How Amazon puts misinformation on your reading list | John Naughton | Opinion

It’s a truism that we live in a “digital age”. It would be more accurate to say that we live in an algorithmically curated era – that is, a period when many of our choices and perceptions are shaped by machine-learning algorithms that nudge us in directions favoured by those Continue Reading

Australia needs to face up to the dangers of facial recognition technology | David Paris | Opinion

In the 20 years of the “war on terror” Australia has led from the front in expanding powers for law enforcement and ramping up surveillance at the expense of public rights and freedoms. Among the seemingly endless barrage of national security legislation and surveillance that creeps into every aspect of Continue Reading

GPT-3: an AI game-changer or an environmental disaster? | John Naughton | Opinion

Unless you’ve been holidaying on Mars, or perhaps in Spain (alongside the transport secretary), you may have noticed some fuss on social media about something called GPT-3. The GPT bit stands for the “generative pre-training” of a language model that acquires knowledge of the world by “reading” enormous quantities of Continue Reading

Not just nipples: how Facebook’s AI struggles to detect misinformation | Technology

“It’s much easier to build an AI system that can detect a nipple than it is to determine what is linguistically hate speech.” The Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made that comment in 2018 when he was discussing how the company tackles content that is deemed inappropriate or, in Facebook terms, Continue Reading

Elon Musk-backed OpenAI to release text tool it called dangerous | Technology

OpenAI, the machine learning nonprofit co-founded by Elon Musk, has released its first commercial product: a rentable version of a text generation tool the organisation once deemed too dangerous to release. Dubbed simply “the API”, the new service lets businesses directly access the most powerful version of GPT-3, OpenAI’s general Continue Reading

Microsoft’s robot editor confuses mixed-race Little Mix singers | Technology

Microsoft’s decision to replace human journalists with robots has backfired, after the tech company’s artificial intelligence software illustrated a news story about racism with a photo of the wrong mixed-race member of the band Little Mix. A week after the Guardian revealed plans to fire the human editors who run Continue Reading

How a robotic dog is herding sheep in New Zealand – video | Technology

A herd of New Zealand sheep are being watched over by a robotic dog called Spot. The New Zealand software company Rocos is training the Boston Dynamics-designed robot to work on farms to help ‘relieve the strain of worker shortages, and create precision in farming’. Another Boston Dynamics robot is Continue Reading

Can computers ever replace the classroom? | Technology

For a child prodigy, learning didn’t always come easily to Derek Haoyang Li. When he was three, his father – a famous educator and author – became so frustrated with his progress in Chinese that he vowed never to teach him again. “He kicked me from here to here,” Li Continue Reading

Cao Fei: Blueprints review – would you trade love for progress? | Art and design

Love doesn’t figure highly in the Serpentine Gallery’s critical lexicon – too sentimental perhaps, too old-fashioned. But it pulses, unmentioned, beneath the surface of Cao Fei’s Blueprints. Love is evidence that we are recognised as individuals, as significant. Love is what we are asked to set aside in the name Continue Reading

The real test of an AI machine is when it can admit to not knowing something | John Naughton | Opinion

On Wednesday the European Commission launched a blizzard of proposals and policy papers under the general umbrella of “shaping Europe’s digital future”. The documents released included: a report on the safety and liability implications of artificial intelligence, the internet of things and robotics; a paper outlining the EU’s strategy for Continue Reading