Machine Learning

ZAO deepfake face swapping app raises privacy concerns in China

ZAO deepfake face swapping app raises privacy concerns in China

AI and machine learning have crept into almost every part of modern technology and products but one of its most whimsical applications is face-swapping. Dubbed "deepfakes", these programs can almost convincingly stitch your face on someone else's. One such app named ZAO became an overnight sensation in China because of how impressively convincing its end results were. That, however, quickly gave way to fear and concern once it became evident how the technology could be misused for criminal acts.

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Nest Hello doorbell now detects package delivery

Nest Hello doorbell now detects package delivery

Nest Hello smart doorbell (with camera) devices with a Nest Aware subscription were given an upgrade today in the form of package detection. This new system can send a notification to the user's phone when a package has been delivered within their Nest camera's visual range. This same system can send a notification when it believes that a package has been picked up.

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Google MediaPipe hand tracking bodes well for AR and smartglasses

Google MediaPipe hand tracking bodes well for AR and smartglasses

Google may have been less than consistent with its commitment to virtual and augmented reality products but, almost ironically, it has been developing the technologies that could advance those markets. Google has particularly been investing heavily in computer vision and machine learning that don't need to be offloaded to powerful servers running on the cloud. Its latest research project, if it truly takes off, could make hand and finger tracking as affordable as simply using a camera and a smartphone.

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Cerebras WSE’s giant chip with 1.2 trillion transistors is made for AI

Cerebras WSE’s giant chip with 1.2 trillion transistors is made for AI

The current trend in computing has been to reduce the size of components for both space efficiency and manufacturing considerations. All of that while not sacrificing the processing power needed even for the most intensive computing use cases. For AI and machine learning, however, the power needed goes beyond what regular commercial processors can offer given that trend. That is why young company Cerebras has developed a new "AI-first" chip that throws that convention out the window with what is probably the largest chip ever built.

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Smart assistants may have made us more lax about privacy

Smart assistants may have made us more lax about privacy

There's probably little debate that AI-powered smart assistants have become very useful. They started out as good fun but without much utility and have sometimes even become the butt of jokes thanks to misheard commands. These days however, the likes of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri have become a normal part of modern tech life, with or without smart speakers involved. But for all their usefulness and help, these services may have made people less vigilant about what they say and do and, it turns out, those secret utterances might not be so secret at all.

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Gallery Go takes Google’s photo management tools offline

Gallery Go takes Google’s photo management tools offline

Google has already launched a range of lightweight apps meant for use in regions with limited internet access, and today it continued that trend by launching Gallery Go. More specifically, Gallery Go was launched by Google Nigeria as an easy to use, data-light photo management app. Despite that focus on using data sparingly (and taking up as little storage space as possible), Gallery Go is still packing some serious capability under the hood.

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AI Portraits Ars transforms selfies into a piece of art

AI Portraits Ars transforms selfies into a piece of art

AI is utilized today in so many ways that it might be easier to list where it isn't. In the tech industry, one of the most common uses of AI and machine learning is in photography, like touching up photos or even heavily modifying them, like the controversial FaceApp. Hopefully less damning, a new MIT research project called AI Portraits Ars takes those same principles to render selfies and photos in a stylistically correct masterpiece from the classics, the Renaissance, or even contemporary art.

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Steam Labs is Valve’s playground for experimental features

Steam Labs is Valve’s playground for experimental features

Most PC gamers probably see steam only has a digital games store but developers will tell you that the platform is a lot more than that. While it offers developers some features like controller support, statistics, and others, platform maker Valve is also thinking about other features to add to the platform itself. Now it is gathering those experiments under a single Steam Labs roof for the public to see and, for the daring, to try out.

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Steam Interactive Recommender just out-Googled Google

Steam Interactive Recommender just out-Googled Google

After spending just a few minutes with Valve's new Interactive Recommender for Steam, I can already see the massive improvement. I've been using app stores and game stores since before they were digital, and I've never experienced such a smooth process. This is a positive, well-planned, thoughtful, non-intrusive way to use machine learning, and I'm glad it was a gaming company that had to be the first to make it happen.

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IBM Hypertaste e-tongue uses AI to rapidly identify liquids

IBM Hypertaste e-tongue uses AI to rapidly identify liquids

IBM has revealed Hypertaste, an 'e-tongue' that can rapidly pick out the flavors in liquids. The company describes its creation as an AI-powered electronic tongue, one that can be used to fingerprint liquids that are less than suitable for ingestion, but that need to be identified more rapidly than is possible using traditional laboratories. Examples include remote water quality checks and testing for counterfeit alcohol.

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How machine learning will be our Gandalf

How machine learning will be our Gandalf

In the near future, we'll be using machines to read research papers and make connections humans have not yet made. A paper published in the scientific journal Nature outlined how old scientific research papers contain "latent knowledge" that we, pathetic humans, are not utilizing fully. As a system called Word2vec proved, the connections are there to be made, and they will continue to be made in a BIG way with machine learning!

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Google and pharma company Sanofi team up for big data processing

Google and pharma company Sanofi team up for big data processing

Although tech companies like Google and Apple have dabbled in medical tech, they have mostly been limited to things like wearables or storing data in apps. At times, they even work on experimental devices like smart contact lenses. Now Google is putting another foot in the medical field, this time in the pharmaceutical field. It has partnered with drugmaker Sanofi in a new healthcare Innovation Lab to harness "emerging data technologies" to better understand diseases and, of course, patients.

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