Google Is Backing Out of Project Maven Military AI Contract

According to a Google executive, the company is backing out of the Project Maven contract that caused an uproar among its employees.

Image Credit: Michael Short/Bloomberg

A huge backlash ensued when news broke out that Google has partnered with the US Military to provide AI expertise. Now, according to reports, the tech giant is not renewing its contract with the Pentagon for next year.

Gizmodo’s sources say that Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene announced the decision not to renew the contract at a meeting with employees Friday morning. Green also explained that the the backlash against the firm’s involvement in the project had been terrible for the company. The decision also comes before Google unveils its planned new ethical principles about its use of AI next week.

Project Maven

The project was initially dubbed Project Maven. It grew out of the Pentagon’s “Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team”. It’s focus was on working together with the US military to improve image analysis of sensitive footage.

However, employees of the company called them out for being a part of warfare. They claim that Google is not standing by its motto of “Don’t do evil”. Thousands of employees started a protest and some even handed out their resignations.

Google tried to get out of the hot water by stating that it was only a “minor project”. However, it was later revealed that it was in fact the opposite. It was Google’s “golden opportunity” and stepping stone to more lucrative military contracts. This includes being awarded a $10 billion cloud computing contract that Google is reportedly competing for.

Reports also claim that the project would have helped the company fast-track its security clearance.

Gizmodo’s sources say that Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene announced the decision not to renew the contract at a meeting with employees Friday morning. Green also explained that the the backlash against the firm’s involvement in the project had been terrible for the company.

Green said that Google is the forefront of the conversation about the ethical use of artificial intelligence. “It is incumbent on us to show leadership,” Greene said, according to a source.


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Artificial Intelligence Data Protection Act Is Needed As Early As Now

Data Protection Act For Artificial Intelligence Is Needed Now

Artificial Intelligence Data Protection Act is badly needed by our society.  AI has grown rapidly in the past years.  This growth has affected our lives and has crated a great impact on it.  Thus the need for the Artificial Intelligence data: The Artificial Intelligence Data Protection Act (AIDPA).

Who Created The Artificial Intelligence Data Protection Act

The Artificial Intelligence Data Protection Act was proposed and  created by Bradford K. Newman.  He is the the chair of the Paul Hastings’ Employee Mobility and Trade Secret Practice.  He is also the author of Protecting Intellectual Property In The Age Of  Employee Mobility: Forms And Analysis.

Why Now Is The Time For The AIDPA

There are three most recent developments which confirm why now is the time for the AIDPA.  1) Articficial Intelligence has now created IP with little or no human involvement.  And it continues to be programmed, tested, and used to do so.  2) Tech giants and regulators  acknowledge the reality that companies that create and use Artificial Intelligence must be at least partially responsible for reducing the impact on AI displaced workers.  And 3) A  study revealed that up 800 million workers around the world would lose their jobs to Artificial Intelligence by 2030.  Automation will take over half of the contemporary work functions in 2055.  Arificial Intelligence and automation could also threaten forty-seven percent of jobs in the US.

Society’s Role On This Issue

The recent developments clearly show that society must act upon this issue.  It must address the legal, economic, and social implications of Artificial Intelligence with regard to IP and employment.  This is the reason why we need the AIDPA.

The AIDPA will provide the industry with a voice in regulating AI while promoting its safe, secure, and ethical use.  Leaders in technology, industry, and ethics should join together to finalize and enact the AIDPA.

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“Killer Robots” Result to Boycotts For South Korean University

Leading experts in the field of AI decide to boycott a South Korean university because of partnership with Hanwha Systems.

(Source: Getty Images)

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist) received criticisms recently with their partnership with Hanhwa Systems.

The latter is a weapons manufacturer and more than 50 AI researches from 30 countries are not happy about it. The group signed a letter expressing their concern about plans on developing AI for weapons.

The university confirms the partnership but denies allegations in relation to the lethal weapons.

Kaist president Shin Sung-chul says they will not develop “autonomous lethal weapons”.

“I reaffirm once again that Kaist will not conduct any research activities counter to human dignity including autonomous weapons lacking meaningful human control. Kaist is significantly aware of ethical concerns in the application of all technologies including artificial intelligence.”

He explains that the project was focused on developing algorithms. These algorithms would be utilised for “efficient logistical systems, unmanned navigation and aviation training systems”.

This news comes a week before the UN meeting to discuss killer robots.

Professor Noel Sharkey, head of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, welcomed the university’s response.

“The signatories of the letter will need a little time to discuss the relationship between Kaist and Hanwha before lifting the boycott,” he said. Until then, they will not be collaborating with Kaist in any way.

