Amazon makes three major AI announcements during re:Invent 2019

amazon aws reinvent 2019 ai artificial intelligence machine learning kubernetes

Amazon has kicked off its annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas and made three major AI announcements.

During a midnight keynote, Amazon unveiled Transcribe Medical, SageMaker Operators for Kubernetes, and DeepComposer.

Transcribe Medical

The first announcement we'll be talking about is likely to have the biggest impact on people's lives soonest.

Transcribe Medical is designed to transcribe medical speech for primary care. The feature is aware of...

Report: Companies like Amazon and Microsoft are ‘putting world at risk’ of killer AI

pax killer ai artificial intelligence robot study research report microsoft google amazon

A survey of major players within the industry concludes that leading tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft are putting the world ‘at risk’ of killer AI.

PAX, a Dutch NGO, ranked 50 firms based on three criteria:

If technology they’re developing could be used for killer AI.Their involvement with military projects.If they’ve committed to not being involved with military applications in the future.

Microsoft and Amazon are named among the world's ‘highest...

No Rekognition: Police ditch Amazon’s controversial facial recognition

Orlando Police have decided to ditch Amazon’s controversial facial recognition system Rekognition following technical issues.

Rekognition was called out by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for erroneously labelling those with darker skin tones as criminals more often in a test using a database of mugshots.

Jacob Snow, Technology and Civil Liberties Attorney at the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, said:

“Face surveillance will be used to...

Amazon patent envisions Alexa listening to everything 24/7

A patent filed by Amazon envisions a future where Alexa listens to users 24/7 without the need for a wakeword.

Current digital assistants listen for a wakeword such as “Ok, Google” or “Alexa,” before recording speech for processing. Especially for companies such as Google and Amazon which thrive on knowing everything about users, this helps to quell privacy concerns.

There are some drawbacks from this approach, mainly context. Future AI assistants will be able to...

Lack of STEM diversity is causing AI to have a ‘white male’ bias

A report from New York University's AI Now Institute has found a predominantly white male coding workforce is causing bias in algorithms.

The report highlights that – while gradually narrowing – the lack of diverse representation at major technology companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Facebook is causing AIs to cater more towards white males.

For example, at Facebook just 15 percent of the company's AI staff are women. The problem is even more substantial at...

AI Experts: Dear Amazon, stop selling facial recognition to law enforcement

A group of AI experts have signed an open letter to Amazon demanding the company stops selling facial recognition to law enforcement following bias findings.

Back in January, AI News reported on findings by Algorithmic Justice League founder Joy Buolamwini who researched some of the world's most popular facial recognition algorithms.

Buolamwini found most of the algorithms were biased and misidentified subjects with darker skin colours and/or females more...

Amazon joins calls to establish facial recognition standards

Amazon has put its weight behind the growing number of calls from companies, individuals, and rights groups to establish facial recognition standards.

Michael Punke, VP of Global Public Policy at Amazon Web Services, said.

"Over the past several months, we've talked to customers, researchers, academics, policymakers, and others to understand how to best balance the benefits of facial recognition with the potential risks.

It's critical that any legislation protect...

Microsoft warns its AI offerings ‘may result in reputational harm’

Microsoft has warned investors that its AI offerings could damage the company’s reputation in a bid to prepare them for the worst.

AI can be unpredictable, and Microsoft already has experience. Back in 2016, a Microsoft chatbot named Tay became a racist, sexist, generally-rather-unsavoury character after internet users took advantage of its machine learning capabilities

The chatbot was covered in media around the world and itself was bound to have caused Microsoft some...

Amazon doubles-down on AI with public re:MARS conference

Amazon has announced it will be holding an AI conference later this year called ‘re:MARS’ which is open for the public to attend.

The AI-focused conference will feature speakers, workshops, demonstrations, and roundtables.

Amazon has been holding a similar conference simply called MARS (Machine learning, Automation, Robotics, and Space) for the past three years. That event, however, was invite-only.

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon,...

Amazon expert suggests AI regulation after ACLU’s bias findings

An expert from Amazon has suggested the government should implement a minimum confidence level for the use of facial recognition in law enforcement. Dr. Matt Wood, GM of Deep Learning and AI at Amazon Web Services, made the suggestion in a blog post responding to the ACLU’s (American Civil Liberties Union) findings of a racial bias in the ‘Rekognition’ facial recognition algorithm by Amazon. In their findings, the ACLU found Rekognition erroneously labelled those with darker skin...