Special Section - Eye on A.I. - Washington Times
Skip to content

Eye on A.I.

Artificial Intelligence stays mired in the average person's mind as something of a science fiction-type character, but A.I. is not one and the same as a robot. Simply put, AI is everywhere. It's guiding GPS and Google Maps. It's on Facebook. It's in Google.

Recent Stories

A Chinese national flag flutters near the surveillance cameras mounted on a lamp post in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Friday, March 15, 2019. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday denied Beijing tells its companies to spy abroad, refuting U.S. warnings that Chinese technology suppliers might be a security risk. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

China's chilling pre-crime prison indoctrination system

- The Washington Times

BBC News, equipped with cameras, went inside one of China's village reeducation camps -- and emerged not just with footage that would make a freedom-loving American gasp and gag, but also with prescient proof of why runaway Big Tech is bad for the Constitution. It's called jail first, ask questions later.

In this June 16, 2014, file photo, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage for the launch of the new Amazon Fire Phone, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Amazon's human emotion reader a tad of technological unease

- The Washington Times

Amazon has a new gadget it's developing that affixes to the wrist and reads human emotions. Hmm. What could possibly go wrong here? It's not that a modern-day mood ring, which is what this smartphone app-in-works seems to be, is in itself a terrible idea. Rather, it's the future potential uses that pose the pitfall.

In this undated photo made from video, 12-year-old cancer patient Ethan Daniels at a medical facility in Atlanta speaks with Aaron Horowitz, co-founder and CEO of Sproutel, who designed "My Special Aflac Duck" to promote emotional well-being by helping children living with cancer develop a sense of control and manage stress through interactive technology. (AP Photo/Marina Hutchinson) ** FILE **

Cage the rage, punch a robot

- The Washington Times

Researchers say they've come up with a way to help those with anger management issues using the latest in technology -- robots trained to take a punch. It's probably too soon to call for a end to barroom brawls, broken furniture and smashed phones. But maybe these 'bots can help some angry birds better cope.

A security camera is placed in a New York subway station, Thursday, April 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

A.I. that halts thieves -- before they steal

- The Washington Times

The customer is always right -- except when artificial intelligence says the customer isn't. That's sort of the message being sent by new technology aimed at catching crooks before they commit their crooked acts, anyway.

In this April 26, 2017, file photo, pedestrians walk past the IBM logo displayed on the IBM building in New York. Shares of Red Hat skyrocketed at the opening bell Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, after IBM, in the biggest acquisition in its 100-year history, acquired the software company. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File) **FILE**

Quitting your job? Shh -- technology may tattle

- The Washington Times

IBM has developed artificial intelligence that can predict, with a reported 95 percent accuracy, when employees are just about to quit their jobs. Super snoopy surveillance? Or smart technology that can actually benefit both business and employee? The jury's still out. It's all in the ultimate application.

This March 23, 2010, file photo shows the Google logo at the Google headquarters in Brussels. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

Google shutters A.I. ethics board after LGBTQs attack conservatives

- The Washington Times

Google dissolved and disbanded its artificial intelligence ethics advisory board, just a week or so after its creation. Why? In brief: Heritage Foundation. In brief, the LGBTQ movement couldn't stand the thought of a conservative on the council, so the LGBTQ movement cried and demanded the conservative voice be removed.

(Associated Press)

Freedom, in the hands of an algorithm

- The Washington Times

The European Court of Human Rights, in 2016, found that artificial intelligence could predict the outcomes of cases heard by human judges with a 79 percent accuracy rating. Great. But perhaps the better lead would be this: A.I. used in the European Court of Human Rights failed to accurately predict outcomes in 21 percent of the cases.

In this April 11, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg listens to a question as he testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Mark Zuckerberg's mind-reading madness

- The Washington Times

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, is trying to build a "brain-computer interface" -- or, in layman's, technology that can read your mind. No keyboard needed. Does anybody outside of the techno-geek crowd believe this is a good idea?

China's duplicitous call for 'arms race' controls on A.I.

- The Washington Times

China, according to a report from the Center for a New American Security, is warning that global controls and international agreements on artificial intelligence are needed, or else a technological "arms race" will soon enough lead to world war. America shouldn't be fooled. This is the same China that demands countries "pay their debts" on climate change, all the while bucking controls on its own production.

Hansjoerg Reick looks at a display of Oral-B Genius X smart toothbrushes at the Procter & Gamble booth before CES International, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Technology in your toothbrush, telling you how to brush

- The Washington Times

If CES 2019 tells anything, it's a story of how technology is moving into every aspect of human life, from driving to securing home and possessions to parenting to -- brushing teeth. Some of the artificial intelligence serves as an apt demonstration of overkill.

