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China’s Predicting Toilet Paper Theft, Or Are They?

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Stretching the truth

Anyone who isn’t hiding under a rock knows the media is getting a bad-rap for stretching the truth. Sometimes there’s some truth to that stretching, even in stories about Artificial Intelligence and theft prevention.

For example, in a recent article over on DailyDot.com entitled “China is using predictive AI to stop crimes before they happen” they state

The systems aren’t just being used to prevent potentially fatal offenses. As Mashable points out, petty crimes like jaywalking or stealing toilet paper are also being monitored.

That’s not exactly what Yi Shu Ng of Mashable wrote. Here’s the actual quote I suppose DailyDot.com is referencing. It’s the only time “toilet paper” is mentioned.

China continues to embraced facial recognition technology in its public services. It’s used cameras to ID jaywalkers and watch over university dorms — to even limiting how much toilet paper you can get at a time.

“limiting how much toilet paper you can get” 

Calling it a petty crime and stealing is a detour from the original context.  If we dig a little deeper, by taking less than 1-second to click a link Yi Shu Ng’s article is referencing, like a good journalist should, we find the original Mashable article is referencing a Mashable video which states

This bathroom uses facial recognition technology to ration toilet paper

There’s no mention of “petty crime or stealing”. It goes to show how quickly the truth can change and the lack of effort in checking and understanding sources.

Ethics Policy

The very first sentence in The Daily Dots ethics policy states “The Daily Dot’s first and most important responsibility is accuracy. ”

Is it now? Many news outlets use false or misleading headlines to draw you in, and it appears Daily Dot is no different, regardless of their ethics policy.

Bigger picture

Obviously, the Mashable articles are talking about controlling the overuse of toilet paper, not that people were “stealing” anything.

And if you’re really paying attention and checking my sources, you might also notice China has implemented a type of “Minority ReportWOW!

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Jobs, Robots, Taxes and Artificial Intelligence – Ai vs Humans

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Here’s an early IRB Robot

An article published on Forbes.com in late June reminded me of a plastic model my father brought home in the 1980’s. The model was an IRB industrial robot by the now ABB company. He was overseeing the implementation of the these robots into Benteler Corporations assembly line.

The article on Forbes talks about how AI may augment the role of tutor; or perhaps like the industrial robot, replace the tutors role all together.

Anand Rao – PwC Head of AI, and Data & Analytics is quoted saying; “the human is still in the loop. Both humans and AI are learning, teaching each other. We will see more combination of man and machine in every sector.”

When, I read things like this I’m reminded of the blue-collar worker, of whom I knew many back in the day, who weren’t educated to “team up” with the robots, they knew how to do the robots job, not design and/or repair the robot…

I think the following quote for Rao says it clearly ““AI can shift human tasks from menial to strategic, freeing up time for innovation and the broader, bigger-picture thinking that can lead to transformation.”

The problem is, those workers only the know that once “skilled” labor which is now being called a “menial” human task…

Here’s an interesting chart that shows “Among 2,500 respondents, 58% saw tutoring by AI bots displacing real people in five years, even more likely than that of human tax preparers (54%), health coaches (46%), or doctors (22%).”

Notice even Federal governments are threatened by AI as their tax revenue could be severely diminished. How do you tax a robot’s income?

AI vs real humans survey

How likely AI will take over real human roles – From Bot.me: A Revolutionary Partnership

P.S. You can buy one those now “vintage” industrial robots for about $1500 on ebay.

 

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Deepmind’s WaveNet Composes Original Piano Piece

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“WaveNets” Borrowed from WaveNet

   

WaveNet by Deepmind and/or Alphabet, Inc. and/or Google has created a very impressive audio signal modeling system.  Although Adobe’s Voco is cool, my feeling is WaveNet is much further along in development, it’s just missing the flashy live video demonstration that went viral from Adobe.

A quick summary of what WaveNet is capable of.

They trained WaveNet on a dataset of classical piano music. This dataset was generated by modeling the raw waveforms of the classical music pieces, one sample at a time with approximately 16,000 samples per second. They did not provide a musical score, structured sequence, or order, they simply allowed WaveNet to generate it’s own musical compositions based on what it learned from the music dataset. Then WaveNet takes all those many thousands of tiny audio soundwave samples and reconstructs it own compositions. Really quite amazing.

Without further ado, here’s WaveNet’s original piano compositions.

Track 1:

Track 2:

Track 3:

Track 4:

Track 5:

Track 6:

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