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Google faces internal battle over research on AI to speed chip design


OAKLAND, Calif., May 2 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google said on Monday it had recently fired a senior engineering manager after colleagues, whose landmark research on artificial intelligence software he had been trying to discredit, accused him of harassing behavior. The dispute, which stems from efforts to automate chip design, threatens to undermine the reputation of Google's research in the academic community. It also could disrupt the flow of millions of dollars in government grants for research into AI and chips. Google's research unit has faced scrutiny since late 2020 after workers lodged open critiques about its handling of personnel complaints and publication practices. The new episode emerged after the scientific journal Nature in June published "A graph placement methodology for fast chip design," led by Google scientists Azalia Mirhoseini and Anna Goldie.

AI is explaining itself to humans. And it's paying off


OAKLAND, Calif., April 6 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) LinkedIn boosted subscription revenue by 8% after arming its sales team with artificial intelligence software that not only predicts clients at risk of canceling, but also explains how it arrived at its conclusion. The system, introduced last July and described in a LinkedIn blog post on Wednesday, marks a breakthrough in getting AI to "show its work" in a helpful way. While AI scientists have no problem designing systems that make accurate predictions on all sorts of business outcomes, they are discovering that to make those tools more effective for human operators, the AI may need to explain itself through another algorithm. The emerging field of "Explainable AI," or XAI, has spurred big investment in Silicon Valley as startups and cloud giants compete to make opaque software more understandable and has stoked discussion in Washington and Brussels where regulators want to ensure automated decision-making is done fairly and transparently. AI technology can perpetuate societal biases like those around race, gender and culture.

Kaiser Permanente researchers push the envelope with AI and NLP


Although healthcare is squarely in the era of big data and data analytics, it remains difficult in clinical research to accurately identify patients with complex conditions like valvular heart disease through medical records. And if researchers cannot identify these patients, they cannot study them, track practice patterns or conduct population management. Part of the problem is that the current methods used to identify highly specific conditions like valvular heart disease use diagnosis or procedure codes. These were created primarily for billing purposes and often are not very useful for clinical care because they can be quite nonspecific and not include detailed data about the condition. "For example, a patient with moderate or severe aortic stenosis, which is a narrowing of one of the primary heart valves, is entirely different than a patient with mild valve disease," said Dr. Matthew Solomon, a cardiologist at the Permanente Medical Group and a physician researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.

Fivetran Raises $565 Million, Buys CDC Vendor HVR


Fivetran took a big step into the world of enterprise data integration today when it announced an Andreessen Horowitz-led $565 million round of financing and plans to acquire change data capture (CDC) vendor HVR for $700 million. The move positions the up-and-coming ETL company to further access exabytes of data stored in on-prem databases and ERP systems on behalf of its customers. The Series C round and acquisition position Fivetran to be at the forefront of the next generation of data integration and extract, transform, and load (ETL) capabilities. The nine-year-old, Oakland, California company has made its mark by simplifying the process of setting up pipelines that extract data from source systems–primarily SaaS applications running on clouds–and load it into cloud-based data warehouses. Today's news will help to expand Fivetran's footprint with on-prem systems, including the ERP applications at the heart of established enterprises.

Nightmare Tinder date allegedly held woman captive for days before rescue

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on A woman was allegedly held captive in a California home for three days by a man she met on Tinder. "On July 12th, 2021 at approximately 16:59, Oakland Police Officers were dispatched to the 5400 Block of Fleming Avenue to investigate a report of a kidnapping," the Oakland Police Department said in a statement of the incident. "A preliminary investigation revealed that an adult female (Non-Oakland resident) was falsely imprisoned and sexually assaulted by her male partner."

Weekly Top 10 Automation Articles


This Week Top Automation Articles shares how a powerful Artificial Intelligence Algorithm GPT-3, could be used to mislead and misinform. Global payments giant VISA announced that its Visa Fintech Partner Connect program, which connects financial institutions with a "vetted and curated" group of technology providers, has been expanded. Apple recently unveiled new software tools for people with Disabilities. The new SignTime service, which connects Apple Store and Apple Support customers with on-demand sign language interpreters just started. Moreover, In a federal courtroom in Oakland, Calif, CEO Tim Cook Company defended his company against allegations that it misused its control over the iPhone App Store.