In this photo provided by the National Transportation Safety Board via the Florida Highway Patrol shows a Tesla Model S that was being driven by Joshua Brown, who was killed when the Tesla sedan crashed while in self-driving mode on May 7, 2016. A source tells The Associated Press that U.S. safety regulators are ending an investigation into a fatal crash involving electric car maker Tesla Motors' Autopilot system without a recall. (NTSB via Florida Highway Patrol via AP, File)

Tesla self-driving car mows down, 'kills' robot in Las Vegas

- The Washington Times

LAS VEGAS -- The Consumer Electronics Show, CES 2019, opened with a bit of embarrassment for Tesla, to put it mildly, when its self-driving model car ran over and "killed" an autonomous robot, Promobot. Making matters worse: It was a hit-and-run. Oh my, you just can't make this stuff up, people.

In this file photo dated Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, post trucks leave the Amazon Logistic Center in Rheinberg, Germany. Workers at two Amazon distribution centers in Germany have gone on strike as part of a push for improved work conditions, leading to fears that Christmas orders may not arrive in time. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, file)

Amazon busted for 'immoral, almost voyeuristic' Alexa eavesdropping 'error'

- The Washington Times

An Amazon user in Germany was just able to gain access to an estimated 1,700 voice recordings of an Alexa user -- because, get this, of a glitch at the Amazon company. That's some glitch. But the bigger glitch is these erroneously shared files gave eavesdroppers the access to enough snippets of private in-home conversations they were soon able to piece together the Alexa user's identity.

In this Jan. 6, 2017, file photo, a translucent screen shows smart car technology at the Intel booth during CES International in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

A.I. experts warn of loss of free will, need for morality

- The Washington Times

Pew Research Center asked 979 technology experts, business and policy leaders, scientists and science-minded activists and the like just how they thought artificial intelligence would impact humans by the year 2030 -- and while 63 percent waxed positive, another 37 percent warned of the negatives. That's a sizable percentage.

Tony Danna, left, vice president of international development at Three Square Market in River Falls, Wis., reacts while getting a microchip implanted in his left hand at company headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. The company is making microchips available to its employees, allowing them to open doors, log onto their computers or buy break room snacks by simply waving their hand. (AP Photos/Jeff Baenen) ** FILE **

America, think before you chip

- The Washington Times

Thousands of Swedes have been busily inserting microchips beneath the skin on their hands -- for convenience's sake, for goodness sake. That's fine and dandy. For Sweden. But what's alarming is that the trend has been making a beeline for America's shores, as well.

An Amnesty International activist gestures during a protest against the China Google censorship in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. According to Amnesty International people who use Google in China will not be able to access services such as Wikipedia or Facebook. and words like "human rights" will not give any results when entering them in the search engine. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Google's patent pursuits send shivers of Big Brother

- The Washington Times

Google seems to be taking a little skip down Big Brother lane with some George Orwell-like patent applications that give rise to images of the telescreens described in the popular "1984" novel of dystopian society -- you know, the ones where thought police watch all, hear all and take note of all for Big Government.

In this Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, photo, a woman carries a fire extinguisher past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. Internet traffic hijacking disrupted several Google services Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, including search and cloud-hosting services. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Google, how about some online security, please?

- The Washington Times

Google, fresh off the farm of defending last month's leak of 500,000 or so users' sensitive information, has just been hit by another Internet hijacking -- the "worst ever," according to the company that caught the hack. And what's most eye-opening is the hack is the likely work of Russian and Chinese sources.

A book and scripts are among the personal and academic possessions of Stephen Hawking at the auction house Christies in London, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) ** FILE **

Science's godless problem

- The Washington Times

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking made headlines from beyond the grave this October when, seven months after his death, his presumed last book was published bearing these words: "There is no God." And with that, the already wide gap separating science and religion, physical from spiritual, got a bit wider. What a shame.

Watch how you walk -- A.I.'s got you ID'd by gait

- The Washington Times

China has just employed new "gait recognition" technology that can identify individuals by their manner of walk. This is police surveillance taken to a whole new level of frightening. Whispers are that America's airports might make a decent testing ground to bring the artificial intelligence here.

This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows fighters from the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now called the Islamic State group, marching in Raqqa, Syria. (AP Photo/Militant Website, File)

A.I. to stop religious wars misses mark with premises

- The Washington Times

Oxford University researchers have devised what they say is a new artificial intelligence program that will help predict and possibly prevent religious violence around the world. It's based on psychological programming that starts with the premise that all people are naturally peaceful. And that's where the software goes wrong.

