Archive for 2016

Smarter Perspectives Needed to Prepare for Smart Machines

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Tom Davenport and the International Institute for Analytics offer a thoughtful perspective on “how to help humans work better with smart machines.” This is not the first or the last word you will hear on this issue, but it provides an important, business-based perspective on what can be a largely emotional topic.

Read more at International Institute for Analytics

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IBM’s concierge bot serves hotel guests in interesting ways

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I learned three things from IBM’s Connie the concierge robot when I visited her at the Hilton in McClean, Virginia. First, my Southern accent is much stronger than I realized. Second, voice recognition systems still have trouble understanding some of us. Third, the natural language processing capabilities of this Watson-driven robot are impressive, but our brief acquaintance indicates that they fall short of being cognitive.

According to IBM’s March press release about the project, “Connie uses a combination of Watson ...

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IBM Watson Meets Big Bird

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Children are natural explorers. They like to learn. However, their learning styles can vary wildly. How can we allow each child to learn at his or her own pace, teaching them what they need to know, but within the context of what excites each child’s curiosity? Can we deliver knowledge when they are most ready to learn it? Can we deliver those ideas within the context of the world they know to enhance and deepen learning?

On April 27th, IBM Watson ...

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Viv To Demo “New” Virtual Assistant

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Attendees at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference will see the first large public demo of startup Viv Labs’ “Viv” virtual assistant. In gestation for over a decade and in concentrated development since Viv Labs was founded 4 years ago, the new assistant brings an open architecture model to the problem of creating a voice-driven personal service with range and depth.

Created by the team that developed Siri and sold it to Apple, the goal of Viv is literally to replace the current middleman ...

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AI First World for Google

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Google (not to be confused with Alphabet) CEO Sundar Pichai used the company’s (Alphabet’s) annual “founders’ letter” to paint a brief but interesting picture of the company’s commitment to intelligent assistant technologies:

Looking to the future, the next big step will be for the very concept of the “device” to fade away. Over time, the computer itself—whatever its form factor—will be an intelligent assistant helping you through your day. We will move from mobile first to an AI first world.

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Beyond the Hype: Cognitive Computing and Your Business, Your Job, Your Life

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The noise level in the press about cognitive computing is rising dramatically—we see can this from Google Trends, which show us that the popularity of searches for “cognitive computing” on Google are up almost exactly 100% from a year ago. This should be good news for those interested in the emergence of our current “third platform of computing” (IDC, Open Group). But a fair question about all this attention is: “Is the hype shedding more light on the issues and ...

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Rob High Suggests Emotional Analysis is Next

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IBM Watson CTO Rob High presented a keynote recently at the NVidia GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, in which he took the 3,500 attendees through the milestones of Watson development since the 2011 Jeopardy win, reviewed the differences between AI and Cognitive Computing, and suggested that a core future development area for Watson will be taking the analysis of sentiment beyond “red light/green light” toward a more textured understanding of personality, emotion, and tone.

Read more at ...

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Cautionary Tales for Digital Assistant Apps

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Young human ex-question-answerer Biz Carson offers an insider’s look at human-assisted search apps and what can go wrong when developers leave humans and machines to collaborate to find the “best” answers to users’ questions. While she specifically points to Facebook’s M as a candidate for falling into some of the same negative dynamics that beset her former company (would-be search innovator ChaCha) in 2009, her experience sheds light equally well on any cognitive app being developed to provide more than ...

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Cognitive Computing Consortium Launches, Creating an Independent Resource Hub for Cognitive Computing Professionals

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BOSTON, Mass. – April 5, 2016 – The Cognitive Computing Consortium is officially launching today. As a growing group of private and public organizations as well as individual professionals, the Consortium is focused on advancing innovation in cognitive computing.

The consortium is an interactive forum for researchers, developers and practitioners of cognitive computing and its allied technologies. With roots in a working group of major industry luminaries, the Consortium was co-founded by Sue Feldman, CEO, Synthexis; and Continue Reading →

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Racing to be the Google of the Conversation Age

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Slate’s senior technology writer Will Oremus makes a cover story out of the current state of the experience(s) of engaging with our voice-recognizing consumer digital assistants. Looking at Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s mobile search app, Facebook’s M, and of course Apple’s Siri, Oremus puts together a thorough, critical, textured, and often amusing account of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we may be headed in conversational relationships with cognitive services.

Read more at Slate

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