October 19, 2019

AI/ML

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5 predictions for AI’s impact on customer experience in 2020 (VB Live)
AI/ML

Presented by Bold360 by LogMeIn2019 is wrapping up — time to take stock of the customer service trends that shaped the year, and get positioned for 2020. Join this VB Live event for a look at the predictions that came true, the hype that fizzled, and what’s next for AI, CX, and chatbot technology.Register here for free.Don’t underestimate the power of end-of-the-year wrap-ups on business decisions. With 2020 right around the corner, it’s time to take a good hard look at how you’ve measured up to your own goals for the year, whether you’ve kept pace with your competition, and if your own predictions for the year came true.In Forrester’s 2018 report on customer service and AI, the company reported that 2019 was about to be the Year of the Human, complete with workers revolting against the robots who were taking over their jobs and consumer backlash against badly done chatbots. A variety of surveys reporting that up to 50% of consumers wanted their live agents back or thought chatbots were the worst seemed to back Forrester’s warnings up.
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Machine Learning Embodying Fear and AI Autonomous Cars
AI/ML

AI self-driving cars should make use of fear within their action plans; you want the self-driving car to be “fearful” of hitting other cars.
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Here’s how to blow everyone’s minds with your company’s AI product at Transform 2020
AI/ML

The Transform Technology Showcase is back at Transform 2020, July 15-16 in San Francisco, and applications are open. Throw your hat in the ring now if you think your AI product or service is groundbreaking, cutting edge, or just plain cool — and delivers real-world results.If we agree, you could be one of the 14 companies getting up on the main stage at next year’s event. You’ll be presenting in front of an audience of business and technology leaders, decision makers ready to make a deal, and you’ll get VentureBeat editorial and video coverage too.Not optional: your product must blow our minds, and your company must fit one of the following four categories:To learn more about the showcase and submit your application, check out the Transform Technology Showcase Overview now.
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Corelight raises $50 million to monitor networks for intruders
AI/ML

Corelight, a San Francisco-based startup developing a network traffic analysis platform for cybersecurity, today announced that it has raised $50 million in a series C funding round led by Insight Partners and Accel. The fresh capital brings its total raised to $84 million, following a $25 million series B in September 2018 and a $9.2 million series A in July 2017. CEO Greg Bell said the fresh funds will accelerate Corelight’s investments in product development, research, sales, and marketing.“What makes our data-first security approach so powerful is the global community behind it,” added Bell. “That community generously contributes new detections, parsers, and other capabilities for the benefit of all defenders. In addition to helping Corelight accelerate commercial progress, the new investment will enable us to engage and serve our community at a higher level. Belief in this joint vision is a key driver for the partnership with Insight and Accel, two renowned and experienced firms.”
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Wing launches drone delivery in Christiansburg, Virginia
AI/ML

As of this afternoon, select residents of Christiansburg, Virginia can tap drones operated by Google parent company Alphabet’s Wing for quick and easy deliveries of packages, over-the-counter medications, snacks, and gifts. The company today revealed that it’s become the first to operate a commercial air delivery service directly to homes in the U.S., with the launch of a previously announced pilot involving FedEx Express, Walgreens, and local Virginia retailer Sugar Magnolia.Sugar Magnolia will box up birthday cards, small gifts, and sweets for drone delivery customers. From Walgreens, the first retail pharmacy to partner with Wing in the U.S., drone fleets will ferry over-the-counter medicines and other wellness items to folks’ homes. And on the FedEx Express side, recipients living within designated Christiansburg zones who opt in will receive some shipments via drone, in customized boxes. (Wing says that FedEx will complete its first scheduled ecommerce drone delivery today.)
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Google taps evolution for state-of-the-art AI video understanding models
AI/ML

Video understanding is an AI subfield that not only underpins systems capable of sussing out semantics automatically, like web-video classifiers and sport activity recognizers, but that’s at the cornerstone of robot perception and navigation systems. Unfortunately, devising machine learning models that take advantage of videos’ spatiotemporal information isn’t easy, nor is identifying those that aren’t overly computation-intensive.That’s why researchers at Google conducted a series of studies into automatic searches for optimal computer vision algorithms, which they detailed in a blog post today. The team reports that the best-performing architectures identified with their three of their approaches — EvaNet, AssembleNet, and TinyVideoNet — demonstrated a 10 to 100 times improvement in runtime speed over existing hand-crafted systems on multiple public data sets.
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Study highlights just how poor AIs are at recognising non-cisgender people
AI/ML

A study conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder has revealed just how bad AIs are at recognising non-cisgender people. The worrying problems AIs have with recognising racial minorities are becoming increasingly well-documented, but this new study is among the first to evaluate gender classifications. AI systems categorise people based on what they can “see” […] The post Study highlights just how poor AIs are at recognising non-cisgender people appeared first on AI News.
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ProBeat: Google’s Pixel 4 ups the AI ante to offline language models
AI/ML

Google’s Pixel phones are the company’s preferred way of showcasing its AI chops to consumers. Pixel phones consistently set the phone camera bar thanks to Google’s AI prowess. But many of the AI features have nothing to do with the camera. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL unveiled this week at the Made by Google hardware event in New York City continue this tradition. Camera improvements aside, the Pixel 4 makes a play for a new arena that Google clearly wants to rule: offline natural language processing.At Google’s I/O 2019 developer conference in May, multiple executives touted being able to shrink the company’s cloud-based language model, which is over 100GB, to less than 100MB. The smaller model isn’t as accurate, of course, but it can work offline. The competition, whether that be Apple, Amazon, Samsung, or Microsoft, have nothing like it.
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Volvo will report autonomous truck financials from 2020
AI/ML

Volvo is setting up a new business area specifically for autonomous transport as it ramps up its ambitions in the driverless vehicle realm.With Volvo Autonomous Solutions, the Swedish automotive giant is committing to breaking out its financials specifically relating to self-driving trucks, a process that will start after the change is actioned on January 1, 2020. The company suggested that this level of profit-and-loss disclosure will help it accelerate its goals in the burgeoning driverless vehicle industry by offering greater transparency to shareholders.“It is a logical next step for us to gather expertise and resources in a new business area with profit-and-loss responsibility to take autonomous transport solutions to the next level,” said Volvo president and CEO Martin Lundstedt.
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Report: AI may increase sales of home security systems
AI/ML

When home security systems were first introduced, they seemed to be pretty much revolutionary in terms of technology. However, today hundreds of companies are offering their own version of DIY security systems that can easily be bought from chain hardware stores. Thanks to millions of American consumers for adopting the technology who are responsible for […] The post Report: AI may increase sales of home security systems appeared first on AI News.
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Computer science in service of medicine
AI/ML

