Emerging Technologies

From dinosaur footprints to US-EU data: The latest in artificial intelligence

A 'future world' exhibit at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore.

Here's the latest news in artificial intelligence, from data privacy to liquid artificial intelligence. Image: Unsplash/Robynne Hu

Kay Firth-Butterfield
Senior Research Fellow, University of Texas at Austin
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Emerging Technologies

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  • This monthly round-up brings you the latest stories from around the world on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • Top stories: Biden administration implements US-EU data sharing framework; Why AI will never rule the world; Creative AI; Breakthrough on century-old puzzle; AI solves dinosaur footprint question.

1. Biden administration implements US-EU data sharing framework

US President Joe Biden signed an executive order last month that will see the United States and the European Commission create a new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework.

The framework will establish a process to allow organizations to legally transfer the personal data of EU citizens to the US.

A White House statement says that the framework will bring benefits to those on both sides of the Atlantic: "The new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework underscores our shared commitment to privacy, data protection, the rule of law, and our collective security as well as our mutual recognition of the importance of trans-Atlantic data flows to our respective citizens, economies, and societies."

2. Why AI will never rule the world

A new book – Why Machines Will Never Rule the World: Artificial Intelligence without Fear – argues that artificial intelligence that equals or exceeds human intelligence is impossible.

Sometimes referred to as artificial general intelligence, the book cites two specific reasons for this claim, bringing together evidence from numerous disciplines, including mathematics, physics, philosophy, linguistics and biology.

In an interview with Digital Trends, the book's authors, University at Buffalo philosophy professor Barry Smith and Jobst Landgrebe, founder of German AI company Cognotekt, explain more.


How is the World Economic Forum ensuring the responsible use of technology?

3. Stability AI raises $101 million and reaches unicorn status

Stability AI, the parent company of Stable Diffusion, has reached unicorn status after raising $101 million in a seed round, Bloomberg reported last month.

Stable Diffusion is an AI tool that makes digital art and is part of a handful of similar AI products that are entering the creative and visual creation sectors. Stable Diffusion allows people to type in a description of an image and the technology generates a realistic or surrealistic image in response to the prompt.

In contrast to many of its competitors, Stable Diffusion is open-source software. The CEO of Stability AI, Emad Mostaque, says that Stable Diffusion has more than 10 million daily users across all channels.

4. MIT researchers solve century-old equation to unlock liquid AI

Researchers at MIT have expanded on work they conducted last year into liquid neural networks by solving a differential equation that has stumped mathematicians since 1907.

By solving the equation, the researchers hope they've expanded the potential dataflow of a system that could help artificial intelligence tackle time-sensitive tasks like pacemaker monitoring or weather forecasting.

"Solving this equation has far-reaching implications for advancing research in both natural and artificial intelligence systems," explains MIT News.

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5. Predator or herbivore? AI decides

International researchers have used AI to reveal that footprints, thought to be left by a dinosaur predator, are in fact from a herbivore.

They trained an AI programme with 1,500 dinosaur footprints, with clear results that the footprints were the result of a herbivore.

"We were pretty stuck, so thank god for modern technology," said Dr. Jens Lallensack, lead author from Liverpool John Moores University in the UK.

6. EU Digital Markets Act comes into force

The European Union's Digital Markets Act came into force on 1 November and will be applicable from 2 May next year. The act is a new EU law aimed at making the markets in the digital sector fairer and more contestable.

Gatekeepers - large digital platforms - will need to comply with a series of obligations and prohibitions.

The European Commission explains that it's one of the first regulatory tools of its kind. The commission adds that it doesn't change any existing competition policy, but rather complements it.

7. The Forum hosts the Earth Species Project

The World Economic Forum hosted the Earth Species Project for a panel discussion in San Francisco last month. The presentation explored how AI is expanding our ability to understand other species and the benefits and potential challenges that this new understanding will bring.


More on artificial intelligence and technology from Agenda

The increase in extreme weather caused by climate change could force millions to leave their homes and move, but artificial intelligence could help us better prepare for this mass migration of people.

Supply chain regulation relies on tracing commodities to their source, but artificial intelligence coupled with on-the-ground work could help improve supply chain transparency.

Artificial intelligence has an increasing role in the humanitarian sector. However, tools are often built by and for large organizations - instead humanitarian AI must be developed alongside affected communities.

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