AI and Robots Won’t Be Destroying A Lot Of Careers

Artificial Intelligence also known as AI And Robots Will Not Destroy Jobs

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots will not destroy a lot of jobs. It is a misconception that AI and robots will destroy jobs. In some cases, probably it will, but not “destroy” literally.

Why not?

Despite the advances in technology, the possibility of Artificial Intelligence and robots taking over all jobs is false. According to experts, technology replacing human workers is not possible. Although production rate of human workers have decreased throughout the years, this is not reason enough for workers to be replaced by robots.

Some jobs may need the services of robots and AI, but still human interference is needed to make these robots and AI function properly. Even these advanced technology need humans to operate them or program them to make them functional.

Other jobs require the “human touch”. This feature cannot be provided by robots and Artificial Intelligence. But let us face it though. The reality of what is going on around us is that technology like robots and artificial intelligence may replace workers whose jobs may be performed by robots and AI. But this does not mean that it will destroy those jobs.

Robots and artificial intelligence are there to help workers in the jobs, especially if it comes to production. Robots work faster but it may not assure us of a flawless and perfect output. In production despite of quality control being done by machines in most cases, human workers to do quality control still exist. In some situations, products checked by machines for quality control are being re-checked by humans.

Who Caused The Panic

A lot of workers panicked because of this false and misleading report. Let us be optimistic about this breakthrough though. Workers grow old and their work performances may be affected. But this does not mean that they will be replaced by robots. The solution for workers slowing down on productivity as they grow old does not mean they will be replaced by robots. The positive side if it is that the workers will have a lesser work load as some of their tasks will be done by robots. But this does not mean they will be replaced.

I guess we can come to the conclusion though that robots and AI will not destroy jobs. Instead, they will work “hand-in-hand” with human workers to make productivity better.

AI, VR and IoT: Retail’s Best Friends for Survival

Retail, the way your parents knew it, is so archaic compared to what digital natives have grown accustomed to. Lightyears away from how JC Penney, the fallen retail titan used to operate, today’s shops need to meet expectations from increasingly sophisticated buyer personas and cope with the onslaught of competition from online and other brick-and-mortar stores. AI (Artificial Intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things) and Virtual Reality have encroached throughout the buying cycle – from advertising to point-of-sale and delivery; all intended to make the process faster, more efficient, and more profitable.

AI giants like (Intel, Amazon, and even Salesforce) promise unlimited possibilities and they may be right! According to Intel, “Younger people love in-store shopping, but they’ll look elsewhere if the experience isn’t tailored to their digital needs.” With the help of analytics and AI, retailers are now able to tailor-fit their products and services to make the in-store buying experience personalized, faster, and more convenient for consumers. The battle between online and in-store sales is an ongoing one and current buyers prefer more interaction prior to culminating the transaction. The ultimate goal is of course to get the best deals and this they do as they navigate store aisles while surreptitiously checking their smartphones for the best buy. Online stores are setting the bar for discounted items and even offer fast, reliable, and sometimes free delivery.

“Physical retail spaces need to focus on facilitating experiences that can’t be replicated in an online setting.” —

Shepherd Laughlin (J. Walter Thompson)

According to Intel, the crux of the matter is to change the way in-store retailers do business so they can cater to the “new breed of buyers accustomed to online shopping.” Aside from providing a “smart store” they also need to create or re-create experiences unique to the physical store. For instance, eye-tracking and brainwave tracking technology are used to arrange merchandise so that buyers are one step closer to buying. This technology leverages on the emotional response to colors, patterns, and images to predict preferences. Tactile and other sensory experiences can’t be replicated online and remain as a distinct advantage, especially for buyers who are wary of online reviews and want to make sure that “what you see is what you get”.

Even store layout is now VR assisted to make merchandise more attractive to potential buyers. But prior to even stepping into the store, websites educate, push branding, and engage. Physical stores and warehouses have a system that combines AI, IoT, VR and robotics to make product selection faster with electronic shelves, inventory tracking sensors and the like. In fact, automated carts at Amazon Go takes the headache out of checking-out by automatically tracking purchases.

“allowing rapid prototyping (through VR) means that retailers can drive the bottomline with faster, better decisions” – Mark Hardy, CEO intext solutions

Over $28B has been invested in AI recently with a huge chunk spent on efforts to prevent flagship stores, retailer chains, and major brands from going bankrupt.


