Industry News

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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Genius Hopes to Crowdsource Knowledge Across the Web

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Brooklyn startup Genius gets a serious profile from the Wall Street Journal. The company developed a web content annotation scheme originally for rap music (Rap Genius) which they are now generalizing to be available for readers to annotate any kind of web page content. Not unlike the crowd-sourced meta-tagging pioneered by del.icio.us or the social bookmarking tried and abandoned by multiple startups and even firms like Google, Genius hopes to attract enough user-generated annotation content to offer a new layer ...

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Intel Acquires Saffron

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Intel took the still-uncharacteristic (for a chipmaker) step of acquiring pure-play cognitive software maker Saffron. The vision of “baking AI onto chips” is as old as the field itself (note Symbolics, Thinking Machines and other AI hardware failures from the 1980s). But the devil is in the details. Intel apparently believes the Saffron team can help get it right this time.

Read More at Wired

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Old data sets yield new insights into spinal cord injuries

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Through a process they call data driven discovery doctors have discovered a previously unknown relationship between the long-term recovery of spinal cord injury victims and high blood pressure during surgery. They used a combination of topological data analysis and machine learning to find patterns in decades-old research notes and data that had been thought useless. Their overall conclusion was that the process of discovering novel patterns in large datasets has the potential to support outcome assessment, neurocritical care, treatment planning ...

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