Archive for November, 2015

Hardware advances aid in machine learning tasks

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In the last week we’ve seen some noteworthy developments in the cognitive computing field. Most significantly, Google and then Microsoft, open sourced their machine learning systems in an effort to move the field ahead. But software is not the only component involved in this advancement. There has also been significant progress in machine learning and other artificial intelligence tasks because we have more and faster processing power.

Some folks are beginning to look at what, if any, changes we need to ...

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Microsoft’s Satya Nadella Predicts Cortana To Replace Browser

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Onstage at Tim O’Reilly’s Next:Economy conference in San Francisco, CEO Satya Nadella discussed the coming role of smart assistants like Microsoft’s Cortana as browser-killers. Tomorrow, voice interfaces and cognitive software will take care of all the typing and lousy navigation choices we throw at browsers today, according to Nadella.

Read commentary from the O’Reilly Next:Economy conference at Business Insider

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Google open sources AI engine, TensorFlow

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Google has released its second-generation machine learning system in an effort to accelerate the field of artificial intelligence.

According to Google’s white paper on TensorFlow, “it is flexible and can be used to express a wide variety of algorithms, including training and inference algorithms for deep neural network models.” This highly scalable machine learning system can run on a single smartphone or across thousands of computers in datacenters. Jeff Dean, Senior Google Fellow, and Rajat Monga, Technical Lead, say ...

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Merrill Lynch On the Investment Opportunity in Robotics/AI

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Merrill Lynch/Bank of America Research has released a thick “thematic investing” report (300+ pp.) reviewing the state of robotics and AI development, exploring their impact, and outlining potential investment strategies. In broad strokes, the report calls for the overall market for robots and artificial intelligence-based systems to triple in the next five years to some $150+B, with robotics accounting for roughly $80B and AI systems $70B. Like other recent reports, it sees considerable labor force disruption arising from these trends.

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McKinsey On Workplace Automation & AI

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A new McKinsey Global Institute study examines the degree to which automation technology will impact “jobs, organizations, and the future of work.” The study will run into 2016, but an interim report released recently already provides plenty of profound data points for executives and workers alike to consider. Stunningly, for example, the McKinsey researchers conclude that currently demonstrable technologies have the potential to automate 45% of the activities workers are paid to perform. In an unusual but insightful twist, their ...

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Don’t Fear the Robots

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New York Times technology reporter Steve Lohr devotes a recent column to the current state of robotics and cognitive software, differentiates among the two, provides a wave to the Singularity hysteria, and usefully focuses attention on the degree to which cognitive software applications will assist human decision making—in the present and future tenses.

Read more at The New York Times

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Toyota’s $1B AI Bet

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Following on the heels of a $50M grant to Stanford and MIT to support artificial intelligence research, Toyota announced that it would open its own AI labs—one in Silicon Valley and one in Cambridge, MA. The company plans to spend $1B over five years and employ some 200 AI research scientists. Toyota is targeting a strategy of driver augmentation, in contrast to the driver replacement popularized by Google.

Read more at The New York Times

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Facebook CTO Pushes FAIR Progress

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In a talk at the popular Dublin Web Summit in Ireland, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer outlined the growing contributions of FAIR (Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research) to the Facebook user experience, highlighting features in the News Feed and in the new “M” virtual personal assistant.

Read more at Business Insider

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Susan Feldman Keynotes Knowledge Management World

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The November 4th sessions of the Knowledge Management World conference in Washington, D.C. kick off with a keynote address by Susan Feldman, co-founder of the Cognitive Computing Consortium.

The keynote addresses the entwined issues of innovation and knowledge management. Agility, speed and flexibility are key requirements for organizations today. Enterprises need a new approach to handling, analyzing, and acting on complex information—as it arrives. Feldman will discuss a new approach to knowledge management that addresses the complex problems enterprises are facing. ...

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An evolution in computing

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With interest and activity in the field of cognitive computing heating up, a succinct definition of cognitive computing and an overview of some of the technologies behind it might be useful. I’ll also share a few of the practical applications that are emerging in the field. They are already demonstrating just how effective cognitive computing can be at helping answer complex questions.

At its core, cognitive computing is a collaboration between people and computers with a simple goal: to magnify human ...

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