March 03, 2021

AI/ML

DailyHum News
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Amazon launches reinforcement learning tools to manage robots’ workflows
AI/ML

Amazon today launched SageMaker Reinforcement Learning (RL) Kubeflow Components, a toolkit supporting the company’s AWS RoboMaker service for orchestrating robotics workflows. Amazon says that the goal is to make it faster to experiment and manage robotics workloads from perception to controls and optimization, and to create end-to-end solutions without having to rebuild them each time.Robots are being used more widely for purposes that are increasing in sophistication, like assembly, picking and packing, last-mile delivery, environmental monitoring, search and rescue, and assisted surgery. In China, Oxford Economics anticipates 12.5 million manufacturing jobs will become automated, while in the U.S., McKinsey projects that machines will take upwards of 30% of such jobs. As for reinforcement learning, it’s an emerging AI technique that can help develop solutions for the kinds of problems that are increasingly cropping up in robotics.
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Simple Genetic Algorithm From Scratch in Python
AI/ML

The genetic algorithm is a stochastic global optimization algorithm. It may be one of the most popular and widely known biologically inspired algorithms, along with artificial neural networks. The algorithm is a type of evolutionary algorithm and performs an optimization procedure inspired by the biological theory of evolution by means of natural selection with a […]
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Microsoft brings RPA to Windows 10 with new Power Platform products
AI/ML

Microsoft announced AI-focused Power Platform products at its Microsoft Ignite 2021 conference, which kicked off in earnest today. Among the highlights is Power Automate Desktop for Windows 10 users, a robotic process automation service (RPA) that automates tasks within Windows across various apps. New Power Virtual Agents features were also unveiled.RPA — technology that automates monotonous, repetitive chores traditionally performed by human workers — is big business. Forrester estimates that RPA and other AI subfields created jobs for 40% of companies in 2019 and that a tenth of startups now employ more digital workers than human ones. According to a McKinsey survey, at least a third of activities could eventually be automated in about 60% of occupations.
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Algorithmia’s latest tools aim to solve ML governance challenges
AI/ML

Algorithmia is today debuting new reporting tools which aim to solve machine learning (ML) governance challenges. Research conducted by the company found that the number one challenge organisations are facing with their deployments is governance. 56 percent of the IT leaders surveyed by Algorithmia ranked governance, security, and auditability issues as a major concern. 67... Read more » The post Algorithmia’s latest tools aim to solve ML governance challenges appeared first on AI News.
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ETL company Airbyte raises $5.2M to integrate open source data
AI/ML

Airbyte today announced it has raised $5.2 million in seed funding as part of an effort to make open source tools for managing and integrating data more accessible.The company, which offers an open source extract transform and load (ETL) tool used to create data pipelines, is now seeking to further democratize that process. This includes, for example, building complementary open source tools to govern and secure data, Airbyte cofounder and CEO Michel Tricot told VentureBeat.Internal IT teams have historically employed ETL tools to move data between repositories. In recent years, however, data analysts have been using these tools to load data into warehouses without requiring any intervention on the part of an IT team.
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Annual index finds AI is ‘industrializing’ but needs better metrics and testing
AI/ML

China has overtaken the United States in total number of AI research citations, fewer AI startups are receiving funding, and Congress is talking about AI more than ever. Those are three major trends highlighted in the 2021 AI Index, an annual report released today by Stanford University. Now in its fourth year, the AI Index attempts to document advances in artificial intelligence, as well as the technology’s impact on education, startups, and government policy. The report details progress in the performance of major subdomains of AI, like deep learning, image recognition, and object detection, as well as in areas like protein folding.The AI Index is compiled by the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and an 11-member steering committee, with contributors from Harvard University, OECD, the Partnership on AI, and SRI International. The AI Index utilizes datasets from a range of sources, like AI research data from arXiv, funding data from Crunchbase, and surveys of groups like Black in AI and Queer in AI. A major trend also identified in the report is the industrialization of AI, said Jack Clark, head of an OECD group working on algorithm impact assessment and former policy director for OpenAI.
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Cipher Skin raises $5 million for mesh sensors that detect motion in real time
AI/ML

