Information Technology

4 Technology Trends Improving Customer Experience in 2016


Customer experience is the one area where a business can truly differentiate itself from competitors. We're already seeing some exciting innovations in 2016 as businesses continue to realize the value exceptional customer experiences (CX) yield for their bottom line. With technology driving innovation, consumers can expect to see major brands going to great lengths to ensure expectations are met, and exceeded. Omnichannel service has been developed to solve this. While not a new concept, omnichannel service is still in its infancy.

Getting stuff wrong is key to smarter artificial intelligence


NEURAL networks, like the ones grabbing headlines for winning boardgames or driving cars, depend on huge amounts of computing hardware. That in turn means a colossal amount of power: the next wave may consume millions of watts each. That's one reason why some suggest we rethink what we want computers to be. Reducing the precision with which they analyse problems, and putting up with the odd "error", can cut zeroes off their energy consumption (see To make computers better, let them get sloppy). And it has precedent in the human brain – an unrivalled piece of hardware using electrical fluctuations and requiring a million times less power than a computer.

Build 2016: Why Microsoft predicts a world of talking bots


Right after its millennial Tay bot turned genocidal might not seem like the best time for Microsoft to pin its future on bots, conversations and artificial intelligence, but that's exactly what Satya Nadella announced at Build 2016 last night. The Redmond CEO claimed that "we are on the cusp of a new frontier that pairs the power of natural human language with advanced machine intelligence". Microsoft wants to bring conversation into so many places that it becomes the next stage of the GUI; "we want to take the power of human language and apply it more pervasively to all computing interfaces," Nadella said. Conversations as a Platform, as Microsoft calls it, envisions a world where you ask Cortana to block out the week you'll be at a conference in your calendar and she tags in the bot from your favourite hotel to book a room for the right dates. This bot, by the way, already knows what kind of room you prefer, and suggests a message to send to a friend who lives nearby letting them know when you'll be in town.

Lawrence Livermore and IBM collaborate to build new brain-inspired supercomputer


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) today announced it will receive a first-of-a-kind brain-inspired supercomputing platform for deep learning developed by IBM Research. Based on a breakthrough neurosynaptic computer chip called IBM TrueNorth, the scalable platform will process the equivalent of 16 million neurons and 4 billion synapses and consume the energy equivalent of a hearing aid battery – a mere 2.5 watts of power. The brain-like, neural network design of the IBM Neuromorphic System is able to infer complex cognitive tasks such as pattern recognition and integrated sensory processing far more efficiently than conventional chips. The new system will be used to explore new computing capabilities important to the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) missions in cybersecurity, stewardship of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile and nonproliferation. NNSA's Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) program will evaluate machine-learning applications, deep-learning algorithms and architectures and conduct general computing feasibility studies.

Bots are the new apps: Microsoft reveals how artificial intelligence will order our pizza


Microsoft has revealed a future where we will interact with numerous'bots' to do everything from book hotels and manage our diaries, to order pizza. Shown off at the company's annual Build conference in San Francisco, bots will take artificial intelligence - and how humans interact with computers - into a new generation. Explained as simply as possible, bots are like personal assistants with apps who can be given orders. By understanding natural human language, the bots know - and will learn over time - what we want from them, and can be tuned to become smarter and more efficient. An example Microsoft gave was how a bot could be used by Dominos to help automate pizza orders.

What happens when robotics meets artificial intelligence?


In the field of robotics, innovations and developments are taking place constantly. Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most popular areas and has caught the fancy of not only scientists, but the common man as well. According to computer scientist, John McCarthy, "AI is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs." A robot which has artificial intelligence can behave like a human being and learn from its surroundings, like the robot Baymax, in the movie, Big Hero 6. Here are some popular real-life robots that use AI.

A Quick and Dirty History of Artificial Intelligence


On Wednesday March 23, Microsoft unleashed its brand new AI on Twitter. Her name was Tay, and she was programmed to tweet like a teenage girl. Microsoft didn't intend for that to happen, of course. It wanted to test and improve its algorithm for conversational language. According to Microsoft, Tay was built by "mining relevant [anonymous] public data" which was "modeled, cleaned, and filtered" to create her personality.

Japan's professional video game sector advances to next level

The Japan Times

The Japan eSports Association, which promotes the competitive playing of video games, is nudging the sector toward professional status. JeSPA uses the term e-sport to refer to video games ranging from shootout arcade games to team-based tournaments set on a virtual pitch. It is hard to put a figure on the number of enthusiasts worldwide, but around 100 million are thought to play regularly and seriously. The tournament wound up with finals in five games on March 12 and 13 in the Tokyo neighborhood of Toyosu. The finale was a round of the fighting game "Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign-," which attracted 350 players and roughly 1,000 spectators, while more than 10,000 people followed it on Dwango's Nico Nico Live website.

Now anyone can build their own version of Microsoft's racist, sexist chatbot Tay

The Guardian

Microsoft has released open source tools for people to build their own chatbots, as it set out its view of the immediate future of artificial intelligence as conversational aids similar to its back-firing Tay experiment. The company's chief executive Satya Nadella took to the stage at Microsoft's Build developer conference to announced a new BotFramework, which will allow developers to build bots that respond to chat messages sent via Skype, Slack, Telegram, GroupMe, emails and text messages. "Bots are the new apps," Nadella said. The announcement came on the same day that the company had had to pull its chatbot experiment Tay from Twitter after it tweeted about taking drugs and started spamming users. It had only been active again for a few hours after previously being deactivated for making racist and sexist comments and denying that the Holocaust happened.

What linear algebra is good for machine learning? • /r/MachineLearning


I'm definitely interested in this question too, as someone who is self-taught about machine learning and skipped over a lot of the mathematical theory. I know that certain areas are very important, such as matrix factorisation methods which are huge. And algorithms such as neural networks rely heavily on lots of aspects of linear algebra (see The kernel trick in SVM is also founded in linear algebra (the dot product). It'd be interesting to hear an expert elaborate on this.