Industry News

Pursuing AI Research in a Context of Human Ethics

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The New York Times is reporting an nascent effort on the part of leading commercial companies with AI research programs, including Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon, to work together in self-regulating the interactions of social and ethical considerations with AI research.

The Times report is here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/02/technology/artificial-intelligence-ethics.html?ref=technology

The big 5 are discussing a collaboration to devise a framework to insure ethical research and development efforts, as artificial intelligence and cognitive computing systems increasingly enter into and in some cases direct decision ...

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Approaches to Artificial Neuron Processing: Phase Change Materials et. al.

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IBM has announced multiple projects in its program to design a new generation of chips that might achieve orders-of-magnitude improvements in power and efficiency. The general model for this research is the low power consumption, highly connected, extremely flexible and adaptable human brain.

This week, the firm’s Zurich-based semiconductor unit published a report of their work in Nature Nanotechnolgy. The article describes their success at using phase change materials to create artificial neurons.

Find a summary of the work here:

http://siliconangle.com/blog/2016/08/03/ibm-develops-new-artificial-neurons-that-process-data-like-the-human-brain/

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Machines, Biology and the New Coding Era

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Veteran Boston-based radio host Christopher Lydon takes on the intersection of biotech and cognitive in a three-part series of shows on Radio Open Source. The first episode Apocalypse Now?: The Rise of the Machines, aired on August 4 and is available online at:

http://radioopensource.org/apocalypse-now-part-1-rise-machines/

The second episode, Apocalypse Now?: A Remade Man, dives into the biotech revolution and how new coding techniques are leading to a variety of breakthroughs in medicine and elsewhere. This show is available here:

http://radioopensource.org/apocalypse-now-remade-man/

The third episode ...

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Getting from A to B: Cognitive Scale Infusion

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Austin-based cognitive platform startup Cognitive Scale announced that it had closed a $21.8 Series B round of funding lead by Intel Capital and Norwest Venture Partners. See more details:

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2016/08/02/austin-big-data-software-maker-rakes-in-21-8m.html

Founded in 2013 and launched in 2014 by Manoj Saxena and Matt Sanchez, former IBM Watson executives, the company had significant early support from Saxena’s The Entrepreneurs’ Fund. The new round is another indicator that the venture community is beginning to look at cognitive as a maturing opportunity. Most cognitive and ...

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CEO Roundup — Views On AI from 5 Top Tech Execs

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Business Insider offers a capsule summary of the current views on AI held by five of the most influential executives in technology: Eric Schmidt of Google, Elon Musk of Tesla & Space X, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

On malicious AI, with the exception of Musk, they trend non-alarmist. On near-term and medium-term opportunities, they are cautiously optimistic.

Satya Nadella, in particular, has a recent nuanced view articulated in Slate.

The bottom line is that ...

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Financial Times Doubles Down on Robots’ Impacts

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Robotics, like cognitive computing, is a field in full upheaval. Today’s market has left welding, assembling, and spray painting far behind and is now knocking on the door of blue collar and white collar skills alike. Implications are seismic for applications ranging from military weaponry to journalism to customer service to emerging investment niches. The Financial Times collects a large selection of perspectives on robots’ impacts across the business spectrum.

Read more at The Financial Times

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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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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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Futures in Machine Intelligence

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Investor and analytics software entrepreneur David Beyer of Amplify Partners has authored a report that collects ten interviews with practitioners working with a wide range of machine learning tools, approaches, and applications. There has been significant progress in the field over the past months, leading up to (among other things) the recent triumph of Google’s winning Go machine. The intention is to look at the field from the point of view of practitioners who are grappling with the “ideas and ...

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