Senior Kristy Carpenter aims to leverage artificial intelligence and other computational tools to develop new, more affordable drugs.
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Verizon debuts GPU-based 5G edge services for mobile VR/XR developers
AI/ML

As the 5G era kicks off, all signs point to dramatic improvements in virtual and mixed reality experiences as computing shifts from hardware worn on your body to nearby “edge” cloud servers. Since much of the processing will be visual and used by numerous users at once, Verizon has been preparing for the shift by developing new GPU-slicing technologies that enable a single graphics processor to offer services to multiple clients — an advance the carrier expects will benefit AR, VR, and XR users, as well as real-time enterprises, AI/ML users, and gamers.Today, the GPU inside a virtual reality headset services only the user currently wearing it, and doesn’t feed any computing power back to the network for other people to share. Using a Verizon-developed prototype on a live network in Texas, a GPU being used to deliver computer vision as a service could support eight times as many concurrent users, or 80 times as many users when used for graphics gaming services.
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AI Being Used to Confront, Mediate Climate Change
AI/ML

Early results are encouraging as AI is being applied to the biggest challenge facing the planet - climate change.
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AI Weekly: Why Google still needs the cloud even with on-device ML
AI/ML

Google held its big annual hardware event Tuesday in New York to unveil the Pixel 4, Nest Mini, Pixelbook Go, Nest Wifi, and Pixel Buds. It was mostly predictable because details about virtually every piece of hardware the company revealed at the event were leaked months in advance, but if Google’s biggest hardware event of the year had an overarching theme, it was the many applications of on-device machine learning. Most of the hardware Google introduced includes a dedicated chip for running AI, continuing an industry-wide trend to power services consumers will no doubt enjoy, but there can be privacy implications too.The new Nest Mini’s on-device machine learning recognizes your most commonly used voice commands to quicken Google Assistant response time compared to the first-generation Home Mini.
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How does society create an ethics guide for AI?
AI/ML

Presented by TrustpilotCoined the fourth industrial revolution, the advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning brings interesting discussion to the table. Because AI is so comprehensive and covers several industries, we find ourselves asking obscure questions such as “Do we need to legalize predictive AI policing?” or “How do we iron out biases from algorithms that determine job promotions?”With these questions arising, the key one that remains unanswered surrounds ethics. How do we ensure that AI technologies are ethically designed?To answer this question, there are essentially four aspects that dictate the result: the dilemma, the impact, adoption, and institutionalization. These components formulate what is considered ethical because it shows who is onboard, how everyone supports ethics, how we recognize the ethics, and, most importantly, why we trust these ethics.
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FlightHub and tech working together to improve the customer experience
AI/ML

Presented by FlightHubAs consumers become accustomed to the convenience and sense of empowerment created by advances in technology, the travel industry is being impacted in a major way.  In response to the increased demand from customers for time-sensitive information and more control over their own destiny, many companies are focused on developing artificial intelligence that can improve the customer experience in a number of ways.In 2020, FlightHub and JustFly will launch “LUCY”, an intelligent assistant dedicated to online customer service. She’s your new go-to expert when it comes to booking travel, and she’s here for you 24/7 — without being put on hold. Purchasing online flights is still the easiest way to go when it comes to booking travel. FlightHub’s new tool is part of the company’s digital customer care strategy designed to make it even easier to book and manage your travel plans.
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Mark Zuckerberg on why the world needs Facebook and the ‘Fifth Estate’
AI/ML

In a speech today at Gaston Hall at Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics in Washington D.C., Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg referred to social media platforms that allow average people to express themselves as a kind of “fifth estate” that’s integral to modern society.“The future depends on all of us, and whether you like Facebook or not, I think we need to recognize what’s at stake and come together to stand for voice and free expression at this critical moment,” Zuckerberg said as part of a broad-range defense of Facebook’s definition of freedom of expression. “We are at another crossroads: We can either continue to stand for free expression, understanding its messiness, but believing that the long journey towards greater progress requires confronting ideas that challenge us. Or we can decide that the cost is simply too great.”
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Darn you, R2! When can we blame robots?
AI/ML

"Robots are an increasingly common feature in the workplace, and it's important for us to understand how people view robots in that context -- including how people view robots when accidents occur at work," says Doug Gillan, a professor of psychology at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the work.To explore this issue, researchers conducted a study where 164 people were shown several workplace scenarios in which an accident occurred involving both a human and a robot.When told the human was operating the robot, study participants usually blamed the human for the accident. When told the robot was autonomous, and that the human was only monitoring it, study participants usually blamed the robot.
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Giving robots a faster grasp
AI/ML

But for a robot -- say, one that's sorting through a bin of objects and attempting to get a good grasp on one of them -- this is a computationally taxing maneuver. Before even attempting the move it must calculate a litany of properties and probabilities, such as the friction and geometry of the table, the pen, and its two fingers, and how various combinations of these properties interact mechanically, based on fundamental laws of physics.Now MIT engineers have found a way to significantly speed up the planning process required for a robot to adjust its grasp on an object by pushing that object against a stationary surface. Whereas traditional algorithms would require tens of minutes for planning out a sequence of motions, the new team's approach shaves this preplanning process down to less than a second.
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How to Calculate the Divergence Between Probability Distributions
AI/ML

It is often desirable to quantify the difference between probability distributions for a given random variable. This occurs frequently in machine learning, when we may be interested in calculating the difference between an actual and observed probability distribution. This can be achieved using techniques from information theory, such as the Kullback-Leibler Divergence (KL divergence), or …
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Bio-circuitry mimics synapses and neurons in a step toward sensory computing
AI/ML

Results published in Nature Communications report the first example of a lipid-based "memcapacitor," a charge storage component with memory that processes information much like synapses do in the brain. Their discovery could support the emergence of computing networks modeled on biology for a sensory approach to machine learning."Our goal is to develop materials and computing elements that work like biological synapses and neurons -- with vast interconnectivity and flexibility -- to enable autonomous systems that operate differently than current computing devices and offer new functionality and learning capabilities," said Joseph Najem, a recent postdoctoral researcher at ORNL's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, and current assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Penn State.
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Better fact-checking for fake news
AI/ML

New research reveals biases in fake news datasets and improves the use of automatic detectors.
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Asana launches automation tools, including a rules builder to sidestep repetitive tasks
AI/ML

