Top Data Science and AI News from 2022
AI and Data Science News2022posted by ODSC Team December 13, 2022 ODSC Team
2022 has been a rollercoaster of a year when it comes to artificial intelligence. From art, video, medicine, and AI hitting the mainstream, it seems that this year has become the year that the public at large is talking about artificial intelligence and AI news. With that said, it makes you wonder what 2023 has in store for us! Here are some of the AI news stories we loved this year that have left us wondering what’s next.
Software Developer’s Lawsuit Takes Aim at AI That Can Generate Computer Code
Last month, it was announced that a programmer/writer, Matthew Butterick, filed a class action lawsuit against Microsoft and some of its partners, GitHub, and OpenAI among others. This all has to do with a program called Copilot, a first-of-its-kind artificial intelligence program that can generate code. The point of Copilot is to assist developer teams by creating simple code, potentially saving man-hours that can be spent on other tasks. But in Mr. Butterrick’s view, it’s just a form of piracy due to the program not acknowledging how it learned from existing code learned in its data training set.
Though the lawsuit is fairly new, it will be one for those concerned about AI, training sets, and the rights of original creators who find their work used to train programs. How this is resolved could leave a lasting impact in the field for many years to come.
New AI-Powered App Lensa is Causing a Stir Within the Art Community
Lensa is an app powered by AI that is taking the internet by storm among other AI news. If you’re a user of just about any social media platform, it’s likely that you’ve seen someone use Lensa to create a variety of AI-generated photos. The way the app works is that users upload their own images and the program morphs the photos into stylized art. Even though this sounds harmless, many within the art world aren’t too pleased.
That’s because the program and others like it utilize training data from existing photos and pieces of art. In essence, taking images created by humans enhances its own ability. For many within the art community, it feels like plagiarism. On Twitter, the debate is raging on Lensa, and other programs, benefit or harm to art in general. Either way, AI is likely here to stay. The question is, how it will affect the art community in the long term?
AI-Powered Algorithms are Helping Manage Washington D.C.
Imagine, cities that are being run by machines and programs. Though this might sound like science fiction, that is no longer the case. Thanks to a report by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the public learned that Washington D.C., among other major metros, is utilizing machine learning programs, and other AI-powered tools to help manage entire departments. From housing screening, sentencing, education, and budgets, it seems that cities are quietly applying algorithms to gain efficiency in how they operate.
Though, some are questioning the effectiveness of current AI programs to empower bureaucracies and any ethical issues that might arise.
Our Newest Ally Against Pesky Cockroaches is…AI with Lasers?
Not everything this year related to AI news is concerning. A new open-source AI tool was created this year to assist those who wish to be freed of cockroaches. Ildar Rakhmatulin, a researcher at Heriot-Watt University, and fellow researchers combined machine learning with machine vision in a series of experiences on domiciliary cockroaches. During the experiment, the AI was able to detect the roaches and zap them at a distance of 1.2 meters.
Now imagine anti-roach laser torrents. Don’t thank me for the idea. Now is a great time to learn more about research done by Mr. Rakhmatulin and his team. If this works out, humans will not only get a great laser show but rid our homes of those pesky insects!
UK’s House of Lords Hosts AI-Powered Robot, Ai-Da
Back in October, AI news history was made in the UK’s House of Lords. For the first time ever, an AI-powered robot called Ai-Da sat down and answered questions in Parlement’s upper chamber. The questions answered by the robot ranged from creativity to technology and it was a brilliant moment in AI history. For those unfamiliar with Ai-Da, the robot was made famous for its ability to create original paintings of the likes of Billie Eilish, the late Queen Elizabeth, and Paul McCartney.
Though this was a milestone, it will become increasingly likely that these kinds of public inquiries will continue as governments across the world are faced with artificial intelligence and its rapid ascendance over the last few years.
Boston Dynamics & Other Robotics Firms Promise Not to Weaponize Robots
For those worried that Skynet will come true and AI-powered machines will swarm the face of the Earth in an attempt to overtake mankind as the dominant life form, don’t worry. At least Boston Dynamics and other major robotics firms are pledging not to weaponize robots. This surprise announcement earlier this year came after a decade of unmanned drones and other weapons have dominated the modern battlefield.
In a letter to Axios, CEO of Boston Dynamics Robert Playter said, “We are concerned about recent increases in makeshift efforts by individuals attempting to weaponize commercially available robot.” For those concerned with the direction of these technologies, this move by the private sector is a welcome relief. But time will tell how long this unity lasts.
Meta’s AI Chief Yann LeCun Publishes Paper on Autonomous AI
The differences between AI in science fiction and the real world seems to be getting smaller. Meta’s AI Chief Yann LeCun published a paper where he laid down a path to better train AI architecture in an effort to teach it to predict or plan changes in a real-world environment. In short, a form of AI that can learn like humans and animals.
If this comes to pass, it would be a game changer and could raise many questions about AI and humanity’s relationship.
AI Bill of Rights Unveiled by the White House
Responsible AI has become a larger and larger discussion as the technology’s scale continues to grow. Anticipating this, back in October, the White House unveiled its AI Bill of Rights. The aim is to protect the personal data of individuals and place a limit on surveillance. But, there are no actionable or enforcement mechanisms in place. Instead, what this does is provides a first step for federal departments to begin figuring out how to deal with this emerging technology.
Part of the paper also encourages companies to create a set of “core principles” that expand user control of data and protect against bias.
DeepMind’s AlphaFold Discovers Nearly Every Known Protein
During the latter part of the summer, DeepMind discovered nearly every single protein currently known to science. Using AlphaFold, which was developed back in 2018, the open-source program uses machine learning algorithms to predict a protein’s three-dimensional structure.
Cardiologist Eric Topol from the Scripps Research Translational Institute explains in a statement about the news, “Determining the 3D structure of a protein used to take many months or years, it now takes seconds…With this new addition of structures illuminating nearly the entire protein universe, we can expect more biological mysteries to be solved each day.”
This is a breakthrough for the microbiology community as well as the medical community and only time will tell the changes and advancements that will be ushered in by this discovery.
Google AI Engineer Blake Lemoine Claims LaMDA is Truly Sentient
Finally, one of the stories that made this past summer rich in talk within the AI community. Blake Lemoine, former Google AI Engineer claims that Google Chatbot, LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications, and Lemoine) had become sentient. In his own words, he told Business Insider, “I’ve studied the philosophy of mind at graduate levels. I’ve talked to people from Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley about this.”
Though Google denies this to be the case, sentiency has been on the mind of artificial intelligence researchers for years, more so now with the advancements in AI. But whether it is true or not, will likely be unknown for some time.
There you have it, the top AI news stories of 2022. Did you see any of your favorites on the list? What do you think 2023 has in store for AI? If you’re looking to make the news in the future (hopefully in a non-controversial way!) then learn more about what’s big in data science at ODSC East 2023 this May 9th-11th, currently 70% off!