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AI2 NEWSLETTER | April 2021
In this edition: AI2 gains Vulcan's suite of conservation projects, RoboTHOR gains a robotic arm, the toxicity lurking in popular language models, and more.
A watchkeeper analyzes Skylight rendezvous alerts at an operations center in Accra, Ghana. (MMCC Zone F Photo)
The EarthRanger project consists of an array of technology including digital radios, vehicle trackers, aircraft trackers and camera traps, in addition to artificial intelligence. (Vulcan Image)
Vulcan’s climate modeling team works together prior to the coronavirus pandemic. (Vulcan Inc. Photo)

Vulcan's Conservation Programs Join AI2


Bringing together Paul Allen’s vision for advancing AI, improving life on Earth, impacting human lives, and following AI2’s mission of ‘AI for the Common Good' – we're excited to announce that the suite of environmental and conservation initiatives at Vulcan, Inc. will be joining our institute in September 2021! Look for a special issue on these new teams and projects coming up later this year.

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Announcing AI2-THOR V3: ManipulaTHOR


We're pleased to announce the 3.0 release of our embodied AI framework AI2-THOR, which adds active object manipulation in a new environment called ManipulaTHOR—a first-of-its-kind virtual agent with a highly articulated robot arm, bringing a more human-like approach to interacting with a variety of objects.

By enabling the training and evaluation of generalized capabilities in manipulation models, ManipulaTHOR allows for faster training in more complex environments as compared to current real-world training methods, while also being far safer and more cost-effective. Read the paper here: ManipulaTHOR: A Framework for Visual Object Manipulation

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Toxicity is lurking in popular language models


Reading larger and larger amounts of text from the web (news, blogs, etc.) has taught the latest natural language processing (NLP) systems such as GPT-3 to produce coherent, almost human-like texts of their own. Unfortunately, relying on web text for training these systems can lead to biased or toxic results. Are these systems safe to deploy, and what risks do they pose of producing offensive, problematic, or toxic content?
Learn more in our interactive demo: Real Toxicity Prompts

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Featured AI2er: Tushar Khot


We interview Aristo Sr. Research Scientist Tushar Khot about what he's been up to lately, what he's looking forward to working on next, some research advice, and more (including a kitten photo!) on the AI2 Blog.

AI2 Incubator graduate Ozette raises $6m in funding


Ozette, a life sciences startup incubated at AI2, recently raised $6 million in seed funding from Madrona Venture Group and the AI2 Incubator Fund. A collaboration between AI2 and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Ozette will use the seed funding to accelerate breakthroughs in disease-tracking. Learn more: 
Ozette raises $6 million for immune system-monitoring tech | VentureBeat

Breaking down paywalls and building bridges across disciplines with open access


Looking back at the first year of the pandemic, we have some interesting insights into the significant benefits of open access to scientific research.

CORD-19 One Year Later


Looking back over a year of impact in this interview with COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) co-creators Lucy Lu Wang and Kyle Lo, researchers at AI2.

A trio of RoboTHOR Challenges for 2021


We recently launched the ObjectNav, Rearrangement, and ALFRED challenges at the CVPR 2021 Embodied-AI Workshop. These challenges require AI agents to navigate environments, rearrange rooms, and follow complex instructions in the AI2-THOR environment. Leaderboards for these challenges close on May 31st, 2021!
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