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Friday, June 30, 2023

Jizai Body Robotics Based on Asian Thought

Completely new to me, despite our long look at Asian tech. 


JIZAI Body: Human-Machine Integration Based on Asian Thought  By Masahiko Inami

Communications of the ACM, July 2023, Vol. 66 No. 7, Page 91   10.1145/3592539

Person wearing Jizai robotic arms    Credit: Social Digital Cyborgs

"JIZAI Body"2 allows each person to live as they wish by controlling their natural body and altered robotic body parts. The Japanese term "jizai" originates from the Sanskrit word "isvara," which means supreme being free from earthly desires and constrains. JIZAI Body emphasizes the transformability of physical bodies and the effects on spiritual and internal minds fostered in Asian spiritualities such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and others, beyond enhancement or augmentation contextualized in Western cultures.

For example, a wearable robotic limb system called JIZAI ARMS4 (see Figure 1) allows social interaction between multiple wearers and explores communication between them. Wearers can exchange the arms and share the body parts. A robotic sixth finger (Figure 2) enables humans to embody a robotic finger independently from the innate fingers.3 It has also been shown that humans can embody supernumerary robotic arms and feel them as their own limbs in a virtual reality environment.4

The uniqueness of JIZAI Body research lies in its investigation of what society will be like when people who acquire JIZAI bodies interact, and in its scientific elucidation of JIZAI states. It raises the question of how people's body image will change in the JIZAI society. Both the realization of JIZAI bodies based on Asian thought, and the scientific clarification of JIZAI states, is required.  .... '

More People Are Going Blind. AI Can Help Fight It

More unexpected solutions via AI, so why not restrict its use as much as possible?  Fearmongering.

More People Are Going Blind. AI Can Help Fight It

By Wired, June 27, 2023

AI can bring world-leading expertise into the community. 

A recent study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology estimated that 25.3% of people in Europe above the age of 60 have early signs of age-related macular degeneration.

Since 2017, ophthalmology has been the busiest of all the medical specialties in the UK's National Health Service in terms of clinical appointments. Nearly 10 percent of all NHS outpatient appointments are related to eye problems. That's nearly 10 million appointments per year, and that number has risen by more than a third in the past five years.

Between the ages of 18 and 65, the main cause of blindness is diabetic eye disease. But the population is getting older, and we're also seeing an increasing prevalence of diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD). That's the most common cause of blindness. A recent study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology estimated that 25.3 percent of people in Europe who are above the age of 60 have early signs of AMD. In the UK, about 200 people a day are also developing a severe form of AMD, called wet AMD, which causes blindness as a result of bleeding at the back of the eye.

Ophthalmologists are struggling to see and treat all these patients. Unfortunately, that means that many are going blind because of delays in diagnosis and treatment. All the evidence suggests that early detection and treatment equals safe sight.

Technology can mitigate these challenges. New eye scanners called optical coherence tomography (OCT) devices are being deployed in every optometry practice, such as your local Specsavers or Vision Express. These advanced scanners can take really high-resolution images of the retina in a noninvasive way.

From Wired

View Full Article   

Researchers Make a Quantum Computing Leap with a Magnetic Twist


Researchers Make a Quantum Computing Leap with a Magnetic Twist

By University of Washington News, June 29, 2023

An artistic depiction showing electron fractionalization (in which strongly interacting charges can fractionalize into three parts) in the fractional quantum anomalous Hall phase.

The team envisions their system as a powerful platform for developing a deeper understanding of anyone, which have very different properties from particles like electrons.

Credit: Eric Anderson

A team of researchers in the U.S., China, and Japan has taken a step toward building a fault-tolerant quantum bit (qubit) by detecting signatures of "fractional quantum anomalous Hall" (FQAH) states using semiconductor-material flakes.

FQAH states, unlike fractional quantum Hall states, do not require massive magnetic fields to maintain stability.

The researchers created an artificial "honeycomb lattice" for electrons by stacking two atomically thin flakes of molybdenum ditelluride at mutual "twist" angles relative to one another.

They induced magnetism by cooling the stacked flakes to a few degrees above absolute zero Fahrenheit, then detected the FQAH state signatures using laser probes.

FQAH states can host quasiparticles called anyons, which can be harnessed to produce "topologically protected" qubits immune to local disturbances.

From University of Washington News

View Full Article 

Doctors Train in Virtual Reality

Doctors Train in Virtual Reality

By Jake Widman

Commissioned by CACM Staff, June 22, 2023

Surgeons collaborate during virtual surgery.

In addition to relevant tools and a patient, the simulations can provide highlights and tool tips or floating diagrams to guide a trainee through performing the surgery.

Healthcare is just one of the many fields finding new uses for extended reality (XR), comprising both augmented and virtual reality.

Virtual reality (VR) in particular is being used for everything from hosting remote support groups for teen cancer patients to giving medical students a taste of the grisly reality of trauma medicine.

Those projects typically are one-off purpose-built implementations of VR, though. The technology has continued to advance and its availability to increase, enabling the creation of more general-purpose applications.

The potential is not lost on VR developers and investors. According to the June 2022 Global AR-VR in Healthcare Market report from Research and Markets, the sector was valued at $2,748 million in 2021, and is expected to reach $9,796 million by 2027.

Two applications identified by Research and Markets as drivers of that growth are medical training and surgery planning.

The U.K.'s Royal College of Surgeons has set up an commission to examine where surgery is headed, and one of its commissioners, plastic surgeon and medical entrepreneur Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, told MobiHealthNews, "We can see the effective use of virtual reality in simulation, in terms of preparation and rehearsal. The challenge here is the cost of scaling, as there are tens of thousands of different procedures with nuances in each of them."

Several companies are tackling the scaling problem.

How surgeons now train

A main value of VR simulation, as exemplified by its use to expose medical students to trauma situations, is to give surgeons an idea of what they can expect to encounter in actual surgery.

Surgery is traditionally taught as a mentorship program, explains Dr. Michael Ast, an orthopedic surgeon and Chief Medical Innovation Officer at New York's Hospital for Special Surgery. "We do didactic teaching in a modified classroom setting, and then we guide our trainees through the operations. Eventually, they start to participate in the procedure."

The problem with that approach is the limited number of those "tens of thousands of different procedures with nuances in each of them" in which a trainee might actually get to participate. Also, those 'nuances' are not about just the mechanics of the surgery, says Dr. Ast; "The farther along into training, the more our trainees come to realize that our job is not just to fix the problem, but also to preserve the rest of the anatomy. The questions tend to change from 'how does this drill work' to 'how do I make sure that when I'm using this drill, I'm not causing damage to other things?'"

Training on generic patient models   ... ' 

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Microsoft brings new AI-powered shopping tools to Bing and Edge.

Oh, Oh,  are we shopping now?  Was this allowed?  Will Google play nice?

Microsoft brings new AI-powered shopping tools to Bing and Edge  in TechCrunch

Frederic Lardinois@fredericl / 11:00 AM EDT•June 29, 2023

People walk past a Microsoft store entrance with the company's logo on top in midtown Manhattan

Microsoft today announced a slew of new AI-powered shopping tools for its new Bing search engine and the Bing AI chatbot in the Edge sidebar. While a lot of the shopping features that Microsoft built into Edge over the years aren’t exactly fan favorites, this new set of tools actually looks useful.

Microsoft will now, for example, use Bing’s GPT-powered AI capabilities to automatically generate buying guides when you use a query like “college supplies.” It will automatically aggregate products in each category it comes up with, list their specs so you can compare similar items and, of course, tell you where to buy them (with Microsoft getting an affiliate fee when you buy).

Given that there is an entire ecosystem of sites that focus on these kinds of buying guides, it will be interesting to see how they will react to this change (and if Microsoft is doing this in Bing, Google and others will surely follow suit). Nobody is going to bemoan the end of the low-quality, SEO-optimized shopping content you often find when you try to compare different products, but this has the potential to hurt legitimate editorial operations, too. ... ' 

Scientists hope AI-enhanced ‘robo-cats’ will help the elderly

We talked this with Japan associates, saw their AI powered solutions. Japan has addressed the problem for a long time. 

Scientists hope AI-enhanced ‘robo-cats’ will help the elderly

By Associated Press, December 19, 2017

PROVIDENCE, RI — Imagine a cat that can keep a person company, doesn’t need a litter box and can remind an aging relative to take her medicine or help find her eyeglasses.

That’s the vision of toymaker Hasbro and scientists at Brown University, who have received a three-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to find ways to add artificial intelligence to Hasbro’s “Joy for All” robotic cat.

The cat, which has been on the market for two years, is aimed at seniors and meant to act as a “companion.” It purrs and meows and even appears to lick its paw and roll over to ask for a belly rub. The Brown-Hasbro project is aimed at developing additional capabilities for the cats to help older adults with simple tasks.

Researchers at Brown’s Humanity-Centered Robotics Initiative are working to determine which tasks make the most sense and which can help older adults stay in their own homes longer, such as finding lost objects or reminding the owner to call someone or go to a doctor’s appointment.

