Google’s latest free gift? Millions of captioned images to help train Artificial Intelligence systems

Google has published two huge datasets that it hopes will accelerate advances in computer vision and video understanding.

AI Training-pics images

Google’s Open Images dataset consists of nine million links to web images and descriptions of the objects they contain. Image: Google

Google’s latest gift to the public is a dataset of about nine million links to labeled images to help train computer-vision systems.

The dataset, called Open Images, provides links to images on the web that have been annotated with descriptions of objects within the image. It consists of ‘machine-populated’ annotations, as well as annotations validated by humans to weed out false positives.

According to Google Research’s team, the dataset is large enough to enable researchers to use it to train a deep neural network “from scratch”.

As ...

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Police in Holland train eagles to snatch unwanted drones out of the sky


GIF: Dutch police demonstrate the eagle in action (Credit: YouTube/Politie)

Dutch police are training eagles to snatch rogue drones from the sky during emergencies, in the latest effort to combat unsafe drone use.

In a partnership with “raptor training company” Guard From Above, the Dutch National Police began the trial as an alternative to using nets to bring unwanted drones down.

“There are situations where drones cannot fly … almost always related to safety,” said Mark Wiebes, innovation manager of the National Unit of the police.

“There is a case where an air ambulance would land but could not because someone out there flew a drone.

“You can also imagine that people want to take beautiful pictures of an event an...

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How robots teach kids to empathize

School Blackboard

Wed, 02/11/2015 – 1:45pm
Megan Crouse, Real-Time Digital Reporter, @abmdigi
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A middle school teacher in Hawaii is filling his classroom with robots.

They play pool, lick stamps, wax surfboards, and pick up food with chopsticks, and Robert Walker has been introducing them to his classes since 2011.

A teacher since 1985, Walker saw the value in teaching robotics in schools, ( felt it was missing some human element. He described his program, which incorporates both robotics and life lessons, as “unscripted and unpredictable, [with] student determined outcomes.”

In June of 2011 he launched ...

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How safe is your job in the age of robots and intelligent machines

Artificial intelligence will errode the humn work force

Rise of the machines: Most of today's jobs could eventually be performed by robots.

Rise of the machines: Most of today’s jobs could eventually be performed by robots.

It is a sobering thought that in ten years, around 65 per cent of the jobs that people will be doing have not even been thought of yet, according to the US Department of Labor.

In Australia, there are reports that up to half a million of existing jobs could be taken over by robotics or machines run by artificial intelligence.

So with smarter computers taking on more of the work that people currently do, we are left to wonder what jobs there might be left for us humans.

Could a robot do your job?

Almost any job that can be described as a “process” could be done by a computer, whether that computer is housed in a robot or embedded somewhere out of ...

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Engineers-to-be compete to be world champion drone builders


Eighteen teams of young engineers-in-training competed for the right to call themselves world champion drone builders at the 22nd annual ASME Student Design Competition (SDC) finals today at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exhibition at Montreal’s Palais des Congres.

The international slate of teams – including squads from universities in China, France, India, Peru, Turkey and across the United States – brought their talent and training to bear on one of today’s hottest mechanical technologies: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or as they are better known, drones. Each team had designed and built a powerful, maneuverable, remotely-piloted drone to fly in this year’s competition.

Today, drones are one of the world’s hottest technologies...

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The wonderful exhilarating Art of Flying Your Very Own Drone

Drones are coming to world skies—not just for surveillance or security work, but also for hobbyists. If you want to pilot your own drone, learn the ABCs of UAVs.

man flys drone in blue sky image

Drones have gained a reputation for hunting terrorists and spying on both foreigners and Americans alike. So it’s easy to overlook the fact that these hovering, loitering aircraft have quite a following in the hobbyist world as well. To the people who build and fly them recreationally, modern unmanned aerial vehicles (the terms drone and UAV are pretty much interchangeable) are just a technological advancement of the radio-controlled planes and helicopters that amateurs have been flying for years...

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Learning to Fly Your Personal Spy Drone: DJI Phantom 2 Vision. Watch video.

PopMech takes the Phantom 2 to Central Park, where we get the hang of flying a drone and operating its camera at the same time.

dji-phantom-drone image

Price: $1199

This recently released quadrotor isn’t designed to deliver best-selling novels or any other online-ordered cargo from the warehouse to your doorstep. But, theoretically at least, it could go looking for, say, an Amazon Prime Air delivery that’s gone MIA. That’s because the Phantom 2, which is simple to assemble and operate even for a drone rookie like me, has a Wi-Fi HD camera slung beneath its body that you can monitor and manipulate via an app on your iOS or Android smartphone. (Hey, I see the Amazon delivery drone that has my book, in a holding pattern 5 blocks east of my house.)

We recently got our hands on this commercial drone from Shenzhen-bas...

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