Team and task management platform Asana is introducing new tools designed to help businesses automate various processes.Asana Automation, as the new suite of features is called, includes a new rules builder that lets anyone manually create automated steps to save themselves having to repeat them. A new “vision and voice” feature inside the Asana iPhone app will also enable users to automatically generate tasks by snapping a photo of a real-world item (e.g. a chart) or recording a verbal instruction.For the uninitiated, Asana was founded by Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz and software engineer Justin Rosenstein, who led on early Google products such as Gmail chat before going on to drive development of the Facebook like button. Both Moskovitz and Rosenstein exited Facebook in 2008 to build Asana, though the product didn’t launch to the public until 2011. In the intervening years, the San Francisco-based company has managed to attract some notable backers, including Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker, and Peter Thiel, and last year it raised another $50 million at a $1.5 billion valuation.
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Naive Bayes Classifier From Scratch in Python
AI/ML

In this tutorial you are going to learn about the Naive Bayes algorithm including how it works and how to implement it from scratch in Python (without libraries). We can use probability to make predictions in machine learning. Perhaps the most widely used example is called the Naive Bayes algorithm. Not only is it straightforward …
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Quantemplate raises over $12 million for AI insurance and reinsurance data solutions
AI/ML

Quantemplate, a startup providing self-service, cloud-based automated data solutions for insurers and reinsurers, today revealed that it raised over $12 million in a recent funding round led by Route 66 Ventures and Transamerica Ventures, with participation from Anthemis Group, Allianz X, and Insight Catastrophe Group. The raise brings the New York- and London-based company’s total raised to over $25 million, which CEO David Lundgren said will fuel R&D and customer acquisition as Quantemplate grows its global sales and marketing teams.Coinciding with the capital infusion, Quantemplate also announced the general availability of its platform.“With this recently secured round of funding, Quantemplate is primed and ready to present our proven technology to the [insurance and reinsurance] industry. We are eager to provide the unique tools and insights customers need to make business processes more efficient, while at the same time appreciating a more comprehensive assessment of risk,” said Lundgren. “Through the Quantemplate platform, we are taking what was once a complex process, simplifying and democratizing the data so that customers can adapt to the increasingly data-driven market.”
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Ubuntu 19.10 arrives with edge capabilities for Kubernetes, integrated AI developer experience
AI/ML

Following 25 weeks of development, Canonical today released Ubuntu 19.10. Highlights include new edge capabilities for Kubernetes, an integrated AI developer experience, and the fastest GNOME desktop performance yet. You can download Ubuntu 19.10 from here.Kubernetes (stylized as k8s) was originally designed by Google and is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Kubernetes is an open-source container-orchestration system. MicroK8s, meanwhile, is a CNCF-certified upstream Kubernetes deployment that runs entirely on your workstation or edge device.Ubuntu 19.10 brings strict confinement to MicroK8s, ensuring complete isolation and a tightly secured production-grade Kubernetes environment. MicroK8s add-ons (like Istio, Knative, CoreDNS, Prometheus, and Jaeger) can now be deployed at the edge with a single command. Raspberry Pi 4 supports Ubuntu 19.10, meaning you can orchestrate workloads at the edge with MicroK8s for just $35.
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Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL specs: What Google changed
AI/ML

At its hardware event in New York City today, Google announced the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, succeeding the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, respectively. The headphone jack is still missing, but at least the notch is gone.Preorders begin today, and the devices will begin shipping on October 24. Before you get out your credit card, you might want to see exactly what you’re getting with the newest Pixels.We’re assuming you’re not into Apple’s iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, nor Samsung’s Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy Note10, Galaxy Note10+, and Galaxy Note10+ 5G. You want the latest Android software and the fastest updates, plus all of Google’s mobile software smarts.
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Google roasts Apple on computational photography: ‘It’s not mad science’
AI/ML

Even though I’m a long-term iPhone user, I pay attention every year when Google holds its annual Pixel phone event, as that’s one of two opportunities Android phone makers have to convince me to make the big switch — Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event for S-series phones is the other. While Samsung typically pitches cutting-edge hardware — beautiful screens, fast wireless features, and new cameras — Google takes a different tack. “The hardware isn’t what makes our camera so much better,” Sabrina Ellis from the Pixel team said today in introducing Pixel 4. “The special sauce that makes our Pixel camera unique is our computational photography.”Computational photography has certainly become a major selling point for Pixel phones. The one Pixel 3 feature that made me jealous last year was Night Sight, a Google-developed machine learning trick that instantly restores brightness and color to dimly lit photos. There was another, less widely appreciated Pixel 3 feature called Super Res Zoom that uses multiple exposures to replace mediocre “digital zoom” performance. In short, high-speed mobile processors and cameras are fundamentally redefining daily photography, and every year, it seems like Google is leading the way.
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You can now use Siri to place Google Voice calls
AI/ML

If you’re a Google Voice user who frequently kicks off Siri commands from an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, there’s reason to rejoice. As of today, the Google Voice app for iOS integrates with Apple’s intelligent assistant, letting folks who opt in place calls and send messages via Voice by saying things like “Hey Siri, call John on Google Voice” and “Hey Siri, send a message using Google Voice.”By way of refresher, Google Voice provides call forwarding and voicemail services, voice and text messaging, and call termination for Google Account customers. It’s available in the U.S., Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K. at no charge, excepting a $0.01-and-up per minute fee for calls placed internationally.
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Microsoft’s UniLM AI achieves state-of-the-art performance on summarization and language generation
AI/ML

Language model pretraining, a technique that “teaches” machine learning systems contextualized text representations by having them predict words based on their contexts, has advanced the state of the art across a range of natural language processing objectives. However, models like Google’s BERT, which are bidirectional in design (meaning they draw on left-of-word and right-of-word context to form predictions), aren’t well-suited to the task of natural language generation with substantial modification.That’s why scientists at Microsoft Research investigated an alternative approach dubbed UNIfied pre-trained Language Model (UniLM), which completes unidirectional, sequence-to-sequence, and bidirectional prediction tasks and which can be fine-tuned for both natural language understanding and generation. They claim it compares favorably to BERT on popular benchmarks, achieving state-of-the-art results on a sampling of abstract summarization, generative question answering, and language generation data sets.
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Everything announced at the Made by Google 2019 event
AI/ML

At its annual hardware event in New York yesterday, Google lifted the lid on a host of new hardware, as well as some new software smarts.Here’s a quick recap of everything announced at the 2019 Made by Google event.Pretty much as expected, Google unveiled a duo of new smartphones, the successors to last year’s devices. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL feature notable upgrades such as gesture recognition and dual rear cameras.As with most flagship smartphones, the cameras play a pivotal role in the new Pixel 4 lineup, with Google even taking a not-so-subtle dig at Apple on the subject of computational photography. “It’s not mad science,” said Google researcher and Stanford professor emeritus Marc Levoy, refering to a comment made by an Apple executive last month.
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Invoca raises $56 million to apply AI and analytics to voice calls
AI/ML

