Four Weekly Tech Newsletter – June 7

A round up of the latest tech stories, curated for you weekly, by Four.

Lead articles from June 7

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What Artificial Intelligence still can't do

Modern artificial intelligence is capable of wonders. It can produce breathtaking original content: poetryproseimagesmusichuman faces. It can diagnose some medical conditions more accurately than a human physician. Last year it produced a solution to the “protein folding problem,” a grand challenge in biology that has stumped researchers for half a century. Yet today’s AI still has fundamental limitations.

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Talking to animals: using AI to decode the language of whales

Humanity has long dreamed of understanding what animals say to each other. AI could soon make that a reality. When you dive into the ocean, the physiology of your body changes. As you go deeper into the water, your heart rate slows. Blood flows from your extremities toward your vital organs, keeping your heart and brain oxygenated and your lungs from collapsing under the increasing pressure.

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One group that's embraced AI: criminals

From deepfakes to enhanced password cracking, hackers are discovering the power of AI for malicious use. Lawmakers are still figuring out how best to use artificial intelligence. Lawbreakers are doing the same. The malicious use of artificial intelligence is growing. Officials are warning against attacks that use deepfake technology, AI-enhanced “phishing” campaigns and software that guesses passwords based on big data analysis.

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The rise of cybersecurity debt

Ransomware attacks on the JBS beef plant, and the Colonial Pipeline before it, have sparked a now familiar set of reactions. There are promises of retaliation against the groups responsible, the prospect of company executives being brought in front of Congress in the coming months, and even a proposed executive order on cybersecurity that could take months to fully implement.

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Artificial Intelligence: the evolution of neural networks

Artificial neural networks and machine learning are a big part of our personal and work life. But where did it all start and, what predictions can be made about the future of artificial neural networks? A team led by Ross King at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology created an artificial intelligence scientist named Eve, which helped researchers discover that Triclosan can be used as an anti-malaria drug.

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Accelerating AI at the speed of light

Yichen Shen PhD ’16 is CEO of Lightelligence, an MIT spinout using photonics to reinvent computing for artificial intelligence. Improved computing power and an exponential increase in data have helped fuel the rapid rise of artificial intelligence. But as AI systems become more sophisticated, they’ll need even more computational power to address their needs, which traditional computing hardware most likely won’t be able to keep up with.