Investors have poured over $28B into AI over the past 3 years. On the other hand, dozens of brick-and-mortar retail chains have gone bankrupt, and leading retailers have closed thousands of stores. Injection of AI into operations have affected many aspects of physical retail in an attempt to make services more customized – we see AI in machine analysis of customer behavior, chat support bots on store websites, predictive inventory, machine vision for identifying buyers, automated checkouts, shopper analytics and more. AI will enable stores to interpret big data to solve problems like theft prevention and supply chain management, facilitate conversions arising from visual search, and improve the way of doing business online and offline in every aspect of the product and service cycle. The possibilities are indeed endless.

Video Credits: Intel and Monimedia

Artificial Intelligence Robots Are Up For New Tasks

Robots with Artificial Intelligence Do Jobs for People

From home assistants in smart speakers to artificial intelligence in robots, inventors are really focused on their creations. Recently, a group of invented a robot which does carpentry job.

Yes! The robot can saw wood on its own. It can’t do all carpentry jobs but it can assist a person in doing the said job. This is a big help for the custom-making of furniture. It could also help with the fittings in an easier and faster way.

AutoSaw is made up of two parts: the design software and semi-autonomous robot.

Users of the said invention can just choose a template of a furniture that they want. The, they can adjust its size and design by tweaking on the displayed choices and poof! The robot will do the job for them.

But of course, the robot only saw the wood according to the user’s preference. In the end, it is still the user’s job to put everything together. The good thing? You won’t have to worry about the wood not fitting because of miscalculations.

The process is basic and very limited. With only four templates to choose from, the users won’t have much of a choice. It is also the user’s job to set up the robot and lay down the wood which will be cut.

Another feature is the robot jigsaw. But it is still under development and could not cut wood. Instead, it could cut foam board.

Inventors said that even with these flaws, it is just the start. With everything upgrading and improving, it is expected that this robot is going to be better in the years to come.

This invention shows that people’s job can be easier and faster with the help of modern technology.

Chinese Farmers Are Going To Use AI For Pig Farm Monitoring

Chinese farmers signed a contract with Alibaba for a more innovative pig farm monitoring

Chinese farmers nowadays are having a hard time to monitor their pigs due to overpopulation in their farms. Pigs usually live and die in huge farms. So, to help manage this porcine horde, the country’s farmers are turning to artificial intelligence or AI.

Chinese tech giant Alibaba signed a deal with pig farming corporation Dekon Group and pig feed manufacturer Tequ Group. It is to develop and deploy Ai-powered pig-tracking systems. Reported by Synced, a Chinese outlet, this deal is worth tens of millions of dollars. Instead of using wireless radio frequency tags (RFID), it will primarily rely on machine vision.

RFID is somehow helpful but it’s a bit expensive and not to mention time-consuming to manage. They have to be fitted to each pig and scanned individually for tracking. Tequ Group’s chief information officer, Zhang Haifeng said, “If you have 10 million pigs to raise, you can barely count how many piglets were born on a daily basis when the due date comes.”

The best solution is to use machine vision technology. It can help to track pigs using the overhead cameras that identify numbers tattooed onto their bodies. This system will be able to count pigs and piglets. But Alibaba hopes it will also offer more sophisticated analysis.

These sophisticated analysis includes combining temperature readings from infrared sensors with records of how much pig is moving each day. The AI will help to monitor the pig’s health individually. But a cleverer tool is a “voice” recognition tool. This may alert farmers when piglets are being crushed by their mothers by listening to their squeals. This will decrease the death rate of piglets by three percent annually according to Alibaba. Another one, it will try to monitor the spread of disease by recording the sounds of pigs coughing.

This technology will bring more income to farmers and will also provide the nation more agricultural products in the future.

LikelyAI: Popularity Predictor Tool for Influencers on Instagram

If you’ve ever wondered if your photos will be popular (or a dud) on Instagram LikelyAI, a photo-sharing social media marketing app takes the guesswork out and can predict just how you’ll fare. Available as a download on Google Play and the Apple Store, it’s perfect for the average Joe and Jane who needs to choose hashtags and filters, and even more helpful for influencers who care about popularity ratings.

A European start-up now based in Birmingham, Alabama, LikelyAI was founded by Slovak entrepreneurs Jozef Marko, Lukas Ruttkay, and Michal Korbela. Supported by Velocity Accelerator, it uses AI-based algorithm to predict the popularity of images in social media and advertising. Just how credible are they? They are former Facebook and Google employees who obviously know numbers and trends.

