back to article Boffins try to grok dogs using AI, a cyber-brain charter, a bot running for mayor, and more

Here are a few bits and pieces from this week's news in AI. Researchers have collected a dataset to analyze dog behaviour using neural networks, the first AI-assisted medical device for diagnosing diabetic retinopathy has been approved by the FDA, and, finally, an AI is running for mayor in Japan. Who’s a good doggo? A team of …

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Dogs are only the start

I want this tried on politicians. Maybe we can then be run by an AI that has had the narcissism and the power-hunger programmed out.

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Re: Dogs are only the start

You want mad AIs from the get-go? Trying to understand politicians is a fast route to insanity as the AI decides humanity, from the subject group, is just too damn slimy for the rest of the Universe's good.

Stick with dogs. They're far more honest, produce less crap and won't sell you down the river for a consultancy.

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Dogs are a bad start

Dogs are not a good class of test subject for vision based AI training because, according to most accounts, more than 80% (depending upon species) of their stimulus is olfactory - they won't even think of looking for, or even at, something until their nose (and to a lesser degree, their hearing) has told them that there's actually something there to look at.

The reliance upon smell as their primary sensor does make a lot of sense though, when you remember that their point of view is generally just a couple of feet above the ground, where even low bushes or shrubs can restrict their visual range considerably.

I suspect that making an olfactory sensor that's up to the task is beyond us atm - I think we might be able to make some good narrow-band sensors but you'd need a really wide-band sensor to get an idea of what's really motivating a dog.

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Re: Dogs are a bad start

LeeE wisely noted, "(dogs') reliance upon smell as their primary sensor..."

AI Cars (Autonomous Vehicles) too. They'll need to include many more senses (sensors covering various domains) than the present crop of dim-witted project managers have wrangled together enough reptilian brain stem neurons to even fire off the vaguest outline of the following concept.

Helen Keller was clever, but on her own she would be quite useless outdoors. Intelligence Outdoors requires senses.

Do any present Autonomous Vehicles include "ears" (microphones) to hear the wailing siren of the emergency vehicle that is understandably perfectly visually hidden behind the enormous truck with the blaring air horn, which is in turn just behind the AV? Even one?

How long until we see on The News a report of an AV gleefully driving along, km after km, on fire?

AI boffins are thick.

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Re: Dogs are a bad start

I think we might be able to make some good narrow-band sensors but you'd need a really wide-band sensor to get an idea of what's really motivating a dog.

"Even the smell of roses, is not what they supposes,

And goodness only knowses, the noselessness of man"

Dog poetry. Sorry - that has stuck in my mind for 40 years after reading one of the Dr Dolittle books...

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Pint

Doggie AI, meet Science 101

After they're done, the next step is to test it by extrapolation.

Individually, exposed the actual dog and the newly-completed AI to things or circumstances that are new and interesting. An 8-foot clown, a wombat, an alligator with a doggie treat balanced on its snout, a high cliff with a ball bouncing over the edge.

I predict complete and utter fail, and an AI plunging to its demise chasing a ball over a cliff.

AI boffins are thick.

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Happy

Nothing complicated about dogs

They worked out eons ago that if they act friendly and do a few tricks they get free food and first class accommodation and healthcare for life.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nothing complicated about dogs

They worked out eons ago that if they act friendly and do a few tricks they get free food and first class accommodation and healthcare for life.

Are we talking about dogs or politicians?

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Re: Nothing complicated about dogs

"They worked out eons ago that if they act friendly and do a few tricks they get free food and first class accommodation and healthcare for life."

I believe the date for first domestication of dogs is currently set at about 17000 years ago, i.e. pre civilisation.

I've read some articles suggesting that we have actually become symbionts - by natural selection dogs that understand us have been successful, and because of the benefits of having a visual animal with high level eyes and an olfactory animal with a low level nose hunting together, we have been selectively bred to be good with dogs. We are two species that have quite a good understanding of one another. Our dog is very child friendly - hasn't eaten a single one to my knowledge - and it's noticeable that small children often walk straight towards him, as if the human appreciation of friendly and unfriendly dog is now almost innate.

Nowadays most of us don't derive any direct food finding benefit from dogs, but it's obvious that a lot of people like having them around.

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Anonymous Coward

"Even Google has taken a stab at the problem, [...]"

What happened to Google's proposed contact lens that was a continuous glucose monitor for eye fluids?

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What happened to Google's proposed contact lens that was a continuous glucose monitor for eye fluids?

The same as all other Google "innovation". As soon as they realise they'd get something like a normal commercial rate of return, it is dropped more quickly than they'd drop a flaming turd mixed with nerve agent.

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other intelligent beings that inhabit our world

Good to hear this being presented as fact. Our local vet once said "Oh, don't worry about him being in pain, dogs have less evolved nervous systems." as he got ready to extract a tooth.

Sorry, you said what? I will worry, if it's all the same to you. You can give him a local and I'll have some of those doggy pain killers¹ too. After living with dogs there is no way one can categorise them as just "dumb animals."

¹ NEVER give a dog paracetamol or ibuprofen. The former is a death sentence.

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The Genie which has Exploded Out of the Bottle

Today this includes publishing most of our AI research, but we expect that safety and security concerns will reduce our traditional publishing in the future,..

Because of discoveries which present previously unthought of absolute powers to stellar AI researchers and which cannot be effectively countered, is something to realise is the main concern of laggard followers a'wallowing in the virtual safety and cyber security field.

And the sharing and/or exercising of just a few of those discoveries in the likes of a Deep Learning Camp Jeju at Jeju Island, Korea, is a holy terror for some and fabulous Global Operating Device Send to Others.

Are there any fully sponsored guest invites for star performers to such bootcamps?

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Dog-like intelligence

I have a weirdo sheepdog mongrel thing ("Megan Sparkle"). As with Joe, her (Labrador mongrel thing) brother, she was trained, when walking off the lead, to respond to vehicles by getting to the side of the road, and sitting until they pass.

I then got into the habit of podcast catch-up when walking the dogs. Dim Lab continues to dutifully sit - but Meg has realized that I am no longer able to respond to vehicles approaching from behind, and therefore runs back to herd me off the road onto the verge.

How near are we to this type of intelligence? Or that of Corvids (crow family)? My guess is absolutely nowhere flaming near. I'll start to fear Musk's doom prophecy of God-like AI when they can approach dog-like. I reckon I've got decades.

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Re: Dog-like intelligence

" I reckon I've got decades."

Only if Meg decides you're still worth it...

Doggy beer for Meg for doing such a good job.

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Re: Dog-like intelligence

You shouldn't fear AIs when they're intelligent enough to rival a dog. Fear them when they're nowhere near that, but pushed into service anyway by their commercial owners.

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