Cipher Skin, a startup developing a network of wraparound sensors that can deliver big data diagnostics, today announced it has raised $5 million in a series A round led by Boyett Group. The company says the funds, which bring Cipher’s total raised to date to $7.8 million, will bolster development of the company’s existing product line and new products in markets like oil, gas, and winemaking.After his career in the U.S. special operations forces, Cipher CEO Phillip Bogdanovich started training in the gym with Craig Weller, a physical coach he met when serving in Baghdad. Bogdanovich says that as soon as he was separated from Weller, he noticed his recovery began slowing.While back in the U.S., Bogdanovich and Weller began brainstorming how the training process could be scaled to allow people at home to experience the equivalent of a coach watching and providing feedback. They met with Shaka Bahadu, a physician and health care operations specialist, and the three collaborated to build the sensor platform that became Cipher.
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Dooly raises $20 million to organize sales information with AI
AI/ML

Vancouver, Canada-based Dooly, a startup developing an AI-powered plugin for customer relationship management (CMR) platforms, today announced that it raised $20 million, a combination of $3.3 million seed and $17 million series A tranches. The company plans to use the capital to scale its platform well into this year, according to CEO Kris Hartvigsen.Salesforce’s 2019 State of Sales Report found that, on average, salespeople only spend 34% of their day selling products. Among the biggest culprits of the lost time is the disconnect between enterprises’ need for a CRM and the fact that these platforms don’t always map to how salespeople work. According to a recent survey, one of the top barriers to CRM adoption is the amount of manual data entry. Moreover, it’s estimated that sales professionals spend two-thirds of their office hours on administrative tasks like software management.
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Beam raises $80 million for AI-driven dental coverage that rewards good hygiene
AI/ML

Beam Dental, a Columbus, Ohio-based dental benefits provider, today announced it has raised $80 million in an oversubscribed series E round led by Mercato Partners. Beam says the funds will be put toward expanding its offering to new markets, product R&D, and onboarding employee benefits brokerages.Alex Curry, Alex Frommeyer, and Dan Dykes founded Beam in 2012 in an effort to make dental care more affordable. Using AI, Beam rewards policyholders who brush and floss more with cheaper rates, reflecting the fact that preventative care reduces the likelihood of expensive dental work and emergency visits down the line. In the 41 states where the company’s plans are available, Beam sells a semiannual subscription service that consists of a Bluetooth-enabled sonic toothbrushf — the Beam Brush — along with paste, floss, and refill heads. Customers optionally sync after each brush with Beam’s companion smartphone app, which spits out a grade from “A” to “D” depending on how consistently they’ve kept up with good hygiene routines.
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5 jobs that you should apply for this week (before it’s too late)
AI/ML

Looking for a new job can be a pretty daunting experience that we all have to go through. It can be hard to know where to even begin — especially when you throw a global pandemic into the mix. Tricky, to say the least. Here at Venture Beat, we want to help, and try to get as many of you into jobs you love.So, we’ve done a round-up of some pretty amazing roles that are taking applications at the moment. Check them out and start applying!Office Administrator, Reynolds and ReynoldsThe Office Administrator plays an active role in supporting the field sales organization. As the Office Administrator, you will be assigned multiple sales regions to support sales directors and representatives with their day to day responsibilities. These tasks include generating reports, coordinating meetings and travel, scheduling conference calls, and managing calendars. Other responsibilities will include assisting with the distribution of company-issued equipment and office supplies, updating or adding customer and vendor information, and other special projects as assigned. If you are detail oriented, organized, and enjoy working with people, this is the position for you!
DailyHum News
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Voice assistants enable enterprise automation, CRM, and data intelligence
AI/ML

The enterprise is experiencing an uptick in voice technology adoption during the pandemic. In a recent survey of 500 IT and business decision-makers in the U.S., France, Germany, and the U.K., 28% of respondents said they were using voice technologies and 84% expect to be using them in the next year.Voice assistants like Google Assistant, Cortana, Alexa, and Oracle Digital Assistant can analyze enterprise-specific vocabulary and derive intelligence from enterprise applications like enterprise resource management, customer relationship management, and HR systems. They’re also able to automate tasks like scheduling meetings, setting reminders, and assisting with conference call setup, as well as transcribing video and voice meetings.
DailyHum News
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Microsoft launches Azure Arc machine learning and container services
AI/ML

