Nudity detection in AI - why diverse data sets matter


Three blonde women.

One of my first jobs was as a nudity moderator for Vodafone. People would send in photos and videos and I'd have to manually classify whether they featured nudity or were otherwise unacceptable. It was a bizarre job - one I've discussed before - but today, wouldn't we just throw an AI at it? I […] Read More

Knowledge Illusions


Screenshot of the Alexa app. She thinks Tim Roth played Doctor Who.

Optical Illusions trick your brain into seeing something that isn't there. Whether it is spirals which don't exist, movements which don't occur, or faces in curved lines - our optic centres are trivially easy to fool. Humans are not alone in this cognitive deficiency. Other animals are also conned into believing something which isn't true. […] Read More

Reconstructing 3D Models from The Last Jedi


Different depth maps of various accuracy

A quick tutorial in how to recover 3D information from your favourite 3D movies. In this example, we'll be using Star Wars - The Last Jedi. tl;dr? Here's the end result (this video is silent): Grab the code on GitHub. Let's go! Take a screenshot of your favourite scene. Something with a clearly defined foreground […] Read More

Artificial Intelligence is a Horseless Carriage


I've been thinking about words. The Chinese word for "train" - the mode of transport - is 火车. Which literally translates as "fire chariot". Long gone are the days when trains were pulled by a fire-breathing engine at the front, and yet this linguistic skeuomorph hangs around. English is not immune from this. The television […] Read More

A Turing Test For Self-Driving Cars


Imagine that you are sat, blindfolded, in the back of a taxi. How could you tell if you were being driven by a human or an autonomous vehicle? If you've not read Alan Turing's The Imitation Game, I can highly recommend it. The paper is short, well written, and contains a whole world of ideas. […] Read More

How to Hypnotise an Artificial Intelligence


Last week I attended a talk by Dr Irina Higgins from Artificial Intelligence company DeepMind. It was a fascinating look at how their AI works, and how it is trained. If you've ever played a video game online, it is likely you've been training an Artificial Intelligence agent without realising it.Ethical? — Terence Eden ⏻ […] Read More

The Robot Had A Nose


C-3P0 doesn't have a schnoz. The degloved terminator has a bleak hole where his snout should be. Both the Jetson's Rosie and Futurama's Bender are arhinotic. The robot sat in front of me was different. The RoboThespian is an imposing chunk of metal. LEDs blink as servomotors whine. The exposed wiring twists as the arms […] Read More

Anti-Social App Design


My good friend Dan Appelquist recent wrote a fascinating blog post on solipsism as a design decision. He has a set of Lifx Internet Controlled Lightbulbs. They're great fun, but have some seriously screwy ideas about how people live. One key design of the app is to allow you to automatically switch off all your […] Read More