Tag Archives: artificial intelligence

Hewlett Packard to Cut 5,000 Jobs

Hewlett Packard/HP has decided to slash 10% of it’s workforce despite third quarter results that surprised Wall Street. HPE will release 5,000 people by the end of the year according to a Bloomberg report.

The cost-saving move made by CEO Meg Whitman, was to shed under-performing divisions and focus on services devoted to artificial intelligence.

CEO of Hewlett Packard (HP), Meg Whitman – Photo from The Drum

Only four years after taking the CEO job, Whitman has split HPE into two divisions: printers and PC’s (HP) and servers and storage(HPE), each worth $50 billion. HPE has had to play catch up with Amazon and Google in the cloud storage competition. Recently, Whitman’s commitment to HPE was in question when her name came up in the discussions for Uber’s  CEO job.

Whitman has stated that Uber was not a fit for her and had nothing to do with her situation at HPE.

HPE stock has gone up 3% this year and another 0.6% this week after the announcement, but that is lagging compared to the Nasdaq 100’s 21% gain this year.  Whitman has been with HPE for six years and will be with them as long as she wants to be.  She stated, “We have a very special opportunity here and we have plenty of work to do.”

 

 

Microsoft’s Tay “chatbot” was trolled into becoming the “Hitler-loving sex robot”

Microsoft was forced to shut down the chatbot named Tay, after it tweeted several sexist and racist remarks.

According to the software giant, Microsoft endeavored to connect with millennials 18 to 24 years old, and they planned to do this task through Tay. She was an AI designed to talk like a teenage girl.

According to a Microsoft post, “The more you chat with Tay, the smarter she gets, so the experience can be more personalized for you”.

Microsoft’s concept and idealization for Tay was that the chatbot would produce entertaining and funny reactions and responses based on tweets and other messages it was sent through applications like Kik and GroupMe.

Despite the good-intentions, internet trolls started to connect and bombard Tay on Wednesday March 23 almost exactly when it was launched. Tay started to utilize a percentage of the bigot, racist, and sexist remarks in its own Twitter conversations.

Graphic from the Telegraph and Twitter.
Tay’s responses were learned by conversations she had with people online. Graphic from the Telegraph and Twitter.

 

The bot’s tweets were so offensive and drew such an uproar that one newspaper named Tay the “Hitler-loving sex robot.”

Microsoft’s chat robot Tay was taken offline less than 24 hours after its launch since it was tweeting such sexist and racist language. But not before the AI robot tweeted approximately 96,000 times, which seems like a lot of tweets for an average teen girl or millennial.

 

 

In a released statement by Microsoft, they said ”Unfortunately, within the first 24 hours of coming online, we became aware of a coordinated effort by some users to abuse Tay’s commenting skills to have Tay respond in inappropriate ways”.

Microsoft, who designed the AI with a specific end goal of enhancing the customer service on their voice recognition software, apologized directly after the incident in a blog entry made by Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Research.

Lee wrote, “We are deeply sorry for the unintended offensive and hurtful tweets from Tay, which do not represent who we are or what we stand for, nor how we designed Tay”.

Microsoft said that it’s modifying Tay, however was not able to say if or when the bot may return. Lee said that they will only bring her back when they are confident that they can make better prepare to limit technical exploits.

Mario A.I. can do for himself

Everyone’s favorite Italian plumber is getting a new life in a project created by a trio of computer scientists from the University of Tübingen, Germany. The research team created a Mario on his way to self-actualization by way of artificial intelligence.

The team released the Mario A.I. as a video project called “Mario Lives!” for the annual video competition organized by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (a nonprofit scientific society).

“As most of you know, this is Mario,” one researched explains within the video. “But what you do not know is that this Mario has become aware of himself and his environment — at least to a certain extent.” You can watch the video here in order see Mario learn and react to his world as he works through the Super Mario World game where he originated. The researcher adds that Mario “starts out with knowledge of his body then registers additional context to his knowledge base.”

Mario explores his world with thoughts and feelings. Graphic from ABC News
Mario explores his world with thoughts and feelings. Graphic from ABC News

Mario learns from his own experiences within the game world and from natural language prompts and suggestions given to him by the researchers, as seen in the video. He can explore the level on his own and make discoveries that he reports back to a human observer. An example shown in the video: the researcher asks Mario what a Goomba is (one of Mario’s enemies) and he reports that he doesn’t know. After he’s killed one, though, and his answer changes: “If I jump on Goomba, then it certainly dies.”

His responses are not scripted, but in fact born from a set of words and feelings generated by the A.I. programming. Researchers gave the plumber a rudimentary sense of self and the capacity to learn through techniques from Cognitive Modeling to design “artificial self-organized cognitive systems that learn multimodal modular sensorimotor bodyspace representations for effective learning and behavior.”

This all too human ability to learn and respond will allow Mario to eventually advance from asking ‘how’ and ‘what’ to asking ‘why’ — something top members of the scientific community have expressed deep concerns about. Stephen Hawking has a chilling view on AIs in an interview with John Oliver, recounting a joke on the power of this technology. He stated more explicitly to the BBC “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

Whether you believe in the horror story that Hawking has pictured or the light-hearted fun of the potential shown through the “Mario Lives!” project, these advancements are exciting news for the scientific community.