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The 2018 Survey: AI and the Future of Humans

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"Please think forward to the year 2030. Analysts expect that people will become even more dependent on networked artificial intelligence (AI) in complex digital systems. Some say we will continue on the historic arc of augmenting our lives with mostly positive results as we widely implement these networked tools. Some say our increasing dependence on these AI and related systems is likely to lead to widespread difficulties. Our question: By 2030, do you think it is most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will enhance human capacities and empower them? That is, most of the time, will most people be better off than they are today? Or is it most likely that advancing AI and related technology systems will lessen human autonomy and agency to such an extent that most people will not be better off than the way things are today? Please explain why you chose the answer you did and sketch out a vision of how the human-machine/AI collaboration will function in 2030.


The rise of AI

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From virtual assistants to driverless cars, technology imitating human intelligence is on the rise. But at what ethical cost and how do boards future-proof their organisations in the face of rapid change? Earlier this year, a Japanese insurance company made headlines for doing something that company executives and directors around the world have been anticipating - and fearing - for years. Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance made 34 of its staff redundant and replaced them with artificial intelligence (AI) system IBM Watson. Japanese newspaper The Mainichi reported the company will be using Watson to determine payout amounts and check customer cases against their insurance contracts. Evidently, the future of AI is already here and technology has been changing the world at a dramatic pace.


China's AI Industry Has Given Birth To 14 Unicorns: Is It A Bubble Waiting To Burst?

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A staff member displays a DJI Phantom 3 4K drone during CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, Nevada. It may come as a surprising fact that there are now 14 Chinese AI companies valued at $1 billion or more. These unicorns are worth a combined $40.5 billion, according to a report China Money Network recently released during the World Economic Forum's Summer Davos gathering in Beijing. Just to put these numbers in perspective. Google bought DeepMind for over $500 million in 2014. Chinese voice recognition giant iFlytek Co. has a market capitalization of 63 billion yuan ($9.2 billion). Chinese AI startups raised $27.7 billion via 369 VC deals in 2017, according to a recent report from Tsinghua University. So naturally, it raises questions on if there is a bubble waiting to pop in the Chinese AI space. How could these companies, with an average age of less than five years, be worth so much money?


Amazon Strategy Teardown: Building New Business Pillars In AI, Next-Gen Logistics, And Enterprise Cloud Apps

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Amazon is the exception to nearly every rule in business. Rising from humble beginnings as a Seattle-based internet bookstore, Amazon has grown into a propulsive force in at least five different giant industries: retail, logistics, consumer technology, cloud computing, and most recently, media and entertainment. The company has had its share of missteps -- the expensive Fire phone flop comes to mind -- but is also rightly known for strokes of strategic genius that have put it ahead of competitors in promising new industries. This was the case with the launch of cloud business AWS in the mid-2000s, and more recently the surprising consumer hit in the Echo device and its Alexa AI assistant. Today's Amazon is far more than just an "everything store," it's a leader in consumer-facing AI and enterprise cloud services. And its insatiable appetite for new markets mean competitors must always be on guard against its next moves. As the biggest online retailer in America, the company accounts for 5% of all retail spending in America, and the company has been publicly traded for two decades. While its market capitalization has swelled recently, so too have expectations. Wall Street banks like Morgan Stanley expect Amazon to continue growing at a rate that no company its size has ever done before: 16% average compound growth in sales through 2025. If Amazon were able to satisfy the lofty goals, it would be "the most aggressive expansion of a giant company in the history of modern business." Understanding the many-headed beast that is Amazon is no easy feat, especially because Amazon is far less transparent than its peers. As the Times has written, "It isn't just secretive, the way Apple is, but in a deeper sense, Jeff Bezos' e-commerce and cloud-storage giant is opaque. Amazon rarely explains either its near-term tactical aims or its long-term strategic vision. By all accounts, Amazon is just getting started in newer initiatives like cloud services, artificial intelligence, and logistics. Given Amazon's enormous breadth, we won't be covering every aspect of its business. Jeff Bezos, the company's founder and long-time CEO, first hatched the idea for Amazon while working on Wall Street at the hedge fund and tech private equity group D. E. Shaw & Co. For a while, it was bootstrapped as an internet bookstore with Bezos' money along with contributions from friends and family. In 1995, Bezos raised nearly $1M in small checks from 20 local angels with a typical check size between $30k and $50k. Among those angels, Nick Hanauer, Eric Dillon, and Tom Alberg (of Madrona Venture Group) were brought on as company advisors.


5 AI Fintech Companies That You Should Know

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The article was written by Amber Zhou, a Financial Analyst at I Know First. Artificial Intelligence (AI), was once the domain of fanciful science fiction books and films. But now the drive to eliminate human fallibility makes the technology stormily take the world across all industries, from self-driving cars to virtual assistants like Siri. Companies are significantly benefited from the cost saving from a variety of automated processes. Now programmers and data scientists are setting their sights on financial services.