The AI 100 is CB Insights' annual list of the 100 most promising private AI companies in the world. This year's winners are working on diverse solutions designed to recycle plastic waste, improve hearing aids, combat toxic online gaming behavior, and more. CB Insights has unveiled the winners of the sixth annual AI 100 -- a list of the 100 most promising private AI companies across the globe. Some of this year's winners are advancing the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) across specific industries -- such as healthcare, gaming, and agriculture. On the other hand, some are developing applications to support sales, engineering design, cybersecurity, and other functions across a wide range of industries.
A group of Democratic lawmakers led by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate ID.me, the controversial identification company best known for its work with the Internal Revenue Service. In a letter addressed to FTC Chair Lina Khan, the group suggests the firm misled the American public about the capabilities of its facial recognition technology. Specifically, lawmakers point to a statement ID.me made at the start of the year. After CEO Blake Hall said the company did not use one-to-many facial recognition, an approach that involves matching images against those in a database, ID.me backtracked on those claims. It clarified it uses a "specific" one-to-many check during user enrollment to prevent identity theft.
Uber announced a few big plans at its product event on Monday, including autonomous deliveries and the ability to specify if you want your ride to be an electric vehicle. Now, to be clear, these new features will not be rolling out to everyone right away. Uber rolled out its Comfort Electric program in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Dubai, while promising it would add more cities soon. The feature lets riders choose an electric ride, similar to how you can order a larger vehicle (Uber XL) or a ride with your pet (Uber Pet). "It's as simple as tap a button and request a ride in a premium EV like a Tesla or Polestar," the company wrote in a press release.
NetApp, a global, cloud-led, data-centric software company, announced that NetApp EF600 all-flash NVMe storage combined with the BeeGFS parallel file system is now certified for NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD. The new certification simplifies artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure to enable faster implementation of these use cases. Since 2018, NetApp and NVIDIA have served hundreds of customers with a range of solutions, from building AI Centers of Excellence to solving massive-scale AI training challenges. The qualification of NetApp EF600 and BeeGFS file system for DGX SuperPOD is the latest addition to a complete set of AI solutions that have been developed by the companies. NetApp's portfolio of NVIDIA-accelerated solutions includes ONTAP AI to eliminate guesswork for faster adoption by using a field-proven reference architecture as well as a preconfigured, integrated solution that is easy to procure and deploy in a turnkey manner.
During the pandemic especially, it's become overwhelming for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to answer all of their customer service requests. A Freshworks survey found that companies experienced a 71% increase in overall contact volume between February 2020 and January 2021, and expect it to increase further. At the same time, customers -- while empathetic -- have become more demanding. The same poll shows that 68% of customer service managers have seen an increase in customer expectations. What's a company to do? Automation is one route to more manageable customer experience workloads, potentially.
Deep North, the intelligent video analytics company, announced the launch of Checkout IQ, its new retail loss prevention solution, which uses computer vision and AI to reduce shrinkage at checkout. The release reflects Deep North's ongoing commitment to empower retailers with data-driven tools to keep their businesses competitive, maximize revenue, and offer great customer experiences. With shrinkage at an all-time high and an increase in organized retail crime, Deep North is providing a new way for retailers to prevent fraud loss and improve their bottom line. Raises $10.5 Million Series A to Help CX Teams Turn Conversations Into Insights and Automation Designed to help retailers reduce retail fraud activities, Checkout IQ works with retailers' existing camera systems. By analyzing camera views, the application identifies items that are being scanned by the customer or the cashier, and this count is cross-referenced with the POS item count to detect any discrepancies.
After months of rumors, Google announced its own smartwatch, called the Pixel Watch, will be coming this fall. Although the tech giant has supported smartwatches through its wearable operating system and completed its acquisition of Fitbit last year, this is Google's first branded smartwatch. The Pixel Watch will have a circular, domed design made with recycled stainless steel and customizable bands. Even though the watch also has plenty of features not concerned with health tracking, Rick Osterloh, Google's senior vice president of devices and services, teased the Pixel Watch's "deep integration" with Fitbit that will include heart rate and sleep tracking as well as workout metrics users can measure against their goals. Meanwhile, Google is entering a crowded market for health-tracking wearables, with competitors like Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Withings and Garmin.
NetApp, a global, cloud-led, data-centric software company, announced that NetApp EF600 all-flash NVMe storage combined with the parallel file system is now certified for NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD. The new certification simplifies artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure to enable faster implementation of these use cases. Since 2018, NetApp and NVIDIA have served hundreds of customers with a range of solutions, from building AI Centers of Excellence to solving massive-scale AI training challenges. The qualification of NetApp EF600 and BeeGFS file system for DGX SuperPOD is the latest addition to a complete set of AI solutions that have been developed by the companies. "The NetApp and NVIDIA alliance has delivered industry-leading innovation for years, and this new qualification for NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD builds on that momentum," said Phil Brotherton, Vice President of Solutions and Alliances at NetApp.
It's clear that the future of Google is tied to AI language models. At this year's I/O conference, the company announced a raft of updates that rely on this technology, from new "multisearch" features that let you pair image searches with text queries to improvements for Google Assistant and support for 24 new languages in Google Translate. But Google -- and the field of AI language research in general -- faces major problems. Google itself has seriously mishandled internal criticism, firing employees who raised issues with bias in language models and damaging its reputation with the AI community. And researchers continue to find issues with AI language models, from failings with gender and racial biases to the fact that these models have a tendency to simply make things up (an unnerving finding for anyone who wants to use AI to deliver reliable information).
Sonos is introducing voice commands for its speakers, finally letting you start your depression playlist by groaning from the couch as God intended. Announced today, Sonos Voice Control will arrive in a free software update for all voice-capable Sonos speakers running the Sonos S2 operating system, including the Roam, Beam, Move, and Arc. This update will let you issue oral commands to find specific songs, ask what's playing, control the sound on their TV, and adjust volume and playback all without using your hands. You won't be able to set timers or reminders, as Sonos Voice Control isn't a fully fledged voice assistant. However if you have more than one Sonos speaker, you will be able to use it to change where your audio is playing.