At its Ignite 2021 virtual conference this week, Microsoft announced updates across Azure Arc, its service that brings Azure products and management to multiple clouds, edge devices, and datacenters with auditing, compliance, and role-based access. Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes, which launched in preview last May, is now generally available. And a new offering, Azure Arc-enabled Machine Learning, is entering preview starting today.The benefits of AI and machine learning can feel intangible at times, but surveys show this hasn’t deterred enterprises from adopting the technology. Business use of AI grew 270% from 2015 to 2019, according to Gartner, while Deloitte says 62% of respondents to its corporate October 2018 report deployed some form of AI, up from 53% in 2017. But adoption doesn’t always meet with success, as the roughly 25% of companies that have seen half their AI projects fail will tell you.
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Fostering ethical thinking in computing
AI/ML

New case studies series examines social, ethical, and policy challenges of present-day computing activities.
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MIT Solve announces 2021 global challenges
AI/ML

New tracks for innovation address antiracist technology in the US, digital inclusion, equitable classrooms, health security and pandemics, and resilient ecosystems.
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AI ethics research conference suspends Google sponsorship
AI/ML

The ACM Conference for Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAccT) has decided to suspend its sponsorship relationship with Google, conference sponsorship co-chair and Boise State University assistant professor Michael Ekstrand confirmed today. The organizers of the AI ethics research conference came to this decision a little over a week after Google fired Ethical AI lead Margaret Mitchell and three months after the firing of Ethical AI co-lead Timnit Gebru. Google has subsequently reorganized about 100 engineers across 10 teams, including placing Ethical AI under the leadership of Google VP Marian Croak.“FAccT is guided by a Strategic Plan, and the conference by-laws charge the Sponsorship Chairs, in collaboration with the Executive Committee, with developing a sponsorship portfolio that aligns with that plan,” Eckstrand told VentureBeat in an email. “The Executive Committee made the decision that having Google as a sponsor for the 2021 conference would not be in the best interests of the community and impede the Strategic Plan. We will be revising the sponsorship policy for next year’s conference.”
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How Uber Freight handled shifts in demand during the pandemic
AI/ML

Roughly 80% of all cargo in the U.S. is transported by the 7.1 million people who drive flatbed trailers, dry vans, and other heavy lifters for the country’s 1.3 million trucking companies. The trucking industry generates $726 billion in revenue annually and is forecast to grow 75% by 2026. Even before the pandemic, last-mile delivery was fast becoming the most profitable part of the supply chain, with research firm Capgemini pegging its share of the pie at 41%.To tap into this, in 2017 Uber launched Uber Freight, the company’s grab at the $8.1 trillion global logistics transport industry. Uber Freight connects carriers and drivers with companies that need to move cargo. When a business schedules a delivery through Uber Freight for shippers, they get prices upfront in the Uber Freight app. Customers are matched intelligently with carriers in Uber’s network and see a real-time, mutually agreed-upon quote that’s determined by market conditions and “other factors.”
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Kaskada launches platform to prep data for AI models
AI/ML

Feature engineering, or the process of using domain knowledge to extract features from data, is essential to tuning AI and machine learning performance. It’s also typically arduous and involves rewriting features before they’re deployed. Often, a missing piece is infrastructure that bridges the gap between training models and serving AI results in production environments.That’s why in 2018 Ben Chambers and Davor Bonaci cofounded Kaskada, which uses mining techniques to compute and serve AI features in real time. Today, following the closure of an $8 million funding round, the Seattle, Washington-based startup announced the general availability of its feature engineering platform for individual data scientists and companies, after a period of beta testing with early adopters.
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Featured: AI News’ list of innovative companies to watch in 2021
AI/ML

Companies around the world have ramped up their AI deployments over the past year. As with any emerging technology, AI has brought significant opportunities but also its fair share of challenges. In this feature, AI News takes a look at some of the most innovative companies leading the way in maximising the opportunities while minimising... Read more » The post Featured: AI News’ list of innovative companies to watch in 2021 appeared first on AI News.
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Microsoft launches semantic search feature for enterprises and new form-recognizing features in Azure
AI/ML

During the Microsoft Ignite 2021 conference, which is taking place virtually this week, the company announced new products and updates across the whole of its Azure AI cloud product portfolio. Among other highlights, Microsoft rolled out a semantic search capability in Azure Cognitive Search that enables developers to deliver search results based on intent, as opposed to only keywords. And it launched new features in Form Recognizer — which automates the ingestion of forms to extract key value pairs as JSON objects — to help expedite the processing of certain documents.The benefits of AI feel intangible at times, but surveys show this hasn’t deterred businesses from adopting the technology in droves. Business use of AI grew a whopping 270% over the past four years, according to Gartner, while Deloitte says 62% of respondents to its corporate October 2018 report deployed some form of AI, up from 53% in 2019. But adoption doesn’t always meet with success, as the roughly 25% of companies that have seen half their AI projects fail will tell you.
DailyHum News
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Microsoft unveils Azure Percept, a family of edge devices optimized for AI
AI/ML

