Archive for 2016

2016 – Roundups on AI/Cognitive Computing

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As the days finally start to get longer and the year comes to a close, the trade press, and even the broader media, have a hard time resisting the urge to sum up what’s gone on in the past twelve months, and sometimes to look ahead.

For AI and Cognitive Computing, 2016 proved to be a breakout year in a number of ways, and we offer here links to three different and interesting perspectives.

In Software Development Times, Christina Cardoza enumerates the ...

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Consider Google Translate

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The New York Times Magazine features a beautifully prepared and presented article on the recent dramatic improvements in Google Translate brought about by deep learning technologies developed in the Google Brain division of Alphabet. But this is not simply an article about a breakthrough innovation, it is a nuanced discussion of the history, problems, and approaches, both failed and (sometimes) successful, that lie behind some of the most useful AI-supported facilities we use today.

As an example, author Gideon Lewis-Kraus notes:

“…in ...

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Where Are We With Cognitive Computing Today? Part 2.

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I recently had the opportunity to attend a focus group, sponsored by SAS Institute, on cognitive computing adoption outside the US. The group of early adopters attending this focus group was proceeding with caution. They had the bruises from past new technology experiments and don’t believe the hype around AI today. In each case, it was apparent, however, that they had support from high-level management, and that they were starting with a proof of concept, or several. We have heard ...

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SAS CTO on Viya™ and Cognitive

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The Huffington Post recently published an interview with Oliver Schabenberger, SAS Executive VP and CTO discussing the shifts in advanced analytics, the adoption of deep learning techniques, the increasing use of streaming data analytics, and the emergence of cognitive computing approaches in SAS product lines. All of these capabilities are anchored in SAS’s most recent Cloud platform offering, dubbed Viya™.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lolita-taub/cognitive-business-sas-an_b_13531248.html

Schabenberger takes a pragmatic view on how the AI-supported future will unfold:

“It is unlikely that AI will replace the processes ...

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Uber & Geometric Intelligence

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Uber’s announcement that it has acquired Geometric Intelligence and its 15 ai computer scientists can be viewed on the surface as yet another in a months’ long string of talent raids by the mega-tech firms on academic departments and ai startups.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/technology/uber-bets-on-artificial-intelligence-with-acquisition-and-new-lab.html

At another, more strategic level, it could be viewed as more evidence of capitulation on the part of the mega vendors—an acknowledgement that the more “cognitive” problems in upper level decision-making by ...

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Where Are We With Cognitive Computing Today? Part 1.

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Cognitive computing is emerging as a significant part of the next generation of computing. Because it is early days in this new generation of computing, there is still no widespread understanding of what it is and how it differs from some of its relatives: AI, internet of things, machine learning, conversational systems, bots, or NLP. We see in both the US and in Europe that companies are very interested, but are mostly still at the experimentation and proof of concept ...

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Amazon Introduces AWS Cloud Cognitive Services

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Amazon used its AWS re:Invent event in Las Vegas to introduce the first cognitive APIs available through Amazon Web Services. Rekognition, Polly, and Amazon Lex are three new featured services. They enable, respectively: object & facial recognition and categorization; text to speech conversion based on deep learning; and a forthcoming Alexa AI service for natural language question answering.

With Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Baidu, and IBM all publishing advanced AI-oriented APIs and services, Amazon is joining a crowded field—not, however as a ...

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Baidu Adds Speech Technologies to Palette of Cognitive APIs

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Baidu proves once again that it can play cognitive open source at the world class level of a Google or a Facebook or a Microsoft as it announced the availability of four core speech technologies. These are Long Utterance Speech Recognition, Far-Field Speech Recognition, Expressive Speech Synthesis and Wake Word.

The speech APIs join a growing list of public Baidu AI resources, including PaddlePaddle, its deep learning platform, and technologies for cognitive applications including: facial recognition, optical character recognition, and natural ...

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Facebook Attempts to Minimize the Importance of Fake News & Filter Bubble Problems

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“The problem with Facebook’s influence on political discourse is not limited to the dissemination of fake news. It’s also about echo chambers. The company’s algorithm chooses which updates appear higher up in users’ newsfeeds and which are buried. Humans already tend to cluster among like-minded people and seek news that confirms their biases. Facebook’s research shows that the company’s algorithm encourages this by somewhat prioritizing updates that users find comforting.”

So writes Zeynep Tufekci, an associate professor at the University of North ...

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Notes from World of Watson 2016

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IBM’s World of Watson served up an impressive smorgasbord this year: topnotch speakers, thought provoking research, roving robots, and Olli, a self-driving bus/tour guide. For those of us who have tracked cognitive computing since its beginning, the most impressive part of the conference was its size: 17,000 people trekking among multiple venues, hundreds of exhibitors. It’s apparent that AI and cognitive computing and IoT are all converging, and that it’s difficult to tease them apart.

Aside from the mandatory linguistic aspects ...

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