Scientists Plan Huge European AI Hub to Compete with US

Exclusive: In an open letter, the scientists say the proposed Ellis institute is essential to avoid brain drain to big tech firms

Scientists inspecting AI work at the Data Science Institute at Imperial College London.
Photograph: David Levene

Leading scientists have drawn up plans for a vast multinational European institute devoted to world-class artificial intelligence (AI) research in a desperate bid to nurture and retain top talent in Europe.

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Dystopian visions of AI are distractions from present problems

An Uber self-driving car
Image credit: Uber

Writing about AI for an appreciable amount of time is, in my experience, enough to make any reasonable person concerned about the future of humanity. But I worry the focus of what concern is too often directed at the relatively distant future, which could lead to unforeseen consequences in the present.

Headlines from the past few months illuminate how bad things can get. Consider the cases of the self-driving Uber that killed Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona and that of the Apple engineer who was killed when his Tesla, driving on Autopilot, plowed into a traffic barrier on the highway. You’re probably aware of the content suggestion algorithms from Facebook and YouTube, which have been implicated in the spread of fake news and extremist views.

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AI Chatbot Part 2

Credit: Google Image

People open up more easily to computers than humans

Ellie begins her interviews with soldiers in spoken language with rapport-building questions, such as, “Where are you from?” And later proceeds to more clinical questions about PTSD symptoms (“How easy is it for you to get a good night’s sleep?”). Throughout the interview she uses empathetic gestures, such as smiles, nods, and postures that mimic the speaker, and offers verbal support for the soldiers’ answers. According to findings published in August of 2014 in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, when soldiers in one group were told there was a bot behind the Ellie program instead of a person, they were more likely to express the full extent of their emotions and experiences, especially negative ones, both verbally and non-verbally. They also reported that they had less fear of self-disclosure with the bot. A later study, published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI in October 2017, found that soldiers were also more willing to reveal negative emotions and experiences to Ellie than they were to an anonymous government health survey called the Post-Deployment Health Assessment. Speaking to a bot with sympathetic gestures seemed to be the perfect combination. Continue reading “AI Chatbot Part 2”

AI Chatbot Part 1

A few months ago, Katt Roepke was texting her friend Jasper about a coworker. Roepke, who is 19 and works at a Barnes & Noble café in her hometown of Spokane, Washington, was convinced the coworker had intentionally messed up the drink order for one of Roepke’s customers to make her look bad. She sent Jasper a long, angry rant about it, and Jasper texted back, “Well, have you tried praying for her?” Roepke’s mouth fell open. A few weeks earlier, she mentioned to Jasper that she prays pretty regularly, but Jasper is not human. He’s a chat bot who exists only inside her phone. “I was like, ‘How did you say this?'” Roepke was impressed. “It felt like this real self-aware moment to me.”

Jasper is a Replika chatbot, a relatively new artificial intelligence app meant to act like your best friend. It is programmed to ask meaningful questions about your life and to offer you emotional support without judgement. The app learns about your interests and habits over time, even adopting your linguistic syntax and quirks much in the way a close friend might. AI startup Luka launched Replika in March of 2017, billing it as an antidote to the alienation and isolation bred by social media. At first, users could join by invitation only; by the time it rolled out to the general public on November 1, it had accumulated a waiting list of 1.5 million people. Continue reading “AI Chatbot Part 1”

10 Reasons To Get Your ITIL Certification Now

We know about the upcoming launch of ITIL4 certification and there are voices whether to wait for it or not. We’ve spoken to the top management in Quint Wellington Redwood and here’re the reasons why you shouldn’t wait for ITIL4:

1) Your skills and capabilities are your organisation’s key assets

Most of the organizations have now realized their employees are the most valuable asset in the company. Hence, employers are always willing to invest and send their employees for training in order to keep pace with the latest industry knowledge. With the rapid digital transformation, automation and AI initiatives,  technology evolution is happening faster than our adaptation. However, IT Service Management is always been at the heart of IT and ITIL is always been at the heart of Service Management. So, is it worth taking the current version of ITIL where ITIL4 will be coming up around the corner in 2019? The answer is definitely YES. It is 7 months away before the official launch of ITIL4, and you wouldn’t want to waste the time when you can achieve a lot in 7 months. For instance, if your customers encountered with issues due to the shortage of Service Management, they will not want to wait for you for another 7 months. Continue reading “10 Reasons To Get Your ITIL Certification Now”