2018 in Review: 10 AI Failures

Synced
Synced
Dec 10, 2018 · 7 min read

Last December Synced compiled its first “Artificial Intelligence Failures” recap of AI gaffes from the previous year. AI has achieved remarkable progress, and many scientists dream of creating the Master Algorithm proposed by Pedro Domingos — which can solve all problems envisioned by humans. It’s unavoidable however that researchers, fledgling technologies and biased data will also produce blunders not envisioned by humans.

That’s why a review of AI failures is necessary and meaningful: The aim of the article is not to downplay or mock research and development results, but to take a look at what went wrong with the hope we can do better next time.

Synced 10 AI failures of 2018.

Chinese billionaire’s face identified as jaywalker

The AI system in the southern port city of Ningbo however recently embarrassed itself when it falsely “recognized” a photo of Chinese billionaire Mingzhu Dong on an ad on a passing bus as a jaywalker. The mistake went viral on Chinese social media and Ningbo police apologized. Dong was unfazed, posting on Weibo: “This is a trivial matter. Safe travel is more important.”

CloudWalk Deep Learning Researcher Xiang Zhou told Synced the algorithm’s lack of live detection was the likely problem. “Live detection at this distance is challenging, recognizing an image as a real person is pretty common now.”

Chinese billionaire Mingzhu Dong’s face on a public display screen.

Uber self-driving car kills a pedestrian

So what happened? Uber discovered that its self-driving software decided not to take any actions after the car’s sensors detected the pedestrian. Uber’s autonomous mode disables Volvo’s factory-installed automatic emergency braking system, according to US National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report on the accident.

In the wake of the tragedy Uber suspended self-driving testing in North American cities, and Nvidia and Toyota also stopped their self-driving road tests in the US. Eight months after the accident Uber announced plans to resume self-driving road tests in Pittsburgh, although the company’s self-driving future remains uncertain.

ABC 15 screenshot of deadly Uber accident.

IBM Watson comes up short in healthcare

After spending years on the project without significant advancements, IBM is reportedly downsizing Watson Health and laying off more than half the division’s staff.

Amazon AI recruiting tool is gender biased

The software reportedly downgraded resumes that contain the word “women” or implied the applicant was female, for example because they had attended a women’s college. Amazon has since abandoned the software. The company did not deny using the tool to produce recommendations, but said it was never used to evaluate candidates.

DeepFakes reveals AI’s unseemly side

Realistic-looking fake videos of well-known people flooded the Internet through 2018. While the method is not technically a “failure,” its potential dangers are serious and far-reaching: if video evidence is no longer credible, this could further encourage the circulation of fake news.

Star Wars star Daisy Ridley’s face swapped with a porn actress in a DeepFake video.

Google Photo confuses skier and mountain

The photo made the r/funny subreddit top ten and has received 202k upvotes. Social media hailed the Google algorithm’s smart blending of the images while mocking its stupidity for missing compositional basics.

Blended image by Google Photos.

LG robot Cloi gets stagefright at its unveiling

Boston Dynamics robot blooper

But even Boston Dynamics has its “oops” moments: In its debut at the Congress of Future Scientists and Technologists, Atlas lifted boxes etc. in a flawless demo. But just as Atlas had wrapped its demo and was attempting to leave, the poor robot tripped over a curtain and awkwardly tumbled off the stage. On the bright side, it fell much like a human might.

Boston Dynamics robot Atlas jumps over a log.

AI World Cup 2018 predictions almost all wrong

SQL Services Data Scientist Nick Burns offered an explanation: “No matter how good your models are, they are only as good as your data… recent football data just isn’t enough to predict the performance in the World Cup. There’s too much missing information and undefined influences.”

Startup claims to predict IQ from faces

Faception website screenshot.

Journalist: Tony Peng | Editor: Michael Sarazen

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AI Technology & Industry Review — syncedreview.com | Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2IYL6Y2 | Share My Research http://bit.ly/2TrUPMI | Twitter: @Synced_Global

SyncedReview

We produce professional, authoritative, and thought-provoking content relating to artificial intelligence, machine intelligence, emerging technologies and industrial insights.

Synced

Written by

Synced

AI Technology & Industry Review — syncedreview.com | Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2IYL6Y2 | Share My Research http://bit.ly/2TrUPMI | Twitter: @Synced_Global

SyncedReview

We produce professional, authoritative, and thought-provoking content relating to artificial intelligence, machine intelligence, emerging technologies and industrial insights.

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