New York City's Surveillance Battle Offers National Lessons


In January, when New York's Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology Act went into effect, the City of New York Police Department was suddenly forced to detail the tools it had long kept from public view. But instead of giving New Yorkers transparency, the NYPD gave error-filled, boilerplate statements that hide almost everything of value. Almost none of the policies list specific vendors, surveillance tool models, or information-sharing practices. The department's facial recognition policy says it can share data "pursuant to on-going criminal investigations, civil litigation, and disciplinary proceedings," a standard so broad it's largely meaningless. This marks the greatest test yet of Community Control of Police Surveillance (CCOPS), a growing effort to ensure that the public can take back control over the decisions of how communities are surveilled, deciding whether tools like facial recognition, drones, and predictive policing are acceptable for their neighborhoods.

Women in Robotics Update: introducing our 2021 Board of Directors


Women in Robotics is a grassroots community involving women from across the globe. Our mission is supporting women working in robotics and women who would like to work in robotics. We formed an official 501c3 non-profit organization in 2020 headquartered in Oakland California. We'd like to introduce our 2021 Board of Directors: Andra Keay founded Women in Robotics originally under the umbrella of Silicon Valley Robotics, the non-profit industry group supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics technologies. Andra's background is in human-robot interaction and communication theory.

Hundreds of Google employees unionize, culminating years of activism

The Japan Times

OAKLAND, California – More than 225 Google engineers and other workers have formed a union, the group revealed Monday, capping years of growing activism at one of the world's largest companies and presenting a rare beachhead for labor organizers in staunchly anti-union Silicon Valley. The union's creation is highly unusual for the tech industry, which has long resisted efforts to organize its largely white-collar workforce. It follows increasing demands by employees at Google for policy overhauls on pay, harassment and ethics, and is likely to escalate tensions with top leadership. The new union, called the Alphabet Workers Union after Google's parent company, Alphabet, was organized in secret for the better part of a year and elected its leadership last month. The group is affiliated with the Communications Workers of America, a union that represents workers in telecommunications and media in the United States and Canada.

Celebrating the good robots!


OAKLAND, California, Dec. 14, 2020 /Press Release/ -- Silicon Valley Robotics, the world's largest cluster of innovation in robotics, announces the inaugural'Good Robot' Industry Awards, celebrating the robotics, automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) that will help us solve global challenges. These 52 companies and individuals have all contributed to innovation that will improve the quality of our lives, whether it's weed-free pesticide-free farming, like FarmWise or Iron Ox; supporting health workers and the elderly manage health care treatment regimes, like Catalia Health or Multiply Labs; or reimagining the logistics industry so that the transfer of physical goods becomes as efficient as the transfer of information, like Cruise, Embark, Matternet and Zipline. The categories Innovation, Vision and Commercialization represent the stages robotics companies go through, firstly with an innovative technology or product, then with a vision to change the world (and occasionally the investment to match), and finally with real evidence of customer traction. The criteria for our Commercialization Award is achieving $1 million in revenue, which is a huge milestone for a startup building a new invention. Tessa Lau, Founder and CEO of Dusty Robotics, an Innovation Awardee said "We're almost there. Dusty Robotics' FieldPrinter automates the painstaking, time-consuming process of marking building plans in the field, replacing a traditional process using measuring tape and chalk lines that hasn't changed in 5000 years. The company's vision of creating robot-powered tools for the modern construction workforce resonates strongly with commercial construction companies. Dusty's robot fleet is now in production, producing highly accurate layouts in record time on every floor of two multi-family residential towers going up in San Francisco. The SVR'Good Robot' Industry Awards also highlight diverse robotics companies. In our Visionary Category, Zoox is the first billion dollar company led by an African-American woman, Aicha Evans, and Robust AI shows diversity at every level of the organization. Diversity of thought will be critical as Robust AI tackles the challenge of building a cognitive engine for robotics that incorporates common sense reasoning. "Robotics and AI will shape the next century in the same way the Industrial revolution shaped the 20th century.