Connect with us


OpenAI shuts down robotics team because it doesn’t have enough data yet • The Register

Voice Of EU



In brief OpenAI has disbanded its AI robotics team and is no longer trying to apply machine learning to physical machines.

Wojciech Zaremba, co-founder of OpenAI, who led the robotics group confirmed that the company recently broke up the team to focus working on more promising areas of artificial general intelligence research.

“Here’s a reveal … as of recently we changed the focus at OpenAI, and I actually disbanded the robotics team,” he said during an episode of the Weights & Biases podcast.

Zaremba said a lack of training data was holding the robotics research back: there wasn’t enough information on hand to teach the systems to the level of intelligence desired.

“From the perspective of what we want to achieve, which is to build AGI, I think there was actually some components missing,” he added. A spokesperson from OpenAI this week confirmed it had, indeed, stopped working on robotics.

You can now download a top AI model for protein prediction

DeepMind released AlphaFold, the most advanced protein-structure-predicting machine-learning model yet, on GitHub, this week.

If you want to play around with it, you’ll need to be familiar with Docker, and have the space to store hundreds of gigabytes of genetic sequencing data as well as the model.

AlphaFold is trained to predict how a protein folds and takes shape given its constituent amino acids. Last year, DeepMind entered its system into the Critical Assessment of Protein Structure Prediction contest, and thrashed its rivals.

DeepMind’s goal is to get the model accurate enough to be useful in developing drugs that can target specific proteins to cure or mitigate diseases. A paper by DeepMind on AlphaFold’s design was published this month in Nature.

In a separate project, a large team of researchers at various universities and academic institutions also published their own open-source AI protein folding model. Known as RoseTTaFold, it doesn’t perform as well as AlphaFold though it’s not too shabby, according to a paper published in Science.

Is it wrong to bring dead people back to life in documentaries without telling the audience?

A New Yorker review of Roadrunner, a documentary about the late and great Anthony Bourdain, has sparked questions over whether it’s ethical or not to use machine-learning technology to low-key fake people’s voices.

In the magazine piece, the documentary’s filmmaker Morgan Neville admitted to using software that mimicked Bourdain’s voice, making the celebrity chef and writer say words he had only written. Specifically, the software was used to read out an email Bourdain had written to a friend. The code was trained on clips of Bourdain speaking on TV, radio, audiobooks, and podcasts.

“If you watch the film … you probably don’t know what the other lines are that were spoken by the AI, and you’re not going to know,” Neville said. “We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later.”

Should the director tell viewers or listeners when an audio clip has been synthetically generated? Does it matter, seeing as Bourdain did express those sentiments albeit in an email and not into a microphone? Will this blow a hole in trust in future documentaries, journalism, and media output? This Tech Policy Press interview with Sam Gregory – a deep-fakes expert and program director of Witness Media Lab – has more on that.

Discord believes AI can help moderate hate speech online

IRC-for-the-next-generation Discord has snapped up an AI startup for its automated moderation tools.

Sentropy, based in Palo Alto, California, confirmed the deal in a blog post this week. “Three years after starting this company with Michele, Ethan, and Taylor, I’m thrilled to announce that we’re joining Discord to continue fighting against hate and abuse on the internet,” said CEO and co-founder John Redgrave.

The upstart has built proprietary machine-learning models said to be capable of detecting hate speech and toxic language to shut down online harassment. The amount Discord paid to acquire Sentropy’s technology and team was not disclosed.

Discord was known for being primarily popular with gamers, though it has exploded in use in other communities, from programming to cryptocurrencies. It reportedly walked away from a $10bn offer by Microsoft, earlier this year. ®

Source link

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar


    August 26, 2021 at 12:58 am

    In a statement, an OpenAI spokesperson told VentureBeat: “After advancing the state of the art in reinforcement learning through our Rubik’s Cube project and other initiatives, last October we decided not to pursue further robotics research and instead refocus the team on other projects. Because of the rapid progress in AI and its capabilities, we’ve found that other approaches, such as reinforcement learning with human feedback, lead to faster progress in our reinforcement learning research.” OpenAI first widely demonstrated its robotics work in October 2019, when it published research detailing a five-fingered robotic hand guided by an AI model with 13,000 years of cumulative experience. The best-performing system could successfully unscramble Rubik’s Cubes about 20% to 60% of the time, which might not seem especially impressive. But the model notably discovered techniques to recover from challenges, like when the robot’s fingers were tied together and when the hand was wearing a leather glove.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Irish payroll tech company BrightPay merges with UK’s Relate

Voice Of EU



The two companies will get funding from investor Hg to hire more employees and innovate new technologies across Ireland and the UK.

Irish payroll management tech company BrightPay has announced a merger with London-based accounting software company Relate Software in a bid to integrate services for SMEs across the two islands.

Based in Co Meath, BrightPay has been operating in Ireland for more than 25 years and employs more than 70 people in the country. It provides payroll software services to more than 330,000 employers in Ireland and the UK.

Upon merging, BrightPay CEO Paul Byrne and Relate co-founder and CEO Ray Rogers will remain investors and become co-CEOs of the new entity. The other co-founders of each company will also continue to invest in the new business and develop products.

Byrne said that Relate’s track record in the sector will help them become the leading service for many businesses and accountancy firms.

