Washington


Ultra-modern medicine: Examples of machine learning in healthcare

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The healthcare sector has long been an early adopter of and benefited greatly from technological advances. These days, machine learning (a subset of artificial intelligence) plays a key role in many health-related realms, including the development of new medical procedures, the handling of patient data and records and the treatment of chronic diseases. As computer scientist Sebastian Thrum told the New Yorker in a recent article titled "A.I. Versus M.D., "Just as machines made human muscles a thousand times stronger, machines will make the human brain a thousand times more powerful." Despite warnings from some doctors that things are moving too fast, the rate of progress keeps increasing. And for many, that's as it should be. "AI is the future of healthcare," Fatima Paruk, CMO of Chicago-based Allscripts Analytics, said in 2017. She went on to explain how critical it would be in the ensuing few years and beyond -- in the care management of prevalent chronic diseases; in the leveraging of "patient-centered health data with external influences such as pollution exposure, weather factors and economic factors to generate precision medicine solutions customized to individual characteristics"; in the use of genetic information "within care management and precision medicine to uncover the best possible medical treatment plans." "AI will affect physicians and hospitals, as it will play a key role in clinical decision support, enabling earlier identification of disease, and tailored treatment plans to ensure optimal outcomes," Paruk explained. "It can also be used to demonstrate and educate patients on potential disease pathways and outcomes given different treatment options.


Police in Washington are running sketches through Amazon's facial recognition software

Daily Mail - Science & tech

In a previously undocumented use of facial recognition software, police in Washington state are using Amazon's'Rekognition' to track down criminals with as little as an artist's sketch. According to a report from The Washington Post, police in Washington County are able to compare pictures of suspects harvested from security cameras and eye-witness' cell phone pictures against databases containing 300,000 mugshots of known criminals. In just Washington County Police Department alone, the report states more than 1,000 facial scans were logged last year which have helped identify subjects, sometimes leading officers to home arrests. Amazon's facial recognition software is being used to process criminal sketches in an unprecedented deployment of the technology in law enforcement. While law enforcement say the software has been a critical tool in expediting investigations and tracking down otherwise elusive criminals, skeptics say the use of facial recognition opens up a proverbial Pandora's Box of mass surveillance that could lead to more false identifications.


Three ways to build a strong AI-training pipeline

University of Washington Computer Science

Artificial-intelligence researcher Oren Etzioni has suggestions for keeping enough AI faculty members around to train the next generation.Credit: Bret Hartman/TED Oren Etzioni is chief executive of the non-profit Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) in Seattle, Washington, and is on leave from the nearby University of Washington. He offers some recommendations for how to stem the outflow of artificial-intelligence (AI) researchers from academia to industry -- a loss that is damaging academia's ability to teach incoming undergraduates. It is a very sizeable trend for fresh PhD graduates and faculty members. In machine learning, you see some significant departures. Industry compensation packages are highly variable.


Facebook confirms it's working on an AI voice assistant for Portal and Oculus products

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Facebook has confirmed a report from earlier today saying it's working on an artificial intelligence-based digital voice assistant in the vein of Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. The news, first reported by CNBC, indicates Facebook isn't giving up on a vision it first put out years ago, when it began developing an AI assistant for its Messenger platform simply called M. This time around, however, Facebook says it is focusing less on messaging and more on platforms in which hands-free interaction, via voice control and potentially gesture control, is paramount. "We are working to develop voice and AI assistant technologies that may work across our family of AR/VR products including Portal, Oculus and future products," a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge today, following the initial report. That means Facebook may not position the product as a competitor to Alexa or similar platforms, but as more of a feature exclusive to its growing family of hardware devices. CNBC reported that the team building the assistant is working out of Redmond, Washington under the direction of Ira Snyder, a general manager at Facebook Reality Labs and a director of augmented and virtual reality at the company.


Microsoft launches AI business school to help companies improve decision-making

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San Francisco: Microsoft on Monday announced a business school in Artificial Intelligence (AI) that will help companies improve decision-making in integrating AI across their operations. INSEAD, a graduate business school with campuses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, partnered with Microsoft to build the AI Business School's strategy module, which includes case studies about companies across many industries that have successfully transformed their businesses with AI, the company said in a statement. A series of short introductory videos provide an overview of the AI technologies driving change across industries, but the bulk of the content focuses on managing the impact of AI on company strategy, culture and responsibility, the company said in a statement. "There is a gap between what people want to do and the reality of what is going on in their organisations today, and the reality of whether their organisation is ready," said Mitra Azizirad, Corporate Vice President for AI marketing at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington. "This school is a deep dive into how you develop a strategy and identify blockers before they happen in the implementation of AI in your organisation," she added.


Microsoft launches AI Business School, focusing on strategy, culture, and responsibility

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In recent years, some of the world's fastest growing companies have deployed artificial intelligence to solve specific business problems. In fact, according to new market research from Microsoft on how AI will change leadership, these high-growth companies are more than twice as likely to be actively implementing AI as lower-growth companies. What's more, high-growth companies are further along in their AI deployments, with about half planning to use more AI in the coming year to improve decision making compared to about a third of lower growth companies. Still, less than two in 10 of even high-growth companies are integrating AI across their operations, the research found. "There is a gap between what people want to do and the reality of what is going on in their organizations today, and the reality of whether their organization is ready," said Mitra Azizirad, corporate vice president for AI marketing at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington.


Tableau's Ask Data feature uses NLP to answer sales questions

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Seattle, Washington data analytics company Tableau wants to make it easier to get straightforward answers to sales questions. Toward that end, it today announced the general availability of Ask Data, a natural language processing feature for Tableau Server and Tableau Online that enables users to pose queries and get a response. It also debuted Tableau Data Management -- a new subscription add-on targeting data prep scenarios -- and a pair of revamped smartphone clients. Ask Data is available as a part of Tableau's latest release, Tableau 2019.1, and supports the platform's full range of live and extract data sources. Using Ask Data to get an answer is as simple as typing in a question like "What were my sales this month?",


Washington in Review - February 15, 2019

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On the heels of President Trump's State of the Union address making a case for increased border security and other initiatives, federal agencies have been moving quickly on artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and robocall spoofing. Meanwhile, the EU and Japan have entered into an agreement on cross-border data flows, and India is taking action on investment in e-commerce. Want our Strategic Policy Advisory team to take a look at other topics? Let us know in the comments! Earlier this week, President Trump signed the American AI Initiative, an Executive Order directing federal agencies to develop new AI R&D budgets, share resources with academia and industry, create educational programs to improve the AI talent pipeline, and develop regulatory guidances for AI implementation that balance innovation with civil liberties.


Trump and the Pentagon have big goals for AI. Greater Washington companies will play a part.

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The Washington Business Journal's inaugural FedBiz Forum offered a glimpse at how artificial intelligence is changing government contracting.


Drones Pose A Unique Big Data Challenge For Business Users

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A SZ DJI Technology Co. drone is displayed during keynote presentations on artificial intelligence at the Microsoft Developers Build Conference in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Monday, May 7, 2018. The public might consider them nuisances, but in the commercial market, drones are valuable data collection devices. Their primary task is to capture, store, and transmit data. So as IT departments consider integrating more drone data into existing enterprise business processes, they face new data governance requirements. As drone technology matures, it is important for companies to know what it means for their information technology and software.