Five FinTech Themes from 2017 - Chris Skinner's blog

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Following on from talking around the big ten tech themes last Friday, I thought I would follow up with five FinTech themes for right now. This came out of a keynote speech I gave at Celero's 9th annual technology conference in Canada last week. It was fun with the CEO, Bob Reczka, kicking off the whole shebang talking about the five big themes in FinTech that had risen to the top of the heap over the last year. I agreed with these five themes and thought I'd share them here. Since 2016, there has been a significant move from banks fearing start-ups and start-ups wanting to disrupt banks, to start-ups and banks working together in harmony.


How machine learning levels the SERP playing field

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We don't ordinarily think of Google when we think about competition in the digital marketing world, since it seems to reliably dominate most areas in which it does business. A recent segment discussing corporate monopolies on John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" hilariously referenced Bing as the dominant search engine with a graphic that stated, "Bing. For the most part, however, the digital marketing sphere has been a fairly competitive landscape, though there were exceptions to this maxim. Established brands frequently dominated top SERP positions because of long-standing trust, fresh domains had to wait their turn in line, and black-hat SEO allowed webmasters to game the system and deliver high rankings for thin content. A decade ago, SEO agencies and webmasters could apply simple heuristics and buzzworthy keywords to rank content regardless of its utility to user intent or actual quality.


Pixel Visual Core: image processing and machine learning on Pixel 2

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The camera on the new Pixel 2 is packed full of great hardware, software and machine learning (ML), so all you need to do is point and shoot to take amazing photos and videos. One of the technologies that helps you take great photos is HDR, which makes it possible to get excellent photos of scenes with a large range of brightness levels, from dimly lit landscapes to a very sunny sky. HDR produces beautiful images, and we've evolved the algorithm that powers it over the past year to use the Pixel 2's application processor efficiently, and enable you to take multiple pictures in sequence by intelligently processing HDR in the background. In parallel, we've also been working on creating hardware capabilities that enable significantly greater computing power--beyond existing hardware--to bring HDR to third-party photography applications. To expand the reach of HDR, handle the most challenging imaging and ML applications, and deliver lower-latency and even more power-efficient HDR processing, we've created Pixel Visual Core.


How is deep learning affecting sports?

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I don't know about you, but I was not the most athletic kid growing up. It took me forever to make a jump shot well. When I started playing golf after college my short game was an absolute disaster. I always had a hard time visualising what I needed to do differently. Having a coach tell me what to do never seemed to do the trick.


Instana Automates App Development & Maintenance - Enterprise Cloud News

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Startup Instana, which has quietly been developing application performance management (APM) tools for containers and microservices, is officially releasing its first commercial offering this week, adding artificial intelligence and automation into the DevOps process. The company is detailing the product -- also called Instana -- at Dockercon Europe on Tuesday. The goal is to speed-up the development, testing, deployment and maintenance of new applications, especially those applications deployed in containers or through microservices, as enterprises move toward their goal of digital transformation. "The digitization or digital transformation trend that is going on is not about being big, it's simply about being fast," Pete Abrams, the co-founder and COO of Instana, told Enterprise Cloud News before the October 17 launch. "The people that can code-up, deploy and operate new business services the fastest are showing themselves to be the winner, and that is a massive competitive advantage."


Microsoft's flagship Windows 10 computer update available

Daily Mail

The latest update to Microsoft's flagship Windows 10 computer software has been made available to consumers for the first time. The update has various new features including a native app called Paint 3D, an image and video editing app called Story Remix and a feature called Timeline that enables users to pick up on tasks they were previously working on. The'Fluent Design' redesign is part of an effort to modernise the operating system and will be rolled out from today. Users are recommended to back up their computer before downloading an update and Microsoft will send an alert when it is available. Microsoft first revealed the new feature during the second day of its Build developer conference in Seattle in May.


GM to test self-driving cars in New York in early 2018

Daily Mail

General Motors Co plans to test vehicles in fully autonomous mode in New York state in early 2018, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The self-driving cars will first take to the streets in Manhattan, with hopes the exposure to a densely populated environment will help accelerate improvements. The planned testing by GM and its self-driving unit, Cruise Automation, will be the first by a Level 4 autonomous vehicle in the state, Cuomo said in a statement. General Motors Co plans to test vehicles in fully autonomous mode in New York state in early 2018, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. One of the firm's Bolt EV self-driving test vehicles is pictured above A level 3 car still needs a steering wheel and a driver who can take over if the car encounters a problem, while level 4 promises driverless features in dedicated lanes.


Create Real Value with Augmented (not Artificial) Intelligence - InformationWeek

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The topic of artificial intelligence has broken out of computer science labs and into boardrooms across industries, as recently noted in the Harvard Business Review: The buzz over AI has grown loud enough to penetrate the C-suites of organizations around the world, and for good reason. Investment in AI is growing and is increasingly coming from organizations outside the tech space. This news does not mean that Ultron will soon dominate the Fortune 500, but it does hint at the powerful new productivity paradigm that is reshaping enterprises. What we broadly term "AI" (as opposed to traditional sequential computation) seeks to replicate the human mind's ability to "think" -- to understand the underlying context of decision making based on multiple simultaneous inputs. Such technologies are already transforming a number of important business processes.


Ports Have Different Automation Needs

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Pedro Galveia, Yard and Ship Planner and Port Consultant at Yilport Sotagus in Lisbon explained roughly how automation will break down among the differently sized terminals in a new video. Observations can be made regarding three main areas of terminal automation: the Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes, the stacking area and the gates. Galveia explains in the video: "For bigger terminals above 4-5 million moves per year, global terminal operators behind them will put pressure to automate the STS cranes. "Terminals with a half-million moves will search for process automation and clean flows in their STS cranes. Read a related paper by Automated Terminal Systems about how efficient handling for mega-ships requires some level of automation.


TensorFlow* Optimizations on Modern Intel Architecture

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TensorFlow* is a leading deep learning and machine learning framework, which makes it important for Intel and Google to ensure that it is able to extract maximum performance from Intel's hardware offering. This paper introduces the Artificial Intelligence (AI) community to TensorFlow optimizations on Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processor-based platforms. These optimizations are the fruit of a close collaboration between Intel and Google engineers announced last year by Intel's Diane Bryant and Google's Diane Green at the first Intel AI Day. We describe the various performance challenges that we encountered during this optimization exercise and the solutions adopted. We also report out performance improvements on a sample of common neural networks models.