“It’s not going to iron and wash dishes,” said Bertram Malle, a professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown. “Nobody expects them to have a conversation. Nobody expects them to move around and fetch a newspaper. They’re really good at providing comfort.”  ... 

Unilever Digital Transformation

Used to follow Unilever closely


Unilever Exits: Conny Braams, Graeme Pitkethly Departing

Lisa Johnston  Editor-in-Chief    in Consumergoods.com

Unilever digital twins (?)

Unilever announced leadership changes, with Conny Braams, chief digital and commercial officer, set to depart the company in August and CFO Graeme Pitkethly retiring next May. 

Braams, who is the company’s marketing leader and a member of the No. 5 publicly owned consumer goods company’s leadership team, has held the role since April 2022 and has been with the company for over three decades. Her previous title included chief digital and marketing officer, and she oversaw Unilever’s end-to-end digital transformation, as well as its marketing and customer development worldwide. 

See also: How Unilever Expedites Product Innovation With AI, Automation, and Robots

Pitkethly, meanwhile, joined Unilever in 2002 and has held such roles as executive VP and general manager of Unilever’s U.K. and Ireland business, as well as senior VP of finance for global markets and global head of M&A. 

Their departures from the company accompany a larger environment of change at Unilever, which restructured into five business groups last year and is set to welcome its new CEO, Hein Schumacher, July 1. Schumacher will replace Alan Jope following a one-month handover period. 

Stay informed on industry news and trends - subscribe now

Unilever said it will undertake an internal and external search for its new CFO successor, with Braams’ successor announced at a later date. 

Digital Leadership 

When Braams assumed the chief digital and commercial officer role, it was a new position for the company. Under her tenure, Unilever prepared its teams for the potential advent of the metaverse and other virtual experiences and evovled to meet consumers’ sustainability priorities as the company pushed forward on acquiring “purpose-driven brands.” 

See also: Unilever Becomes a Cloud-Only Enterprise Following Massive Migration

Prior to taking on the position, she also previously served as executive VP of Middle Europe and EVP food solutions for Asia, Africa and Middle East, leading those regions’ digital transformations. Braams, who got her start at Unilever as a marketing trainee in 1990, has been a member of the leadership team since 2020.    ... '

Europe Opens AI 'Crash Test' Centers

 Europe Opens AI 'Crash Test' Centers


Sanne Wass, June 27, 2023

The European Union has launched four artificial intelligence (AI) facilities to test and validate the safety of innovations prior to their market rollout. The virtual and physical sites will offer a testbed for AI and robotics in real-world manufacturing, healthcare, agricultural, and urban environments starting next year. The Technical University of Denmark said the facilities would function as a "safety filter" between European technology providers and users while complementing public policy. The university described the facilities as a digital version of Europe's crash test system for new automobiles.   ... ' 

Heat-Resistant Drone Could Scope, Map Burning Buildings, Wildfires

 Heat-Resistant Drone Could Scope, Map Burning Buildings, Wildfires

Imperial College London (U.K.)

Hayley Dunning, June 26, 2023

Scientists at the U.K.'s Imperial College London (ICL) and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology designed a heat-resistant drone that could inspect and define the scope of fires in buildings and woodland. The FireDrone incorporates thermal aerogel insulation material and a cooling system based on the release and evaporation of gas from carbon dioxide sensors so it can tolerate temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to 10 minutes. Explained ICL's Mirko Kovac, "FireDrone could be sent in ahead to gather crucial information—noting trapped people, building layouts, unexpected hazards—so that responders can prepare accordingly to keep themselves safe and potentially save more lives."  ... '

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

First Human Trials Begin for AI-Designed Drug

First Human Trials Begin for AI-Designed Drug

Story by The Daily Upside • Monday


or more crisp and insightful business and economic news, subscribe to The Daily Upside newsletter. It's completely free and we guarantee you'll learn something new every day.

Forget college essays. Artificial intelligence has much bigger fish to fry.

Biotech firm Insilico Medicine said Monday that it entered an "AI-discovered-and-designed" drug into Phase 2 clinical trials involving human subjects, a first for the industry. The robots: they may not be so bad after all.

(Artificially) Intelligent Design

AI optimists have long pointed to advances in drug development as a reason for bullishness, and it's easy to understand why: The sheer data-crunching and protein-identifying prowess of such systems could potentially cut development time in half, and development prices by even more, proponents often claim. In plain English: AI can complete complex math problems far faster than human scientists ever could. Thus, AI and ML tools could help develop 50 new drugs worth potentially $50 billion over the next decade, according to a Morgan Stanley report.  ... ' 

Watch: How Artificial Intelligence Is Revolutionizing the Supply Chain

Microsoft  is taking it broadly

Watch: How Artificial Intelligence Is Revolutionizing the Supply Chain

June 28, 2023 Russell W. Goodman, SupplyChainBrain

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the supply chain, and Microsoft's entrant is Dynamics 365 Copilot, says Mike Bassani, general manager for supply chain at Microsoft.

In Bassani’s view, artificial intelligence, which has been around for years, has been a “match made in heaven” all this time. “Over the past decade, we've seen AI involved in such things as route planning and forecasting. It's been part of how we have evolved the supply chain. But I do believe that this time it's different.”

For one thing, there’s been an evolution in large-language models and what Bassani calls their “democratization.” He notes, for instance, that “ChatGPT is the first piece of technology we've seen reach a hundred million users so fast.”

That’s brought AI to the dinner table, in a manner of speaking. “There are lots of conversations with people who have not had backgrounds in computer science or data science, but they're interacting with AI in ways that feel accessible,” Bassani says. “And from a supply chain perspective, that's great, because the people who are in our supply chains are very much more representative of the people who are at our dinner tables than the people who are doing computer algorithms and data science on a day-to-day basis.”

Historically, the supply chain hasn’t adopted consumer technology at the same pace as that of other industries, Bassani says. “If we are able to capitalize on this moment, I think it will not only do wonders for people in supply chain, but end consumers as well.

Sustainability is one area of the supply chain that will benefit from AI, Bassani says. “Sustainability is such a critical component of the supply chain because we are such large contributors to it. And if we don't get it right, we will not be able to meet the net-zero goals that many organizations have.”  ..  '

AI's Use in Elections Sets Off a Scramble for Guardrails

AI's Use in Elections Sets Off a Scramble for Guardrails

The New York Times

Tiffany Hsu; Steven Lee Myers, June 25, 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI)-generated political campaign materials designed to stoke anxiety have spurred demands for safeguards from consultants, election researchers, and lawmakers. In the run-up to the 2024 presidential race, the Republican National Committee issued a video with synthetic dystopian images associated with a Biden victory; the Democrats found AI-drafted fundraising messages often encouraged more engagement and donations than human-written copy. Election advocates are urging legislation to regulate synthetically produced ads, as social media rules and services that purport to police AI content have fallen short. A group of Democratic lawmakers has proposed legislation requiring disclaimers to accompany political ads with AI-generated material, and the American Association of Political Consultants said using deepfake content in political campaigns constitutes an ethics code violation.

NASA Engineers Help Create Virtual World of Data

 Virtual vs Actual

NASA Engineers Help Create Virtual World of Data


Andrew Wagner, June 23, 2023

Engineers at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) partnered to develop software for virtually exploring relationships between points of data using artificial intelligence and three-dimensional visualization. Explained JPL's Scott Davidoff, "We made a data world where an analyst could look at any science or engineering problem and see patterns and correlations more clearly than they can in a flat version." This process, called intelligent exploration, can extract immediate insights beyond the capabilities of two-dimensional graphs "because it's literally drag and drop," according to Caltech's Ciro Donalek.  ... ' 

Robot Uses Fake Raspberry to Practice Picking Fruit

Robot Uses Fake Raspberry to Practice Picking Fruit

By Popular Science, June 26, 2023

Lab equipment with the raspberry mockup.

A growing number of farmers are interested in using robots for time-intensive tasks such as harvesting strawberries, sweet peppers, apples, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Credit: EPFL Create

Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) Computational Robot Design & Fabrication Laboratory engineered a robot that practiced raspberry-picking on a silicone raspberry mockup with an artificial stem to ensure it learned how to handle the fragile fruit.

The researchers said the stem "can 'tell' the robot how much pressure is being applied, both while the fruit is still attached to the receptacle and after it's been released."

Experiments showed the robot could harvest 60% of the fruits while keeping them intact versus the human average of 90%.

An improved raspberry model could help enhance the robot's performance, while an extended setting that simulates "environmental conditions such as lighting, temperature, and humidity could further close the Lab2Field reality gap," according to the researchers.

