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A Chinese subway is experimenting with facial recognition to pay for fares — from theverge.com by Shannon Liao

Excerpt:

Scanning your face on a screen to get into the subway might not be that far off in the future. In China’s tech capital, Shenzhen, a local subway operator is testing facial recognition subway access, powered by a 5G network, as spotted by the South China Morning Post.

The trial is limited to a single station thus far, and it’s not immediately clear how this will work for twins or lookalikes. People entering the station can scan their faces on the screen where they would normally have tapped their phones or subway cards. Their fare then gets automatically deducted from their linked accounts. They will need to have registered their facial data beforehand and linked a payment method to their subway account.

 

 

From DSC:
I don’t want this type of thing here in the United States. But…now what do I do? What about you? What can we do? What paths are open to us to stop this?

I would argue that the new, developing, technological “Wild Wests” in many societies throughout the globe could be dangerous to our futures. Why? Because the pace of change has changed. And these new Wild Wests now have emerging, powerful, ever-more invasive (i.e., privacy-stealing) technologies to deal with — the likes of which the world has never seen or encountered before. With this new, rapid pace of change, societies aren’t able to keep up.

And who is going to use the data? Governments? Large tech companies? Other?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m generally pro-technology. But this new pace of change could wreak havoc on us. We need time to weigh in on these emerging techs.

 

Addendum on 3/20/19:

  • Chinese Facial Recognition Database Exposes 2.5 Million People — from futurumresearch.com by Shelly Kramer
    Excerpt:
    An artificial intelligence company operating a facial recognition system in China recently left its database exposed online, leaving the personal information of some 2.5 million Chinese citizens vulnerable. Considering how much the Chinese government relies on facial recognition technology, this is a big deal—for both the Chinese government and Chinese citizens.

 

 

 

From DSC:
Our family uses AT&T for our smartphones and for our Internet access. What I would really like from AT&T is to be able to speak into an app — either located on a smartphone or have their routers morph into Alexa-type of devices — to be able to speak to what I want my router to do:

“Turn off Internet access tonight from 9pm until 6am tomorrow morning.”
“Only allow Internet access for parents’ accounts.”
“Upgrade my bandwidth for the next 2 hours.”

Upon startup, the app would ask whether I wanted to setup any “admin” types of accounts…and, if so, would recognize that voice/those voices as having authority and control over the device.

Would you use this type of interface? I know I would!

P.S. I’d like to be able to speak to our
thermostat in that sort of way as well.

 

The 10+ best real-world examples of augmented reality — from forbes.com by Bernard Marr

Excerpt:

Augmented reality (AR) can add value, solve problems and enhance the user experience in nearly every industry. Businesses are catching on and increasing investments to drive the growth of augmented reality, which makes it a crucial part of the tech economy.

 

As referenced by Bernard in his above article:

 

 

From DSC:
Along these lines, I really appreciate the “translate” feature within Twitter. It helps open up whole new avenues of learning for me from people across the globe. A very cool, practical, positive, beneficial feature/tool!!!

 

 

Microsoft’s HoloLens 2: A $3,500 mixed reality headset for the factory, not the living room — from theverge.com by Dieter Bohn

Excerpt:

The HoloLens 2 is only being sold to corporations, not to consumers. It’s designed for what Kipman calls “first-line workers,” people in auto shops, factory floors, operating rooms, and out in the field fixing stuff. It’s designed for people who work with their hands and find it difficult to integrate a computer or smartphone into their daily work. Kipman wants to replace the grease-stained Windows 2000 computer sitting in the corner of the workroom. It’s pretty much the same decision Google made for Google Glass.

“If you think about 7 billion people in the world, people like you and I — knowledge workers — are by far the minority,” he replies. To him, the workers who will use this are “maybe people that are fixing our jet propulsion engine. Maybe they are the people that are in some retail space. Maybe they’re the doctors that are operating on you in an operating room.”

He continues, saying it’s for “people that have been, in a sense, neglected or haven’t had access to technology [in their hands-on jobs] because PCs, tablets, phones don’t really lend themselves to those experiences.”

 

Also see:

Microsoft is making a new HoloLens headset, called HoloLens 2. But, it’s only getting sold to companies, not consumers. Meant for professionals who work with their hands and not on computers, the new HoloLens has an improved field of view and doesn’t clip as much as the original. Dieter Bohn visited Microsoft’s campus to get an early look at the new HoloLens 2 headset.