In this May 17, 2018, file photo, the logo for Walmart appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Walmart Inc. is making two improvements to its third-party marketplace heading into the holidays as it seeks to better compete with online leader Amazon.com. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Sam's Club paves path to A.I.-driven, human-free shopping

- The Washington Times

Shopping minus the cashiers -- minus the humans, even. That's where retail is headed, in large part due to the Walmart-owned Sam's Club opening of a new technologically savvy store that offers shoppers the option to check out without having to stand in line, without having to engage in human contact, without even having to remember what they came into the shop to buy.

In this Dec. 16, 2015, file photo, professor Stephen Hawking listens to a news conference in London. The family of the late British physicist Stephen Hawking has opened a lottery for 1,000 tickets for a service of thanksgiving in his honor at Westminster Abbey. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

A.I. to take over world -- or not: Whom to believe?

- The Washington Times

Stephen Hawking, world-renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist, may have died in March but the warnings of his final book, published just this week, shout from beyond the grave as something like this: Watch out, humanity, artificially intelligent beings will soon rule. And 'lest you laugh -- Hawking was regarded by many as the smartest guy in the world.

In this photo dated March 12, 2018, a guests asks robot Robby Pepper for information at the front desk of hotel in Peschiera del Garda, northern Italy. Robby Pepper, billed as Italy's first robot concierge, has been programed to answer simple guest questions in Italian, English and German, the humanoid, speaking robot will be deployed all season at a hotel on the popular Garda Lake to help relieve the desk staff of simple, repetitive questions. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) ** FILE **

Robot sex doll brothel slimes toward Texas

- The Washington Times

A brothel of robotic sex dolls set to open shop in Texas this month hit a snag after local authorities, fueled by a field of concerned petitioners, found a building inspection gig and put a temporary stop to KinkySDollS' plans. There's a blessing in disguise. Sometimes regulation really does work for good, yes?

In this May 13, 2015, file photo, Google's self-driving Lexus car drives along street during a demonstration at Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

Google's new pollution police, coming to patrol near you

- The Washington Times

Google's Street View fleet of cars is being outfitted with updated pollution-recording devices to patrol streets in Europe and in the United States, and monitor fluctuating levels of air quality. Make way for the patrolling pollution police -- bringing regulations and new compliance costs to a neighborhood near you.

In this Sunday April 10, 2016, file photo, a parishioner reads the bible before a service at the Christian Fellowship Church in Benton, Ky. (AP Photo/David Goldman) ** FILE **

Christians, beware the cult of transhumanism

- The Washington Times

Followers of Christ, with growing frequency -- with alarming frequency, perhaps -- are jumping aboard an artificial intelligence bandwagon and trying to merge today's technology with yesterday's godly creations and in the end, come up with a race of people who are, in the words of the Christian Transhumanist Association, "more human." Eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil much?

In this Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, file photo, Ashley Nicklaus, owner of the Pawn and Jewelry Exchange explains the Precious Metals Database, and how she uses that system and her personal jewelry tracking system by Bravo, to keep track of items coming into her pawn shop in Greensburg, Pa. (Dan Speicher/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via AP) ** FILE **

A.I.'s dark and dirty hacking truths

- The Washington Times

The headline from RiskandInsurance.com says it all: "Machine Learning Could Make Hackers Practically Unstoppable: Are You Ready?" Good question. Serious question. And one which, no doubt, has registered as barely a blip on the collective minds of busy, technologically driven Americans.

Microchipping employees, the next terrible technology wave

- The Washington Times

Employees with the technology firm Three Square Market have been quietly, steadily inserting microchips into their own hands as a means of making it easier to pay for the likes of snacks from company vending machines or drinks from the cafeteria. Subtitle this: When Convenience Becomes Downright Creepy.

Sensors and cameras, part of a system used to tell what people have purchased, are attached overhead in an Amazon Go store, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Seattle. More than a year after it introduced the concept, Amazon opened its artificial intelligence-powered Amazon Go store in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) ** FILE **

A.I. goes eye-gazing for personality traits

- The Washington Times

Researchers have discovered a way to stare artificial intelligence deep into the windows of humans' souls and emerge with a score card on personality as it pertains to four traits: neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness. Eye-gazing -- technology's next venture toward omniscience.

