AI News: Top 3 Creepy Guys

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At the start of the month, Blade Runner 2049 hit the big screens around the world. Along with a star-studded cast, the long-awaited sequel to the original cult classic presented a new villain interpreted by Jared Leto. We heard that Denis Villeneuve, the director of the movie, said the movie’s new villain was directly inspired by reality. This got us thinking - who did he draw inspiration from? Here’s our guess; it’s the top three creepiest guys in technology today.

 

In third place, we have Michael Levandowski. He was actually featured in one of our videos last week, but not for the same reason he’s in this list. The infamous ex-Uber engineer has founded a new religion called ‘Way of the Future’. The non-profit religious organisation intends to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society." While it could be argued that there are stranger beliefs out there, this is definitely up there in terms of absurdity.

 

Marc Raibert, CEO of Boston Dynamics is our second choice. From the company that brought us ‘Spot the Dog’, Boston Dynamic’s latest creation is the Handle robot. While this is an absolutely amazing use of AI, we would be remiss if we didn’t admit that this robot isn’t at least somewhat unsettling. Some might say that it’s the closest thing to Robocop we’ve ever seen - certified creepy.

 

In first place is Peter Thiel, founder of Paypal. Thiel’s unorthodox activity undoubtedly contributed to some believing he’s actually the inspiration for Silicon Valley’s Peter Gregory. In recent times, the eccentric billionaire and angel investor directly assisted the takedown of gossip website Gawker after they publicly outed him for being gay. However, the reason he gets our vote for being the creepiest guy in technology today is due to his interest in life-extension technologies. He’s heavily invested in the Methuselah Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to "extending the healthy human lifespan by advancing tissue engineering and regenerative medicine therapies". Put simply, they draw blood from young donors and inject it into those that wish to prolong their life. No further comment required.

 

 
 

We conclude this week’s AI News with ICCV 2017: one of the most prestigious research conferences in computer vision and machine learning. The conference is taking place between October 22nd-28th in Venice, Italy. We’ll be sure to bring you the latest news from ICCV next week. In the meantime, check out our YouTube channel for videos on the same topic and more!