 

 

 

Addendum on 2/28/19:

Microsoft launches HoloLens 2 mixed-reality headset, betting on holograms in the workplace — from cnbc.com by Elizabeth Schulze

Excerpts:

  • Microsoft unveiled HoloLens 2, an upgraded version of its mixed-reality headset, on Sunday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
  • The new headset will cost $3500, lower than the cost of the earlier version.
  • The HoloLens 2 launch comes amid controversy over Microsoft’s $480 million deal to sell 100,000 of its mixed reality headsets to the U.S. Army.

Microsoft unveiled HoloLens 2, an upgraded version of its mixed-reality headset, on Sunday in Barcelona, in a bet that doubles down on the idea that businesses will increasingly use hologram technology in the workplace.

The HoloLens 2 headset will cost $3500 —$1500 less than the commercial price of the first HoloLens device Microsoft released more than four years ago.

 

 

Philips, Microsoft Unveils Augmented Reality Concept for Operating Room of the Future — from hitconsultant.net by Fred Pennic

Excerpt:

Health technology company Philips unveiled a unique mixed reality concept developed together with Microsoft Corp. for the operating room of the future. Based on the state-of-the-art technologies of Philips’Azurion image-guided therapy platform and Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 holographic computing platform, the companies will showcase novel augmented reality applications for image-guided minimally invasive therapies.

 

 

 

Police across the US are training crime-predicting AIs on falsified data — from technologyreview.com by Karen Hao
A new report shows how supposedly objective systems can perpetuate corrupt policing practices.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Despite the disturbing findings, the city entered a secret partnership only a year later with data-mining firm Palantir to deploy a predictive policing system. The system used historical data, including arrest records and electronic police reports, to forecast crime and help shape public safety strategies, according to company and city government materials. At no point did those materials suggest any effort to clean or amend the data to address the violations revealed by the DOJ. In all likelihood, the corrupted data was fed directly into the system, reinforcing the department’s discriminatory practices.


But new research suggests it’s not just New Orleans that has trained these systems with “dirty data.” In a paper released today, to be published in the NYU Law Review, researchers at the AI Now Institute, a research center that studies the social impact of artificial intelligence, found the problem to be pervasive among the jurisdictions it studied. This has significant implications for the efficacy of predictive policing and other algorithms used in the criminal justice system.

“Your system is only as good as the data that you use to train it on,” says Kate Crawford, cofounder and co-director of AI Now and an author on the study.

 

How AI is enhancing wearables — from techopedia.com by Claudio Butticev
Takeaway: Wearable devices have been helping people for years now, but the addition of AI to these wearables is giving them capabilities beyond anything seen before.

Excerpt:

Restoring Lost Sight and Hearing – Is That Really Possible?
People with sight or hearing loss must face a lot of challenges every day to perform many basic activities. From crossing the street to ordering food on the phone, even the simplest chore can quickly become a struggle. Things may change for these struggling with sight or hearing loss, however, as some companies have started developing machine learning-based systems to help the blind and visually impaired find their way across cities, and the deaf and hearing impaired enjoy some good music.

German AI company AiServe combined computer vision and wearable hardware (camera, microphone and earphones) with AI and location services to design a system that is able to acquire data over time to help people navigate through neighborhoods and city blocks. Sort of like a car navigation system, but in a much more adaptable form which can “learn how to walk like a human” by identifying all the visual cues needed to avoid common obstacles such as light posts, curbs, benches and parked cars.

 

From DSC:
So once again we see the pluses and minuses of a given emerging technology. In fact, most technologies can be used for good or for ill. But I’m left with asking the following questions:

  • As citizens, what do we do if we don’t like a direction that’s being taken on a given technology or on a given set of technologies? Or on a particular feature, use, process, or development involved with an emerging technology?

One other reflection here…it’s the combination of some of these emerging technologies that will be really interesting to see what happens in the future…again, for good or for ill. 

The question is:
How can we weigh in?

 

Also relevant/see:

AI Now Report 2018 — from ainowinstitute.org, December 2018

Excerpt:

University AI programs should expand beyond computer science and engineering disciplines. AI began as an interdisciplinary field, but over the decades has narrowed to become a technical discipline. With the increasing application of AI systems to social domains, it needs to expand its disciplinary orientation. That means centering forms of expertise from the social and humanistic disciplines. AI efforts that genuinely wish to address social implications cannot stay solely within computer science and engineering departments, where faculty and students are not trained to research the social world. Expanding the disciplinary orientation of AI research will ensure deeper attention to social contexts, and more focus on potential hazards when these systems are applied to human populations.

