Artist Takashi Murakami and AI

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has always taken risks with his art. He blends traditional and contemporary styles to create wildly colorful pop art. He is often compared to Andy Warhol, the famous American pop artist.

Murakami has always embraced new technologies, like NFTs and cryptocurrency. So he isn't afraid of AI-generated art. But he does see the harmful effect it might have on artists. In his words:

AI will certainly do damage to technical trades, but I don’t think it will be able to block our ideas. The wackiest ideas, those that even AI cannot generate, will become even more valuable.

AI's impact on the movie industry

The film industry is grappling with concerns about the future in light of the rapid advancements of AI technology. When questioned about these potential effects, ChatGPT emphasizes how AI can assist humans, making tasks like scriptwriting, special effects, and audience analysis faster and more effective. It highlights that AI is a tool without any sinister plans to take over the world.

Conversely, the perspectives of human interviewees paint a somewhat gloomier picture of the future. Their biggest fear is that their creative work will soon be replaced and go unrecognized. The ability to synthesize voices and digitally alter faces through visual effects is already a reality. In fact, this technology was utilized to de-age Harrison Ford in the latest Indiana Jones movie, and AI has replicated James Earl Jones' iconic Darth Vader voice for the upcoming Star Wars series.

The power of ChatGPT

A few months ago, major tech company OpenAI launched ChatGPT and it quickly became a viral chatbot tool. Since then, it has impressed everyone by creating original essays, short stories, instruction sets and even coding. Users can run it for free as long as they create a personal account. They can simply type their request, and ChatGPT will execute it for them.

Simultaneous translator coming soon

Until now pocket translators have all followed the same steps: 1) you say something in your language; 2) the device turns your speech into text; 3) it translates the text to the other language; and finally, 4) the text-to-speech voice says it in the new language. A long process that makes for a frustrating conversation.

Enter two new devices—the “WT2 Plus Ear to Ear AI Translator Earbuds” from Timekettle, and the over-the-ear “Ambassador” from Waverly Labs. Both allow the speaker to continue speaking while the translation is taking place. You don’t have to wait after every sentence for the machine to catch up with you. This makes for a much faster conversation with a more natural flow. They aren’t simultaneous, but they’re pretty close. The WT2 Plus is already available, and the Ambassador is coming out soon. 

Is art created by A.I. really art?

You've probably heard that automation is becoming commonplace in more and more fields of human endeavor. You may also have heard that the last bastions of human exclusivity will probably be creativity and artistic judgment. Robots will be washing our windows long before they start creating masterpieces. Right?

I visited Rutgers University's Art and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where Ahmed Elgammal's team has created artificial-intelligence software that generates beautiful, original paintings.

I found these examples of robotically generated art to be polished and appealing. But something kept nagging at me: What happens in a world where effort and scarcity are no longer part of the definition of art?

The future of A.I. voice technology

There are few technologies being more rapidly adopted and expanded in 2018 than voice A.I. In just a few years, the use of voice systems has evolved from simple voice commands to entire ecosystems of applications and interactions.

We’ve only begun to predict the ways voice A.I. will influence interactions between humans and technology in the decades to come. For instance, consumer behavior may shift to verbally purchasing items through smart speakers as they realize they’re running low, rather than creating a shopping list and then purchasing them all at once later. One possibility in the health care space is self-directed physical and occupational therapy done through A.I. voice assistants.

In a survey by Edison Research and NPR, 39% of respondents indicated they're very interested in having smart speaker technology in their televisions and 24% want it in their cars—two environments that are not conducive to using smartphones.

Illusion of freedom in digital age

With the rise of A.I. and an endless sea of personal data available, some start to question, "How free are we?" Yes, it is true that A.I. will free us from many of the meaningless tasks that we are saddled with on a daily basis. However, there are serious concerns as to how our data is used for both positive and negative reasons.

We continue to see China using nearly every tool imaginable to monitor and control the lives of their citizens. Sesame Credit started just a few years ago but is now becoming mainstream in China. For those of you who are not familiar with the system, it is one where citizens are graded by their actions, things they buy, and other factors such as support of their government's policies. If you have a low credit score, you can be prevented from buying a house, sending your kids to private school, and other actions that restrict your freedom.

Impact of AI on Businesses

Artificial Intelligence, also known as AI, is best described as machine learning. Instead of programming a computer to perform a task, the computer will program itself.

As AI continues to grow it will enhance our lives. We can already see this in action with Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. Companies like Amazon are using AI in order to predict your next purchase. Another great example of AI in current use is with chat bots that you find in websites like Facebook, and in customer support apps.

Many people are looking forward to self driving cars that are completely driven by AI. Tesla has already incorporated AI into its autopilot that can be turned on at a moment’s notice. Google and other companies are in a rush to keep up.

Emotional surveillance of workers

Employees' brain waves are reportedly being monitored in factories, state-owned enterprises, and the military across China.

The technology works by placing wireless sensors in employees' caps or hats which, combined with artificial intelligence algorithms, spot incidents of workplace rage, anxiety, or sadness.

The "emotional surveillance technology" helps employers identify mood shifts so they can change break times, an employee's task, or even send them home.

"When the system issues a warning, the manager asks the worker to take a day off or move to a less critical post. Some jobs require high concentration. There is no room for a mistake."

Another type of sensor, built by technology company Deayea, is reportedly used in the caps of train drivers on the high-speed rail line between Beijing and Shanghai. The sensor can even trigger an alarm if a driver falls asleep.

China's facial-recognition tech

Sixteen areas in China are using facial-recognition technology that can reportedly scan the country's population in one second, and the world's population in two seconds.

Over the last two years the system has been used to arrest 2,000 people.

The system is part of Skynet, a nationwide monitoring program launched in 2005 to increase the use and capabilities of surveillance cameras.