From Popular Science

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Researchers From Max Plank Propose MIME: A Generative AI Model that Takes 3D Human Motion Capture and Generates Plausible 3D Scenes that are Consistent with the Motion

Researchers From Max Plank Propose MIME: A Generative AI Model that Takes 3D Human Motion Capture and Generates Plausible 3D Scenes that are Consistent with the Motion

By Aneesh Tickoo- June 20, 2023      Markettechpost


Humans are always interacting with their surroundings. They move about a space, touch things, sit on chairs, or sleep on beds. These interactions detail how the scene is set up and where the objects are. A mime is a performer who uses their comprehension of such relationships to create a rich, imaginative, 3D environment with nothing more than their body movements. Can they teach a computer to mimic human actions and make the appropriate 3D scene? Numerous fields, including architecture, gaming, virtual reality, and the synthesis of synthetic data, might benefit from this technique. For instance, there are substantial datasets of 3D human motion, such as AMASS, but these datasets seldom include details on the 3D setting in which they were collected.   .... ' 


Tuesday, June 27, 2023

VR Services Competing

Relatively inexpensive service for trying out ideas.      And for VR you need lots of try-outs.  Games Mostly? 

Meta: Facebook owner launches $7.99 a month virtual reality service

By Annabelle Liang,  Business reporter   in the BBC.

Facebook owner Meta has launched a virtual reality (VR) subscription service as it tries to make that part of its business profitable.

Meta says paying users will get access to two new games a month.

For the first three months of the year, the parent company of Instagram saw a $4bn (£3.1bn) loss at its VR unit.

Meta faces competition from firms including technology giant Apple, which unveiled its highly anticipated mixed-reality headset this month.

On Monday, the company said the Meta Quest+ service, which costs $7.99 a month or $59.99 for an annual subscription, was compatible with its Quest 2, Quest Pro and upcoming Quest 3 headsets. ... ' 

Accelerating Optical Communications with AI

 Accelerating Optical Communications with AI     By Chris Edwards

Communications of the ACM, July 2023, Vol. 66 No. 7, Pages 13-15  10.1145/3595957

Photonic computing has seen its share of research breakthroughs and deep research winters, much like the history of artificial intelligence (AI). Now, with the resurgence of AI, the huge amounts of energy today's large neural-network models need when running on electronic computers is reawakening interest in uniting the two.

More than 30 years ago, during one of the booms in research into artificial neural networks, Demetri Psaltis and colleagues at the California Institute of Technology demonstrated how techniques from holography could perform rudimentary face recognition. The team members showed they could store as many as one billion weights for a two-layer neural network using the core elements from a liquid-crystal display. Similar spatial light modulators became the foundation of several attempts to commercialize optical computing technology, including those by U.K.-based startup Optalysys, which has focused in recent years on applying the technology to accelerating homomorphic encryption to support secure remote computing.

Though some groups are using spatial light modulators for AI, they represent just one category of optical computer suitable for the job. There are also decisions as to which form of neural networks best suits optical computing. Some techniques focus on the matrix-arithmetic operations of mainstream deep learning pipelines, while others focus squarely on emulating the spike trains of biological brains.

What all the proposed systems have in common is the possibility that, by using photons to communicate and calculate, they will deliver major advantages in density and speed over systems based purely on electrical signaling. A 2021 study of inferencing based on matrix arithmetic by Mitchell Nahmias, now CTO of startup Luminous Computing, and colleagues at Princeton University argued the theoretical efficiency of AI inferencing in the optical domain could far surpass that of conventional accelerators based on existing electronics-only architectures.

The key issue for machine learning is the amount of energy needed to move data around accelerators. Electronic accelerators often employ strategies to cache as much data as possible to reduce this overhead, with major trade-offs concerning whether temporary results or weights are held in the cache depending on the model's structure. However, the energy cost of delivering photons over distances larger than the span of a single chip is far lower than it is for electrical signaling.

A second potential advantage of photonic AI comes from the ease with which it can handle complex operations in the analog domain, though the power savings achievable here are less certain than for communications. Whereas matrix arithmetic relies on highly parallelized hardware circuits for performance in conventional systems, simply passing photons through an optical component such as a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZi) or micro-ring resonator will perform arithmetic requiring hundreds or even thousands of logic gates in a digital circuit.

In the MZi, coherent beams of light pass through a succession of couplers and phase shifters. At each coupling point, the interference between the beams results in phase shifts that can be interpreted as part of a matrix multiplication. A 4x4 matrix operation requires just four inputs that feed into six coupling elements, with four output ports providing the result. The speed of the operations is limited only by the rate at which coherent pulses can be passed through the array.

In analog architectures, noise presents a significant hurdle. Work by numerous groups on accelerating inference operations has shown that deep neural networks can work successfully at an effective resolution of 4 bits, but hardware overhead and energy rise quickly as resolution increases. These effects may limit the practical energy advantage of photonic designs.

Estimates by Alexander Tait, assistant professor at Queen's University, Ontario, found the potential power-savings easily eroded by the practical limitations of today's optical devices. Tait calculated just 500 micro-ring resonators acting as neurons in a fully connected layout could fit onto a single 1cm2 die using early 2020s technology. But operating at 10GHz, it would require a kilowatt of power. Tait stresses the example shows the impact of the current need for heaters to tune optical properties. Scaling and design changes could bring the energy down dramatically. "The heaters are certainly a solvable problem," he says.  .... ' 

New Source of Quantum Light

This seems quite exciting.   On the list to know more.. 

Researchers Develop New Source of Quantum Light

By MIT News, June 26, 2023

A perovskite nanocrystal.

Using light instead of physical objects as basic qubit units would eliminate the need for complex, expensive equipment to control the qubits and enter and extract data from them.

Credit: Alexander Kaplan et al

Using novel materials that have been widely studied as potential new solar photovoltaics, researchers at MIT have shown that nanoparticles of these materials can emit a stream of single, identical photons.

While the work is currently a fundamental discovery of these materials' capabilities, it might ultimately pave the way to new optically based quantum computers, as well as possible quantum teleportation devices for communication, the researchers say. The results appear today in the journal Nature Photonics, in a paper by graduate student Alexander Kaplan, professor of chemistry Moungi Bawendi, and six others at MIT.

Most concepts for quantum computing use ultracold atoms or the spins of individual electrons to act as the quantum bits, or qubits, that form the basis of such devices. But about two decades ago some researchers proposed the idea of using light instead of physical objects as the basic qubit units. Among other advantages, this would eliminate the need for complex and expensive equipment to control the qubits and enter and extract data from them. Instead, ordinary mirrors and optical detectors would be all that was needed.

From MIT News

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One Key Challenge for Diplomacy on AI: China’s Military Does Not Want to Talk

 Read the  Andreessen piece as well, relates to this. 

One Key Challenge for Diplomacy on AI: China’s Military Does Not Want to Talk

Commentary by Gregory C. Allen

Published May 20, 2022

Over the past 10 years, artificial intelligence (AI) technology has become increasingly critical to scientific breakthroughs and technology innovation across an ever-widening set of fields, and warfare is no exception. In pursuit of new sources of competitive advantage, militaries around the world are working to accelerate the integration of AI technology into their capabilities and operations. However, the rise of military AI has brought with it fears of a new AI arms race and a potential new source of unintended conflict escalation. In the May/June 2022 issue of Foreign Affairs, Michael C. Horowitz, Lauren Kahn, and Laura Resnick Samotin write:

The United States, then, faces dueling risks from AI. If it moves too slowly, Washington could be overtaken by its competitors, jeopardizing national security. But if it moves too fast, it may compromise on safety and build AI systems that breed deadly accidents. Although the former is a larger risk than the latter, it is critical that the United States take safety concerns seriously.

Such fears are not entirely unfounded. Machine learning, the technology paradigm at the heart of the modern AI revolution, brings with it not only opportunities for radically improved performance, but also new failure modes. When it comes to traditional software, the U.S. military has decades of institutional muscle memory related to preventing technical accidents, but building machine learning systems that are reliable enough to be trusted in safety-critical or use-of-force applications is a newer challenge. To its credit, the Department of Defense (DOD) has devoted significant resources and attention to the problem: partnering with industry to make commercial AI test and evaluation capabilities more widely available, announcing AI ethics principles and releasing new guidelines and governance processes to ensure their robust implementation, updating longstanding DOD system safety standards to pay extra attention to machine learning failure modes, and funding a host of AI reliability and trustworthiness research efforts through organizations like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

However, even if the United States were somehow to successfully eliminate the risk of AI accidents in its own military systems—a bold and incredibly challenging goal, to be sure—it still would not have solved risks to the United States from technical failures in Russian and Chinese military AI systems. What if a Chinese AI-enabled early warning system erroneously announces that U.S. forces are launching a surprise attack? The resulting Chinese strike—wrongly believed to be a counterattack—could be the opening salvo of a new war.

In recognition of this risk, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence recommended in its March 2021 final report that the DOD engage in diplomacy with the Chinese military to “discuss AI’s impact on crisis stability.” More recently, Ryan Fedasiuk wrote in last month’s Foreign Policy that “it is more important than ever that the United States and China take steps to mitigate existential threats posed by AI accidents.”

It is not only Americans who have written about the need for a diplomatic dialogue on this subject. In 2020, Zhou Bo, a senior colonel in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), wrote an op-ed in the New York Times in which he argued,

As China’s military strength continues to grow, and it closes the gap with the United States, both sides will almost certainly need to put more rules in place, not only in areas like antipiracy or disaster relief—where the two countries already have been cooperating—but also regarding space exploration, cyberspace and artificial intelligence.  .... ' 

AI Helps Show How the Brain's Fluids Flow

Further analysis of how the brain works.

