The Monitoring Game: China’s Artificial Intelligence Push – Global Research

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03-02-19 12:52:00,

It’s all keen and mean on the artificial intelligence (AI) front in China, which is now vying with the United States as the top dog in the field.  US companies can still boast the big cheese operators, but China is making strides in other areas.  The UN World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Thursday report found that IBM had, with 8,920 patents in the field, the largest AI portfolio, followed by Microsoft with 5,930. China, however, was found dominant in 17 of 20 academic institutions involved in the business of patenting AI. 

The scramble has been a bitter one.  The Trump administration has been inflicting various punitive measures through tariffs, accusing Beijing of being the lead thief in global intellectual property matters.  But it is also clear that China has done much to play the game.

“They are serious players in the field of intellectual property,” suggests WIPO Director-General Francis Gurry. 

Machine learning is high up in this regard, as is deep learning, which saw a rise from a modest 118 patent applications in 2013 to a sprightly 2,399 in 2016.  All this is to the good on some level, but the ongoing issue that preoccupies those in the field is how best to tease out tendencies towards bias (racism, sexism and so forth) that find their way into machine-learning algorithms. Then comes that problem of technology in the broader service of ill, a point that never really goes away.

In other areas, China is making springing efforts.  Moving in the direction of developing an AI chip has not been missed, propelled by moves away from crypto mining. 

“It’s an incredibly difficult to do,” claims MIT Technology Review senior editor Will Knight.  “But the fact that you’ve got this big technological shift like it once in a sort of generation one means that it’s now possible, that the playing field is levelled a little bit.”

The nature of technological advancement often entails a moral and ethical lag.  Functionality comes before philosophy.  AI has been seen to be a fabulous toy-like thing, enticing and irresistible.  But what is good in one field is bound to be inimical in another.  The implications for this should be clear with the very idea of deep learning,

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Cars Will Soon Be Monitoring Their Drivers And Selling The Data They Collect

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11-01-19 08:54:00,

In case you were wondering, the evolution of the “smart” product (read: a product that invades your privacy and sells the ensuing data) hasn’t skipped the automobile industry. And of course, this means your car will soon be collecting data on you.

A new report by Reuters notes that at CES in Las Vegas this year, start up companies are going to be looking to demonstrate to automakers how their technology gathers data on drivers – all for enhanced safety purposes. Sure.

Some of the coming technologies include vehicles that generate alerts about things like drowsiness and unfastened seatbelts. The software is being pitched as a way to cut back on distracted driving and increase safety. Oh, and of course, it’ll eventually help automakers and ride hailing companies make money from the data that is generated inside the vehicle.

Full self driving is still years away in the United States, but in-car sensor technology is going to be a crucial part of this burgeoning technological niche.

Obviously, the more sophisticated the monitoring is inside the car, the more likely the vehicle is going to be able to get a driver to retake control, if necessary, and keep all parties safe. The technologies also include artificial intelligence software and in-car monitoring cameras.

Interior facing cameras are currently only available on a couple of vehicles, including Teslas and select vehicles by Mazda and Subaru, among a few others. The data from cameras is run through image recognition software to try and determine whether or not a driver is paying attention, looking at their cell phone, or perhaps even getting sleepy.

Companies like Israel’s Guardian Optical Technologies and eyeSight Technologies, Silicon Valley’s Eyeris Technologies Inc and Sweden’s Smart Eye AB are among those starting to become the main players in the space. Some of these companies have already signed production deals for beyond 2020.

Modar Alaoui, founder and CEO of Eyeris, recently said:

“There’s no doubt this is a hot area”. Guardian Optical CEO Gil Dotan stated: “What automakers want is what either sells cars, or what regulators tell them to do.”

And regulators have embraced things like eye tracking,

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