If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Intel has been doubling down on building chips and related architecture for the next generation of computing, and today it announced an acquisition that will bolster its expertise and work specifically in one area of future technology: artificial intelligence. The semiconductor giant today announced that it has acquired SigOpt, a startup out of San Francisco that has built an optimization platform that can be used to run modeling and simulations (two key applications of AI tech) in a better way. Anthony described SigOpt as a startup built to "optimize everything" when we covered its Series A, but Intel specifically will be integrating the tech into its AI business, specifically into its AI Analytics Toolkit, a spokesperson tells me. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but SigOpt already counted a number of large enterprises -- "SigOpt's customer base includes Fortune 500 companies across industries, as well as leading research institutions, universities and consortiums using its products" -- among its customers. The product was still in a closed beta, however.
Call center software provider Five9 Inc. has come up a winner yet again, comfortably beating Wall Street's targets with its third-quarter financial results and delivering strong guidance on top of that. The company reported a profit before certain costs such as stock compensation of 27 cents per share on revenue of $112 million, up 34% from a year ago. That was well ahead of Wall Street's forecast of 18 cents per share in earnings and $101 million in revenue. Five9 sells cloud-based contact center software and services for enterprises that enable them to keep track of and manage their interactions with customers. Its software covers traditional phone calls, as well as video calling services, emails and social media interactions.
Apple just sold more Macs than ever before, a beneficiary of the work and learning from home shift fueled by the coronavirus pandemic. The first Apple Macintosh computer was released in 1984, but 2020 was the winning year for the product line. During its quarterly earnings call Thursday, Apple said it sold $9 billion worth of Macs, up from $6.9 billion in the year ago quarter. "These are tremendous numbers," said Apple CEO Tim Cook on the call with investors. The company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $12.67 billion.
Google blasted through the coronavirus pandemic with gangbuster earnings, just a week after U.S. prosecutors sued the company for operating a purported illegal monopoly in its flagship search business. Alphabet Inc. reported a third-quarter profit of $11.2 billion, well outstripping analyst estimates. As importantly, digital advertising revenue of $37.1 billion was up compared with last year, marking a turnaround from a quarter earlier, when the company recorded the first drop in the category in company history. Cogs across the Alphabet empire were clicking. Helped by stay-at-home trends, YouTube pulled in more than $5 billion in advertising for the first time, gaining 32% over the same period a year earlier.
Call center software maker Five9 this afternoon reported third-quarter revenue and profit that comfortably surpassed analysts' expectations, and forecast this quarter's results much higher as well, driving its shares sharply higher in late trading. Five9 CEO Rowan Trollope remarked that "positive industry trends continue to accelerate and help drive our performance." Trollope added that "the premise to cloud transition and digital transformation trends will accelerate, and demand for AI driven automation will increase." Revenue in the three months ending in September rose 34%, year over year, to $112 million, yielding EPS of 27 cents. The Street had been modeling $101 million and 18 cents per share.
The premarket hours are back in the red again on Wednesday. But we're seeing plenty of penny stocks shine. The fact that most small-cap stocks are disconnected from the overall market trend is something I think is overlooked. While not all penny stocks will respond this way, many do. We saw this today with several of the breakout, midstream oil stocks that were moving hugely in after-hours trading on Tuesday evening.
Deci, the deep learning company dedicated to transforming the AI lifecycle, today announced it has raised $9.1 million in a seed round led by Israel-based VC firm Emerge and global VC fund Square Peg. The company is building an AI-based platform that can automatically craft robust, scalable, and efficient deep neural network solutions ready for production at scale. Deci aims to help AI practitioners build the next generation of deep learning models. Advancements in AI, mainly powered by deep learning, have triggered groundbreaking innovations in medicine, manufacturing, transportation, communication, and retail. But, prolonged development cycles, high computing costs, and unsatisfying inference performance are making it nearly impossible for enterprises to productize AI.
Reported by Bloomberg, Apple has acquired Vilynx Inc., a startup specializing in artificial intelligence and computer vision technology that enables video to become searchable. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant acquired Barcelona-based Vilynx Inc. earlier this year, according to people familiar with the deal. Vilynx developed technology that uses AI to analyze a video's visual, audio and text content to understand what the video shows. It used that technology to create tags for the video, making it searchable. According to the report, Apple acquired the company for around $50 million.
Coralogix, which analyzes software logs with AI, today announced $25 million in new funding and launched a real-time analytics solution that allows customers to pay according to data priority instead of volume. This allows them to get queries, alerts, and machine learning capabilities without using storage. About 50% of logging statements don't include any information about critical things like variable state at the time of an error, according to GitHub and OverOps surveys. That may be why developers spend an estimated half of their time on troubleshooting and bug-fixing. Founded in 2014, San Francisco-based Coralogix provides AI analytics solutions for a host of software development challenges.
Industry leaders expand relationship providing access to Reveal's AI technology to Epiq clients globally Reveal, a groundbreaking eDiscovery technology company, and Epiq, a global leader in the legal services industry, today announced a global enterprise license agreement for the use of Reveal's artificial intelligence technology. The new enterprise license provides all Epiq clients with expanded access to Reveal's artificial intelligence platform with Reveal's recently announced acquisition of NexLP, a leader in the legal artificial intelligence space. Reveal's artificial intelligence platform turns disparate, unstructured data into meaningful insights that can be used to deliver operational efficiencies and strategic advantages for use with eDiscovery cases and Investigations. "Epiq is excited to partner with Reveal as it expands its analytics and artificial intelligence offering through the acquisition of NexLP, a long standing and highly strategic partner of Epiq," said Doug Mazlish, SVP, strategic alliances. "We are looking forward to continuing to provide our clients best in class legal technology solutions in partnership with Reveal. Reveal's investment in NexLP will further fuel their innovation in artificial intelligence in the legal industry and allow Epiq to continue to be an innovation leader in the market."