It’s predicted that the annual number of mobile phone calls to businesses will reach 169 billion by 2020, and that click-to-call — web integrations enabling real-time calls — will influence more than $1 trillion in U.S. consumer spending by next year. In fact, RingCentral reports in a recent survey that 70% of respondents use click-to-call functions from search ads to transact with companies, and that 65% prefer to contact businesses by phone rather than email.That’s surely music to the ears of Invoca, a Santa Barbara, California-based provider of AI-powered call tracking and conversational analytics solutions. The company today revealed that it’s raised $56 million in fresh capital on the heels of a $30 million series D round in June 2016, bringing its total financing to date to $116 million. Existing investor Upfront Ventures and new investor H.I.G. Growth Partners co-led the round, which saw participation from other backers including Accel and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners.
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OpenAI teaches a robotic hand to solve a Rubik’s cube
AI/ML

Robots with truly humanlike dexterity are far from becoming reality, but progress accelerated by AI has brought us closer to achieving this vision than ever before. In a research paper published in September, a team of scientists at Google detailed their tests with a robotic hand that enabled it to rotate Baoding balls with minimal training data. And at a computer vision conference in June, MIT researchers presented their work on an AI model capable of predicting the tactility of physical things from snippets of visual data alone.Now, OpenAI — the San Francisco-based AI research firm cofounded by Elon Musk and others, with backing from luminaries like LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman and former Y Combinator president Sam Altman — says it’s on the cusp of solving something of a grand challenge in robotics and AI systems: solving a Rubik’s cube. Unlike breakthroughs achieved by teams at the University of California, Irvine and elsewhere, which leveraged machines tailor-built to manipulate Rubik’s cubes with speed, the approach devised by OpenAI researchers uses a five-fingered humanoid hand guided by an AI model with 13,000 years of cumulative experience — on the same order of magnitude as the 40,000 years used by OpenAI’s Dota-playing bot.
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Mira marries NLP with computer vision to create a rich, search-powered shopping experience
AI/ML

Empowered by AI technologies, Mira wants to create a more enriching buying experience that combines millions of consumer product reviews, side-by-side comparisons, and click-through purchasing into a single unified interface. For the moment, Mira is centered around shopping for beauty products — giving users a means of asking advice from other consumers who have similar skin types, skin tones, and aesthetic preferences.But the beauty industry isn’t the story; what’s compelling is the process and the technology underneath it all that has broader applications to other markets and verticals. “While we’re laser focused on serving the beauty community today, our technology clearly extends well beyond,” Jay Hack, Mira CEO and cofounder told VentureBeat in an email interview. “We can do the legwork for the consumer, powering their discovery and research with the latest and greatest in AI — this really applies in any category where the journey towards purchase is more complicated than a one-click buy button.”
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Apply now to speak at Transform 2020, the premiere AI event for business leaders
AI/ML

VB’s Transform is the most important AI event of the year for business and technical leaders, and it’s earned that reputation because of the quality of our content and the caliber of speakers. Transform 2020 takes place July 15-16 in San Francisco, and the application to be a part of its stellar roster is now open.We’re looking for AI practitioners who have real-world experience with AI- and ML-driven business applications and who have demonstrated breakthrough results.You’ll be talking to the decision makers who want to hear a mix of both inspiring and practical lessons about implementing AI technology and strategies, so that they can return home ready to rock.To apply and learn more about the event’s five technology tracks, plus the verticals we’ll be showcasing, check out the Call for Transform 2020 Speakers here. First phase deadline is January 31, 2020.
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Recovering 'lost dimensions' of images and video
AI/ML

The model could be used to recreate video from motion-blurred images, or from new types of cameras that capture a person's movement around corners but only as vague one-dimensional lines. While more testing is needed, the researchers think this approach could someday could be used to convert 2D medical images into more informative -- but more expensive -- 3D body scans, which could benefit medical imaging in poorer nations."In all these cases, the visual data has one dimension -- in time or space -- that's completely lost," says Guha Balakrishnan, a postdoc in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and first author on a paper describing the model, which is being presented at next week's International Conference on Computer Vision. "If we recover that lost dimension, it can have a lot of important applications."
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Zoom rolls out AI-powered transcripts, note-taking features, and more
AI/ML

Conferencing solution company Zoom announced a slew of new features this week at its Zoomtopia 2019 conference in San Jose, California — 300 in total, to be exact. Among the highlights are AI-powered transcripts and meeting notes in Zoom Meetings, in addition to a Zoom Rooms people counter informed by facial recognition.On the Zoom Meetings side, live transcripts tap startup Otter.ai’s speech recognition tech to record meetings in real time for posterity. Now, attendees can take notes directly in the Zoom interface or use live transcription for voice note taking, the latter of which is parsed by algorithms to derive action items automatically in the Meeting Timelines interface. Furthermore, meeting hosts can now bring their own interpreter with a mutli-channel audio experience that mixes the original and interpreter audio, enabling listeners to understand the interpreter while hearing the original speaker’s tone.
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Pensando Systems raises $145 million for custom hardware that processes data at the edge
AI/ML

The Information revealed in a report roughly two years ago that Pensando Systems, formed by top former Cisco executives Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero, and Soni Jiandani, was developing a new kind of chip for networking and storage. The rumored impetus was their reassignment by incoming Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, ending an arrangement in which the four had reported to Cisco executive chair John Chambers.As it turns out, their departure from the tech giant may have been the best decision any of them could’ve made. Pensando Systems this morning emerged from stealth with up to $145 million in series C funding led by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lightspeed Venture Partners, bringing its total raised to date to a whopping $278 million after an earlier founder-led series A round of $71 million and series B round of $62 million. Coinciding with the latest capital influx, Pensando launched its flagship end-to-end edge software-defined services platform, which it describes as a holistic solution for cloud, compute, networking, storage, and security offerings.
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Assembler robots make large structures from little pieces
AI/ML

But what if the final assembly was the only assembly, with the whole plane built out of a large array of tiny identical pieces, all put together by an army of tiny robots?That's the vision that graduate student Benjamin Jenett, working with Professor Neil Gershenfeld in MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA), has been pursuing as his doctoral thesis work. It's now reached the point that prototype versions of such robots can assemble small structures and even work together as a team to build up a larger assemblies.The new work appears in the October issue of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, in a paper by Jenett, Gershenfeld, fellow graduate student Amira Abdel-Rahman, and CBA alumnus Kenneth Cheung SM '07, PhD '12, who is now at NASA's Ames Research Center, where he leads the ARMADAS project to design a lunar base that could be built with robotic assembly.
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Facebook’s ReAgent is a toolkit for reinforcement learning and reasoning AI
AI/ML

