back to article Can Amazon's AI really detect fear? Plus: Fresh deepfake video freaks everyone out again

Our weekly AI roundup is back from a little summer break, and once again covering bits and pieces from the world of machine learning beyond what's already been reported by Team Register. Eight-billion parameter model trained in under an hour: Nvidia claims it has managed to train the largest-known language model, with 8.3 …

  1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    A happy union

    Test the model with some random data...

    Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Detecting fear

    Could be useful in situations mentioned related to law enforcement. If it detects fear in someone pulled over by the police it would be a cue to consider handling the situation differently than if anger or aggression were detected. At least assuming it detects it accurately, which remains to be proven.

    It would also be useful to use AGAINST law enforcement - i.e. have a helmet mounted camera facing the officer in addition to the one showing what he sees. That might put a lie to some of the cases where a cop claims he "feared for his life" and that's why he shot an unarmed suspect. If the cops are going to be able to use "evidence" of what the suspect was feeling during an engagement, it is only fair that what a cop feels be entered into evidence as well.

    What is authorities and those who blindly support them always say? "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear". So why would they be against having this used on themselves if it is going to be used by them on others?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Detecting fear

      My immediate thought was that AI "fear detection" meant that "peril sensitive glasses" were on their way!

    2. wayne 8

      Re: Detecting fear

      As if people have no ability to read faces.

      "Why are you afraid?" "Anything you want to tell me now?"

      Police will be kinder and gentler, if they know you are showing fear.

      Sociopaths show no emotions.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Detecting fear

        "Police will be kinder and gentler, if they know you are showing fear." Citation needed.

  3. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Rekognition can now, apparently, identify fear

    They also claimed previously it could, apparently, identify people.

    I'm sure this is all going to be rolled into Ring at some point so that Alexa can confidently announce: "there is a frightened US congresswoman at your door; I have released the hounds" on the arrival of the postman. The truly frightening thing is that some people will genuinely believe this makes them "safer", without being able to explain precisely why.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Rekognition can now, apparently, identify fear

      Amazon's foray into selling snake oil continues apace, Rekognition can barely recognise people let alone emotions. You might as well measure people's foreheads and the distance between people's eyebrows, which people also did once upon a time to feel safe. For all we know that might be what Rekognition is doing under the hood.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rekognition can now, apparently, identify fear

      Dogs/Cats can too. :P

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rekognition can now, apparently, identify fear

        They detect the smell of fear.

        I have heard that some people can smell it too.

  4. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    What's supposed to happen 54 seconds in ? I can't detect anything other than a mild facial expression change - much less than the facial expressions he's already stretched. Can you show us the original video for comparison ?

    1. Ordinary Donkey

      The only thing I saw clearly change was that there was a discernable artefact across his forehead for a moment.

      1. John 104

        I thought it was pretty obvious. Hader is a good structure match for Cruse, so morphing is pretty easy. You can see it in the mouth and eyes throughout the video. If you need help, pull up a pic of a younger Cruse (if you dare) and pay close attention. This is the best one of these I have seen to date. Totally cool and totally creepy. Glad I'm a nobody!

        1. VinceH

          "This is the best one of these I have seen to date."

          Agreed - easily the best I've seen so far, and probably helped by Hader being a good match, as you said. That's probably also why the previous poster said they can't see it - which does defeat the object just a bit.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      His face morphs every time he does an impression of Tom Cruise. They're short, so it's easy to miss.

      1. F. Svenson

        Also, Seth Rogen, when he does that impression.

      2. NeilPost Silver badge

        Anyone car to take it down on a laptop to Kings Cross for the Facial Recognition there ??

  5. James 51

    How many people the system was trained on had depression, neuropathy or autism, down syndrome etc etc.

    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Could be useful to detect psychopaths who either haven't practised properly or whose responses are delayed while they process which emotion should be made to appear.

      1. VikiAi

        And then do what? Lock them all up because 0.2% of psychopaths are actually movie-psychopath dangerous? (The rest of us don't care enough about you to wish you any harm. Seriously!, harming others is an awful lot of effort to go to for at best a cheap endorphin hit!).

      2. James 51

        That process could also apply to people with autism. Having difficultly detecting and understanding emotion in others doesn't make you a psychopath:

        a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.

        Or even a sociopath:

        a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

        We all know what you meant but given how the how the law is being and abused for things like the hositle enviroment were law abiding people are being illegally hounded out of the country, best to nip such misunderstandings in the bud.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Yes, a regime founded on prosecuting alleged-propensity-for-thought-crime would be a fine addition to our current state of affairs. Let's just put that whole idea down and back away slowly.

  6. macjules
    Paris Hilton

    .. the armies of humans training today's AI systems

    When it is termed like that I instinctively think that we are not much more than a bunch of several billion monkeys banging away on keyboards until we get the result that we want.

    Perhaps if we all randomly hit the keyboard we might get a newer, improved Complete Works of Shakespeare.

    1. elkster88

      Re: .. the armies of humans training today's AI systems

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All you people look alike

    Didn't see one difference. Nope, same face, the whole way through. Pretty awesome job, morphing from one face into an entirely identical face!!

    (Posting anonymously, so the tar & feather crowd has to work on finding my address. You all look alike to me, too.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All you people look alike

      Well to be fair, Tom has only 1 character he does... I'm not sure if it's Type Casting to blame. Though again to be more fair, he is at least consistent, and that's a skill in any craft.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: All you people look alike

        I'd say he does two: ninny out of his depth in a situation that any normal competent person ought to be able to handle, and action idiot performing absurd and pointless stunts in a ridiculous situation. I'm not sure which is less believable or more annoying.

        (I confess I have not seen any of the films in which his performance has been praised by critics of some taste and discernment, such as Magnolia. There may be some gems in that pile of crap.)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


  9. wayne 8

    Got to move those GPUs

    The crypto mining craze has died down. Shortages have become a glut.

    Faced with over supply of GPUs, they are promoting AIs that require thousands of GPUs.


  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I’m a frequent consumer of all things Amazon, but I’m not touching Amazon’s IoT push with a 10ft pole.

    Amazon has a major Big Brother/1984 thing going on... the government is buying in, I’m buying out. No Amazon device with a camera or microphone will ever be in or around my home.

    @#$& creepy!

    Is right.

  11. JimC

    I'm just wondering

    How long it will be before scam cold callers will be able to imitate the voice of your family or friends...

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: I'm just wondering

      If they can match your number to a sample, they can do it now. Including using text-to-speech, so it can be completely automated.

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