‘World’s first’ AI-generated arts festival program opens this Friday

The Edinburgh Fringe is the world’s largest performing arts festival, but this year’s event has sadly been canceled due to COVID-19. Fortunately, art junkies can still get their fix of the Fringe at a virtual alternative curated by an AI called the ImprovBot. The system analyzed the 100-word text descriptions of every show staged at the festival from 2011 to 2019 — a total of more than two million words. ImprovBot uses this data to generate ideas for new comedies, plays, musicals, and cabaret. The blurbs will then be handed to the Improverts — the Fringe’s longest-running improvised comedy troupe – who will stage their own takes… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Deepfakes are the most worrying AI crime, researchers warn

Deepfakes are the most concerning use of AI for crime and terrorism, according to a new report from University College London. The research team first identified 20 different ways AI could be used by criminals over the next 15 years. They then asked 31 AI experts to rank them by risk, based on their potential for harm, the money they could make, their ease of use, and how hard they are to stop. Deepfakes — AI-generated videos of real people doing and saying fictional things — earned the top spot for two major reasons. Firstly, they’re hard to identify and… This story continues at The Next Web...
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UK ditches visa algorithm accused of creating ‘speedy boarding for white people’

The UK is scrapping a controversial algorithm used in visa applications following allegations that it discriminates against certain nationalities. Since 2015, the “streaming tool” has used a traffic-light system to rank visa applications to the UK. According to the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), applicants with “suspect” nationalities automatically received a higher risk score, reducing their chances of being granted a visa. The JCWI believes this led countless skilled professionals to be denied entry to the UK — “just because they don’t come from a rich white country.” The charity blames this on a feedback loop in… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Apple hit with $1.43B Siri patent lawsuit from Chinese AI firm

A Chinese AI firm is suing Apple for alleged patent infringement involving the voice assistant Siri. Shanghai Zhizhen — also known as Xiao — is seeking $1.43 billion (10 billion yuan) in damages from Apple. It also wants the firm to stop selling products in China that breach the patent, which would mean most iPhones, iPads, and Macs would no longer be available in Apple‘s second-largest market. “As a tech person, I have a lot of respect for Apple, whose products and services bring a lot of value and experience to the world,” said Xiao-i CEO Yuan Hui in a statement. “But… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Apple...
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Algorithm reveals which new emoji Twitter users most desire

Emoji have become a ubiquitous form of communication. And like any form of language, they can have a social impact. The addition of a hijab emoji has provided some inclusivity to Muslim women, while the mosquito emoji is used by medical professionals to explain diseases like malaria and Zika. The gatekeeper of the emoji world is the Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit that decides which emoji make it onto our phones. Every year, the consortium releases a selection of new emoji. But not everyone agrees with what they approve and reject. A new emoji tracker could help them in their future decisions. Researchers from the Haslam… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Twitter...
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New AI tool detects child sexual abuse material with ‘99% precision”’

Child sexual abuse material on the web has grown exponentially in recent years. In 2019, there were 69.1 million files reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the US — triple the levels of 2017 and a 15,000% increase over the previous 15 years. A new AI-powered tool called Safer aims to stem the flow of abusive content, find the victims, and identify the perpetrators. The system uses machine learning to detect new and unreported child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Thorn, the non-profit behind Safer, says it spots the content with greater than 99% precision.  Thorn built the tool for businesses… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Scientists used underwater drones to find out when sperm whales like to eat

Underwater robots that glide through the sea have revealed a pet peeve of Mediterranean sperm whales: early morning breakfasts. A research team led by the University of East Anglia discovered the dining preference by equipping the droids with acoustic monitoring devices that recorded the ‘click’ sounds made by the animals. Sperm whales produce a wide variety of these noises. They emit the sounds to communicate with their buddies and for echolocation, which helps them work out where things are by listening to the echoes. The researchers focused on the powerful and highly directional clicks the whales produce while foraging. When in a foraging… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Scientists use AI to predict what makes a successful relationship

Couples counselors have been around for decades. But with around 40% of US marriages now ending in divorce, they could probably do with some more modern techniques. A new AI study led by Western University could provide them with some pointers. The researchers say it’s the first systematic attempt at using machine learning to predict relationship satisfaction. “Satisfaction with romantic relationships has important implications for health, wellbeing, and work productivity,” said Western Psychology professor Samantha Joel in a statement. “But research on predictors of relationship quality is often limited in scope and scale, and carried out separately in individual laboratories.” Joel and… This story continues at The Next Web...
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Researchers use neuromorphic chips and electronic ‘skin’ to give robots a sense of touch

We take our sense of touch for granted. Simple tasks like opening a jar or tying our shoelaces would be a whole lot more complex if we couldn’t feel the object with our hands. Robots typically struggle to replicate this sense, restricting their ability to manipulate objects. But researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) might have found a solution: pairing artificial skin with a neuromorphic “brain.”  The system was developed by a team led by Assistant Professors Benjamin Tee, an electronic skin expert, and Harold Soh, an AI specialist. Together, the duo has created a robotic perception system that combines touch and sight.… This story continues at The Next Web...
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This AI turns your home videos into cute cartoons

If you’ve ever wondered what you’d look like in animated form, you can now find out. Developers Tejas Mahajan and Niraj Pandkar have created an AI tool that can turn your photos and videos into cartoons. Cartoonizer is based on a research paper by University of Tokyo researchers Xinrui Wang and Jinze Yu. The tool leverages their open-source implementation to create a publicly-available demo of the method, using GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) servers for the video inference and CPUs (central processing units) for the images. It’s far from the first attempt to turn people into cartoons, but its videos are pretty impressive. Check out this cartoonized scene from… This story continues at The Next Web...
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