Experts debate whether GitHub’s latest AI tool violates copyright law

GitHub’s impressive new code-assisting AI tool called Copilot is receiving both praise and criticism.

Copilot draws context from the code that a developer is working on and can suggest entire lines or functions. The system, from OpenAI, claims to be “significantly more capable than GPT-3” in generating code and can help even veteran programmers to discover new APIs or ways to solve problems.

Critics claim the system is using copyrighted code that GitHub then plans...

Researchers from Microsoft and global leading universities study the ‘offensive AI’ threat

A group of researchers from Microsoft and seven global leading universities have conducted an industry study into the threat offensive AI is posing to organisations.

AIs are beneficial tools but are indiscriminate in also providing assistance to individuals and groups that set out to cause harm.

The researchers’ study into offensive AI used both existing research into the subject in addition to responses from organisations including Airbus, Huawei, and...

Microsoft considers acquiring Siri creator Nuance for $16 billion

Microsoft is considering acquiring Siri creator Nuance for $16 billion in a deal that’s expected to be announced imminently.

Silicon Valley darling Nuance is one of the world’s most recognisable AI companies for the creation of Siri, the voice assistant that would later go on to become Apple’s first-party solution.

Nuance now focuses its efforts predominantly on enterprise communications, particularly in the healthcare space which has seen increased interest amid...

Microsoft’s new AI auto-captions images for the visually impaired

A new AI from Microsoft aims to automatically caption images in documents and emails so that software for visual impairments can read it out.

Researchers from Microsoft explained their machine learning model in a paper on preprint repository arXiv.

The model uses VIsual VOcabulary pre-training (VIVO) which leverages large amounts of paired image-tag data to learn a visual vocabulary.

A second dataset of properly captioned images is then used to help teach the...

Microsoft is granted exclusive rights to use OpenAI’s GPT-3

Microsoft and OpenAI's close relationship has taken another leap forward with the former gaining exclusive GPT-3 access.

GPT-3 has been the talk of the AI town in recent months. OpenAI’s innovation can help to create convincing articles and the company once deemed it too dangerous to release in a world where misinformation and fake news is already problematic.

OpenAI never made GPT-3 publicly available but instead provided access to a limited number of trusted...

Microsoft: The UK must increase its AI skills, or risk falling behind

A report from Microsoft warns that the UK faces an AI skills gap which may harm its global competitiveness.

The research, titled AI Skills in the UK, shines a spotlight on some concerning issues.

For its UK report, Microsoft used data from a global AI skills study featuring more than 12,000 people in 20 countries to see how the UK is doing in comparison to the rest of the world.

Most notably, compared to the rest of the world, the UK is seeing a higher failure...

Microsoft’s AI editor publishes stories about its own racist error

Microsoft’s replacement of human editors with artificial intelligence has faced its first big embarrassment.

In late May, Microsoft decided to fire many of its human editors for MSN News and replace them with an AI.

Earlier this week, a news story appeared about Little Mix band member Jade Thirlwall’s experience facing racism. The story appears innocent enough until you realise Microsoft’s AI confused two of the mixed-race band members. The error was quickly...

Microsoft partners with OpenAI to build Azure supercomputer

Microsoft has partnered with OpenAI to build an Azure-hosted supercomputer for testing large-scale models.

The supercomputer will deliver eye-watering amounts of power from its 285,000 CPU cores and 10,000 GPUs (yes, it can probably even run Crysis.)

OpenAI is a non-profit that was founded by one Elon Musk to promote the ethical development of artificial intelligence technologies. Musk, however, departed OpenAI following disagreements over the company’s...

Microsoft releases two Python video courses which help aspiring AI developers

Microsoft has released two Python video courses to help AI developers get started in what could be a very lucrative career.

The new video courses assume the developer already has a basic standard of Python skills. If you don't, I'm afraid you'll need to brush up on those first. Fortunately, Microsoft released a 44-part "Python for Beginners" series last autumn (or "fall" for our American friends.)

For those with the Python skills, or if you've just consumed all 44-parts...

Microsoft details $40 million ‘AI for Health’ initiative

microsoft ai for health artificial intelligence healthcare

Microsoft is reminding us big corporations can sometimes do good in the world with a $40 million AI healthcare initiative.

In a blog post today, Microsoft chief data analytics officer John Kahan detailed the new initiative which aims to advance the health of people and communities around the world.

Kahan notes how, on the whole, people have never been healthier or safer. He particularly highlights the steep decline in child and maternal mortality...