 

Furthermore, it is long overdue for technology companies to directly address the cultures of exclusion and discrimination in the workplace. The lack of diversity and ongoing tactics of harassment, exclusion, and unequal pay are not only deeply harmful to employees in these companies but also impacts the AI products they release, producing tools that perpetuate bias and discrimination.

The current structure within which AI development and deployment occurs works against meaningfully addressing these pressing issues. Those in a position to profit are incentivized to accelerate the development and application of systems without taking the time to build diverse teams, create safety guardrails, or test for disparate impacts. Those most exposed to harm from 42 these systems commonly lack the financial means and access to accountability mechanisms that would allow for redress or legal appeals. 233 This is why we are arguing for greater funding for public litigation, labor organizing, and community participation as more AI and algorithmic systems shift the balance of power across many institutions and workplaces.

 

Also relevant/see:

 

 

Mirrorworld v. AR Cloud or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the spatial future — from medium.com by Ori Inbar

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

An exact digital replica of the real world is an essential infrastructure, but it’s only part of the meaning of the new spatial computing platform. Unless you are Snow White’s step mother (or Lord Farquaad), the mirror is merely a reflection of the real world; it doesn’t enhance it. The Augmented content overlaid on top of the world’s digital replica is what’s really interesting: “context, meaning, and function” in Kelly’s words. Without it — it’s like the Internet before the Web — great potential, used by few. Hence my initial instinct to include Augmented Reality in the moniker. So should we keep looking for a better term that captures the “augmented” sauce on top of the mirror ? Can’t we simply settle on “Spatial Computing”…?

Ask any millennial and she’ll confirm: “I need info about what’s in front of me right now” — what’s this Restaurant, this object, that person? And she is sick of searching it the old fashioned way.

The New Spatial Economy

Changing how information is organized will profoundly disrupt the Web economy. A handful of companies became giants thanks to the current model. No wonder they are all contenders in the battle for AR Cloud dominance. The Web Economy was defined by “clicks on links” (CPM/CPC). The AR Cloud-based spatial economy will transition to what I like to call “clicks on bricks” — a punning rhyme that captures a new world where everything is driven by digital interaction with the physical world.

 

From DSC:
Hmmm….where everything is driven by digital interaction with the physical world.

 

 

AR will spark the next big tech platform — call it Mirrorworld — from wired.com by Kevin Kelly

Excerpt:

It is already under construction. Deep in the research labs of tech companies around the world, scientists and engineers are racing to construct virtual places that overlay actual places. Crucially, these emerging digital landscapes will feel real; they’ll exhibit what landscape architects call place­ness. The Street View images in Google Maps are just facades, flat images hinged together. But in the mirrorworld, a virtual building will have volume, a virtual chair will exhibit chairness, and a virtual street will have layers of textures, gaps, and intrusions that all convey a sense of “street.”

The mirrorworld—a term first popularized by Yale computer scientist David Gelernter—will reflect not just what something looks like but its context, meaning, and function. We will interact with it, manipulate it, and experience it like we do the real world.

 

Also see:
Google Maps in augmented reality points you in the right direction — from mashable.com by Sasha Lekach

 

 

Bobst launches augmented reality helpline — from proprint.com.au by Sheree Young

Excerpt:

Swiss packaging and label equipment supplier Bobst has launched a new augmented reality smart headset to help answer customer questions.

Rapid problem solving thanks to a new augmented reality helpline service introduced by Swiss packaging and label equipment supplier Bobst stands to save printers time and money, the company says.

The Helpline Plus AR innovation provides a remote assistance service to Bobst’s customers using a smart headset with augmented reality glasses. The technology is being gradually rolled out globally, Bobst says.

Customers can use the headset to contact technical experts and iron out any issues they may be having as well as receive real time advice and support.

 

 

 

For a next gen learning platform: A Netflix-like interface to check out potential functionalities / educationally-related “apps” [Christian]

From DSC:
In a next generation learning system, it would be sharp/beneficial to have a Netflix-like interface to check out potential functionalities that you could turn on and off (at will) — as one component of your learning ecosystem that could feature a setup located in your living room or office.

For example, put a Netflix-like interface to the apps out at eduappcenter.com (i.e., using a rolling interface at first, then going to a static page/listing of apps…again…similar to Netflix).

 

A Netflix-like interface to check out potential functionalities / educationally-related apps

 

 

 

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