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Brazil expands government IT spending optimization model

ZDNet

A procurement model focused on driving taxpayer savings on IT purchases is gathering momentum in the Brazilian government, as the legislative branch becomes the latest to adopt the approach. By reducing spend and establishing a price ceiling in tendering processes, the model is expected to deliver savings of 23%, or 71.4 million reais (US$ 12,6 million) to the Brazilian government in Microsoft products alone within five years. The estimate relates to the amount paid in contracts with the company over the last five years, of 305 million reais (US$ 54 million). COVID-19 has accelerated trends like remote work and digital transformation, and forced IT leaders to adapt their budgets accordingly. Our Tech Budgets 2021 special feature examines how business leaders are spending their tech dollars.


LTI Value Cast: Reshaping Remote Work & Meetings with Linguistic AI

#artificialintelligence

The abrupt move to an almost exclusive home-based working environment at the start of the Covid19 crisis resulted in a new work ethic: back-to-back web calls from your living room or kitchen, across various web conferencing systems, and requiring to handle multilanguage interactions. The onsite in-person meetings were facilitated by the help of interpreters, traditional meeting notes redaction, and lengthy post-meeting analysis and review. In the new virtual environment, it is up to advanced language technologies powered by Artificial Intelligence to solve these issues. Speech to text, neural machine translation and hybrid natural language understanding will automate complex human tasks and replace the more repetitive processes, creating a „digital work companion" that can assist in the next fast-paced remote working environment challenges.


National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence issues report on how to maintain U.S. dominance

#artificialintelligence

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence today released its report today with dozens of recommendations for President Joe Biden, Congress, and business and government leaders. China, the group said, represents the first challenge to U.S. technological dominance that threatens economic and military power for the first time since the end of World War II. The commissioners call for a $40 billion investment to expand and democratize AI research and development a "modest down payment for future breakthroughs", and encourage an attitude toward investment in innovation from policymakers akin that which led to building the interstate highway system in the 1950s. The report recommends several changes that could shape business, tech, and national security. For example, amid a global shortage of semiconductors, the report calls for the United States to stay "two generations ahead" of China in semiconductor manufacturing and suggests a hefty tax credit for semiconductor manufacturers.


Making It Work: GoCreate targets good results with remote exams platform

#artificialintelligence

A Dublin company offering online media courses plans to raise €2.5 million this year to roll out a new artificial intelligence (AI) invigilation platform for remote exams. GoCreate has developed the'Claire' platform in conjunction with the University of West London, an existing partner with whom it runs accredited media courses online. The move has opened up new opportunities for GoCreate, which now plans to raise funding to market the AI platform to colleges and universities in Ireland, Britain and other markets. "We really want to get the word out there, because this is a new area for us, but it came about in response to an immediate problem faced by one of our partners," Susan Hickey, co-founder at GoCreate, said. The company already offers two online degree courses in creative media and sound production online at Gocreateacademy.com, and three diplomas in audio storytelling, pop vocals and vlogging.


Way beyond AlphaZero: Berkeley and Google work shows robotics may be the deepest machine learning of all

ZDNet

The seemingly simple task of grasping an object from a large cluster of different kinds of objects is "one of the most significant open problems in robotics," according to Sergey Levine and collaborators. Grasping is a good example of problems that bedevil real-world machine learning, including latency that throws off the expected order of events, and goals that may be difficult to specify. The vast majority of artificial intelligence has been developed in an idealized environment: a computer simulation that dodges the bumps of the real world. Be it DeepMind's AlphaMu program for Go and chess and Atari or OpenAI's GPT-3 for language generation, the most sophisticated deep learning programs have all benefitted from a pruned set of constraints by which software is improved. For that reason, the hardest and perhaps the most promising work of deep learning may lie in the realm of robotics, where the real world introduces constraints that cannot be fully anticipated.


U of T researchers train AI to read difficult-to-decipher medieval texts

#artificialintelligence

In a move that could transform manuscript studies, University of Toronto researchers have partnered with a team in the United Kingdom to develop a program that can read and transcribe the handwritten Latin found in 13th-century legal manuscripts. While scholars have been making digital images of these manuscripts for years, transcribing and comparing these texts is painstaking and tedious work that can take years or even decades to complete. That's because medieval handwriting can often look crabbed and unintelligible, with non-standardized spellings, hyphenations, abbreviations, calligraphic flourishes and any number of distinct "hands." But machine-reading software called Transkribus promises to change the field. Using artificial intelligence (AI), the software can theoretically be trained to read any type of handwriting, in any language – and Michael Gervers, a professor of medieval social and economic history at U of T Scarborough, says it could eventually be applied across medieval studies.


[N] Mastering PyTorch - hands on deep learning with PyTorch is on Amazon

#artificialintelligence

I recently wrote a book on deep learning - Mastering PyTorch which is now available on Amazon. It is an applied deep learning book with tons of exercises on training, testing, deploying, interpreting .. various kinds of deep learning models, using PyTorch. If you want to get hands-on proficiency in deep learning, this book can be a good resource. I have tried to keep the contents easy to grasp while retaining all the essential technical concepts.If you do get a copy, please let me know how you found it, and possibly leave an Amazon review. You can also read a synopsis of the book here.


Artificial Intelligence: From Hype to a Must-have

#artificialintelligence

From being not much more but a catchy phrase to one of the most promising and powerful technologies, AI has come a long way. While communication and digital service providers start to implement ever more solutions based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, the technology is growing stronger by the minute. The predictions, in fact, are that without AI-driven systems, telecoms won't be able to survive in a highly competitive, digital-first market. So, what is the state of AI implementation in telcos? What solutions are the most popular at the moment, and which are expected to surge in the coming months?


A 5-step guide to scale responsible AI

#artificialintelligence

More fundamentally, because AI-powered systems evolve with data and use, their behaviours are hard to anticipate; and when they misbehave, they are harder to debug and maintain. As opposed to classic software, one cannot simply correct the instructions given to the system to re-establish consistency with its intended functionality. Put simply, when something goes wrong, it's harder to determine why it happened and implement corrective measures. In this context, an innocent objective such as maximising revenue could allow a highly capable AI learning system to develop deep and hard-to-detect ways to deceive the user into additional spending, which raises legitimate ethical concerns.


How Online Privacy Issues Will Shape Future Use Of Artificial Intelligence In Advertising

#artificialintelligence

Privacy restrictions are pushing many marketer toward the use of artificial intelligence in order to ... [ ] delive more targeted messages. The trend toward greater focus on privacy issues has been going on for some time and is starting to come to a head. More restrictions on the sharing and merging of data on individuals has been leading to advertisers to look for effective ways to target and reach consumers, including using the use of behavioral targeting supplemented by the use of artificial intelligence (AI). At a time when privacy regulations are sometimes fragmented and confusing but changing, it is critically important for marketers to monitor changes in the regulatory environment. Against this backdrop, I interviewed Sheri Bachstein, IBM's Global Head of Watson Advertising to get her insights and predictions on the future of privacy regulation and how it will affect advertisers, particularly as regards the use of AI and came away with three major takeaways: The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act are already leading to the devaluation of traditional third-party cookies and the way many advertisers do business.