Private equity investor Hg, which focuses on software and service businesses in Europe and North America, will become the majority investor in the combined business. “Their deep sector knowledge has proven invaluable to us and will be instrumental in fuelling the further growth of BrightPay/Relate,” Byrne added.

New hires and technologies

The merger will benefit from the combination of BrightPay’s expertise in payroll software with Relate’s experience in accountancy management tech. Together with Hg, the new business will invest in new technologies such as cloud and automation to improve their services.

Rogers, founder and CEO of Relate, said: “Combining products from both businesses will provide a compelling offering for our customers, with the scope and backing for further innovation and development.

“I’m looking forward to working with Paul and am also excited to welcome Hg, a leading software investor with a track record of supporting growth in Irish software businesses.”

While details of the transactions have not been disclosed, the combined business will have more than 190 employees with plans to hire more people across Ireland and the UK.

“Both BrightPay and Relate are very highly regarded businesses and champions in their field,” said Jonathan Boyes, Hector Guinness and Thomas Martin of Hg in a joint statement. “The two companies bring together core operational strengths whilst also unlocking a high-quality, complementary suite of products to a newly combined customer base.”

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

Source link

Continue Reading


New UK broadband rules will make it easier to switch supplier | Broadband

Voice Of EU



The UK media regulator, Ofcom, has introduced a new service to make it easier for customers to switch broadband supplier to get a better deal.

Ofcom hopes the new process, One Touch Switch, will encourage people to seek out better deals after research found that more than two-fifths of people were put off switching broadband suppliers because of the hassle.

People can already switch between providers that use Openreach’s broadband network – such as BT, Sky and TalkTalk – through a process requiring a customer to only contact their new supplier.

However, until now customers looking to change networks or technologies – such as between Virgin Media’s network and a provider on Openreach or other smaller networks such as Hyperoptic or CityFibre – had to deal with both the new and old supplier simultaneously.

Ofcom research found that a quarter of customers making such a switch faced attempts by their provider to stop them. The One Touch Switch process aims to eliminate these issues, including customers having to sort out the end and start dates of their old and new services.

Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk

“Household finances are strained at the moment, so switching broadband provider could help keep your bills down,” said Lindsey Fussell, the network and communications group director at Ofcom. “We’re making it as easy as possible for you to break up with your broadband provider and take advantage of the deals on offer.”

Ofcom said the new rules will also mean that suppliers will have to compensate customers if they are left without internet for more than one working day during a switch. All suppliers must introduce Ofcom’s new simplified switching process by April 2023.

The regulator has introduced a range of measures in recent years to make sure customers have access to the best deals. These include cracking down on the so-called “loyalty penalty” by which customers who stick with their broadband, mobile or pay-TV supplier are not offered the same discount deals as new customers.

Source link

Continue Reading


India, Japan flex cyber-defence muscles as China seethes • The Register

Voice Of EU



India and Japan have each flexed their cyber-defence muscles in ways that China can’t miss.

Japan’s flex was the Monday launch of a national cyber-security policy that for the first time names China, Russia, and North Korea as sources of heightened threat. The policy also calls for Japan’s Self Defence Force to increase its digital capabilities.

The new plan was released as expected under Japan’s policy of refreshing its defensive plans every three years. The theme for the policy is “Cybersecurity for all” and chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato said its aim is to ensure that no part of Japanese society goes without the protections it needs.

Kato said the plan was also developed because Japan’s government “recognised a threat” and therefore a need to strengthen its online defences. The policy documents list many recent infosec incidents – such as the attack on SolarWinds and Microsoft’s Exchange flaw – as the sort of thing Japan needs to counter.

India’s flex came from vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu, who on Monday visited a military museum and remarked that India’s security forces should “prepare themselves to dominate not only in a conventional war but also establish their superiority in the new and emerging areas of conflict such as information and cyber warfare along with the increasing use of robotics and drones in the battlefield”.

“The nation is assured that any misadventure by an adversary will be given a befitting reply by the Indian Army,” Naidu said.

While the position of vice-president is largely ceremonial – the officeholder is backup to the head of state, but actual power resides with Parliament – Naidu’s words have weight. Doubly so as he stated India faces “both symmetric and asymmetric threats from outside and within” and then asserted India’s sovereignty over Jammu & Kashmir and argued that previous arrangements that gave the territory autonomy were temporary.

Mentioning Jammu & Kashmir is significant, as the disputed India/China border is in the territory. The territory is also the subject of a dispute with Pakistan.

Kashmiri separatists, which India labels Pakistan-supported terrorists, and China, will all have noticed the veep urging India to arm itself in the kinetic and digital realms.

China has certainly noticed last week’s meeting of “The Quad” – the grouping of Australia, the USA, Japan, and India – and its announcement of plans to develop infosec standards it hopes the world will follow.

China’s foreign ministry has labelled The Quad a “closed and exclusive clique” informed by “outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality and ideological bias”.

Spokesperson Hua Chunying addressed the issue at a press conference in response to a question from Russian news agency TASS. “For some time, these countries have been keen on insinuating China with the so-called ‘rules-based order’, playing up and inciting the so-called ‘China threat’ theory, and driving a wedge between regional countries and China.”

Te actions of Japan and India actions suggest the wedge is working. ®

Source link

Continue Reading


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!