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...

AWS announces nine major updates for its ML platform SageMaker

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced nine major new updates for its cloud-based machine learning platform, SageMaker.

SageMaker aims to provide a machine learning service which can be used to build, train, and deploy ML models for virtually any use case.

During this year’s re:Invent conference, AWS made several announcements to further improve SageMaker’s capabilities.

Swami Sivasubramanian, VP of Amazon Machine Learning at AWS,...

NVIDIA chucks its MLPerf-leading A100 GPU into Amazon’s cloud

NVIDIA’s A100 set a new record in the MLPerf benchmark last month and now it’s accessible through Amazon’s cloud.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) first launched a GPU instance 10 years ago with the NVIDIA M2050. It’s rather poetic that, a decade on, NVIDIA is now providing AWS with the hardware to power the next generation of groundbreaking innovations.

The A100 outperformed CPUs in this year’s MLPerf by up to 237x in data centre inference. A single NVIDIA DGX A100...

Amazon uses AI-powered displays to enforce social distancing in warehouses

Amazon has turned to an AI-powered solution to help maintain social distancing in its vast warehouses.

Companies around the world are having to look at new ways of safely continuing business as we adapt to the "new normal" of life with the coronavirus.

Amazon has used its AI expertise to create what it calls the Distance Assistant. Using a time-of-flight sensor, often found in modern smartphones, the AI measures the distance between...

Amazon makes three major AI announcements during re:Invent 2019

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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

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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...