The Cameras that Know If You’re Happy, or a Threat

Detecting hidden emotions

Affectiva says its algorithms can detect hidden emotions in facial expressions.

Credit: Affectiva

Facial recognition tech has been around for decades, but it has been progressing in leaps and bounds in recent years due to advances in computing vision and artificial intelligence (AI), tech experts say.

From BBC News
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Subject Matter Suggestions?

Subject Matter Suggestions?

I am going to start on a new piece that’s approximately 51"x84" and looking for suggestions as to what I should draw at that scale. Keep in my mind I do detailed/realistic art. Hyperrealism is the way I want to go, but I would need a very high resolution photo, I am just having trouble with subject matter. And I do plan on selling the piece once it’s completed and possibly making prints as well. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated! Thanks -SBC

The drawing I posted was one I originally did when I was 17 (bottom) and I decided to touch it up a little and got a little out of hand, the top is currently where it’s at. There is more to the picture of course.

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from Artificial Intelligence

MIT Researchers Automate Drug Design With Machine Learning

Artist's conception of drug design.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are using machine learning to automate the process of developing and improving drugs.

Credit: University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers are using machine learning to automate the process of developing and improving drugs.

The team trained a machine learning model on 250,000 molecular graphs, detailed images of a molecule’s structure. The model generated molecules, found the best base molecules from which to build, and designed new molecules with better properties.

The researchers found the model was able to complete these tasks more effectively than other systems designed to automate the drug design process.

In addition, the model was asked to modify 800 molecules to improve them for certain properties while keeping them similar in structure to the lead molecule. About 80% of the time, the system created new, similarly structured molecules that scored higher for those properties than did the original molecules.

From Engadget
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Abstracts Copyright © 2018 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Drones Survey African Wildlife

African wildlife.

Scientists are using drone flights and automated image analysis to develop a new approach to counting animals in the wild.


Scientists funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) are using drone flights and automated image analysis to develop a new approach to counting animals in the wild.

The new technique enables fast and accurate counting of gnu, oryx, and other large mammals living in wildlife reserves.

The drones remotely photograph wilderness areas, then the images are analyzed using object-recognition software and verified by humans. The drones enable researchers to study vast areas, with more than 150 images captured for each square kilometer.

The researchers use deep learning to analyze this mass of raw visual data, eliminating most images containing no wildlife; in other images, the algorithm highlights the patterns most likely to be animals.

The team trained the artificial intelligence system using an international crowdsourcing campaign in which volunteers tracked animals in thousands of aerial photos of the savanna taken from a Namibian wildlife reserve.

From Swiss National Science Foundation
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Abstracts Copyright © 2018 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Microsoft and National Geographic Form AI for Earth Innovation Grant Partnership

conservation technology, illustrative photo

The grants will support projects that use AI to advance conservation research.

Credit: National Geographic

Microsoft Corp. and National Geographic announced a new partnership to advance scientific exploration and research on critical environmental challenges with the power of artificial intelligence (AI). The newly created $1 million AI for Earth Innovation Grant program will provide award recipients with financial support, access to Microsoft cloud and AI tools, inclusion in the National Geographic Explorer community, and affiliation with National Geographic Labs, an initiative launched by National Geographic to accelerate transformative change and exponential solutions to the world’s biggest challenges by harnessing data, technology, and innovation. Individuals and organizations working at the intersection of environmental science and computer science can apply for a grant online.

“National Geographic is synonymous with science and exploration, and in Microsoft we found a partner that is well-positioned to accelerate the pace of scientific research and new solutions to protect our natural world,” says Jonathan Baillie, chief scientist and executive vice president, science and exploration at the National Geographic Society. “With today’s announcement, we will enable outstanding explorers seeking solutions for a sustainable future with the cloud and AI technologies that can quickly improve the speed, scope, and scale of their work as well as support National Geographic Labs’ activities around technology and innovation for a planet in balance.”

“Microsoft is constantly exploring the boundaries of what technology can do, and what it can do for people and the world,” says Lucas Joppa, chief environmental scientist at Microsoft. “We believe that humans and computers, working together through AI, can change the way that society monitors, models, and manages Earth’s natural systems. We believe this because we’ve seen it—we’re constantly amazed by the advances our AI for Earth collaborators have made over the past months. Scaling this through National Geographic’s global network will create a whole new generation of explorers who use AI to create a more sustainable future for the planet and everyone on it.”

The $1 million AI for Earth Innovation Grant program will provide financial support to between five and 15 novel projects that use AI to advance conservation research toward a more sustainable future. The grants will support the creation and deployment of open-sourced trained models and algorithms that will be made broadly available to other environmental researchers, which offers greater potential to provide exponential impact.

Qualifying applications will focus on one or more of the core areas: agriculture, biodiversity conservation, climate change, and water. Applications are now open and must be submitted by Oct. 8, 2018. Recipients will be announced in December 2018. Additional information is available online.

Calling all AI Practioners for CFP

We’re organizing DataEngConf in Europe (Barcelona) for the first time this year and we’re looking for speakers to submit their talk proposals. DataEngConf is the first technical conference that bridges the gap between data scientists, data engineers and data analysts. Conference talks focus on examples of real-world architectures of data pipelines and platforms, and applied, practical examples of data science & data engineering.

We are looking for deeply technical talks with practical real world examples and applications. If that’s you we’d love to give you a chance to speak at our event.

You can submit your talks at:

Submission deadline is Friday July 20. See you at the conference 🙂

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from Artificial Intelligence

To Make Curiosity (Et Al.) More Curious, NASA and ESA Smarten Up AI in Space

Block Island meteorite on Mars

Block Island, the largest meteorite yet found on Mars and one of several identified by the Mars Exploration Rovers.

Credit: NASA

NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover has done many great things in its decade-plus of service—but initially, it rolled 600 feet past one of the initiative’s biggest discoveries: the Block Island meteorite.

From Ars Technica
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Daniel Birnbaum Director at Moderna Museet joins VR/AR/MR art experts Acute Art

It seems that there will be some great digital art coming our way in the future if the news coming in is anything to go by. With VR/AR/MR art experts joining hands, could we expect anything less?

from Artificial Intelligence