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Best AI Applications of the Week—December 21, 2017

Top Three Artificial Intelligence Applications This Week

1. Lying Under Oath

Sometimes, it’s hard to say what makes you think someone is lying to you. Was it a slight flick of the eyelid, an almost imperceptible tremor of the lip, an ever-so-slight flush of the face? But when there’s more at stake than the result of a little white lie—like the wrong person begin convicted of a crime—you have to rely on more than a perception. Upping the ante in lie detecting, a research group tested a computer vision application on videos of truth-tellers and liars on the stand to see how well it could tell when a person was or wasn’t lying, and it was accurate nearly 90 percent of the time—beating humans significantly at the task.

2. Quiet! This is a Library

Sometimes you don’t want the world to hear what you are saying. And sometimes they don’t want to hear you. You don’t go through a library or a study hall at full volume yelling about who won the game or that there’s an 85 percent chance of rain. Why should your phone?

Apple wants to give Siri some better manners and recently filed a patent to do just that. In the future, if you’re in a quiet spot and you absolutely must talk to your magnanimous phone assistant, whisper. It might just whisper back at you.

3. A Helpful Eye in the Sky

When a major disaster happens, of course you have your first responders, but then you also have crisis mappers. They identifying things like what roads are open and what hospitals are working—basically what resources crisis teams have to work with and what significant obstacles are in their way. Fortunately, this tool may be able to save precious time for crisis workers and victims whose lives are at stake.

Unique of the Week

When robots aren’t yet up for a task, crows are, being one of the most intelligent animals on the planet—so thought two researchers in Amsterdam. The task? Throwing out discarded cigarette butts for us. This seems absolutely ludicrous until you realize they’ve based their idea on previous research where crows returned coins in exchange for peanuts.

But isn’t this a newsletter about machine learning, not crow learning? But machine learning is also at play here. Look no further than the algorithm the waste receptacle employs to tell the difference between a cigarette butt and a lollipop stick. We can’t have crows gaming the system.

Extras

And a Bonus Holiday Gift

As mentioned last week, we started an AI applications database that we think you’ll find fascinating, and we’ll be adding to it weekly, so check it out!

Cheers,
The Data Crunch Team

PS—If you like what you learned, share the holiday love with others. Send them here to subscribe.
PPS—We just dropped our latest podcast episode. Check it out here!

I’m Ginette. I listen to audiobooks while I eat salads, drive to Internet cafes, and run through the desert. A favorite is “Boys in the Boat.” Who knew that crew could be so dramatic? If you haven’t read it, read it. And I’m a technical writer gone audio producer.