You can now buy AI technologies from TikTok

From the company’s owner, not your favourite TikTok influencer.

Behind every successful TikTok video is a bunch of clever algorithms helping to make it a viral sensation. The company’s owner, ByteDance, launched a new division last month called BytePlus which sells TikTok’s AI technologies.

Up for grabs is the recommendation algorithm behind the ForYou feed, computer vision tech, automatic speech-to-text and text-to-speech, data analysis tools, and...

Reintroduction of facial recognition legislation receives mixed responses

The reintroduction of the Facial Recognition and Biometric Technology Moratorium Act in the 117th Congress has received mixed responses.

An initial version of the legislation was introduced in 2020 but was reintroduced June 15 2021 by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.)

“We do not have to forgo privacy and justice for safety,” said Senator Markey. “This legislation is about rooting out systemic racism and stopping invasive technologies from becoming irreversibly embedded...

Emotion AI creator Affectiva acquires Smart Eye for $73.5M

MIT spin-out Affectiva, one of our most innovative companies to watch in 2021, has acquired Smart Eye for $73.5 million.

Affectiva is the creator of Emotion AI, a category of artificial intelligence which can understand human emotions, cognitive states, activities, and the objects people use through analysing facial and vocal expressions. The AI was trained using more than 10 million face videos from 90 countries.

Smart Eye are pioneers in eye-tracking that understands,...

Amazon will continue to ban police from using its facial recognition AI

Amazon will extend a ban it enacted last year on the use of its facial recognition for law enforcement purposes.

The web giant’s Rekognition service is one of the most powerful facial recognition tools available. Last year, Amazon signed a one-year moratorium that banned its use by police departments following a string of cases where facial recognition services – from various providers – were found to be inaccurate and/or misused by law enforcement.

Amazon has now...

ACLU joins over 50 groups in calling for Homeland Security to halt use of Clearview AI

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has joined over 50 other rights and advocacy groups in calling for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to halt the use of Clearview AI’s controversial facial recognition system.

In a letter (PDF) addressed to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the signatories wrote: “The undersigned organizations have serious concerns about the federal government’s use of facial recognition technology provided by private company Clearview AI. We...

EU regulation sets fines of €20M or up to 4% of turnover for AI misuse

A leaked draft of EU regulation around the use of AI sets hefty fines of up to €20 million or four percent of global turnover (whichever is greater.)

The regulation (PDF) was first reported by Politico and is expected to be announced next week on April 21st.

In the draft, the legislation’s authors wrote:

“Some of the uses and applications of artificial intelligence may generate risks and cause harm to interests and rights that are protected by Union law....

Affectiva receives six new patents for using AI to analyse vehicle occupants

Human perception AI pioneer Affectiva has been granted six patents for detecting the awareness and emotions of vehicle occupants.

Affectiva Automotive AI combines deep learning with computer vision – using in-vehicle cameras – to analyse the states of the driver and other vehicle occupants in a cabin in real-time.

Dr Rana el Kaliouby, Co-Founder and CEO of Affectiva, said:

“Over the last decade, Affectiva has continuously pursued new patents as we have...

Police use of Clearview AI’s facial recognition increased 26% after Capitol raid

Clearview AI reports that police use of the company’s highly-controversial facial recognition system jumped 26 percent following the raid on the Capitol.

The facial recognition system relies on scraping the data of people from across the web without their explicit consent, a practice which has naturally raised some eyebrows—including the ACLU’s which called it a “nightmare scenario” for privacy.

Around three billion images are said to have been scraped for...

Researchers create AI bot to protect the identities of BLM protesters

Researchers from Stanford have created an AI-powered bot to automatically cover up the faces of Black Lives Matter protesters in photos.

Everyone should have the right to protest. And, if done legally, to do so without fear of having things like their future job prospects ruined because they've been snapped at a demonstration – from which a select few may have gone on to do criminal acts such as arson and looting.

With images from the protests being widely shared on...

UK and Australia launch joint probe into Clearview AI’s mass data scraping

The UK and Australia have launched a joint probe into the controversial “data scraping” practices of Clearview AI.

Clearview AI has repeatedly made headlines, and rarely for good reason. The company’s facial recognition technology is impressive but relies on scraping billions of people’s data from across the web.

“Common law has never recognised a right to privacy for your face,” Clearview AI lawyer Tor Ekeland argued recently.

Regulators in the UK...