AI Helps Show How the Brain's Fluids Flow

By University of Rochester News Center

June 20, 2023

A team of scientists led by the University of Rochester's Douglas Kelley created new artificial intelligence-based velocimetry measurements to quantify the flow of fluids around cerebral blood vessels in the brain.

The researchers produced high-resolution visualizations of fluid flow in perivascular spaces by combining data from two-dimensional studies with physics-informed neural networks.

Explained Kelley, "This is a way to reveal pressures, forces, and the three-dimensional flow rate with much more accuracy than we can otherwise do. The pressure is important because nobody knows for sure quite what pumping mechanism drives all these flows around the brain yet. This is a new field."

The researchers think insights stemming from the AI technique could have implications for designing treatments for diseases like Alzheimer's.

From University of Rochester News Center

View Full Article   

Monday, June 26, 2023

Google Backs Creation of Cybersecurity Clinics

Good work, like the idea.

Google Backs Creation of Cybersecurity Clinics with $20-Million Donation

By Associated Press, June 23, 2023

Pichai said the new initiative addresses both the rising number of cyberattacks—up 38% globally in 2022—and the lack of candidates trained to stop them.

Credit: Jose Luis Magana/AP

Google CEO Sundar Pichai pledged $20 million to support and expand the Consortium of Cybersecurity Clinics, which introduces college students to cybersecurity careers while helping small government offices, rural hospitals, and nonprofits with cyber defenses and threat assessments.

This follows Google's May rollout of the Google Cybersecurity Certificate Program to prepare participants for entry-level cybersecurity jobs, and its partnership with universities in New York to develop cybersecurity learning and career opportunities.

Google.org's Justin Steele said of the cybersecurity clinics, "Those students get hands-on experience, and they get to increase their marketability for all of these open jobs in cybersecurity. We get to diversify the field of cybersecurity by training these students, and we get to protect critical U.S. infrastructure."

From Associated Press

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Bill Gates Company to Mine Rare Earth Metals Using Machine Learning

Bill Gates to Mine Rare Earth Metals Using Machine Learning 

Bill Gates’ venture firm, with backing from Jeff Bezos and Jack Ma, just minted a $1 billion A.I. unicorn that uses machine learning for mining rare earth metals crucial for EVs

Mary Meeker and Andreessen Horowitz were also involved in the $250 million funding round.

By Chris Morris in Fortune

June 20, 2023 10:55 AM EDT

Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures is one of the lead investors in a new funding round for KoBold Metals. Jordan Vonderhaar—Bloomberg/Getty Images

KoBold Metals, a Berkeley-based mining company that uses artificial intelligence to mine for rare earth elements, has closed out a funding round that crowns it an A.I. “unicorn” worth $1 billion and ropes in some of the biggest investors in the world.

The $200 million round, reported in the Wall Street Journal, included money from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a Bill Gates–backed venture capital firm that invests in clean energy companies on behalf of people including Jeff Bezos and Jack Ma.

Other investors included the massively influential VC firm Andreessen Horowitz and Bond Capital, cofounded by Mary Meeker, a longtime VC known for spotting big-picture trends early and whose annual Internet Trends Report is one of the most highly anticipated among tech investors.

The raise brings KoBold’s valuation to more than $1 billion. The company’s last funding round raised $192.5 million in February 2022. Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Bond were both part of that earlier round.

KoBold, founded in 2018, uses machine learning to look for deposits of metals that are crucial to the construction of batteries for electric vehicles—specifically lithium, nickel, cobalt, and copper.

The company has more than 60 projects across three continents, in which it is currently investing $100 million annually. It also has an extensive research and development budget devoted to A.I.’s use in modeling the earth’s subsurface and exploring depths beyond the reach of conventional techniques.

“Our proprietary A.I. tools build on a concept we call efficacy of information (EOI), enabl[ing] KoBold to determine which data to collect at each exploration step, to maximize uncertainty reduction,” the company said on its website.

It might take longer to reach the metals, but the drilling will be precision-focused, the company says. The recent purchase of a copper deposit in Zambia, for example, is expected to take eight years to yield results.

Demand for lithium, nickel, cobalt, and copper is on the rise. By 2050, KoBold predicts, there will be a $12 trillion gap between supply and demand.

Kinaxis Unveils New Supply Chain Innovations

Kinaxis Unveils New Supply Chain Innovations

Photo: iStock.com/Chainarong Prasertthai

June 20, 2023 SupplyChainBrain

Kinaxis unveiled several new product innovations spanning its end-to-end supply chain June 20, providing businesses with greater control, transparency and agility.

The first innovation was enterprise scheduling, the only scheduling tool currently on the market that allows companies to create and manage a global production scheduling strategy that accounts for factory layouts. Next was the company’s supply chain execution capabilities which include transportation management, order management and return management features. Also, Kinaxis introduced its sustainable supply chain solution, allowing organizations to embed emissions factors directly into Kinaxis RapidResponse scenarios. Lastly, Kinaxis launched Deamnd.AI, a tool that helps companies understand how internal and external factors influence demand levels.

“The days of the cascaded flow of information passed down between teams are long behind us,” said John Sicard, president and CEO of Kinaxis. “The innovations we announced June 20 make it easier for teams to collaborate and make decisions, as well as narrow the gap between planning and execution, to create both resiliency and efficiency at scale.”  ... ' 

MIT Scientists Develop Flexible Metal-Free Electrode

MIT Scientists Develop Flexible Metal-Free Electrode

These Jell-O-like electrodes could eventually connect electronic implants with the human body.

By Ryan Whitwam June 20, 2023

The inexorable march of technological innovation continuously turns science fiction into science fact, and the next target may be the human body. With multiple companies moving toward human testing of bioelectronic implants, our cyberpunk future could be here before we know it, and a new project from MIT could play a crucial part. A team working with conductive polymers has succeeded in designing a soft metal-free electrode that can be 3D printed and attached directly to tissues.

The future of implantable technology could take many paths, but whether you're trying to restore vision, enhance mobility, or build a brain computer interface, you'll need an electrode to mediate the connection between gooey human and cold, unfeeling technology. Most electrodes, like the ones Elon Musk's Neuralink robot "sews" into the brain are composed of metal, which is naturally conductive. However, metals can cause tissue irritation over time, which leads to signal degradation.

Most polymers are natural insulators, so they cannot conduct signals. However, there is a class of conductive polymers, the discovery of which won a Nobel Prize in chemistry in the 1970s. Researchers working with mechanical engineering professor Xuanhe Zhao have experimented with several materials to produce soft, flexible electrodes. The team found some success by mixing conductive polymers with hydrogel, a gelatin-like polymer that is high in water content. However, this mixture didn't offer the right mix of conductivity and durability. "In gel materials, the electrical and mechanical properties always fight each other,” says collaborator Hyunwoo Yuk. “If you improve a gel’s electrical properties, you have to sacrifice mechanical properties, and vice versa."  .... ' 

Bain and AI

 First I had heard of AI and Bain.      Good to see it.        June 2023

Ready for Launch: How Gen AI Is Already Transforming Marketing

For CMOs, the benefits of generative artificial intelligence (if done right) will outweigh the brand risks.

Marketing is a generative AI hot spot because the new technology is so well suited to its blend of creative and data-driven work.

Chief marketing officers can draw on five golden rules as they plan how to use generative AI tools to accelerate, augment, and streamline their activities.

The rules: Generative AI needs to start and end with the customer; creative applications are only the start; quick wins and complex projects must run in parallel; marketers should keep the highest-priority use cases in-house; and the CMO is perfectly placed to be an AI change agent.

Imagine a world in which smart assistants are the common front end of digital interactions, transforming the experience of engaging with a brand’s app or website. A world in which the current mix of marketing channels has been shaken up—by a surge in text-based communication sparked by AI’s ability to personalize at scale, or by a boom in audio, video, and image-based marketing triggered by an acceleration of production speed at lower costs. Picture a corresponding disruption in the creative landscape as new sources of imagination and flair emerge and old ones lose their historic edge. Or one in which influencers become even more critical, with access to simplified or targeted versions of powerful digital tools that used to be out of their reach.  

For marketers, all of these developments are in sight because of advances in generative artificial intelligence. Marketing is helping to lead the adoption of generative AI tools that create and personalize new content, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and DALL-E (which was used to produce the rocket image at the top of this page), other image creation platforms like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, and emerging audio and video creation technologies. For instance, when we surveyed nearly 600 companies across 11 industries, speeding up the development of marketing materials was one of the top seven use cases for generative AI, with 39% of respondents saying they were using or evaluating the technology for this purpose (see Figure 1).