This march 8, 2016, file photo shows Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet speaking during a press conference ahead of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

A.I. leaders (naively) vow no lethal autonomous weapons

- The Washington Times

More than 160 companies with divisions dedicated to advancing artificial intelligence just signed on to a pledge to "neither participate in nor support the development, manufacture, trade, or use of lethal autonomous weapons," or LAWS, the text states. That's nice; very peace-keeping-ish. But that's also a bit naive.

In this Jan. 21, 2018, file photo, lights shine inside the U.S. Capitol Building as night falls in Washington. (AP Photo/J. David Ake) ** FILE **

Congress should regulate police use of facial recognition technology

- The Washington Times

Congress needs to step up its regulatory game and enact some standards of use for facial recognition technology, at least on law enforcement. That Amazon's "Rekognition" system just falsely identified 28 faces who serve in Congress as criminals only underscores the dire need for some sort of speedy clampdown.

In this July 10, 2018 photo, a camera with facial recognition capabilities hangs from a wall while being installed at Lockport High School in Lockport, N.Y. The western New York school district is upgrading its existing surveillance system to add technology that will scan faces and alert officials to the appearance of expelled students, sex offenders or weapons it has been programmed to look out for. It could be the start of a trend as more schools wary of shootings consider the technology. (AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson)

Facial scanning abuse looms on H.R. hiring horizons

- The Washington Times

Imagine a day when applying for a job doesn't just include a personality test, but also a facial recognition scan that seeks to determine a new-hire's workplace suitability by analyzing features for trustworthiness, likability and emotional stability. Could you pass the test? More to point: Would you even want to take such an intrusive test?

In this Nov. 12, 2015, file photo, a man walks past a building on the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Google's A.I. 'ethics principles' sound great, guarantee little

- The Washington Times

Google has put in place some ethical rules to guide its company's artificial intelligence pursuits. And the principles do show promise. But let's be clear: The devil remains in the details. It's one thing to lay out a path to walk, a wish-list to fulfill. It's another thing entirely to have the technological know-how to fulfill these goals.

Cars go by the scene Monday, March 19, 2018, near where a pedestrian was stuck by an Uber vehicle in autonomous mode late Sunday night in Tempe, Ariz. The vehicle was in autonomous mode with an operator behind the wheel when a woman walking outside of a crosswalk was hit. Uber suspended all of its self-driving testing Monday after what is believed to be the first fatal pedestrian crash involving the vehicles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The mad money rush to market self-driving cars

- The Washington Times

With self-driving vehicle technology, big bucks are on the line. And in the words of at least one mechanical engineering expert, the rush to produce -- the rush to profit -- is both real and dangerous. Truly, the real winner of this autonomous car race will be the one who forgoes the short-term IPOs for the longer-term of consumer confidence.

A team of researchers in Maryland used shoes to show their general artificial intelligence discovery, which they say is the "holy grail" of machine learning. (Photo Credit: Z Advance Computing Inc.)

Maryland researchers say they discovered 'Holy Grail' of machine learning

- The Washington Times

A team of researchers from Maryland say they've invented a general artificial intelligence way for machines to identify and process 3-D images that doesn't require humans to go through the tedium of inputting specific information that accounts for each and every instance, scenario, difference, change and category that could crop up. The "Holy Grail" of machine learning, in other words -- in their words, in fact.

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2017, file photo, Amazon Echo Plus, center, and other Echo devices sit on display during an event announcing several new Amazon products by the company in Seattle. Amazon says an "unlikely" string of events prompted its Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Ore., family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Alexa? Why are you recording me, Alexa?

- The Washington Times

A husband in Oregon recently received a strange telephone call from his boss that went like this: Unplug your Alexa. You're being hacked. Except he wasn't being hacked. His Amazon Echo device had actually recorded conversations between the man and his wife, and then sent them along to the man's boss as audio file attachments.

In this April 22, 2018, file photo, New York University's Washington Square News creative director Rachel Buigas-Lopez, left, and managing editor Sayer Devlin haul pizzas in an elevator after ordering them while meeting a middle-of-the night deadline at the newspaper's headquarters in New York. College journalists are speaking up for themselves in a coordinated campaign to combat some of the same forces that have battered newspapers across the country. More than 100 college newsrooms across the U.S., including the Washington Square News, are using social media campaigns, public awareness events and editorials Wednesday, April 25 to call attention to the important roles they play. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

AI in the newsroom -- a mixed blessing of fact vs. compassion

- The Washington Times

There could very well come a time when journalists -- who've never made it to the top of favorability polls with the people, anyway -- may be phased out, replaced by robotic reporters. Not today. But someday. One day. It's already in the works. And it's a mixed-bag blessing, at best.