Tag Archives: AI

Can Alexa turn your kid into a brat?

By | June 14, 2017

Experts at the crossroads of pediatrics, psychology, and AI say there’s a lot we don’t know about how virtual assistants might affect young, developing minds. Jenny Radesky, a U-M pediatrician who studies how digital media shapes children, says research around how kids understand digital assistants is limited, and studies that do exist on children and robots suggest children see… Read More »

Good boy! Domesticating AI to protect humans

By | June 8, 2017

U-M computer science professor Igor Markov believes an attack by artificial intelligence on humans would sort of be like when the Black Plague hit Europe in the 14th century, killing up to 50 percent of a populatioin that had no idea what was happening or why. “This would be illustrative of what you might expect if a superintelligent AI would… Read More »

Can Siri replace your friends?

By | March 23, 2017

By now, we’re all familiar with the storyline in which a person replaces relationships with a digital device. A recent study co-authored by Carolyn Yoon, professor of marketing at U-M, sought to see exactly how much a humanlike digital device might replace humans. Yoon and her colleagues hoped to find out how devices that replicate human characteristics — such… Read More »

AI: What could possibly go wrong?

By | March 4, 2017

When it comes to coming up with dystopian visions of the future, researchers in artificial intelligence can match even the best science fiction writers. Just ask U-M computer science professor Michael Wellman, who dreamed up a stock-market manipulation scenario for a recent AI doomsday workshop which took place at Arizona State University with funding from Tesla Inc. co-founder Elon Musk… Read More »

Building a better brain

By | February 25, 2017

Most of the advances in artificial intelligence have been focused on solving specific data-intensive tasks like playing chess or diagnosing tumors. However, the kind of general artificial intelligence that would create systems with human capabilities like understanding language and adapting to changing conditions are still a long way off. John Laird, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, says the strategies that… Read More »

AI improves tumor diagnosis

By | February 24, 2017

A study by researchers from the U-M Medical School and Harvard University indicates the use of advanced machine learning for diagnosing brain tumors cuts the time needed for diagnosing tissue by 90 percent while maintaining considerable accuracy. Normally, diagnosing a brain tumor takes about 30 to 40 minutes, during which doctors would need to leave the operating room to put the… Read More »

Clinc raises venture capital

By | February 24, 2017

Ann Arbor-based Clinc Inc., an artificial-intelligence startup co-founded by U-M research professors Jason Mars and Lingjia Tang announced earlier this week that it has raised a funding round of $6.3 million. That follows a seed-stage round six months ago of $1.2 million for the company, which was founded in 2015. The investment followed a well-received appearance by Clinc at the Consumers Electronic… Read More »

The nose knows

By | February 22, 2017

Predicting color perception is easy: specific wavelengths produce specific colors that most people see in a consistent way. But predicting how a particular molecule will smell is much tougher. So a group of researchers set up a contest and invited teams of computer scientists to come up with a set of algorithms able to predict the odor of different molecules based on their… Read More »

Preventing the AI-pocalypse

By | February 8, 2017

A panel on AI ethics and education in San Francisco hosted by the Future of Life Institute warned about unforeseen consequences if researchers ignore the inherent ethical dilemmas in the emerging technology. Benjamin Kuipers, a computer science professor and AI researcher at U-M, explained that although humans program AI-powered robots to accomplish a particular goal, these robots will typically… Read More »

Its master’s voice

By | February 3, 2017

Does your digital assistant know who it’s talking to? A wearable device prototype could let voice-controlled assistants like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa recognize their owner so they don’t take orders from anyone else. The VAuth device, developed by U-M computer scientists Huan Feng and Kassem Fawaz, uses an accelerometer hidden in a pair of glasses or earphones… Read More »

Rise of the fembots

By | December 15, 2016

Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana are some of today’s most well-known virtual assistants. All are female, and all elicit an image of an assistant who is not just a woman, but a woman people can boss around, flirt with, and act inappropriately toward. Compound that with portrayals in the media and it all starts to feel… Read More »

Voice choice

By | November 1, 2016

The growing high-tech field of conversational computing is popularized by intelligent virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and the Google Assistant. Interestingly, all of them use a young female voice. Because it has social and emotional dimensions not seen with keyboards and screens, conversational computing is holding a mirror to many of society’s biggest preconceptions… Read More »