Figure 1

Marketing has a stake in at least two of the generative AI use cases gaining most traction with companies

Across consumer-facing industries, marketing has become a particular hot spot because of generative AI’s ability to engage customers, personalize content, and reduce both cost and complexity. Meanwhile, chief marketing officers with wider responsibilities are also looking to deploy it in customer service to personalize customer experience, boost sales and retention, and support frontline employees. And for companies that operate in the marketing and advertising industry specifically, adoption and evaluation of the top generative AI use cases is notably rapid, second only to IT system integrators.

Services Alliance

Better Together: OpenAI and Bain Form an Alliance

Harness the power of generative AI to transform your business

For many CMOs, however, the buzz and expectation created by generative AI’s marketing potential come with new risks. Marketers are well placed to understand the many ways a company’s brand could suffer if the new technology’s debut is mishandled. Concerns include the safety of customer data and the threat to jobs. Copyright is a gray area too. That’s not just because the technology can reuse existing material in a way that breaches the intellectual property rights of human creators. It’s also unclear how much marketers will be able to assert copyright over content generated via the latest AI tools. Other potential hazards in AI-powered marketing include inaccurate content and unintended bias.

All this might lead some CMOs to advocate a wait-and-see approach, but that would create an even bigger threat to their company. One risk is that rivals deploy the technology first, leading to an advantage in innovation in customers’ eyes and an ability to set the “rules” of deployment in a given industry. A second is that early movers become hubs for top data and engineering talent required to compete.

Despite the concerns, AI is set to transform how marketers work. Pioneers will soon start to benefit from enhanced brand engagement, accelerated growth, time savings, a talent acquisition advantage, and lower costs, while slower-moving competitors will miss out. Coca-Cola offers a prime example of pacesetting—within a month of announcing that it was working with with OpenAI, it had launched its “Create Real Magic” campaign, which encouraged consumers to create Coke-related artwork using generative AI, conjuring up new touchpoints for the brand.

It’s a tricky tightrope for CMOs to walk. But while so much about generative AI is still in flux, some truths are already emerging.

Five golden rules of generative AI in marketing

Marketing leaders can draw on five golden rules as they plan how to embrace the technology over the coming months.

1. Start and end with the customer. Some executives may be tempted to use the technology primarily to improve efficiency, particularly given the current economic climate. CMOs need to ensure that deployment always comes back to “How can this improve the lives of our customers and employees?” Remember that this is a generational moment to redefine how marketers and brands engage with customers.

2. Creative applications are only the start. Early adopters are already using the latest AI tools to dazzling effect, generating new creative imagery at the click of a button. The winners in AI-powered marketing won’t stop there, though. They’ll take a holistic approach that also exploits AI’s ability to personalize marketing, improve behind-the-scenes processes, turbocharge measurement, enable near-real-time testing, and strengthen decision making by making sense of unstructured data (see Figure 2). Pragmatic moves include using unstructured data to inform audience targeting or updating the marketing brief with live campaign data. Another benefit of taking a holistic AI approach: improved collaboration with other departments.

Figure 2

Marketing use cases are at the forefront of generative AI deployment, from ideation through to measurement

3. Quick wins and complex projects must run in parallel. Some marketing teams are making early progress by deploying generative AI in manageable pilots, such as in employee-facing contexts, or in situations where employees can review AI-produced content before it reaches the customer. Rather than waiting for a solution to their thorniest deployment challenges, companies must take these small steps today to build their expertise and gain quick, confidence-building wins. But to realize the full long-term potential of AI, they also need to start working in parallel on complex projects, particularly those that connect to customer data lakes—things like personalized direct marketing, proactive engagement to retain customers, and sentiment prediction. We’d also encourage CMOs to carve out some capacity for the boldest innovations that transform experiences and value propositions, such as Spotify’s AI-powered DJ and Duolingo’s conversational role-play feature for language learning.

4. Keep the highest-priority use cases in-house. Software vendors such as Google are moving quickly to build generative AI into their products. That can streamline some forms of humdrum work without CMOs having to worry about building their own solutions. But a different approach is going to be needed in more specialized areas that offer genuine competitive advantage and differentiation in areas such as customer acquisition and engagement. These will require more bespoke capabilities that will likely have to remain in-house.

5. The CMO is perfectly placed to be an AI change agent. CMOs will need to exercise their brand guardian responsibilities carefully, managing risks and setting up guardrails (in partnership with the legal team) in areas such as intellectual property and data protection, while creating systems to respond effectively if AI–customer interactions go awry. But they must also ensure that this brand guardianship doesn’t end up stifling innovation. Marketing can be one of the earliest showcases for generative AI’s ability to reinvent work. Conversely, generative AI’s rollout can be a showcase for marketing teams eager to demonstrate their ability to contribute to adjacent functions such as product management and customer experience. 

A CMO superpower in the making

Marketing’s prominence in the first wave of generative AI brings the right kind of pressure. A wide range of stakeholders, from boards to investors to employees, are looking to the CMO to be an inspirational early adopter. That’s an opportunity to underline the strategic importance and breadth of the marketing function.

Longer term, generative AI tools can bring new power to CMOs to better balance and integrate innovation, creativity, and data-driven decisions.

Authors, Jeff Katzin

MIT-based AI apps startup aims to block supply chain attacks with advanced cybersecurity

IT-based AI apps startup aims to block supply chain attacks with advanced cybersecurity

Join top executives in San Francisco on July 11-12, to hear how leaders are integrating and optimizing AI investments for success. Learn More   in Venturebeat

The digital pandemic of increasing breaches and ransomware attacks is hitting supply chains and the manufacturers who rely on them hard this year. VentureBeat has learned that supply chain-directed ransomware attacks have set records across every manufacturing sector, with medical devices, pharma and plastics taking the most brutal hits. Attackers are demanding ransoms equal to the full amount of cyber-insurance coverage a victim organization has. When senior management refuses, the attackers send them a copy of their insurance policy. 

Disrupting supply chains nets larger payouts 

Manufacturers hit with supply chain attacks say attackers are asking for anywhere between two and three times the ransomware amounts demanded from other industries. That’s because stopping a production line for just a day can cost millions. Many smaller to mid-tier single-location manufacturers quietly pay the ransom and then scramble to find cybersecurity help to try to prevent another breach. Still, too often, they become victims a second or third time.  ... '

This Origami-Like Heat Shield Could Lead to Reusable Satellites

This Origami-Like Heat Shield Could Lead to Reusable Satellites

Instead of flaking off as it heats up, the Pridwen shield uses its large surface area to radiate heat safely.

By Ryan Whitwam May 18, 2023

Bringing a spacecraft back to Earth means dealing with the intense heat of reentry. Heat shields can protect a vehicle from high temperatures, but the shield is destroyed in the process. The ESA is working with UK-based Space Forge to change that. The company's origami-like heat shield design is being tested and could eventually lead to less expensive, reusable satellites.

When an object enters a planet's atmosphere at high speed, it compresses the air ahead of it, causing heat to accumulate. Most heat shields in use today rely on ablation to disperse that heat. Essentially, as parts of the shield heat up, they break off and carry heat away from the spacecraft. The origami shield, dubbed Pridwen after King Arthur's legendary shield, relies on radiation to stay cool.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Speech AI Spotlight

 Would expand potential capabilities for AR ... makes me broaden they potential usefulness.

Speech AI Spotlight: Visualizing Spoken Language and Sounds on AR Glasses

Jun 23, 2023

By Sirisha Rella

Audio can include a wide range of sounds, from human speech to non-speech sounds like barking dogs and sirens. When designing accessible applications for people with hearing difficulties, the application should be able to recognize sounds and understand speech.

Such technology would help deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals with visualizing speech, like human conversations and non-speech sounds. Combining speech and sound AI together, you can overlay the visualizations onto AR glasses, making it possible for users to see and interpret sounds that they wouldn’t be able to hear otherwise. 

According to the World Health Organization, about 1.5B people (nearly 20% of the global population) live with hearing loss. This number could rise to 2.5B by 2050.

Cochl, an NVIDIA partner based in San Jose, is a deep-tech startup that uses sound AI technology to understand any type of audio. They are also a member of the NVIDIA Inception Program, which helps startups build their solutions faster by providing access to cutting-edge technology and NVIDIA experts.

The platform can recognize 37 environmental sounds, and the company went one step further by adding cutting-edge speech-to-text technology. This gives a truly complete understanding of the world of sound.

AR glasses to visualize any sound

AR glasses have the potential to greatly improve the lives of people with hearing loss as an accessible tool to visualize sounds. This technology can help enhance their communication abilities and make it easier for them to navigate and participate in the world around them.  ... ' 

Microsoft Looks to Speed Up Materials Science Research with Quantum-Compatible System

 Microsoft Looks to Speed Up Materials Science Research with Quantum-Compatible System


Alexandra Kelley, June 21, 2023

Microsoft's newly announced Azure Quantum Elements system aims to support and emulate properties of future quantum computing technologies so researchers can sift through molecules' constituent atom combinations to accelerate materials discovery. The system is designed to interoperate with a future scaled quantum computer and engineered to coordinate with a quantum computer to run accurate models for testing atom combinations. Microsoft said the system would help scientists refine which combinations yield useful molecules via artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms trained on large datasets. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, "Our goal is to compress the next 250 years of chemistry and materials science progress into the next 25."

