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Bright Machines Named Winner in 2021 Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards


PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Business Intelligence Group today announced that Bright Machines was named a winner in its Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards program. Bright Machines is a full-stack technology company offering a new approach to AI-enabled manufacturing. The company's flagship solution, Bright Machines Microfactories, combines intelligent software and adaptive robotics to automate repetitive assembly and inspection tasks, enabling manufacturers to quickly deploy autonomous assembly lines that can scale based on market demand. In less than three years, they have achieved strong momentum across multiple industry verticals, particularly with customers seeking to re-shore manufacturing and accelerate product innovation. "Our mission from day one has been to enable our customers to increase the speed, scalability, and flexibility of their manufacturing process. By applying advanced machine learning, computer vision, 3D simulation, and cloud computing to the factory floor, we can bring new levels of innovation and productivity to their operations," said Amar Hanspal, Bright Machines CEO and co-founder.

Video game pioneer Jerry Lawson remembered with USC endowment, supported by Take-Two

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

An oft-forgotten pioneer in video game history, Jerry Lawson, the Black engineer who helped kickstart home game consoles, is being honored with an academic endowment. USC Games at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, announced Thursday it has established The Gerald A. Lawson Endowment Fund for Black and Indigenous Students, an initiative to increase minority representation in games and tech. Recipients will be known as Lawson Scholars. Take-Two Interactive Software, maker of games such as "Grand Theft Auto V" and "Red Dead Redemption," made what the company described as "a very significant endowment" to create the fund. Jim Huntley, a USC Interactive Media & Games' professor and head of marketing, said he got the idea for the endowment during the summer 2020 protests and the school's deans of cinematic arts and engineering approved.

Kazuo Ishiguro writes of artificial intelligence and human hearts in 'Klara and the Sun'


Klara, the narrator of the new novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, isn't human, but understanding humans is her mission. In Klara and the Sun, the reader follows her in that mission, in a world that seems like our own in a none too distant future. Ishiguro, who was born in Japan but has lived most of his life in England, has written seven previous novels, including the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day, as well as short fiction, song lyrics and screenplays. Klara and the Sun is his first novel since he received the Nobel Prize for literature in 2017. It underscores how well he deserved that prize, in its beautiful craft and prose and in its tender but unflinching sense of the human heart.

VIDEO: Artificial Intelligence makes Einstein 'talk' again


The UneeQ, based in the United States and New Zealand, published a video of its artificial intelligence project Digital Einstein that has the father of relativity theory chat with a fictional version of his human Sofia. Users of UneeQ technology will be able to chat with the iconic Nobel Prize in Physics, who will answer their questions. The idea of this long-term project is to teach and accompany people who feel lonely, especially seeing the effects of quarantines around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company said in a statement that "Digital Einstein, among other digital humans, can communicate with people in a more natural way: using conversation, human expressions and emotional responses to provide the best daily interactions that we hope will make a difference in people's lives ".

Hiroshi Noji and Yohei Oseki have received the Best Paper Award, NLP2021


The research paper of "Parallelization of Recurrent neural network grammar (in Japanese)," co-authored by Hiroshi Noji (AIST) and Yohei Oseki (The University of Tokyo), was received the Best Paper Award from the 27th Annual Meeting of the Association for Natural Language Processing .

Kustomer Named Winner in 2021 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Excellence Awards


Kustomer announces today that it was named a winner in the Business Intelligences' Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards program. The company's top-rated customer service CRM platform leverages AI extensively to help industry-leading businesses orchestrate unified, on-demand experiences that create customers for life. "Customer service organizations played a pivotal role during the pandemic as they became a lifeline for customers dealing with uncertainty. Our AI-powered platform also became a lifeline for businesses, helping them keep up with customer concerns and prevent issues before they arose," said Brad Birnbaum, founder and CEO, Kustomer. "I'm incredibly proud that our team is being recognized by Business Intelligence Group for our innovation and ability to deliver tools that our customers need."

Lilt Named Winner in 2021 Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards


Lilt, the modern language service and technology provider, today announced it was named a winner in the Business Intelligence Group's Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards program. Lilt's localization solution combines a community of the world's best professional translators with its AI-powered translation platform, bringing human-powered, technology-assisted translations to global enterprises like Intel, ASICS, Canva, DigitalOcean, WalkMe, and others. "We're thrilled to be recognized as a winner of the Artificial Intelligence Excellence Awards," said Spence Green, CEO of Lilt. "As a language service and technology provider, our AI and machine learning platform enables our customers to provide their customers with a consistent global experience, regardless of what language they speak." Lilt provides businesses with the ability to offer the same global experience to all customers, partners, and employees irrespective of language.