During its Microsoft Ignite 2021 conference this week, Microsoft unveiled Azure Percept, a platform of hardware and services aimed at simplifying the ways customers can use AI technologies at the edge. According to the company, the goal of the new offering is to give customers an end-to-end system, from the hardware to the AI and machine learning capabilities.Edge computing is forecast to be a $6.72 billion market by 2022. Its growth will coincide with that of the deep learning chipset market, which some analysts predict will reach $66.3 billion by 2025. There’s a reason for these rosy projections — edge computing is expected to make up roughly three-quarters of the total global AI chipset business in the next six years.
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Salesforce launches tool to help businesses drive loyalty during the pandemic
AI/ML

Salesforce today unveiled a product designed to help companies that are selling through distribution channels automate, scale, and leverage AI-driven insights for their rebate programs. Called Rebate Management, it taps a customizable data model to promote visibility and collaboration for sales teams and partners.The pandemic and corresponding rise in online shopping threaten to push supply chains to the breaking point. Early in the COVID-19 crisis, Amazon was forced to restrict the amount of inventory suppliers could send to its warehouses. Ecommerce order volume has increased by 50% compared with 2019, and shipment times for products like furniture more than doubled in March. Overall U.S. digital sales have jumped by 30%, expediting the online shopping transition by as much as two years.
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Sonantic uses AI to infuse emotion in automated speech for game prototypes
AI/ML

Sonantic has figured out how to use AI to turn written words into spoken dialogue in a script, and it can infuse those words with the proper emotion.And it turns out this is a pretty good way to prototype the audio storytelling in triple-A video games. That’s why the Sonantic technology is finding use with 200 different video game companies for audio engineering.The AI can provide true emotional depth to the words, conveying complex human emotions from fear and sadness to joy and surprise. The breakthrough advancement revolutionizes audio engineering capabilities for gaming and film studios, culminating in hyper-realistic, emotionally expressive and controllable artificial voices.“Our first pilots were for triple-A companies, and then when we started building this,” said cofounder Zeena Qureshi in an interview with GamesBeat. “We went a lot more vertical and deeper into just working very closely with these types of partners. And what we found is the highest quality bar is for these studios. And so it’s really helped us bring our technology into a very great place.”
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Gatik raises $9 million to winterize self-driving box trucks
AI/ML

Gatik, a startup developing an autonomous vehicle stack for B2B short-haul logistics, today announced it has raised $9 million, with $1 million coming from a partnership with Ontario’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN). Gatik says the AVIN collaboration — part of an Ontario government program providing R&D, business, technical, and talent support, as well as vehicle test tracks — will help it understand how inclement weather affects its vehicles’ movementsSome experts predict the pandemic will hasten adoption of autonomous vehicles for delivery. Self-driving cars, vans, and trucks promise to minimize the risk of spreading disease by limiting driver contact. This is particularly true with regard to short-haul freight, an estimated 30% of which takes place in snowy and icy conditions. The producer price index for local truckload carriage jumped 20.4% from July to August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most likely propelled by demand for short-haul distribution from warehouses and distribution centers to ecommerce fulfillment centers and stores.
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Iterative.ai updates MLOps platform to streamline and support cloud provisioning
AI/ML

Iterative.ai, provider of a framework for managing machine learning operations (MLOps), today announced updates to its open source Data Version Control (DVC) and Continuous Machine Learning (CML) open source projects.CML is an open source library for automating tasks such as model training and evaluation, comparing ML experiments across their project history, and monitoring changing datasets. Deployed as a set of Docker containers, it enables IT teams to apply many of the same DevOps automation principles that are used to build applications to the development of AI models by using a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform, Iterative.ai CEO and founder Dmitry Petrov said.
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Five common use cases where machine learning can make a big difference
AI/ML

While many industries are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, both the IT industry and the broader trend of transition to remote work have revealed many areas where traditional approaches to managing businesses create unnecessary waste. Still, data science and its subdivision – machine learning – reveal that such expansion is nearly limitless. Machine learning uses... Read more » The post Five common use cases where machine learning can make a big difference appeared first on AI News.
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