Facebook AI Research today introduced ReAgent, a reinforcement learning toolkit for building decision-making AI that can receive feedback. ReAgent can assign scores to user actions and treat user input such as clicking on recommended content as training data.ReAgent is a small C++ library available for download on GitHub designed to be embedded in any application. The toolkit comes with a set of decision-making AI models to get started, an offline module for model performance assessment, and a platform to deploy AI into production using the TorchScript library in PyTorch.Horizon, a reinforcement learning platform for deployment of large-scale models in production open-sourced by Facebook in November 2018, is now part of ReAgent.
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Researchers build a soft robot with neurologic capabilities
AI/ML

Cunjiang Yu, Bill D. Cook Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Houston, said the work represents a significant step toward the development of prosthetics that could directly connect with the peripheral nerves in biological tissues, offering neurological function to artificial limbs, as well as toward advances in soft neurorobots capable of thinking and making judgments. Yu is corresponding author for a paper describing the work, published in Science Advances.He is also a principal investigator with the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston."When human skin is touched, you feel it," Yu said to describe the human capabilities the new device can mimic. "The feeling originates in your brain, through neural pathways from your skin to the brain."
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UK’s Department for Work and Pensions explores using AI to judge benefit claims
AI/ML

The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is exploring the use of AI to judge whether benefit claims are true. An £8 million ‘intelligent automation garage’ has been created by the DWP with the goal of developing up to 100 new robots to assist Britain’s welfare system. 1,000 new IT staff have also been […] The post UK’s Department for Work and Pensions explores using AI to judge benefit claims appeared first on AI News.
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Google’s Pixelbook Go team focused on fixing bugs instead of adding features
AI/ML

Google’s freshly unveiled Chrome OS clamshell, the Pixelbook Go, won’t ship with much new software. That’s because the team spent outsize time ensuring its existing features worked without issue, according to Google senior director of product management Matt Vokoun and senior product marketing manager Tom Kim.“We really focused this year on stability, quality, and performance,” Vokoun told VentureBeat in an interview following this morning’s Made by Google press briefing. “So there’s less sizzle and fewer new features … but the amount of time [spent] internally testing and testing with actual users almost doubled.”One of those features is Android app compatibility. Vokoun claims that roughly 80% of the top “several hundred” apps — the apps used most frequently by Android device owners, according to Google’s telemetrics — are now optimized for ARC++, the compatibility layer that enables them to run atop Chrome OS.
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Information Gain and Mutual Information for Machine Learning
AI/ML

Information gain calculates the reduction in entropy or surprise from transforming a dataset in some way. It is commonly used in the construction of decision trees from a training dataset, by evaluating the information gain for each variable, and selecting the variable that maximizes the information gain, which in turn minimizes the entropy and best …
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Healx raises $56 million to combat rare diseases with AI
AI/ML

Healx, a company that said it’s using artificial intelligence (AI) to discover new drug treatments for rare diseases, has raised $56 million in a series B round of funding led by Atomico, with participation from Intel Capital, Balderton Capital, Global Brain, Btov Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Cambridge Innovation Capital’s Jonathan Milner.Founded out of Cambridge in 2014, Healx’s core AI Platform — Healnet — applies a range of machine learning techniques to public and proprietary data sources covering literature, clinical trials, patents, drug targets, chemical structures, symptoms, and more. Part of this involves using natural language processing (NLP) to extract insights and knowledge from all the published sources around specific diseases.
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Pod is a new social network that wants you to meet in person
AI/ML

Have you ever wondered if someone nearby has the same hobbies? Pod is a new social network designed to help its members meet offline. Instead of just connecting online, Pod wants you to meet potential contacts and friends in person. Coming out of stealth today and launching on Android and iOS, Pod hopes its AI will eventually help you connect with people based on shared interests and proximity. You can download Pod now from Google Play and Apple’s App Store.Based in Manhattan Beach, California, Pod was founded in February 2019 by CEO Dr. Jo Webber, who has served as CEO of various fintech, cybersecurity, and scientific software companies. Prior to Pod, Webber founded youth digital payment startup Oink, which she sold in 2014. Webber and her partner Ira Lubert, an Oink investor, jointly poured $2.2 million into Pod.
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Do we trust artificial intelligence agents to mediate conflict? Not entirely
AI/ML

Researchers from USC and the University of Denver created a simulation in which a three-person team was supported by a virtual agent avatar on screen in a mission that was designed to ensure failure and elicit conflict. The study was designed to look at virtual agents as potential mediators to improve team collaboration during conflict mediation.Confess to them? Yes. But in the heat of the moment, will we listen to virtual agents?While some of researchers (Gale Lucas and Jonathan Gratch of the USC Viterbi School Engineering and the USC Institute for Creative Technologies who contributed to this study), had previously found that one-on-one human interactions with a virtual agent therapist yielded more confessions, in this study "Conflict Mediation in Human-Machine Teaming: Using a Virtual Agent to Support Mission Planning and Debriefing," team members were less likely to engage with a male virtual agent named "Chris" when conflict arose.
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Yandex’s self-driving cars have driven 1 million miles
AI/ML

Russian tech giant Yandex has been testing autonomous vehicles on public roads since December 2017, starting in Moscow and then expanding to Innopolis and Skolkovo, Russia, as well as Las Vegas. The program’s next phase saw cars reach Tel Aviv’s city limits, and roughly a year after launching what it claimed was Europe’s first robot-taxi service, Yandex today announced its cars have traveled 1 million miles combined on public roads. That’s up from 100,000 miles in April 2019 and 500,000 miles in August 2019.Yandex credited an uptick in the number of miles its cars travel per week with the early milestone, which the company says is equivalent to driving every New York City street 166 times, or the distance the average driver will complete in 70 years. The cars now drive over 80,000 every week autonomously, nearly twice the weekly miles in 2018.
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Skydio 2 Dock enables autonomous factory, warehouse, and industrial operations
AI/ML

Redwood City-based Skydio unveiled Skydio 2 two weeks ago, a $1,000 autonomous drone that can track objects and people while traveling upwards of 30 miles per hour. It pitched the quadcopter as a recreational rather than an enterprise product, but in a hint at its upmarket ambitions, Skydio this morning launched Skydio 2 Dock. It’s a self-contained, weatherproof charging base station for Skydio 2 that enables persistent operations while fitting in a carry-on suitcase.“The concept of a ‘drone in a box’ has long offered the promise of fully automated data collection for myriad enterprise applications from repeated mapping of construction sites, to security patrols of sensitive areas, to keeping drones on call … for emergency situations,” wrote Skydio in a blog post. “However, nothing has come close to delivering on those promises. Existing solutions are massively complex, expensive, and impractical.”
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Open Source Cyber-Hacking and AI Autonomous Cars
AI/ML

