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Workplace Transparency or Big Brother? The Rise of AI Monitoring Tools

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Major corporations like Walmart, Delta Air Lines, T-Mobile, Chevron, and Starbucks are using Aware, an AI firm, to analyze employee communications. They are monitoring messages on platforms like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom to gauge employee sentiment and identify risks.

  • Aware's technology is analyzing about 20 billion individual interactions across more than 3 million employees, aiming to detect issues such as bullying, harassment, and noncompliance.

  • Critics argue that such surveillance treats employees more like inventory than people, with potential for 'thought crime' accusations.

  • Companies using Aware's technology assert it's for governance, risk, and compliance. Delta, for example, claims it utilizes the analytics for monitoring trends and sentiment among employees.

  • The employee surveillance AI market, part of the larger AI sector, has seen explosive growth, with Aware's revenue jumping 150% annually over the past five years.

USPTO: Only Humans, Not AI, Can Patent

In a significant declaration by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it has been officially stated that the realm of patent issuance is reserved exclusively for "natural humans."

This guidance, soon to be documented in the federal register, underscores the principle that patents serve to commend and incentivize human creativity and innovation.

Here's a concise overview of the USPTO's stance:

  • AI-Assisted Inventions Eligible, AI as Inventor Not: AI inventions can be patented, but the AI itself cannot be acknowledged as the inventor. A human must always be associated with patent claims.

  • Human Contribution a Must: Inventors must show a significant contribution to the invention process, beyond using AI to identify or refine inventions. This emphasizes the need for human intellectual input in inventing.

  • AI's Role Strictly as a Tool: The guidance emphasizes that AI, irrespective of its capabilities, is considered a tool in the inventive process and not a legal individual capable of holding patents.

Google's €25 Million AI Initiative in Europe

Google has launched a €25 million initiative to provide advanced AI skills to Europeans. The aim is to ensure that all layers of society, especially vulnerable and underserved communities, benefit from the AI revolution.

  • Google's AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe pledges €25 million towards AI education, with €10 million dedicated to supporting those at risk of being left behind by technological advancements.

  • Collaborating with the Centre for Public Impact and launching growth academies, Google aims to foster an ecosystem that uses AI to tackle societal challenges.

  • Led by Google's commitment to building a fairer and healthier society, the initiative seeks to make AI accessible to everyone, ensuring a balanced and equitable technological future.

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About Aware AI

Aware AI is a company specializing in analyzing employee messages across platforms such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. Several major companies, including WalmartDeltaT-MobileChevron, and Starbucks, use Aware’s technology to monitor communication among their employees.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Real-Time Sentiment Analysis helps companies understand the risk within their communications by analyzing employee sentiment in real time. 

  2. Behavior Detection models can identify various behaviors, including bullyingharassmentdiscriminationnoncompliance, and inappropriate content such as pornography or nudity

  3. Companies use Aware’s technology for governance risk and compliance, which accounts for about 80% of Aware’s business. 

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Highlights from the 2024 World AI Cannes Festival

Image Source : @WAICANNES

The World AI Cannes Festival (WAICF), a notable gathering in the scenic city of Cannes, recently concluded with over 16,000 AI experts in attendance. This year's event marked a departure from the hype, focusing instead on substantive discussions about the practical and ethical dimensions of artificial intelligence.

Key Highlights:

  • Practical AI Applications: Industry leaders like Jean-Bernard Hentz from Airbus and Anna Mareschi Danieli from Danieli & C S.p.A. shared insights on how AI is revolutionizing manufacturing and empowering workers with smarter tools for efficiency and innovation.

  • Yann LeCun’s Insights: Meta’s Chief AI Scientist, Yann LeCun, delivered compelling critiques on the current trends in AI, including the EU AI Act, and engaged in a memorable debate covering a range of controversial topics.

  • Engagement with the Public: An open day allowed the general public to explore AI through interactive sessions, highlighting the festival's commitment to fostering a wider understanding and enthusiasm for AI technology.

DAY 1: World Government Summit

The World Government Summit (WGS) 2024 in Dubai, scheduled for February 12-14, is set to focus on the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in shaping future governments. This pivotal event will bring together over 100 leaders from the AI industry, government, and academia, including notable figures like Sam Altman of Open AI and Jensen Huang of NVIDIA, to discuss AI’s impact on governance and society.

The agenda, centered around responsible AI governance and innovation, will feature discussions on ethical AI practices, educational enhancements, and infrastructure development, aimed at leveraging AI for global progress.

Image Source: @WorldGovSummit

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