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Robots invade the construction site

#artificialintelligence

Theresa Arevalo was in high school when she first tried finishing drywall at her brother's construction company. "It's a fine art," she says of mudding--applying and smoothing drywall. "Like frosting a cake, you have to give the illusion that the wall is flat." Fast-forward a few decades: Arevalo now works at Canvas, a company that's built a robot using artificial intelligence that's capable of drywalling with almost as much artistry as a skilled human worker. The robot has been deployed, under Arevalo's supervision, at several construction sites in recent months, including the new Harvey Milk Terminal at San Francisco International Airport and an office building connected to the Chase Center arena in San Francisco.


How AI Is Rapidly Reshaping The Data Center Market

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With cloud technology advancing at a brisk clip, artificial intelligence has become something of a double-edged sword for data centers. Advanced algorithms are placing new demands on servers, requiring heightened power, space and cooling in data centers. But they're also part of the solution, with software boosting efficiency and raising the bar for data center operators. "With businesses of every size looking to leverage AI, particularly medium-sized businesses that can't afford extensive in-house data center networks, the demand for modernized data centers will only increase," Nuclear Research analyst Daniel Elman said. "Of course, a large part of that increase will be serviced by the largest cloud vendors ... but it leaves opportunity for other players to enter the market as well to meet the growing demand."


Robots Invade the Construction Site

WIRED

Theresa Arevalo was in high school when she first tried finishing drywall at her brother's construction company. "It's a fine art," she says of mudding--applying and smoothing drywall. "Like frosting a cake, you have to give the illusion that the wall is flat." Fast-forward a few decades: Arevalo now works at Canvas, a company that's built a robot using artificial intelligence that's capable of drywalling with almost as much artistry as a skilled human worker. The robot has been deployed, under Arevalo's supervision, at several construction sites in recent months, including the new Harvey Milk Terminal at San Francisco International Airport and an office building connected to the Chase Center arena in San Francisco.


AI startup Abacus.ai nabs $22 million in Series B funding to automate creation of deep learning models

ZDNet

Abacus.ai has gotten $40.5 million to help companies put deep learning forms of AI into production. Seen here, company co-founders, from left, Siddartha Naidu, previously a principal engineer for Amazon's fulfillment team and also a developer of the BigQuery software at Google; Bindu Reddy, previously head of "AI Verticals" for Amazon's AWS; and Arvind Sundararajan, previously engineering lead for Google's ad delivery technology. Abacus.ai, the year-and-a-half-old San Francisco startup that seeks to automate deep learning models for customers, said Wednesday it has received $22 million in financing in a Series B round led by venture capital firm Coatue, bringing the company's total funding to $40.5 million. Coatue joins former investors Index Partners, which participated in a Series A investment round totaling $13 million in July, and new investor Decibel Ventures. The firm has an impressive list of individual investors among the technorati, including Google CEO Eric Schmidt, investor and former Amazon executive Ram Shriram, and Yahoo! co-founder and onetime CEO Jerry Yang.


How Should We Think about the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence?

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Now, more than ever, our everyday technology provides brands and advertisers with a unique window into consumer psychology. Questions around ethics, consumer rights, transparency, and data privacy are deserving of careful thought and deliberation. These issues are central to the work of Fiona McEvoy, an AI ethics writer, researcher, and speaker, based in San Francisco, California. She was named one of the 30 Women Influencing AI in San Francisco by RE•WORK and one of the 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics (2019 & 2020). As opposed to other business industries, why does the technology sector pose unique ethical challenges?


Portland bans facial recognition tech use by cops, officials - Express Computer

#artificialintelligence

The US city of Portland, Maine on Wednesday voted to ban the use of facial recognition by police and city officials. The Bangor Daily News reported that voters passed a ballot initiative "bolstering a ban on facial recognition by city agencies". The initiative follows a city council vote in August, which put a preliminary ban in place as an ordinance. The citizens are entitled to a minimum of $1,000 in fines if they are subjected to a facial recognition scan by police. Portland joins Boston, San Francisco; Portland, Oregon and the city of Oakland in Northern California in banning the use of facial recognition technology by the authorities.


AI robot dolphins and sharks could change aquariums and theme parks forever

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The Daily Star's FREE newsletter is spectacular! Dolphins, killer whales and other intelligent sea mammals are major attractions at Sea World and other marine parks. But there's increasing pressure to release the captive animals back into the wild where they belong. The marine park industry's days could be numbered – but a possible solution to keep the multi-million dollar businesses going has come from San Francisco-based animatronics specialists Edge Innovations. They are building dolphins, sea dragons and even great white sharks powered by artificial intelligence that look and – up to a point – behave exactly like the real thing.


Gong Raises $200 Million to Surface Sales Insights with Artificial Intelligence – IAM Network

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Gong is a San Francisco based tech platform and among the leading SaaS business in the fast-developing category of Conversation Intelligence. It helps companies by offering sales representatives a new way to increase sales. It also enables sales teams to gain insights regarding the things happening to their employees working remotely. In August this year, as we already covered, Gong raised $200 million at a $2.2 billion valuation and indicated that its profits tripled because sales teams are now working from home during this global pandemic. This latest funding round was led by Coatue and later joined by Thrive Capital, Salesforce, and Index ventures. With other investors' help, including Sequoia Capital, NextWorld Capital, and Battery Ventures, it brings Gong's total funding to $334 million.


Intel acquires AI optimisation platform SigOpt for undisclosed sum

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It's hoped that the combination of SigOpt's AI scaling software and Intel's hardware will give Intel competitive advantages in emerging tech. San Francisco's SigOpt is being acquired by Intel for an undisclosed sum. SigOpt's platform enables the optimisation of artificial intelligence (AI) software models at scale. Its present customer base includes Fortune 500 companies across different industries, as well as leading research institutions, universities and consortiums. With this acquisition, Intel plans to use SigOpt's software across its own AI hardware products to accelerate and grow its AI offerings to developers.


Five9 Acquires IVA Leader Inference Solutions

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After the stock market closed today, Five9 announced the acquisition of intelligent virtual agent (IVA) company Inference Solutions. The purchase price is $172 million, $148 million in cash and $24 million when certain bookings targets are met. Inference brings 550 customers, among them several joint Five9 customers -- including Chick-fil-A and Wyndham Hotels. Inference was founded in 2005, spun out from Telstra Research Labs -- think of it as the Australian version of Bell Labs. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company has additional offices in Austin, TX and Melbourne, Australia.