The use of open source software to develop AI self-driving systems runs the risk that we could have ugly security problems down the road.
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Pixel Buds with hands-free Google Assistant will arrive in 2020
AI/ML

Google today released the second-generation version of Pixel Buds, earbuds with a dedicated chip for on-device machine learning that gets rid of the string that held the first-generation earbuds together. The device is made to allow environmental ambient sound in and uses adaptive sound to adjust volume based on your environment. This means it may go up on the subway and down when you’re walking home, for example.The new Pixel Buds go on sale in spring 2020 for $179.Pixel Buds debuted today alongside the latest version of Pixelbook Go and the anticipated release of Google’s flagship smartphone Pixel 4 at a Made by Google hardware event held in New York City.Unlike other devices introduced at the event, little was known about Pixel Buds  before they were announced onstage at The Shed, a performing arts center in the city.
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Square Off launches Kickstarter campaign for AI-based connected chess boards
AI/ML

Square Off is moving connected board games further today with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for its Square Off Neo chess board and the Square Off SwapBoard. The new products will offer machine learning and personalized coaching.“Our purpose as a brand is to revolutionize the way people play board games and to connect them offscreen,” said Square Off chief technology officer Atur Mehta in a statement. “Over the past couple of years, we have grown as a company and solidified our vision further. The aim is to create a unique combination of fantastic hardware and online gameplay, making a truly holistic experience like never before, and to introduce innovations that bring people off the screen and onto the board.”
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Moral Machine is learning how we want self-driving cars to kill
AI/ML

While autonomous cars still face tremendous technical challenges before they become commonplace, the ethical decisions they pose loom as even bigger obstacles. Engineers seem to be making systematic progress on the technical side, but designing a framework for addressing the social issues remains problematic.Five years after the creation of the Moral Machine, an online quiz designed to gauge responses to decisions that self-driving cars face, there is more discussion around the ethics, but still no clear framework for reaching social consensus around the ethical problems, according to one of the co-creators of project, Jean-François Bonnefon, a French researcher at the Toulouse School of Economics and the Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute.
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Facebook Portal review: WhatsApp integration needs work
AI/ML

In recent weeks, Facebook’s Portal unit has rolled out a number of new devices and features. Facebook’s video chat device is coming to the workplace, and Portal TV for watching video with friends during video calls is due out next month.Today, Facebook begins shipping the Portal Mini and second-generation Portal smart display for $129 and $179, respectively. Both make voice and video calls on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, but using the two Facebook apps with Portal is not yet a comparable experience. More on that later.The 10-inch second-generation Portal comes with some design changes. And Portal’s offerings for users have grown since Facebook’s first piece of internally made hardware hit store shelves a year ago. But the biggest addition this year is the introduction of WhatsApp, now Facebook’s most popular app, according to January 2019 App Annie analysis.
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Next-gen Google Assistant works in near real time, offers speech transcription
AI/ML

A faster, near real-time Google Assistant made its debut at a hardware event held today in New York, where the flagship Pixel 4 smartphone was also unveiled. The next-generation Google Assistant can be used to open apps and deliver automated speech transcription from voice recordings, as well as using multi-turn dialogue to respond to multiple commands or queries.Google Assistant is also getting new privacy-conscious voice commands.The next-generation Google Assistant was unveiled alongside the Pixel 4 smartphone, new Pixel Buds, Pixelbook Go laptop, a new Nest Mini smart speaker, and Nest Wifi.Google Nest smart speakers got the ability to respond to multiple voice commands with a single utterance of the “Hey Google” wake word in June 2018, while smart displays got the same Continued Conversation feature back in May.
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UiPath acquires ProcessGold and StepShot to help businesses identify RPA opportunities
AI/ML

Robotic process automation unicorn UiPath today announced the acquisition of StepShot and ProcessGold. Tech and teams from the two companies are being brought onboard in order to give enterprise customers more tools to track and identify workflows.The UiPath RPA platform first got started in 2016. Last fall, UiPath raised $225 million, only to add a $568 million round roughly six months later at a $7 billion valuation. Recent funding was used in part to reform the UiPath platform, company VP of AI Prabhdeep Singh told VentureBeat in a phone interview.“I think that what we are seeing is the maturity of the RPA as an industry, where we need to build the next set of tools, in addition to our existing product lines,” he said.
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The cognitive AI breakthrough: Real human-like reasoning in business AI solutions
AI/ML

Presented by Beyond LimitsConventional, data-crunching artificial intelligence, which is the foundation of deep learning, isn’t enough on its own; the human-like reasoning of symbolic artificial intelligence is fascinating, but on its own, it isn’t enough either.The unique hybrid combination of the two — numeric data analytics techniques that include statistical analysis, modeling, and machine learning, plus the explainability (and transparency) of symbolic artificial intelligence — is now termed “cognitive AI.”It’s an extraordinary breakthrough to have the ability to implement a human-like ability to perceive, understand, correlate, learn, teach, reason, and solve problems faster than existing AI solutions.
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Mozilla shares YouTube horror tales in campaign for responsible algorithms
AI/ML

Mozilla has launched a campaign for more responsible algorithms by sharing YouTube horror tales crowdsourced from social media. We’ve all scratched our heads at some recommendations when using online platforms. Just yesterday, Verge reporter Megan Farokhmanesh shared how her Instagram recommendations have been plagued by some rather bizarre CGI images of teeth. Farokhmanesh’s account is […] The post Mozilla shares YouTube horror tales in campaign for responsible algorithms appeared first on AI News.
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Level Home raises $71 million from Walmart to imbue locks with connected smarts
AI/ML

Smart locks that play nicely with HomeKit and similar platforms are a proposition almost too good to pass up. Top-of-the-line models from Yale and Schlage automatically unlatch doors when familiar faces arrive, and they lock them when someone departs. But problematically, they’re typically expensive — particularly in homes with multiple locks to upgrade.Unsurprisingly, there’s a small but burgeoning category of products designed to imbue old locks with connected smarts. The Yale Access brings Bluetooth and Apple HomeKit support to Yale’s Keyless, Conexis, Digital Monoblock, and Doorman, along with features like activity feeds. The crowdfunded Keymitt fits atop virtually any deadbolt, euro cylinder, or mortise lock to effectively convert them into smart locks. There’s also the Kwikset Kevo Convert, the Open Sesame, the August Smart Lock, and the Friday Lock, all of which perform more or less retrofit.
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Brexit is already shaping facial recognition surveillance in the U.K.
AI/ML

