This week we take a deep dive into augmented reality and try on Snapchat Spectacles, we learn how easy it is to steal your face with some cardboard glasses, and why Apple’s working on their own Google Glass project.
Plus, we check out Facebook’s new photo filters, and what AI can and cannot do right now.
Don’t forget our favorite articles from the past week and some of the projects making us smarter.
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Here’s what it feels like to wear Snapchat Spectacles 😎
Snapchat will sell its new video-capturing glasses via vending machines called Snapbots. The ephemeral company says the vending machines are only available for about a day at each location before they’re removed.
All it takes to steal your face is a special pair of glasses 👓
New research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that facial recognition software is far from secure. The team used a special pair of eyeglass frames printed with a pattern that is perceived by the computer as facial details of another person. This pattern caused commercial-grade facial recognition software into identifying the wrong person with 100% success (failure?).
Apple working on Google Glass-style AR glasses 👾
While still in an exploration phase, the device would connect wirelessly to iPhones, show images and other information in the wearer’s field of vision, and may use augmented reality. The company has ordered small quantities of near-eye displays from one supplier for testing, but hasn’t ordered enough components to indicate imminent mass-production.
Facebook has added a little AI to its app 🌊
The company shipped an AI-based style transfer framework called Caffe2Go, which runs a neural network in real time on your mobile devices. Facebook says it can execute neural nets in less than 1/20th of a second.
So now you can transform your Facebook photos and videos into the style of a Picasso, Van Gogh, or a Warhol, just like Prisma.
Facebook is currently focused on three main areas of research – connectivity, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
Meanwhile, Prisma now lets iPhone 6S and 7 owners broadcast to Facebook Live using one of eight Prisma artistic filters.
What artificial intelligence can and can’t do right now ✨
Andrew Ng, Chief Scientist at Baidu, says AI will transform many industries. But it’s not magic. Much has been written about AI’s potential to reflect both the best and the worst of humanity. As leaders, it is incumbent on all of us to make sure we are building a world in which every individual has an opportunity to thrive. Understanding what AI can do and how it fits into your strategy is the beginning, not the end, of that process.
What We’re Reading 📚
- Google’s DeepMind AI grasps basic laws of physics.Researchers have trained AI machines to interact with objects in order to evaluate their properties without any prior awareness of physical laws. (The Stack)
- Why is machine learning “hard”? Machine learning remains a hard problem when implementing existing algorithms and models to work well for your new application. (S. Zayd Enam)
- A Machine Learning Approach to Identifying the Thought Markers of Suicidal Subjects. By combining linguistic and acoustic characteristics, subjects could be classified into one of the three groups with up to 85% accuracy. The results provide insight into how advanced technology can be used for suicide assessment and prevention. (Wiley Online)
- When will Uber actually ditch drivers for algorithms? Uber thinks its self-driving taxis could change the way millions of people get around. But autonomous vehicles aren’t anywhere near to being ready for the roads. (MIT Technology Review)
- Inside the Brain of the Driverless Car. Nvidia’s Jen-Hsun Huang, at the WSJDLive technology conference, talks about autonomous cars, artificial intelligence and safety. (WSJ)
- Hollywood and Hacking: The 1980s – kid hackers, nerds and Richard Pryor. Back in 1982, a little film called “Tron” appeared in cinemas. As well as revolutionizing computer graphics in cinema we were treated to a scene where Jeff Bridges’ character casually notes, “I have been doing a little hacking here as a matter of fact,” and with that the storm gates opened. (New Atlas)
Things Making Us Smarter 🛠
- Free books for developers
- Introduction to machine learning
- Machine learning for software engineers
- How can I get into natural language processing? (Here’s our gentle introduction)
- Ask HN: Best Git workflow for small teams
Emergent Future is a weekly, hand-curated dispatch exploring technology through the lens of artificial intelligence, data science, and the shape of things to come. Subscribe here.