How a Human Smell Receptor Works Is Finally Revealed

 Previously mentioned, more data ...  A space we did much in given our products ... 

How a Human Smell Receptor Works Is Finally Revealed

After decades of frustration, researchers have determined how an airborne scent molecule links to shapeshifting olfactory receptors in the nose.

FOR THE FIRST time, researchers have determined how a human olfactory receptor captures an airborne scent molecule, the pivotal chemical event that triggers our sense of smell.

Whether it evokes roses or vanilla, cigarettes or gasoline, every scent starts with free-floating odor molecules that latch onto receptors in the nose. Multitudes of such unions produce our perception of the smells we love, loathe, or tolerate. Researchers therefore want to know in granular detail how smell sensors detect and respond to odor molecules. Yet human smell receptors have resisted attempts to visualize how they work in detail—until now.

Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research develop­ments and trends in mathe­matics and the physical and life sciences.

In a recent paper published in Nature    https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-05798-y , a team of researchers delineated the elusive three-dimensional structure of one of these receptors in the act of holding its quarry, a compound that contributes to the aroma of Swiss cheese and body odor.  ... ' 

Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos And Jack Ma Fund $200 Million Round For KoBold Metals

Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos And Jack Ma Fund $200 Million Round For KoBold Metals A Company Using AI To Improve Mining Of Rare Earth Metals Crucial For EVs


Fri, June 23, 2023 at 11:06 AM 

In this article:

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, backed by Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Jeff Bezos, recently led a $200 million funding round for KoBold Metals. Other investors included Andreessen Horowitz, and Bond Capital.

KoBold is using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve mining for the metals needed for electric vehicles (EVs). The Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) fund invests in innovative and high-impact clean energy technologies that can combat climate change. Its mission is to accelerate the transition to a carbon-neutral future and support a range of industries, including energy storage, transportation and agriculture. ... 

Why the Big Uptake on Use of AI in the Enterprise?


Tribe AI’s CEO on Why Generative AI is seeing Rapid uptake by Enterprises than Web3 and Crypto

Carl Franzen@carlfranzen  in Venturebeat

June 16, 2023 10:40 AM


VB: We are at a really interesting point right now with new startups emerging and this ongoing wave of investment in AI. It seems really far more profound than the investment that we saw in Web3.0 and crypto and metaverse-type startups. There are even accusations of “AI washing” companies, just kind of trying to get this money that’s flying around without having much real AI integration or use cases...

Rice Nelson: It’s true, they are not even accusations! Even public companies are adding AI like how they were adding crypto before and it was increasing their stock price. There’s just a moment of frenzy, I think is what you’re describing.

I think what feels different to me, and I was very interested in this sort of crypto and Web3 space as well, still am. But what feels fundamentally different is the stages these sorts of industries are at, which is to say, Web3 is still quite nascent, crypto is very nascent. There aren’t real use cases, right? These are sort of things that are still evolving, really interesting ideas, but they’re still just ideas.

With AI, these technologies have actually existed for a really long time. Everyone’s now going nuts for generative AI, but the first transformer paper was written in 2017. Many of the engineers in the Tribe network have been doing generative AI since around 2017. And so this is not new.   ... ' 

Saturday, June 24, 2023

There Is Little Evidence for Today's AI Alarmism

AI Alarmism

There Is Little Evidence for Today's AI Alarmism

By Defending Digital, June 15, 2023

Illustration of a group of robots, one has bright glowing eyes made to convey malicious intent.

Today's alarmists have yet to provide compelling evidence to justify their cataclysmic fears.

"Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war." What are we to make of the fact that Geoffrey Hinton, Sam Altman, and many other leading artificial intelligence (AI) experts have lent their names to that one-sentence statement issued by the Center for AI Safety? There is no mention of AI's benefits, just the word "extinction" and two terrifying analogies certain to excite the media, trouble the public, and cast doubt over America's technological future.

If there was ever a time to defend digital, this is it. The horrors of viruses and atomic bombs are all too real, but many AI risks are still vague and speculative.

From Defending Digital

View Full Article   

Generative AI Could Add $4.4 Trillion a Year to the Global Economy, McKinsey Finds

 Generative AI Could Add $4.4 Trillion a Year to the Global Economy, McKinsey Finds

Vanessa Bates Ramirez in SigularityHub

There’s been concern about artificial intelligence taking away jobs for years, and with the recent boom in generative AI, those fears have grown. The ability to generate realistic and accurate text, images, or audio based on a prompt could make plenty of jobs obsolete (including, ahem, journalism and writing). But a new study says the doomsday predictions are misguided, because generative AI is far more likely to do just the opposite of canceling out jobs.

Last week, McKinsey published a report called The Economic Potential of Generative AI: The Next Productivity Frontier. It’s the result of a study involving 850 different job roles and 2,100 tasks across occupations in 47 countries. Researchers considered what portion of each existing job or task can be taken over by generative AI, as well as new occupations and responsibilities likely to be created by the technology. Their conclusion? Generative AI has the potential to create up to $4.4 trillion worth of annual value in the global economy.

$4.4 trillion is the high end of a range, with the lower bound sitting at $2.6 trillion. Even if the value created were to fall on the low end, it would still approximate the GDP of the United Kingdom, which was $3.1 trillion in 2021.  ... ' 

Is the Digital Twin of the Customer Emergent?

 At an engineering conference I talked about digital twins of Jet Engines useful as well for flesh and blood consumers. Intrigued.

Brought to my attention in Gartner, see much more at the ilnk

A Digital Twin of the Customer Could Transform Your Supply Chain Digitalization Strategy  .... 

By Beth Coppinger Gartner | June 16, 2023 |

Supply ChainBeyond Supply ChainSupply Chain Strategy, Leadership And Governance

One of the best things about my job is that I get to talk to leaders across industries about how they leverage their supply chains to drive growth with customers. Their stories offer inspiring lessons about the path forward,  especially in the area of emerging technologies. Digital twin of the customer (DToC) is one of those technologies that leading companies are piloting. Gartner classifies DToC as an emerging technology system that is “transformational,” meaning it has the potential to establish new ways of doing business within and across industries, resulting in major shifts in industry dynamics. ... ' 

Help me Organize in Google Sheets

'Help me' gives google an edge.

 AI-powered ‘Help me organize’ starts rolling out in Google Sheets

Avatar for Abner Li    Jun 22 2023 - 11:22 am PT

The latest Duet AI features entering Workspace Labs is “Help me organize” for Google Sheets.

Announced at I/O 2023, Google is leveraging generative AI to suggest and create table templates (e.g., product roadmaps, budgets, events). A “Help me organize” side panel lets you enter Google Sheets prompts like:

Agenda for a one-day sales kickoff event with session descriptions and status

Client and pet roster for a dog walking business  ... ' 

A New Metaverse Network plots an Escape from Meta’s ‘walled gardens’

Walling it off, or not?  Not sure.   Our own experiment was clearly walled.

A new metaverse network plots an escape from Meta’s ‘walled gardens’

STORY BY   Thomas Macaulay  In  TheNextWeb

Improbable wants open borders between virtual worlds

June 21, 2023 - 11:54 am

Two years after Mark Zuckerberg launched it into orbit, the metaverse is crashing back to Earth. As the hype sparked by Facebook’s rebrand fades amid jaw-dropping losses, risible selfies, and the generative AI boom, reality is setting in — which is when things start getting interesting.

Metaverse stalwarts are now fighting for competing visions.

On one side are the centralised platforms owned by the likes of Meta and Roblox. Under the control of all-powerful tech giants, these virtual worlds exist in siloes.

On the other side stand advocates for open, interconnected, and decentralised metaverses. In these utopian realms, users can freely traverse spaces and take ownership of their experiences.

Crystals, jets, and magnets — is this how to make cooling greener?

Improbable has firmly planted its flag in the latter camp. The company spent a decade building immersive virtual worlds, from military simulations to K-pop parties, before pivoting to building metaverse infrastructure. While the unicorn’s focus (and fortunes) have fluctuated, Improbable’s faith in open spaces has persisted.

“We have seen how walled gardens and closed networks exploit the people that spend time on the services for the benefit of few,” Herman Narula, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said last year '

More recently, Narula has been pitching an alternative.

“We want to contribute to ensuring the metaverse holds its promise of being a network of meaning that unlocks creativity, social interaction, and economic opportunities, free from gatekeepers,” he said last month.  To bring this vision to (virtual) life, Improbable has launched a new venture: MSquared, a network of metaverses.

The lay of the land

Today’s virtual worlds are ringfenced. In Roblox, for instance, you can use build games, buy weapons, and spend the Robux currency. But you can’t take any of that into Fortnite.

MSquared hopes to dismantle these barriers. Using a suite of technologies, services, and standards — as well as $150m (€138m) in funding — the project promises to power a nexus of interlinked worlds. 

If all goes to plan, the virtual experiences will extend across multiple platforms and an interoperable economy.

“I’m going to get shouted at for calling it this, but one way to describe it is a ‘meta-metaverse’,” Rob Whitehead, Improbable’s co-founder and chief product officer, told TNW.

