A conversation with Yoshua Bengio

From Microsoft: When Microsoft acquired deep learning startup Maluuba in January, Maluuba’s highly respected advisor, the deep learning pioneer Yoshua Bengio, agreed to continue advising Microsoft on its artificial intelligence efforts. Bengio, head of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms, recently visited Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, campus, and took some time for a chat.

David Limp - the executive behind Amazon’s Alexa

From Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference: Amazon's voice assistant Alexa has become a hugely popular and growing business. In fact, David Limp, an Amazon senior vice president who oversees Alexa and all of its Amazon devices, says that Alexa is rapidly adding "skills," with more than 1,000 people working on it. On Tuesday, at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference, Limp spoke to Fortune's Adam Lashinsky about the inspiration for Alexa (hint: Think Star Trek) and the origin of the name to where the business is heading.

Gill Pratt - IROS 2016 plenary talk - Toyota Research on autonomous driving

From IEEE IROS 2016 :There are on the order of 1 billion motor vehicles in service around the world, traveling on the order of 10 trillion miles each year. Presently, nearly all of the those miles are driven by human beings, with on the order of 1 million fatalities worldwide per year. Despite this terribly high number of fatalities, dividing fatalities by miles yields a per-mile fatality rate for human driving on the order of 1 fatality per 10 million miles worldwide (it is on the order of 1 fatality per 100 million miles in developed countries). If fatalities caused by drunk, distracted, and drowsy driving are excluded, the reliability of human driving in developed countries is on the order of 1 fatality per billion miles.

Autonomous driving has been discussed in the media as promising improvements in safety, access and convenience, a lowering of traffic, and an improvement of the environment. These are wonderful, and real, benefits that autonomous cars would bring. But how reliable must autonomous cars be before they actually improve safety? To improve upon average non-drunk, non-distracted, and non-drowsy human driving in developed countries, autonomous vehicles must cause less than 1 fatality per billion miles. There is reason to believe that to be socially accepted, autonomous cars must actually be significantly safer than this. Creating an autonomous car with this level of safety is quite difficult. Luckily, we can improve safety, access, convenience, traffic, and the environment on the way to autonomous driving in ways that are synergistic with the development of self-driving cars. This talk will describe Toyota Research Institute's approach to the problem. .

Frozen out: the US interpreters abandoned on Europe’s border

From The Guardian Jamshid and Mati served the US military as interpreters during the war in Afghanistan, but like many, haven’t been granted visas to emigrate to the US. With their lives threatened by the Taliban, they joined the migrants heading for western Europe, only to find themselves trapped in Serbia on the wrong side of impenetrable borders. They live in a squalid warehouse in Belgrade. With smugglers refusing to take them across dangerous border crossings, all they can do is wait.

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