Over the past few months, high-profile incidents in the United Kingdom — home to one of the most-surveilled societies in the world — have forced people to consider how facial recognition will be used in the country. The fact that Brexit is taking up most of the oxygen in the room hasn’t made the debate any easier, but in conversations with VentureBeat, three experts from different backgrounds — Ada Lovelace Institute director Carly Kind; U.K. surveillance camera commissioner Tony Porter; and University of Essex professor Daragh Murray, who studies police use of facial recognition — all agree that the U.K. needs to find a middle ground when it comes to facial recognition policy.They further agree that years of Brexit debate have stifled necessary reform and that leaving the European Union could have long-term consequences as police and businesses continue experimenting with facial recognition in the U.K. They also worry that an inability to take appropriate action could lead to calls for a ban or overregulation of the technology, or to far more dystopian scenarios of omnipresent surveillance.
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CleverTap raises $35 million for AI that tracks and builds customer engagement
AI/ML

Mountain View, California-based CleverTap, which develops cloud-based customer management and engagement tracking tools, today revealed that it recently closed a $35 million series C funding round at a valuation of $385 million — over double its previous valuation of $150 million. Tiger Global Management and Sequoia India co-led the raise, which brings the startup’s total raised to date to over $61 million following a $26 million series B in April and a $6 million round in November 2017.CEO and cofounder Sunil Thomas said the capital infusion, which comes as CleverTap continues to grow 250% year-over-year (a rate it’s maintained since 2015), will accelerate the build-out of its U.S.-based engineering hub and the development of its products’ predictive capabilities. He added that client acquisition more than doubled in the past year alone, and that CleverTap now processes over eight billion user actions each day.
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Facebook’s AI streamlines sentences while preserving meaning
AI/ML

Simplifying text’s grammar and structure is a useful skill most of us acquire in school, but AI typically has a tougher go of it, owing to a lack of linguistic knowledge. That said, scientists at Facebook AI Research and Inria are progressing toward a simplification model dubbed ACCESS (AudienCe-CEntric Sentence Simplification), which they claim enables customization of text length, amount of paraphrasing, lexical complexity, syntactic complexity, and other parameters while preserving coherency.“Text simplification can be beneficial for people with cognitive disabilities, such as aphasia, dyslexia, and autism, but also for second language learners and people with low literacy,” wrote the researchers in a preprint paper detailing their work. “The type of simplification needed for each of these audiences is different … Yet, research in text simplification has been mostly focused on developing models that generate a single generic simplification for a given source text with no possibility to adapt outputs for the needs of various target populations. [We] propose a controllable simplification model that provides explicit ways for users to manipulate and update simplified outputs as they see fit.”
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World Summit AI: 5 early-stage startups show AI’s potential across industries
AI/ML

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rarely out of the headlines these days, due in large part to a steady stream of controversies from many of the major tech players. Facial recognition software is increasingly permeating society without much regard for ethics or accuracy. And crashes and near-misses blighted the recent launch of Tesla’s new Smart Summon feature, which allows drivers — in theory — to remotely beckon their vehicle in parking lots. There is a strong case for the suggestion that AI, in its current form at least, is more artificial stupidity than anything else.Nonetheless, AI is here and here to stay. As with any transformative technology, it may take a while for AI to realize its potential. But amid the current AI hullabaloo, some budding entrepreneurs are leveraging AI and machine learning to tackle real problems and plug gaps across industries.
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Google unveils Nest Wifi Router and Wifi Point with Google Assistant
AI/ML

If you’re in the market for a new router, good news: Google just announced a replacement for its long-in-the-tooth Google Wifi. The new Nest Wifi Router and Wifi Point, which debuted at an event in New York City this morning, are a mesh-capable wireless router and beacon set meant to compete with Amazon’s Eero, Netgear’s Orbi, Asus’ Lyra, and others.Nest Wifi features Google Assistant support and comes in three colorways — snow, sand, and mist. It will begin shipping November 4 in eight countries, starting at $269 for a two-pack and $349 for a three-pack. (Other countries will get it in Q4 2019, including the U.K., Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, France, and Singapore.) A standalone Nest Wifi router is $169, and a standalone Wifi Point is $99.
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Facebook: Automation is a ‘blunt instrument’ for interpreting context around banned content
AI/ML

Facebook has long touted the efficacy of its AI-powered tools for helping weed out prohibited content, but the company today conceded that its technology is simply not up to meeting a recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling requiring it to use automated filters to detect defamatory content.Earlier this month, the ECJ arrived at a controversial ruling in a case brought by Austrian Green politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek against Facebook Ireland, where the social media giant’s EU HQ is based. The original complaint goes back to 2016, when an anonymous Facebook user posted an article from an Austrian newspaper discussing Glawischnig-Piesczek and her party’s views on immigration — alongside comments involving words such as “traitor,” “corrupt,” and “fascist.”
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Google debuts Nest Mini with wall mount and dedicated ML chip
AI/ML

Google Nest today introduced the second-generation version of Nest Mini, its smallest and most popular smart speaker. The Nest Home Mini comes with a wall mount, better bass, and a dedicated ML chip so machine learning can run locally.The speaker will cost $49 and goes on sale October 22 in 23 countries. It comes in chalk, coral, charcoal, and a new sky blue option.“The primary benefit of the local processing is really speed for the stuff you do every day — turning on your lights or stopping music,” Google Nest product manager Chris Chan told VentureBeat in an interview after the event.With up to a teraop of processing power, the chip remembers things you do most often to make responses to voice commands faster.
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Google unveils Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL with gesture recognition and dual rear cameras
AI/ML

At an event in New York City this morning, Google took the wraps off the latest additions to its four-year-old Pixel smartphone portfolio: the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. They’re successors to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, respectively, and there’s little to distinguish them from each other beyond variations in size, screen resolution, and battery life. But they share a host of upgrades on the inside and out, including dual rear cameras and gesture-detecting radar technology.The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are available in up to three colors — depending on the region — Just Black, Clearly White, and Oh So Orange. Preorders start today, and the devices begin shipping on October 24.Here’s the pricing:
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How causal inference is helping companies innovate and grow
AI/ML

