AI and Automation News Roundup

AI and Automation News Roundup

From exciting, new applications to electrifying tech innovations, the twin fields of artificial intelligence and automation are evolving every day. If you missed the latest developments making the news, we have you covered. Here’s a quick recap of the top three AI and automation stories worth knowing.

GPT in the Courtroom? Not So Fast, Says Creator of AI Chatbot “Lawyer”

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s large language model chatbot, has been dominating the headlines since it debuted last November. Since then, there’s been no shortage of speculation around future uses of the platform. Earlier this month, DoNotPay CEO Joshua Browder, tweeted that his company would pay any person or lawyer $1 million to let his company’s “robot lawyer” argue their case before the Supreme Court. The defendant would simply need to wear AirPods and repeat what the AI-powered advocate, which is built on OpenAI’s GPT-3 API, said in court. The bold proposition was quickly met with a volley of opposition, ranging from the legality of AI-based defense to the use of electronic devices in the courtroom. Despite these concerns, Browder tweeted that NoNotPay’s AI chatbot “lawyer” would argue its first court case (albeit not for the Supreme Court) on February 22. However, five days after the announcement, he walked back his challenge to bring AI into the courtroom when State Bar prosecutors threatened to take legal action.

AI Determines Mystery Painting is “Likely” a Raphael Masterpiece 

The origins of the mysterious Renaissance painting, named the de Brécy Tondo, became a little clearer this month when researchers in the U.K. analyzed the portrait using artificial intelligence and facial recognition software. Using a specially developed DNN (Deep Neural Network) system, the team was able to identify patterns similar to those found in other Raphael masterworks. According to Hassan Ugail, a professor of visual computing at Bradford who developed the system, the program’s machine learning algorithm sorts through millions of facial images to learn “deep” features and characteristics of the human face. “These features may be the physical attributes (e.g., shapes, colours and textures of the face) but also include a lot (potentially thousands of features) which cannot be described visually or physically,” Ugail told CBS News via email. As a result, the program all but confirmed what other Raphael experts had suspected—that the portrait was likely an unknown piece by the famous 16th century painter. 

Walgreens is Rethinking its Pharmacy Automation Offering 

Pharmacy automation has become big business, with several leading chains (and even some unlikely disruptors) working aggressively toward digital prescription drug fulfillment. This month, U.S. pharmacy giant Walgreens revealed that it was weighing the sale of its pharmacy automation business, which could fetch up to $2 billion. The announcement came as a surprise to many industry analysts who have noted the increasing importance of automation in digital pharmacy services. “Given some of the internal issues Walgreens and all pharmacy chains have had related to staffing, it would seem that [automation] would be a need rather than something to sell off,” said Antonio Ciaccia, a pharmacy sector analyst and the CEO of research firm 46brooklyn, in an article by Axios. Walgreens’ latest announcement stands in contrast to the automation strategies of several of its key competitors, chiefly CVS, which recently acquired several assets by the tech-enabled pharmacy company MedAvail, and Amazon, which recently announced a $5-a-month prescription plan as an add-on to its Prime membership. 

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