AI News, BOOK REVIEW: AI and Public Standards artificial intelligence

Salesforce sets up AI lab in Singapore, as country aims to drive adoption standards in Asean

Salesforce has set up its first international artificial intelligence (AI) research facility in Singapore, where it is aiming to train up to 100 postgraduate students over the next three years, and where the government hopes to help lead the development of AI standards and adoption across Asean.

The US software vendor will pool the students from Singapore Management University (SMU), National University of Singapore (NUS), and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and focus their training in deep learning, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP), amongst other fields in AI.  The first batch of students will begin their training from August 2019 at the lab, which will be helmed by Salesforce Research Asia's managing director Steven Hoi.  The local facility also will work closely with the vendor's main research centre in Palo Alto, collaborating on projects that include NLP, computer vision, and speech recognition, as well as initiate research specific to the region, such as language-based capabilities in chatbots, said Salesforce's chief scientist Richard Socher, who was in Singapore for the launch on Wednesday.  Speaking to ZDNet on the sidelines of the event, Socher declined to reveal how much Salesforce was investing in the facility or how big the local team would be.

Asked if there were plans to open more labs in the region or elsewhere, he did not dismiss the possibility but said his team's focus currently was on ensuring the Singapore centre was well integrated within the organisation.  He explained that the vendor's research unit focused on developing AI algorithms and models, while the wider Salesforce organisation provided the data needed to power the AI initiatives.

CBPR applies to data controllers, including organisations that control the collection, storing, processing, and use of data.  Iswaran, though, noted that there were legitimate concerns amongst governments about the data of their citizens as it moved beyond local shores, the protection that should be applied to such data, and the access of the data--whether it was to support enforcement activities or otherwise.  He concurred there was a need for a clear set of standards, similar to how a global set of standards had been established and widely adopted to ensure the quality of food products.

specialist in NLP, the scientist believed AI had the potential eventually to replicate anything the human brain was capable of performing, but questioned the need and relevance of doing so.  Asked which concept in pop culture best depicted AI, he pointed to Her, which was a 2013 film about a man who grew close to an AI-powered virtual assistant.

He noted that the popularity of apps such as Replika, for instance, demonstrated some people's affinity towards personal chatbots.  Singapore ramps up AI drive with inter-agency unit Singapore government announces plan to establish an 'inter-agency taskforce' to asses how the country should develop artificial intelligence (AI) as a strategic capability and be a global testbed for the deployment of AI applications.

AI and Public Standards – Committee announces review

The Committee on Standards in Public Life has today announced a review into whether the existing frameworks and regulations are sufficient to ensure that high standards of conduct are upheld as technologically assisted decision-making is adopted more widely across the public sector.

“As the Committee celebrates its 25th year as an advisory body conducting broad reviews of key ethical issues, we want to look at what the future holds for public services and help ensure that high standards of conduct continue to be ‘built in’ to new ways of making decisions on the public’s behalf.

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