Author: manahel

18 Dec 2018

New AI system mimics how humans visualize and identify objects

UCLA and Stanford University engineers have demonstrated a computer system that can discover and identify the real-world objects it “sees” based on the same method of visual learning that humans use.

The system is an advance in a type of technology called “computer vision,” which enables computers to read and identify . It could be an important step toward general artificial intelligence systems—computers that learn on their own, are intuitive, make decisions based on reasoning and interact with humans in a much more human-like way. Although current AI  are increasingly powerful and capable, they are task-specific, meaning that their ability to identify what they see is limited by how much they’ve been trained and programmed by humans.

Even today’s best computer vision systems cannot create a full picture of an object after seeing only certain parts of it—and the systems can be fooled by viewing the object in an unfamiliar setting. Engineers are aiming to make computer systems with those abilities—just like humans can understand that they are looking at a dog, even if the animal is hiding behind a chair and only the paws and tail are visible. Humans, of course, can also easily intuit where the dog’s head and the rest of its body are, but that ability still eludes most artificial intelligence systems.

Current computer vision systems are not designed to learn on their own. They must be trained on exactly what to learn, usually by reviewing thousands of images in which the objects they’re trying to identify are labeled for them. Computers, of course, also can’t explain their rationale for determining what the object in a photo represents: AI-based systems don’t build an internal picture or a common-sense model of learned objects the way humans do.

The engineers’ new method, described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows a way around those shortcomings.


22 Mar 2018

The EU Won’t Wait for Global Agreement on Cryptocurrencies: Spain’s Economy Minister

During the G20 summit, the Spanish Minister of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, Román Escolano Olivares, revealed that he doesn’t see cryptocurrencies as a threat to the global financial system and that the European Union (EU) may not wait for a globally coordinated effort to regulate cryptos.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing summit, the minister pointed to two fundamental issues when it comes to cryptocurrencies – which he prefers to call crypto-assets – which are consumer protection, and their use in illicit activities.

Regarding cryptocurrencies, Olivares stated (roughly translated):

“The general agreement we have reached, is that right now we cannot think that crypto-assets are a risk to global financial stability, but it’s a subject we need to actively monitor.”

Olivares went on to state that consumer protection is an issue and that the Spanish Securities Commission (CNMV) and the country’s central bank have issued statements advising investors to tread carefully.

In addition, he pointed out that it’s important to address the role cryptocurrencies can have in crime and terrorist financing. Per his words, “it is very important that there are clear rules to prevent this kind of activity from developing,” thanks to the anonymity provided by various cryptocurrencies.

He added:

“In this way the FATF [Financial Action Task Force], which is an international body that regulates these activities, has a very clear position in which it is necessary to monitor and propose legislative norms around the world to prevent these activities.”

The minister’s position seemingly reinforces the views of the world’s economic leaders. As covered by CCN, the G20 communique showed “crypto-assets” is a preferred term, and that cryptocurrencies raise issues when it comes to investor protection, tax evasion, market integrity, money laundering, and terrorism financing.

The document goes on to state regulation recommendations are coming in July 2018. These will presumably allow for the development of the digital economy and its technology, while hindering their use for criminal activities.

Notably, Olivares pointed out that the European Union will not wait for a global agreement on cryptocurrencies. The minister revealed that the new digital economy should play its role in the “financing of public goods, the welfare system, and collective needs,” and not just leave it to the “so-called old economy.” He concluded:

“Our position is that we welcome the OECD proposals that have been presented here and we are ready to move forward. Tomorrow (March 21) the European Comission will propose a directive on how this new economy can participate in the financing of public accounts. Spain immediately joins the statements of other European colleagues and we want to move forward without the need to wait for a global agreement. There are huge income distribution problems and the new digital economy can greatly help countries in combating this problem. “

Hat tip to Cassio Gusson and Cristhian Raphael from Criptomoedas Fácil.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Source: CNN