Presented by MixpanelCausal inference is a new language within machine learning used to help teams better understand causes and impacts so they can make better decisions. If this sounds like a foreign language to you, you’re not alone. Causal inference is only now starting to move outside the world of academics and research scientists — becoming a more relevant asset for businesses.Throughout my time at Google, Twitter, and Schibsted, every team incorporated machine learning differently. At Mixpanel, we’re constantly trying to unlock deeper insights for our customers through user behavior data which typically offers a view, but not always the full story, depending on how much data customers are working from. We’re exploring how various elements of machine learning can help break through confusing, or even conflicting, observational data and give insights that drive businesses forward.
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Google unveils Pixelbook Go for $649
AI/ML

Google announced the Pixelbook Go this morning at the Made by Google event in New York City, and the follow-up to the original Pixelbook is improved in nearly every respect. Among the highlights are an all-metal body with a premium finish and 8th-gen Intel processors under the hood, plus a screen up to 4K in resolution complemented by enhanced audio hardware and a backlit keyboard.The Pixelbook Go comes in two colorways, Just Black and Not Pink, and is available for preorder starting today in the U.S. and Canada and in January in the U.K. It will ship on November 15.Here’s the pricing:The Pixelbook Go doesn’t compromise in any sense of the word, from the magnesium alloy exterior with rounded corners to the 13.3-inch 16:9 touchscreen with a resolution from 1080p to 4K (depending on the configuration). Befitting the playful nature of Google’s product design, there’s a grippy and ribbed bottom casing underneath that’s affixed by screws to the Go’s unibody. And the 4K model ships with a Molecular Display, a low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) LCD that offers faster response times and brighter colors than conventional panels.
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Google’s AI explains how image classifiers made their decisions
AI/ML

It’s often assumed that as the complexity of an AI system increases, it becomes invariably less interpretable. But researchers have begun to challenge that notion with libraries like Facebook’s Captum, which explains decisions made by neural networks with the deep learning framework PyTorch, as well as IBM’s AI Explainability 360 toolkit and Microsoft’s InterpretML. In a bid to render AI’s decision-making even more transparent, a team hailing from Google and Stanford recently explored a machine learning model — Automated Concept-based Explanation (ACE) — that automatically extracts the “human-meaningful” visual concepts informing a model’s predictions.As the researchers explain in a paper detailing their work, most machine learning explanation methods alter individual features (e.g., pixels, super-pixels, word-vectors) to approximate the importance of each to the target model. This is an imperfect approach, because it’s vulnerable to even the smallest shifts in the input.
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Pinterest bucks ‘black box’ social media trend with greater user controls
AI/ML

As scrutiny over social networks’ “black box” recommendation algorithms reaches a fever pitch, Facebook, YouTube, and others are introducing controls that promise greater customization and transparency over the content populating feeds. Today, Pinterest joined the club with new pin-level visibility settings options on the web and in its apps for Android, iOS, and Windows, complemented by a tool that highlights which boards, topics, accounts, and recent history contributed to its personalized board suggestions.Pinterest said that in early testing, the new features reduced the number of content recommendation complaints by over 50%. That’s rather impressive, considering a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that only about 14% of respondents believed they had control over the content appearing in Facebook’s news feed.
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How to watch the Made by Google 2019 stream
AI/ML

It’s that time of year again. The Made by Google 2019 event kicks off at 10 a.m. Eastern (7 a.m. Pacific) today in the heart of New York City, marking only the second time Google has hosted a product briefing of this scale outside of the Bay Area. And thanks to countless leaks, the event is likely to offer little in the way of surprises.Google is streaming the hardware extravaganza on YouTube. You can watch it here.So what do we expect to see? Well, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL — two new flagships to replace the aging Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in Google’s smartphone lineup — are a virtual certainty. If rumors are true, they’ll have upgraded processors and dual cameras and a radar sensor — the product of Google’s Project Soli — that can detect gestures with submillimeter accuracy.
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MIT CSAIL fights fake news with AI
AI/ML

Fake news — loosely defined as a type of propaganda consisting of deliberate disinformation spread via traditional outlets or social media — is a menace. A December 2016 survey by the Pew Research Center suggests that 23% of U.S. adults have shared fake news, knowingly or unknowingly, with friends and others. It’s begun to erode trust in major television and newspaper outlets, studies show — 77% of respondents to a Monmouth University survey said that they believed media reported fake news. And in a particularly egregious example, an untrue (but viral) story about a Washington, D.C. pizzeria led 9% of U.S. voters in a poll of 1,224 to report that they believed former secretary of state Hillary Clinton was “connected to a child sex ring.”
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Gita is a $3,250 personal cargo robot that follows you around
AI/ML

Fantastical future visions from the early 20th century foresaw a time when silver jumpsuits, flying cars, and robotic assistants would be commonplace. Fast-forward 100 years or so, and while glitzy one-piece garments aren’t really showing signs of going mainstream, there is some evidence to suggest urban airborn transport and personal robots are on the cusp of becoming reality, though not without a few hiccups.Against this backdrop Piaggio, the Italian motor vehicle maker best known for Vespa scooters, today announced that it’s preparing to launch its first consumer robot — one that follows its owner around with their belongings in tow.By way of a quick recap, Piaggio established a Boston-based offshoot called Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF) back in 2015, and two years later PFF offered a glimpse of its first products: small and large autonomous robots, called Gita and Kilo, respectively. Piaggio has spent time refining Gita ahead of today’s official unveiling — and the company has confirmed that the robot will be available to buy on November 18, 2019 for $3,250.
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Nvidia uses federated learning to create medical imaging AI
AI/ML

AI researchers from Nvidia and King’s College London have used federated learning to train a neural network for brain tumor segmentation, a milestone Nvidia claims is a first for medical image analysis. The technique can allow data-sharing between hospitals and researchers while preserving patient privacy.Federated learning is an approach to machine learning that — when using a client-server approach — can eliminate the need to create a single data lake in order to train models. Instead, models are trained locally on devices that then transfer insights from multiple machines to a central model.“You need to get to these innovations, and I believe there’s kind of two ways. One, which we released last August, is create the best generalizable model that you have today and just send it to each one of these hospitals, where they can localize it for their own patients,” Nvidia director of healthcare Abdul Halabi told VentureBeat in a phone interview. “The other one is to say: ‘Let’s fight together from the beginning, build this robust model [or generalizable model] as much as we can.’ And I think this research shows that it’s possible to actually do that here. It’s possible for you to achieve a high-quality model without really bringing the data all together, which is why it’s really exciting.”
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A Gentle Introduction to Information Entropy
AI/ML

Information theory is a subfield of mathematics concerned with transmitting data across a noisy channel. A cornerstone of information theory is the idea of quantifying how much information there is in a message. More generally, this can be used to quantify the information in an event and a random variable, called entropy, and is calculated …