This concept was debuted by CorneaAI in 2017, but LikelyAI has since then overtaken the competition. Back in 2014, Aditya Khosla and company studied image popularity in social media. Their paper at MIT used deep-learning which is pretty much how LikelyAI predicts preferences using:

  • image content (gist, texture, color, gradient),
  • social factors (number of friends, number of photos uploaded), and
  • other information (tags etc.).

Seemingly a precursor to the app, The CSAIL MIT study categorized image appeal based on strong positive, medium positive, and negative. Typically, miniskirts, pandas, and revolvers (!) scored high while the more “nerdy” stuff like laptops, scored low.In the same manner, LikelyAI leveraging on AI technology analyses multiple data points from the array of photos based on “objects, colors, emotions, shapes, lighting, size, and position”.  What is the implication? Pretty similar to eye-tracking findings, images that were well-lit, highly colored, and with emotional impact are favored.

LikelyAI optimizes connections by “exploiting your Instagram” by:

  • choosing the right photo to increase post engagement by 10% and above,
  • cutting human error through greater objectivity based on algorithm results of over a million images,
  • getting more leads.

You simply choose a bunch of pictures from your gallery and let LikelyAI’s algorithm do the work for you. It will pick the photo that’s like going to get more likes, generate more comments, and engage your audience longer.

These days, everyone (not just your favorite blogger) has this incredible appetite to share posts and an even bigger addiction for “likes”. While the self-affirmation trend seems petty, it’s extremely important to social media marketers with products to sell and brands to promote.

Gain Insight:

We’ll sort your photos and display results, giving you quantitative insights on photo’s emotions, objects, and colors.

–   LikelyAI

Does it work? See for yourself by taking LikelyAI for a spin that promises results in 2 minutes using this link.I tried it and the first task was to select 3 images that were “likely” to be popular. This was a piece of cake since I already had tips on what matters to viewers.

My 3 picks on pictures that would perform best:

Looks like I DO need LikeAI to get more views! Machine wins this round. I only got 1 image correct out of 3 likely to become popular.

I thought I got it right when choosing the most interesting picture that would captivate the audience enough to like, comment, buy or share. Apparently, not and getting LikelyAI will raise my popularity by 56%! It seems as my human bias got expressions, positions, patterns, and colors all wrong. Wouldn’t it be nice to choose the right photo in a snap and upload to Instagram in a click where it will engage minions?

“The objects on the image, various color patches or emotions on the picture plays the role. Our neural network trained on million of images predicts the popularity.”

The nice thing about it is that is can analyze your own Instagram and that of your company for free. Though the CorneaAI hashtag function is sorely missed, LikelyAI is still a valuable tool – one that truly comes handy in the enterprise setting when you want to catch the utmost attention of followers.


Artificial Intelligence: Facebook Wants to Use it to Help the Visually Impaired

Facebook to use Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is a big help to various stuffs nowadays. Now, Facebook is going to use it to help the visually impaired.

Photos, videos, status —these are the feast in one’s Facebook News Feed.

The company wants blind people to experience the joy as well. They will use AI to help them. An audio message will be heard by blind people which describes a photo.

Artificial intelligence is the secret sauce behind making a project like this possible. It can do everything from translate languages, understand human speech and identify diseases.

This is definitely a big help when it comes to people’s enjoyment.

This is one way of helping blind people or the visually impaired people to enjoy the perks of social media sites.

An artificial intelligence engineer at Facebook, is leading the project to identify what is happening in photos and read them out loud for the blind.

In order to do this, Facebook’s algorithm should be taught to identify what it’s seeing.

But this is not like the AI which can be found in cars. You won’t die if the AI will fail or have flaws. But it will mislead people. This is why a very serious management of this particular AI is important.



AI Helps Spot Diseased Crops Faster: Wave of the Future

Artificial Intelligence or AI

Artificial Intelligence or also known as AI is oftentimes related to computers and technology. But there is a new use for it. It can actually help farmers to locate diseased crops faster.

Knowing if a crop is healthy shouldn’t be just relied to the farmer’s eyes.

A manager at an agriculture company had a year-long test of a variety of new technologies. His team provides crop protection services.

During the test, they discovered that artificial intelligence can identify crop problems weeks before the naked eye would realize. Troubles like water shortages and fungus growth in different crops were identified.

Photos are taken from planes flying from several thousand feet above the fields. They are then AI analyzed. The farmers are provided with maps which highlight the trouble spots in the farm.

When the team visited those spots, they couldn’t detect any issue with their own eyes.

After a few weeks without doing anything, the analysis by artificial intelligence was proved to be correct. Disease and other problems were indeed there.

So far, this AI for crops are still limited for soybean and corn crops. But surely, as the years go by, artificial intelligence will be all over the world.


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