Behind the scenes of the CRISPR story


Walter Isaacson, one of America's foremost biographers, recently told me that he sees three fundamental units as the cornerstones of 20th-century innovation: the bit, the atom, and the gene. Having written about Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein—embodiments of the first two—in previous works, in his latest book, The Code Breaker , reviewed in this issue of Science (see page [1213][1]), Isaacson's focus turns to the gene. His story centers on the life of biochemist Jennifer Doudna, who, together with Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their pioneering work on the gene editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9. The book is an extraordinarily detailed and revealing account of scientific progress and competition that grants readers behind-the-scenes access to the scientific process, which the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us remains opaque to the wider public. It also provides lessons in science communication that go beyond the story itself. Doudna granted Isaacson numerous interviews for the book, as well as total access to her lab meetings and to her team's Slack channel. In contrast to many of his previous biographies, which relied heavily on archival documents and focused on individuals whose lives and legacies were fully realized at the time of writing, this allowed Isaacson to “see history being made.” This also meant that Doudna would be around to read the finished product. Yet he reports that “she never asked for any control of the book, nor for the right to change anything.” This struck me as a bold and important decision. Society is starved for compelling stories about scientists, and by allowing Isaacson to study her life closely, Doudna opened the door for a much-needed narrative about the mechanisms of modern science. When I asked her about the decision to allow Isaacson full access to her work, Doudna told me she was struck by his desire to fully comprehend how CRISPR came to be and by his efforts to understand the broader biomedical research landscape in which it arose. “I was impressed that he wanted to learn all about the way experimental science is conducted as well as about the personalities involved in the story of CRISPR. Walter is a great reporter and storyteller,” she explained. “I wanted him to be able to write this story with as much first-hand knowledge as possible.” I suspect many folks wouldn't have the courage to do this, but I hope others will follow her lead so that the public can gain a better appreciation for the excitement of scientific discovery and the self-correcting nature of science. The Code Breaker is a story about discovery, collaboration, and competition. Doudna's collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier and her competitor biochemist Feng Zhang gave Isaacson extensive interviews, as did other luminaries of science, including geneticists Eric Lander and George Church. This allowed Isaacson to document the arguments that lead researchers to change their hypotheses, the competition they engage in for credit and patents, and the conferences where—in nonpandemic times—ideas are exchanged and collaborations are often formed. The book also includes a great deal of detail about scientific publishing. Isaacson illustrates how scientists argue over reviewers and about what format their research manuscripts should take. He describes how publications can be expedited when there is competition and manages to infuse drama into the experience of uploading a submission to a journal website. [Doudna and Charpentier's 2012 Science paper][2], which described the CRISPR-Cas9 system and suggested that it might be used for gene editing, even gets its own chapter. [I asked Isaacson][3] if he had known these details about scientific publishing before he embarked on this project and if he had learned anything along the way. Despite having written about scientists in the past, he told me he knew relatively little about the drama and importance of scientific publishing, and that he found it inspiring: “I learned that the rigor and honesty of the review process are so crucial to the progress of science. In an era that has become loose with facts and truth—and skeptical about science—it's useful to have bulwarks that believe that evidence matters and intellectual honesty is our true north compass point.” I couldn't agree more with this sentiment and hope that we will continue to see more inspiring scientific stories made accessible in this way. [1]: [2]: [3]:

Nvidia's GTC will feature deep learning cabal of LeCun, Hinton, Bengio


Eleven years after Geoffrey Hinton couldn't get a free sample from Nvidia, the Touring Award winner will join his comrades Yoshua Bengio and Yann LeCun at the 2021 GTC conference hosted by Nvidia as a headline speaker, Nvidia announced Tuesday. The event, running April 12 through April 16, will feature the customary keynote from Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, starting at 8:30am PT on April 12. Said Huang in the press release, "GTC brings together a massive ecosystem of developers, researchers and corporate leaders who are using AI and accelerated computing to change the world "We have our strongest program ever this year, highlighted by Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun, among 1,300 sessions focused on every aspect of computing and networking. There is no better place to see the future and how you can help shape it." Hinton, a professor at the University of Toronto, and also a researcher with Google's AI division, along with Bengio of Canada's MILA institute, and LeCun of Facebook, have called themselves co-conspirators in the revival of the once-moribund field of "deep learning." The three all received the prestigious Turing Award, named in honor of computing pioneer Alan Turing, in 2019 for their contributions to computing. The conference will also host the three scholars' arch-nemesis, NYU professor Gary Marcus, who has been a relentless critic of deep learning, and who sparred with Bengio during a 2019 debate. More on the conference is available on the Nvidia website. What has been labeled the deep learning revolution, the break-through in multi-layer perceptrons, or neural networks, circa 2006, is also the trend that made possible the huge expansion in Nvidia's data center business. During a meeting with journalists a year ago in New York, at the annual AAAI conference, Hinton recalled with Mirth how he had been turned down by Nvidia eleven years ago when he'd sought to get a free graphics card. "I made a big mistake back in 2009 with Nvidia," Hinton recalled with a grin "In 2009, I told an audience of 1,000 grad students they should go and buy Nvidia GPUs to speed up their neural nets.

Klara and the Sun Imagines a Social Schism Driven By AI


Kazuo Ishiguro's latest novel, Klara and the Sun, presents us with a world in which not one but two kinds of artificial intelligence have arrived. In the book's strangely familiar near-future, AI has upended the social order, the world of work, and human relationships all at once. Intelligent machines toil in place of office workers and serve as dutiful companions, or "Artificial Friends." Some children have themselves become another form of AI, having had their intelligence upgraded via genetic engineering. These enhanced, or "lifted," humans create a social schism, dividing people into an elite ruling order and an underclass of the unmodified and grudgingly idle.