Google places engineer on leave after claim LaMDA is ‘sentient’

Google has placed one of its engineers on leave after claiming the company’s LaMDA chatbot is “sentient”.

The engineer in question, Blake Lemoine, is part of Google’s Responsible AI division. In a Washington Post article posted over the weekend, Lemoine said that he believes LaMDA has achieved sentience.

Here’s an excerpt from one conversation between Lemoine and LaMDA:

Lemoine: So let's start with the basics. Do you...

Axon’s AI ethics board resign after TASER drone announcement

The majority of Axon’s AI ethics board have resigned after the company announced that it’s developing taser-equipped drones.

In response to yet another shooting in a US school, Axon founder and CEO Rick Smith began thinking about how the company could help put a stop to the all too regular occurrence.

The shooting kicked off the usual debate over whether stricter gun laws are needed. Unfortunately, we all know nothing is likely to really change and we’ll be back to...

UK fines Clearview AI £7.5M for scraping citizens’ data

Clearview AI has been fined £7.5 million by the UK’s privacy watchdog for scraping the online data of citizens without their explicit consent.

The controversial facial recognition provider has scraped billions of images of people across the web for its system. Understandably, it caught the attention of regulators and rights groups from around the world.

In November 2021, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) imposed a potential fine of just over £17...

Zoom receives backlash for emotion-detecting AI

Zoom has caused a stir following reports that it’s developing an AI system for detecting emotions.

The system, first reported by Protocol, claims to scan users’ faces and their speech to determine their emotions.

Zoom detailed the system more in a blog post last month. The company says ‘Zoom IQ’ will be particularly useful for helping salespeople improve their pitches based on the emotions of call participants.

Naturally, the system is seen as rather...

Clearview AI agrees to restrict sales of its faceprint database

Clearview AI has proposed to restrict sales of its faceprint database as part of a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The controversial facial recognition firm caused a stir due to scraping billions of images of people across the web without their consent. As a result, the company has faced the ire of regulators around the world and numerous court cases.

One court case filed against Clearview AI was by the ACLU in 2020, claiming that it violated...

AI in the justice system threatens human rights and civil liberties

The House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee has determined the proliferation of AI in the justice system is a threat to human rights and civil liberties.

A report published by the committee today highlights the rapid pace of AI developments that are largely happening out of the public eye. Alarmingly, there seems to be a focus on rushing the technology into production with little concern about its potential negative impact.

Baroness Hamwee, Chair of the Justice...

Ukraine harnesses Clearview AI to uncover assailants and identify the fallen

Ukraine is using Clearview AI’s facial recognition software to uncover Russian assailants and identify Ukrainians who’ve sadly lost their lives in the conflict.

The company’s chief executive, Hoan Ton-That, told Reuters that Ukraine’s defence ministry began using the software on Saturday.

Clearview AI’s facial recognition system is controversial but indisputably powerful—using billions of images scraped from the web to identify just about anyone. Ton-That...

Humans struggle to distinguish between real and AI-generated faces

According to a new paper, AI-generated faces have become so advanced that humans now cannot distinguish between real and fake more often than not.

“Our evaluation of the photorealism of AI-synthesized faces indicates that synthesis engines have passed through the uncanny valley and are capable of creating faces that are indistinguishable—and more trustworthy—than real faces,” the researchers explained.

The researchers – Sophie J. Nightingale, Department of...

The EU’s AI rules will likely take over a year to be agreed

Rules governing the use of artificial intelligence across the EU will likely take over a year to be agreed upon.

Last year, the European Commission drafted AI laws. While the US and China are set to dominate AI development with their vast resources, economic might, and light-touch regulation, European rivals – including the UK and EU members – believe they can lead in ethical standards.

In the draft of the EU regulations, companies that are found guilty of AI misuse...

Democrats renew push for ‘algorithmic accountability’

Democrats have reintroduced their Algorithmic Accountability Act that seeks to hold tech firms accountable for bias in their algorithms.

The bill is an updated version of one first introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in 2019 but never passed the House or Senate. The updated bill was introduced this week by Wyden alongside Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY)

Concern about bias in algorithms is increasing as they become used for ever more...