Could empathic AI be the next stage in human evolution?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 12. July 2019 in News No Comments

Designing human-centric AI interactions, optimized to develop trusted relationships between AI and humans, presents the largest opportunity for human and societal advancement in the modern era.

The potential for human-centered AI design is to augment human empathy, improving the 95% of all decisions that are made subconsciously.

If we are to effectively partner with technology to enhance ourselves – rationally and emotionally – we must design interactions that promote and develop trust between AI and people.

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How the Internet is affecting the Human Brain

Posted by Peter Rudin on 28. June 2019 in News No Comments

What effect is the online world having on human brains? A new review by researchers from five universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia attempts to find the answer.

The theory goes that neuroplasticity ⁠— or the brain’s ability to structurally change over time ⁠— means that the experiences and lessons we gain from internet use could be having a significant impact.

Professor Jerome Sarris, deputy director of the NICM Health Research Institute, expresses more concern. “The bombardment of stimuli via the internet, and the resultant divided attention commonly experienced, presents a range of concerns,” he says.

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New Hearing Aids to Monitor Your Brain and Body

Posted by Peter Rudin on 14. June 2019 in News No Comments

Within five years, a new wave of smart hearing aids will be able to recognize stress, both current and anticipatory.

These intelligent devices will do this by collecting and combining several kinds of physiological data and then using deep-learning tools to tune the analysis to individuals, getting better and better at spotting and predicting rising stress levels.

The data they use will most likely include pulse rate, gathered using optical or electrical sensors, given that a rising heart rate and shifts in heart rate variability are basic indicators of stress.

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DARPA Funds Brain-Machine Interface Program

Posted by Peter Rudin on 31. May 2019 in News No Comments

DARPA’s Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program has awarded funding attempting to build brain-machine interfaces that match the performance of implanted electrodes but with no surgery whatsoever.

By simply popping on a helmet or headset, soldiers could conceivably command control centers without touching a keyboard and fly drones intuitively with a thought. While the tech sounds futuristic, DARPA wants to get it done in four years.

Though a DARPA spokesperson declined to comment on the amount of funding, two of the winning teams are reporting eye-popping grants of $19.48 million and $18 million.

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Neuroscience applied to test Customer Acceptance

Posted by Peter Rudin on 17. May 2019 in News No Comments

One big question is how businesses, willing to go ahead with new opportunities, can uncover greater insights into their initiatives and then use these insights to move forward confidently.

Applied neuroscience is best described as the use of neuroscience tools to measure and understand human behavior.

Using high-resolution EEG headsets and eye trackers, an IKEA team tested potential customers to understand their reactions to a new business model offering solar panels that would enable customers to generate their own renewable energy.

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Can We Stop AI from Outsmarting Humanity?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 3. May 2019 in News No Comments

The spectrum of super-intelligent machines doing us harm is not just science fiction, some technologists say.

Jaan Tallinn, an Estonian programmer and investor known for his participation in the development of Skype, strongly promotes the study of existential risk and financially supports a number of institutions engaged in this field. 

His main worries are related to artificial intelligence, unknowns coming from technological development, and biological risk. He believes humanity is not spending enough resources on long-term planning and mitigating threats that could wipe us out as a species.

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UK Businesses using AI to Monitor Staff Activity

Posted by Peter Rudin on 19. April 2019 in News No Comments

Dozens of UK business owners are using AI to scrutinize staff behavior minute-to-minute by harvesting data on who emails whom and when, who accesses and edits what files and who meets whom and when.

Critics say such systems risk to increase pressure on workers who fear the judgment of the algorithm, and that it could encourage people not to take breaks or spend time in creative thought that will not be logged.

“People are considered not to be working if they take their hands off the keyboard for five minutes. But they could be thinking, and that doesn’t get measured. What is this doing for innovation?”  says Ursula Huws, a professor at the University of Hertfordshire.

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What Would It Mean for AI to Become Conscious?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 5. April 2019 in News No Comments

Futurist Ray Kurzweil famously predicted that “By 2029, computers will have emotional intelligence and be convincing as people.”

To be clear, we’re nowhere near machines achieving artificial general intelligence or consciousness, and whether a “conscious machine” is possible—not to mention necessary or desirable—is still very much up for debate

Much of the brain’s inner workings remain a deep, dark mystery—one that will have to be further solved if we’re ever to get from narrow AI to artificial general intelligence, or systems that possess the same intelligence level and learning capabilities as humans.

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Free Will in an Algorithmic World

Posted by Peter Rudin on 22. March 2019 in News No Comments

Look around you and ask what drives your product, media, and people choices. Unless you are a tech Luddite, algorithms are silently rearranging your life.

The conventional narrative is that algorithms will make faster and better decisions for all of us, leaving us with more time for family and leisure. But the reality isn’t so simple.

In this brave new world, many of our choices are in fact predestined, and all the seemingly small effects that algorithms have on our decisions add up to a transformative impact on our lives. While we might feel as if we are making our own choices, we’re often nudged or even tricked into making them.

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Will AI Ever Be Smarter Than A Four-Year-Old?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 8. March 2019 in News No Comments

The most sophisticated AIs are still far from being able to solve problems that human four-year-olds accomplish with ease. Despite the impressive name, artificial intelligence largely consists of techniques to detect statistical patterns in large data sets. There is much more to human learning. Children are active learners; they don’t just passively soak up data like AIs do.

Four-year-olds can immediately recognize cats and understand words, but they can also make creative and surprising new inferences that go far beyond their experience. Looking at what children do, building curiosity into machines and allowing them to actively interact with the world might be a route to more realistic and wide-range learning to advance AI.

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