States and cities such as San Francisco and Virginia have passed legislation that bans or limits the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement.It comes as the U.S. Postal Service is using Clearview AI’s facial recognition to identify suspects in investigations.A version of this story first appeared in Inside Privacy XFN, curating the best reads at the intersection of data privacy and tech for better cross-functional outcomes.
Quick Hits:On-site teams are a thing of the past. Learn how the shift toward remote work may be the key to your business growth.*Insurer Lemonade clarified that it doesn’t use AI to deny claims based on a person’s non-verbal cues.Google-backed startup Merlin Labs, which launched out of stealth today, with at least $25M for its autonomous technology for aircraft.Sony is using reinforcement learning to develop Game AI Agents for video game environments.Hyro, developer of a conversational AI platform, raised $10.5M in a funding round led by Spero Ventures, with participation from Twilio and Mindset Ventures.German lawmakers are working on passing legislation that would allow for autonomous vehicles without backup safety drivers on public roads.Here are 10 tips for creating a consent management platform (CMP) that meets compliance requirements, helps maximize opt-ins, and builds trust with customers.** This is sponsored content.
Tweet of the Day: Entrepreneur/technologist Antonio Grasso shared these six AI myths debunked:
Beth is a tech writer and former investigative reporter for The Arizona Republic. She lives in the desert of Scottsdale, Ariz. with her husband and two cats.  EDITOREduardo Garcia is a writer and editor based in New York. He is writing an illustrated book about climate change that will be published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Bylines in The New York Times, The Guardian, Slate, Scientific American, and others. In one of his previous lives, Eduardo worked as a Reuters correspondent in Latin America for nearly a decade.  
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