Information Technology


Comcast's Q1 strong as business and high-speed Internet services offset cord cutting

ZDNet

Comcast continued to shed video customers in the first quarter, but is more than offsetting the slide with high-speed Internet and business services. In the first quarter, Comcast reported net income of $3.12 billion, or 66 cents a share, on revenue of $22.79 billion, up 10.7 percent from a year ago. Excluding items, Comcast reported earnings of 62 cents a share in the first quarter. Wall Street was expecting Comcast to report first quarter earnings of 59 cents a share on revenue of $22.75 billion. There are multiple moving parts in Comcast, but Comcast Business is growing the fastest.


Machine Learning Invades Embedded Applications

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Two things have moved deep-neural-network-based (DNN) machine learning (ML) from research to mainstream. The first is improved computing power, especially general-purpose GPU (GPGPU) improvements. The second is wider distribution of ML software, especially open-source software. Quite a few applications are driving adoption of ML, including advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and self-driving cars, big-data analysis, surveillance, and improving processes from audio noise reduction to natural language processing. Many of these applications utilize arrays of GPGPUs and special ML hardware, especially for handling training that uses large amounts of data to create models that require significantly less processing power to perform a range of recognition and other ML-related tasks.


Deep Learning Vs Machine Learning AI Vs Machine Learning Vs Deep Learning

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In this video, we explain the difference between three key concepts artificial intelligence vs machine learning vs deep learning – to understand how they relate to the field of data science. First up, artificial intelligence or AI! What is it? Artificial intelligence is simply any code, technique or algorithm that enables machines to mimic, develop and demonstrate human cognition or behavior. We are in, what many refer to as, the era of "weak AI". The technology is still in its infancy and is expected to make machines capable of doing anything and everything humans do, in the era of "strong AI".


100 jobs planned at New Orleans center that 'teaches' artificial intelligence

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How do self-driving vehicles learn how to drive? How does artificial intelligence become smart in the first place? It all starts with data. An international company that applies data to a variety of practical uses has chosen to place its first U.S. "delivery center" in New Orleans and will hire 100 people within the next 12 to 18 months to staff it. The available jobs range from entry-level to more skilled positions.


Amazon is giving Alexa a kid-friendly personality

Mashable

As a parent, I'm constantly listening to -- and a bit wary of -- how my kids are talking to Alexa. Or more precisely, how Amazon's digital assistant is talking to them. Ask for the wrong song or overhear the wrong news story, and suddenly my son or daughter might be exposed to something I might not be comfortable with them hearing. And even when the content isn't an issue, I sometimes wonder if Alexa's generally cold, utilitarian manner is giving them the wrong impression of how to answer questions. SEE ALSO: What would an Amazon Alexa robot look like?


Amazon's Alexa will now thank kids for saying 'please' — preferably on a Echo Dot Kids

USATODAY

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Echo Dot Kids Edition comes in blue, red and green. Politeness counts, at least when your child asks Alexa a question on an Amazon Echo speaker. Soon, when your youngster asks Alexa to solve a math problem by exhibiting good manners--"Alexa, please tell me what 5 plus 7 is"--the voice inside the Echo will not only supply the right answer, but will then add positive reinforcement: "By the way, thanks for asking so nicely." This new "magic word" feature, as Amazon calls it, starts to roll out via a software upgrade for the Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Dot smart speakers on May 9, as part of a set of free parental controls called FreeTime for Alexa.


Facebook's data changes will hamper research and oversight, academics warn

The Guardian

A group of the world's leading internet academics say Facebook's decision to tighten access to user data in reaction to the Cambridge Analytica scandal will actually hamper genuine research and oversight of the platform. An open letter, signed by 27 researchers and published on Wednesday, said while the privacy changes might generate positive publicity for Facebook and its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, they were "likely to compound the real problem, further diminishing transparency and opportunities for independent oversight". On 4 April, Facebook announced it would make changes to protect the privacy of users, including restricting access to application program interfaces used by third parties to access data. "The net effect of the new API restrictions is to lock out third parties and consolidate Facebook's position as the main analytics and advertising broker," the open letter says. "Contrary to popular belief, these changes are as much about strengthening Facebook's business model of data control as they are about actually improving data privacy for users."


This message will self-destruct: Gmail adds confidential mode and new AI

The Guardian

Google is implementing the biggest overhaul of its popular Gmail webmail service in five years, bringing a new look, advanced AI-powered features and improved privacy. Two years in the making, the redesign is intended to help Google better compete with Microsoft's Outlook on the business side and modernise consumer email by bringing features from its Inbox email client into the main Gmail experience. "This is an entire rewrite of our flagship, most-used product," said Jacob Bank, product manager lead for Gmail, which 1.4 billion people use each month. For consumers, headline features include the ability to snooze emails, as you would with an alarm clock, until a specified time or date, and what Google calls "nudge", which displays messages with quick reminders that you haven't responded to certain messages so that "nothing slips through the cracks". The smart reply feature, found within Google's Gmail app on smartphones that suggests quick reply phrases based on the content of the email, will also be rolled out to the web.


To Improve Customer Service Robots Enable Humans - InformationWeek

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Companies today have a customer service problem, and fixing it is more complicated than flashing an eager smile. Consumer-facing businesses are grappling with how best to meet the fickle expectations of real people in an increasingly automated and digital world. At the center of the issue are automated customer service systems, also called "virtual agents." These agents are software programs designed to help customers answer questions, perform basic tasks, or solve problems without talking to an actual person. We've all used them, and in many cases they work great.


Thoughts on AI: Is AI coming to your emotional rescue?

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According to real estate data firm Co-Star, over 90 million square feet of retail space is slated to close this year, leading observers to point to an obvious truth: empathy matters in customer service. Getting it right is another story. When businesses are out of touch with consumer needs, consumers stop buying and stores start dying. Enter "affective computing," an area of research involving machines that can read and display emotional intelligence, with applications as far ranging from preventative medicine to music lessons and every commercial sector in between. The retail industry isn't the only one eying "emotion AI" as a potential savior from digital disruption, but the physical spaces that characterize the retail experience ares providing innovators with a ripe venue to demonstrate the power that capturing and understanding customer sentiment can have.