You may have recently seen that an Uber self-driving car killed a pedestrian in a headline-grabbing event that re-awakened the humanity in all of us. This brings me to some common themes where ethical conundrums come back to the question of responsibility. Who is to blame if AI kills a human? Assuming that the AI is forced to make a decision between one life over another, how does it make that choice? You see, self-driving or autonomous cars are a bit like the Terminator. They utilise a programmatic paradigm called artificial intelligence (AI) and its cohort, machine learning. Hollywood loves to present AI to us as humanoid robots. The reality is that one of our first mainstream tastes of real AI are these occasionally life-threatening self-driving cars. Coding reactions in real-time systems Real-time systems take pride in being deterministic, which simply put means they always react the same way to the same stimulus in the same amount of time. They are wonderfully predictable and not … [Read more...] about Who Is In The Wrong If A Self-Driving Car Kills Someone?
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Memrise, a language learning app powered by machine learning, has closed a $15.5m (£11.5m) Series B funding round, led by Octopus Ventures and Korelya Capital. Additional participation came from existing investors Avalon Ventures and Balderton Capital, which was recently listed as one of the top ten unicorn-making funds in Europe. Its valuation is still under wraps, but today’s news takes its total amount raised to a cool $22m. Already profitable and based in London with a team of 70, Memrise claims more than 35m users worldwide across its courses which span 22 languages. It was recently put on stage at last week’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in a highlight reel on machine learning, and won Google Play’s app of the year in 2017. Read more: iOS 12, Universal Apps and AirPower: What to expect from Apple’s WWDC 2018 “Memrise is an accessible platform for all people to learn languages, and at the heart of our vision is creating learning … [Read more...] about AI-powered language learning startup Memrise raises $15.5m in Series B funding
Academic macroeconomists almost never try to make forecasts about the macroeconomy. That probably sounds almost unbelievable to most people, but it’s true — look at any macro paper in a mainstream economic journal, and there’s only a very small chance that it will be about forecasting. There are one or two economists out there who are deeply interested in the reason for this, and a small trickle of promising papers. And some economists do pay attention to their models’ forecasting performance. But the vast majority of research is about predicting the effects of policies, rather than about predicting what will actually happen.This might seem like a dereliction of duty. Many, such as the Queen of England, expect that economists should be able to see recessions coming — or at least to try. After all, weather forecasters try to predict storms and heat waves, right?Academic economists will give varying explanations for why they don’t pay much attention to … [Read more...] about Want a Recession Forecast? Ask a Machine
depression she had developed over about 15 years involved drilling two holes in the top of a patient’s skull and sliding two low-voltage electrodes deep into the brain until they reached a region known as Brodmann area 25. In a pair of pale pink curves of neural flesh called the subcallosal cingulate, each about the size and shape of a newborn’s crooked finger, area 25 occupies the fingertips. Once in place, the electrodes were wired to a battery pack implanted in the patient’s chest and turned on. Between 2003 and 2006, first at the University of Toronto and then Emory University, Mayberg tried this experimental surgery, called deep brain stimulation (DBS), on 20 people who had been torturously depressed for years despite trying every other possible treatment. Area 25, she believed, was a neural junction box that became hyperactive in depressed people. She designed the experiment to see if the thrum of these DBS devices would calm area 25 and relieve their despair. … [Read more...] about What can be learned when a clinical trial is stopped?
A British pioneer of self-driving car technology says a near-fatal car accident helped him understand that autonomous vehicles are the best hope for reducing road deaths. Professor Paul Newman, founder of Oxbotica, believes that the ability for information about crashes and near-misses to be analysed via machine learning could have a significant impact on transport safety. Speaking to the Telegraph's Technology Intelligence Podcast, Prof Newman described how close he and his family came to death when he pulled out on to an A-road, directly into the path of a lorry. "Everyone in the family was ok but it wasn't clear they were going to be as the truck was ploughing in to the back of the car. The... Register or log in to view this and other Technology Intelligence articles. It's free and easy to do. Access brilliant stories, features and analysis Sign up to our exclusive Technology Intelligence daily newsletter Become part of our ambitious new … [Read more...] about How a terrifying car crash made me realise self-driving technology is critical for saving thousands of lives on Britain’s roads