Whitehead compares the concept to international travel. In this analogy, virtual worlds are akin to individual nations with open borders. If you want to visit a new country, you just bring your wallet and possessions with you. 

Upon arrival, your digital assets could be accessed through blockchain-enabled decentralised identities and cryptocurrencies, or traditional Web2 log-ins and digital goods, like Fortnite outfits and tools.

“We’re the layer that connects those different worlds together,” said Whitehead. “And it’s agnostic as to whether that metaverse is using crypto or non-crypto stuff.”   ... ' 

Why is There a Data Trust Deficit?

Why is There a Data Trust Deficit?


June 21, 2023

ACM’s TechBrief on “The Data Trust Deficit“    https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/3605240   examines why better insight into how data-driven systems sow distrust is necessary if those systems are to realize their full potential. “It’s increasingly difficult to participate in society without using systems that collect your data,” said lead author Helen Kennedy of the U.K.'s University of Sheffield. "The most important goal for the computing field is to ensure that data systems are built from the ground up to be trustworthy." Among the TechBrief’s conclusions is that the degree to which people trust a system depends on their level of trust in the institution, sector, or broader data ecosystem in which that system operates. ... ' 

Friday, June 23, 2023

Harvard's New Computer Science Teacher is a Chatbot

Once people get used to using particular chat framework, and comfortable with it use, they can be ready for any kind of training.   See my previous post on this where Bing makes the case. 

Harvard's New Computer Science Teacher is a Chatbot

By The Independent (U.K.),  June 23, 2023

Harvard University plans to use an AI chatbot similar to ChatGPT as an instructor on its flagship coding course.

Students enrolled on the Computer Science 50: Introduction to Computer Science (CS50) programme will be encouraged to use the artificial intelligence tool when classes begin in September.

The AI teacher will likely be based on OpenAI's GPT 3.5 or GPT 4 models, according to course instructors.

From The Independent (U.K.) 

Learning some things from Bing

 I happened on this while exploring the Bing Chat GPT system from Microsoft.  I admit I have had some less than useful interactions with Microsoft.   But here I was pleasantly surprised.  ... 

I got the message from Bing without asking for it:  

'Learn the basics of neural networks and how they can be used to solve complex problems. Get started today' ....

 I was then led forward through 30 pages of relatively easy to understand instruction.    Nicely done.    Part of my background is in the use of neural nets in AI type application.  This looked like the first step of an 'assistant' style activity.  We wanted to add corporate to general knowledge to provide intelligent results.

Struck me that this approach could be further used to coach  users to assemble total or partial sets of data to solve problems or subproblems?    We considered such approaches in the enterprise.

Nicely done,  Microsoft.   The embedded teaching idea is good, look for more of it.         -    Franz Dill


Lab-Grown Chicken Is Now Legal for Sale in the US

 But how does it taste?

Lab-Grown Chicken Is Now Legal for Sale in the US

Vanessa Bates Ramirez  i SingularityHub

The world’s first lab-grown burger was completed in 2013 after five years of research and development and with a price tag of $330,000. Since then, the cultured meat industry has slowly but surely advanced—gaining funding, diversifying the types of meat produced, building factories for large-scale production, going on the market in Singapore and Israel, and gaining preliminary FDA approval in the US. Now the industry has reached one of its biggest milestones yet, with the US Department of Agriculture ruling on Wednesday that cultured chicken is not only safe to eat, but legal to sell.   ... '

Meta making LLaMA commercially available, despite lawmaker inquiries

 Meta Making LLaMA commercially available, despite lawmaker inquiries

Meta reportedly making LLaMA commercially available, despite lawmaker inquiries

Sharon Goldman, @sharongoldman, June 16, 2023 

Join top executives in San Francisco on July 11-12, to hear how leaders are integrating and optimizing AI investments for success. Learn More

Meta is working to make the next version of LLaMA, its open-source LLM — currently available only to researchers — commercially available, according to recent reporting from The Information. This news comes despite lawmaker inquiries, including a letter sent to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week by two U.S. senators that questioned LLaMA’s leak to 4chan a week after the model was announced.

As VentureBeat has reported, Meta is considered the most “open” of the Big Tech companies, thanks to FAIR, the Fundamental AI Research Team founded by Meta’s chief AI scientist Yann LeCun in 2013. It had made LLaMA’s model weights available under a research license for academics and researchers on a case-by-case basis — including Stanford University for the Alpaca project — but those weights were subsequently leaked, which allowed developers around the world to fully access a GPT-level LLM for the first time. 

A Wearable Robotic Assistant That's All Over You

 A Wearable Robotic Assistant That's All Over You

IEEE Spectrum

Mat Sadowski, June 19, 2023

The Calico assistive robot developed by researchers at the University of Maryland can be worn on the user's clothes, where it runs along a track to perform various tasks. The 18-gram robot can localize itself and map a path with sensors that perceive magnetic neodymium markers embedded in the wearer's apparel. Calico can bear a 20-gram payload and travel between 15 millimeters (0.59 inches) and 227 millimeters (8.93 inches) per second, powered by a battery that holds more than eight hours' charge when idle and 30 minutes' charge when moving. The device can show users its progress on tasks by transforming their arm into a physical progress bar, moving further up the limb as they reach daily goals. .. ' 

Welcome to White Castle. Would You Like Human Interaction with That?

 Welcome to White Castle. Would You Like Human Interaction with That?

The Wall Street Journal

Heather Haddon, June 13, 2023

Fast-food chains like White Castle are deploying artificial intelligence-enabled chatbots in drive-throughs, with restaurant executives claiming the technology can boost efficiency by allowing staff to perform other jobs. The bots "talk" through drive-through speakers, with the order count displayed on a screen while workers monitoring on headsets prepare to step in if things go wrong. Across 10 orders on a recent day, three customers at a White Castle in Merrillville, IN, asked to talk to a person because the Julia drive-through chatbot misheard orders or because they preferred human interaction. California-based Presto Automation is training chatbots for this labor, testing personalization with custom voices.

Amazon Sets up AWS Generative Innovation Center

Amazon steps in for generative AI

Amazon Invests $100M in AWS Generative AI Innovation Center

ERIC HAL SCHWARTZ in Voicebot.ai  on June 22, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Amazon Web Services is pouring $100 million into a new generative AI program aimed at bringing AI and machine learning tools to enterprise clients. The Generative AI Innovation Center is set to connect AI experts at AWS with customers interested in learning how to apply generative AI to their business models.


Amazon described the Generative AI Innovation Center as a hub for AWS customers to attend “no cost workshops, engagements, and training” on generative AI and work with people intimately involved with the technology to come up with customized services. In other words, AWS customers with non-technical businesses may be really excited about generative AI, but they don’t know what it can do and are unsure how to incorporate it.

AWS envisions the Innovation Center helping companies develop ideas built around Bedrock’s toolset. Amazon suggested a very broad scope of industries, from financial planners personalizing investment advice to manufacturers updating designs with AI help and medical researchers performing drug research with AI assistance. The Innovation Center’s initial partners include sales software developer Highspot, travel guide publisher and tourism organizer Lonely Planet, and customer service platform Twilio. Though the Innovation Center seems geared toward established businesses, Amazon also has an eye on younger startups via its generative AI accelerator. .... '

Unlocking AI's Potential: Embracing Collaboration for Rapid Innovation

Good thoughts, an intro:  

Unlocking AI's Potential: Embracing Collaboration for Rapid Innovation

AI collaboration across corporate boundaries can greatly accelerate innovations in data science, AI model development, and applying AI to use cases in real world situations -- here are some examples of how some organizations are making it work. (SPONSORED)

With ChatGPT and other generative artificial intelligence technologies changing the face of the global AI landscape, many enterprises are in the process of either starting or extending their AI business initiatives. Either way, they'll need to tap into the right resources to maximize their AI investments. Because AI research and development takes cutting-edge acumen and digital infrastructure to develop, establishing effective collaborative relationships across businesses, governments, and academic institutions will be crucial.

Examining Today's AI Successes

Before examining how collaboration fuels AI innovation tomorrow, let's crack the code on what AI success already looks like today and how to meaningfully propel AI innovation into an extraordinary tomorrow.

Industry 4.0 -- digitization of the manufacturing sector -- offers some key AI use cases that are already in place. They include examples of predictive maintenance, energy reduction, increased production, and demand forecasting. Here are a couple of illustrations of what that looks like today:

Recently, a household appliance manufacturer in Vietnam leveraged an AI-enhanced acoustic inspection platform that, in just the first month, helped the company increase the accuracy of its defect checks by 95% and doubled the speed of detection that was previously reliant only on workers listening for problems. The tool also aided the company in building a database for defect root cause analysis.

Meantime, a manufacturer with a facility storing high-value goods in the US wanted a way to reduce the energy footprint of the 30 industrial air conditioners powering its substantial HVAC infrastructure. By utilizing an AI-based system that precisely monitors changes in temperature and humidity and automatically makes timely adjustments, the facility was able to slash energy consumption by 30%.

