Lab examines use of AI to help cops catch criminals – EFF • The Register

Shortly The American Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is investigating how AI technologies can be used to create a “Digital Police Officer” or “D-PO” in the future.

Freedom of Information requests submitted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation show that the US Department of Energy-funded lab envisions police officers one day being able to work with a virtual assistant to fight crime. For example, D-PO would be able to tap into facial recognition systems to alert a patrolling police officer to a nearby suspect and can even offer advice on the best way to apprehend the suspect.

The EFF warned against working with software like D-PO, citing concerns about inaccurate facial recognition matches and biased forward-looking police policies.

“The good news is that in the emails we received, one of the authors acknowledges in internal emails that elements such as a D-PO taking over driving and surveillance are ‘far off’ of live drone feeds is ‘not a short-term capability,'” said the digital privacy-focused nonprofit.

The national lab has also detailed how a separate virtual assistant, BITS, could provide US border and customs officials with visual data to help them crack down on drug trafficking. “Recordings obtained by the EFF do not indicate any official interest from CBP or the Department of Homeland Security. However, BITS may not be as distant as D-PO in the future,” it said.

Uber is getting back into the self-driving taxi game

Ride-hailing giant Uber announced a 10-year deal with self-driving car startup Motional Inc to develop autonomous taxis.

Uber halted efforts to develop its own self-driving vehicles and sold its Advanced Technology Group unit to autonomous vehicle business Aurora back in 2020. Now it’s trying to revive efforts to get back into the robotaxis business by contracting with a third party to build the cars it needs.

Motional will provide the hardware, while Uber will connect them to the drivers. “This agreement will be instrumental in driving the widespread adoption of robotic taxis,” said Karl Iagnemma, Motional’s president and CEO, in a statement.

“Motional now has unprecedented access to millions of riders and a roadmap to scale significantly over the next decade. We are proud to partner with Uber to bring both driverless services and deliveries to life in cities across the United States.”

Both companies have worked together before. Motional began testing its self-driving, electric IONIQ 5 vehicles to deliver groceries to Uber Eats customers in Santa Monica, California, in May.

Optimize PyTorch models across AMD and Nvidia GPUs

Researchers from Meta released AITemplate, a new framework aimed at accelerating the inference process of AI models running on Nvidia and AMD GPUs.

Developers have to rewrite code if they want to optimize their models on different hardware, making the switch a very tedious task. However, AITemplate (AIT) gives them more flexibility by converting neural networks written in PyTorch into CUDA or HIP C++ code to support Nvidia’s A100 and AMD’s MI200 GPU systems.

“With AIT, it’s now possible to run performant inference on hardware from either GPU vendor,” Meta said in a blog post. “We used AIT to get performance improvements of up to 12x on NVIDIA GPUs and 4x on AMD GPUs compared to Eager mode in PyTorch.”

Developers plan to extend AIT to support both Apple’s M-series GPUs and CPUs. You can access the code base here.

US AI Bill of Rights

This week, the White House proposed an AI Bill of Rights, a non-binding blueprint designed to help agencies, the private sector and citizens steer the development and deployment of algorithms.

People should be entitled to protection from unsafe systems and discrimination, and their privacy should be respected. They should also know when and how their personal information will be used and be able to opt-out of automated services where possible.

“Automated technologies are driving remarkable innovations and shaping important decisions that impact people’s rights, opportunities and access. The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights is for everyone who interacts with these powerful technologies on a daily basis — and for all individuals whose lives have been inexplicably altered by algorithms,” said Alondra Nelson, deputy director of the Office for Science and Technology Policy , in a statement.

The bill is intended to help lawmakers shape policies and encourage developers to build AI systems safely. However, what this means in practice is unclear given the bill’s inability to push through new laws regulating AI. ® Lab examines use of AI to help cops catch criminals – EFF • The Register

Rick Schindler

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