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Tech news with a HAT perspective 
Issue 81

The Real Future of AI

This week, we were at Festival of All Things AI, Blockchain and Emerging Technologies, CogX. Lots of smart people with bright ideas in a fancy event location at St Katharine's & Wapping. Not the worst place to be..

A mix of interesting panels, companies showcasing their newest AI technologies (Sophia, Watson.. All there to mildly creep us out) and start ups pitching their ideas. 

A topic in the limelight was how Europe was behind East Asia and the US in all things AI. AI might have its roots in Europe, but there is no European company making big bucks from AI yet, unlike US Companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple and Facebook. The opinions were split between people who wanted to catch up and the people whose focus was more on the safeguards that should be put in place.

Regulations or no regulations? Joanna Bryson, Associate Professor, Department of Computing, University of Bath,  says, humans are the dominant rulers of the world due to their cooperative nature, which is what rules and regulations are for and insists for transnational cooperation, local governance, as well as national governance of AI. The opposite opinion is coming from Antoine Blondeau, Co-Founder, Sentient Technologies and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Alpha Intelligence Capital, who believes in failure and the freedom to do so. He insists that innovation can only come without regulations and that Europe has to focus on innovation, empowerment and investment to get a seat at the table before putting regulations in place. Who is right?  

Jonathan Holtby, our community manager, had the chance to present the Hub of All Things on the Ethics stage just before the Review for the House of Lords AI Report. 

Jonathan Holtby, HAT Community Manager, speaking at CogX 2018

During the Review for the House of Lords AI Report Baroness Olly mentioned something rather insightful and a little profound: She said that the moment AI works, no one calls it AI anymore. So "AI" is not only iRobot and Terminator. Here a nice little excerpt from the Report “You wake up, refreshed, as your phone alarm goes off at 7:06am, having analysed your previous night’s sleep to work out the best point to interrupt your sleep cycle. You ask your voice assistant for an overview of the news, and it reads out a curated selection based on your interests. Your local MP is defending herself—a video has emerged which seems to show her privately attacking her party leader. The MP claims her face has been copied into the footage, and experts argue over the authenticity of the footage.4 As you leave, your daughter is practising for an upcoming exam with the help of an AI education app on her smartphone, which provides her with personalised content based on her strengths and weaknesses in previous lessons.”

We also got a nod! Lord Clement-Jones mentioned the Hub of All Things which was also included in the actual report. To be honest, we were a bit like giddy children at Christmas.

Recap. Here's the excerpt from the Lord's AI report about HAT: 

“The Hub of All Things (HAT) project, supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and involving researchers from six British universities, seeks to help users take back control of their personal data by creating decentralised personal databases, controlled by individuals, allowing them to see all of their personal data in one place, see how it is being used, and sell or exchange it in return for money or benefits in kind.”

It is important to talk about how we are interacting with technology in new ways, from giving voice commands to washing machines to playing advanced gesture-controlled video games. Governments are competing to establish superior AI research, seeing AI as a lever for greater economic influence and power. These are the early stages of drastic shifts in the labor market.

It was all in all, an enriching experience. If you have the chance to be there next year, do it!

Geek Out

Brace yourself, the biggest game is coming to the hottest gaming platform: Fortnite is now available on Nintendo Switch and Sony just showed off their trailer for the Resident Evil 2 remake

On the Horizon

A 23-year-old graduate student from Paris is researching the commercial use of personal information in the age of big data. She says “It’s not about privacy, it’s about ownership and control.” That’s my kind of girl.

Be Cautious

One problem is solved, another one pops up.. Bitcoin might be a great solution for a financial problem, but its poor tech infrastructure causes problems again and again. South Korean bitcoin exchange Coinrail suffered a cyber-attack over the weekend, wiping off $42 billion of its market value. Ooops..

The Doghouse

Following the two senate committees, FB has submitted a 450 page document answering all questions asked during the hearing (instead of answering when asked, he played it safe and this carefully drafted document came to life). It’s public, have a look…

Tesla is laying off 9% of its workforce. Not a big surprise when you lose more money than you earn for the past 15 years. 

Big Corps, Good Deeds

Thank you Apple! The new iOS 12 and macOS Mojave announced a fight against sneaky Google/FB etc. behaviour.

Uber will soon determine whether or not you are drunk when using the app. They recently applied for a patent that describes a technology that uses artificial intelligence to determine when you’re drunk. Ehhh.. Can’t drive myself, can’t take an Uber.. Should I sleep on the street then?

 Tweet of the Week

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-chief

HAT News

Garden Party. 5th of July. Be there!! 🥂🎉 

HAT Innovation Day. Join the engineers, investors, businesses, and startup leadership from the Hub of All Things for a workshop and a deep dive into the potential for startups in the new data economy. When buying a ticket to the HAT Innovation Day, you get a free ticket to the HAT Garden Party.

Crowdfund. Change the Internet. Get a HAT. Invest

Medium. Check out our articles here.

Jonathan Holtby, Community Manager

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