One recent report from Accenture and Frontier Economics estimates that the cumulation of case studies like these has the potential to add as much as $3.8 trillion to the value of manufacturing businesses by 2035. But that financial forecast isn't a foregone conclusion.

Collaboration Will Fuel AI's Innovation Engine

Many organizations today are still spinning their wheels when it comes to AI innovation. Gartner's analysis shows that only about half of AI models make it from the pilot stage to production. Clearly, the route to success is still far from straightforward. However, potential is massive thanks to collaboration between industry and academics to comprehensively drive and regulate the latest in AI technology.

While our minds may associate AI with tech hot spots like Silicon Valley, the most potential might come from other emerging tech destinations. Asia Pacific, for instance, stands as the fastest growing AI market in the world.

Both manufacturing examples described above came from this growing region of AI innovation. They were powered by research and development from FPT Software -- a Vietnam-headquartered global digital transformation and IT services company.  FPT Software weaves AI throughout its work with clients but also recognizes that advanced AI models and systems require a whole new class of expertise and research beyond what even a very robust software engineering organization can offer alone.

And this is where AI collaboration comes into the picture. FPT Software accelerates its capabilities through a center of excellence approach. The company built its AI Center as a regional hub for AI research and development in partnership with some key organizations.  .... ' 

Stories are Key to Innovation

Much Agree and if you can simulate from the stories, even better. 

Stories Are Key To Successful Innovation

Paul Miller, VP, Principal Analyst,    Forrester

JUN 22 2023

You and the leadership team have developed an innovation strategy for your organization that you consider clear, clever, and future-oriented, but somehow it’s not gaining traction and you’re not getting anything like the expected return on your innovation investment. Reviewing this with middle management, you discover that they have a very different understanding of the strategy and don’t feel able to make changes to the system with which the organization is run. What went wrong?

Leaders often struggle to communicate clearly about innovation, both inside and outside of their organizations. As we explore in our new report, telling effective stories throughout the five phases of the innovation lifecycle — ideation, proof of concept, assessment, scaling, and commercialization — helps business and technology leaders ensure success.

How To Apply Leadership Storytelling To Drive Innovation Success

The innovation lifecycle is demanding. Leadership storytelling offers tools that help get people moving forward, keep the team engaged, and reinvigorate when project teams stumble. Successful innovation requires passionate leaders with a collaborative mindset, good communication skills, and the curiosity and willingness to experiment. As you think about your own approach to innovation, make sure that you consider the why, the what, and the how:

The why: inspiration, leadership, and purpose. Share your vision to inspire others and get them on board with the innovation agenda. Empathize with the people you’re innovating for, and share what inspired you to come up with the innovation to make you, your story, and your final product more relatable.

The what: culture. Establish an innovation culture to turn good ideas into tangible business outcomes. Empower employees to contribute their own ideas, collaborate, and take calculated risks with innovation. Don’t forget to collect stories about sparks of creativity to build momentum around innovation in the organization.

The how: trust and creativity. Unlock creativity with trust. If employees regard a leader as too distant or harboring some hidden agenda, they’re less likely to trust them. Identify your core values and craft stories around them. Storytelling expert Jean Storlie recommends that you “speak with your own authentic voice about real and meaningful stories. They convey who you are and why you have credibility to lead the change.”

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Example of Data Analytics Education with ChatGPT

 In   ORMS  Today Informs    by Elham Torabi  Rhonda A. Syler

June 13, 2023 in Issues in Education

Data Analytics Education with ChatGPT: Unlocking New AI-Powered Possibilities


In late 2022, OpenAI unveiled ChatGPT, its chat-based language model, and the world has been abuzz and filled with a cacophony of thoughts and opinions – everything from cries of doomsday prophecies and trepidation to elated expressions of excitement and awe as businesses and society have been scrambling to contemplate the vast array of possibilities the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technologies bring. For as many who are embracing its dazzling linguistic prowess, there are equally as many shuddering at its potential to set us back and compound myriad ethical and moral dilemmas that we are struggling to solve as it is – concerns ranging from the implications of erroneous responses, the ability to create imaginary companions, and the further deepening of the challenges of being able to distinguish fact from fiction in the never-ending battle of disinformation and misinformation.

The world of academia has been no exception. There was an immediate sense of alarm among faculty and administrators alike. Not only had yet another new tool erupted to help students cheat, this novel tool, within seconds of receiving a prompt, could produce humanlike responses in any narrative style requested. The consensus: ChatGPT was a game-changer. In addition to concerns with cheating, many academicians also expressed concerns that ChatGPT would put an end to critical and creative thinking, hinder development of oral and written communication skill development, and all but end the ability to think autonomously.

On the flip side, however, ChatGPT has captivated our minds and ignited our curiosity. We argue that ChatGPT can be used to encourage critical and creative thinking rather than destroy it; improve and enhance communication skills; and provide a vehicle for encouraging independent thought. We will acknowledge the dark side of ChatGPT (and similar tools sure to come) in the classroom, but the primary impetus for this article is to provide pragmatic ways in which these tools can add value and enhance the student and instructor experience. We aren’t alone in this endeavor; there has been much discussion about its use in education in general, but there has been little discussion about how it could be adopted for use in more specialized curriculum such as data analytics courses. Our goal for this article is to begin a discussion, and perhaps ignite a debate, about the opportunities AI-driven tools like ChatGPT provide for the data analytics student, educator and curriculum.

Potential Roles for ChatGPT in Data Analytics Education

After testing and evaluating the features and capabilities of ChatGPT, we believe this tool could potentially improve the student experience and facilitate learning and engagement in the data analytics classroom. Many data analysts and data scientists are already using AI as an aid in their daily work environment. ChatGPT promises to join the ranks as a valuable resource.

Among the knowledge, skills and abilities expected of new data analytics graduates, three key areas emerge as potential areas in which learning can be augmented by ChatGPT: coding, data analysis, and communication of the interpretation and insights from the analysis. The key to adding value with ChatGPT, as we will discuss, is providing thoughtful exercises that are laser-focused on key learning outcomes. From this approach, we believe that ChatGPT can, in fact, assist students in strengthening their coding abilities, data analytics skills, and ability to articulate analysis interpretation and data insights to technical and nontechnical audiences – all of which will enhance critical and creative thinking skills, communication skills and students’ ability to think autonomously.


Driven by natural language processing, ChatGPT’s specialty is text and language, including programming languages. When asking ChatGPT what programming languages it can write code in, the tool quickly responds with a sample list of 19 languages including SQL, Python, R, Java, C#, Ruby, Swift and even Scala. Although ChatGPT seems proud of its extensive knowledge, it does caution the user, “keep in mind that while I can provide assistance and generate examples in these languages, my proficiency might not be as extensive in all of them. If you need help with a specific language or task, feel free to ask, and I’ll do my best to help.”

ChatGPT can help students with writing simple codes in myriad programming languages, and it quickly becomes clear that complex code must be broken down into smaller pieces. Students must be familiar enough with a given language and its syntax and logic to put together the pieces to come up with a complex code that executes the instruction the student intended. Rather than being a hindrance, these limitations provide an opportunity to encourage students to think critically about how to assess the accuracy of output and work autonomously to determine how to use it most efficiently.

In the case of existing code, ChatGPT can debug, optimize and add comments. It can also explain what a block of complex code does in simple language. These features of ChatGPT provide an opportunity for students to dive into code to better understand its structure and logic while engaging their critical thinking skills. Assignments that require students to use ChatGPT to write and then examine code for bugs, or exercises that require students to input buggy code and assess the output for accuracy, could help students improve their coding skills while engaging in critical thinking.

Data Analytics

ChatGPT is not a specialized tool for analytics, but it can provide assistance given a data set and context. Students can copy and paste a data set into ChatGPT and ask for basic descriptive analytics (e.g., means, medians, standard deviation and correlations). ChatGPT can also create data dictionaries and tables and conduct sentiment analysis. Although these use cases are straightforward, students still need to understand the data set and the purpose of the analysis and perform more advanced analysis themselves in other tools. Providing assignments that require the student to input data analysis and prompts to critique and score ChatGPT’s output can help students think critically while fostering a deeper understanding of statistics and mathematical models.

In addition to being limited to basic operations, it is important to note that on its own, ChatGPT cannot create data visualizations (at least not yet). However, it can provide guidance, instructions, code and insight on how to create visualizations. When asked about this competency, ChatGPT responded:

“Unfortunately, I cannot create visual elements like a bar chart as a text-based AI. However, I can help you prepare the frequency distribution table for your data. Please provide the data you’d like to analyze, and I can guide you through the process of creating the table. Once the table is ready, you can use a tool like Excel or Google Sheets to create the bar chart easily.”

We see this limitation as an opportunity. As you can see in Figure 1, when given the data, ChatGPT can create the frequency distribution table and provide instructions for creating the bar charts in another tool. A craftily created exercise can use ChatGPT to guide students through this process to help introduce and/or reinforce the connection between a visualization and its underlying data, as this case does with a bar chart and its underlying frequency distribution. ...