The Long Game of Research

Communications of the ACM

The Institute for the Future (IFTF) in Palo Alto, CA, is a U.S.-based think tank. It was established in 1968 as a spin-off from the RAND Corporation to help organizations plan for the long-term future. Roy Amara, who passed away in 2007, was IFTF's president from 1971 until 1990. Amara is best known for coining Amara's Law on the effect of technology: "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run." This law is best illustrated by the Gartner Hype Cycle,a characterized by the "peak of inflated expectations," followed by the "trough of disillusionment," then the "slope of enlightenment," and, finally, the "plateau of productivity."

Bernie Sanders wants to ban police use of facial recognition


Fox News Flash top headlines for August 19 are here. Check out what's clicking on Bernie Sanders has called for a complete ban on the police use of facial recognition. The Vermont senator's proposal to "ban the use of facial recognition software for policing" is part of his broader criminal justice reform agenda. Facial recognition technology has drawn the ire of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, some of whom have called for a "time out" on its development.

This celebrated startup vowed to save lives with AI. Now, it's a cautionary tale


Last week, the New York Times published an investigation of One Concern, a platform designed to help cities and counties create disaster response plans. The company claimed to use a plethora of data from different sources to predict the way that earthquakes and floods would impact a city on a building-by-building basis with 85% accuracy, within 15 minutes of a disaster hitting a city. But the Times reports that San Francisco, one of the first cities that had signed on to use One Concern's platform, is ending its contract with the startup due to concerns about the accuracy of its predictions. The Times paints a picture of a slick interface (which was honored in Fast Company's 2018 Innovation by Design awards and 2019 World Changing Idea awards) that hid problems. The heat map-style interface is supposed to show city officials close to real-time predictions of damage after an earthquake or flood, as well as run simulations of future earthquakes and provide damage levels for each block, helping planners decide how to distribute resources to reach people who will be most in need of help.

Artificial intelligence could yield more accurate breast cancer diagnoses 7wData


Researchers at University of Washington and University of California, Los Angeles, have developed an artificial intelligence system that could help pathologists read biopsies more accurately, and lead to better detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. Doctors examine images of breast tissue biopsies to diagnose breast cancer. But the differences between cancerous and benign images can be difficult for the human eye to classify. This new algorithm helps interpret them -- and it does so nearly as accurately or better than an experienced pathologist, depending on the task. The research team published its results Aug. 9 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Dogged by ads?: Facebook rolls out tool to block off-Facebook data-gathering

The Japan Times

SAN FRANCISCO – Soon, you could get fewer familiar ads following you around the internet -- or at least on Facebook. Facebook is launching a long-promised tool that lets you limit what the social network can gather about you on outside websites and apps. The company said Tuesday that it is adding a section where you can see the activity that Facebook tracks outside its service via its "like" buttons and other means. You can choose to turn off the tracking; otherwise, tracking will continue the same way it has been. Formerly known as "clear history," the tool will now go by the slightly clunkier moniker "off-Facebook activity."

Eko announces new platform designed to support drug trials with continuous remote monitoring, machine learning


Last week, Eko Devices announced a new service that matches ECG and heart sound recordings with clinical data to help pinpoint novel drug-data combinations. The Silicon Valley startup is pitching the platform, called Eko Home, as a resource for clinical trials targeting new therapies. The new platform is already seeing some action. According to the company, an ongoing Mayo Clinic study exploring how carvedilol-based cardiovascular therapies could reduce heart failure or other heart function declines among breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy is using the Eko Home platform to drive insights. Eko -- which is best known for its Eko Duo device, a smart remote monitor that's part stethoscope, part ECG -- also said in its announcement that it "expects to offer the drug-data combinations with other life science partners by the end of the year with additional plans to offer its SDK to hospitals and healthcare providers that wish to build the platform directly into their applications."

Micro Focus Announces SMAX 2019.05, Latest Release of Industry's Only Modern Cloud-Native Intelligent Service Desk and Asset Management Solution


SANTA CLARA, CA – Micro Focus (LSE: MCRO; NYSE: MFGP) today announced the general availability of Service Management Automation X (SMAX) 2019.05. SMAX is the first application suite for Enterprise Service Management and IT Service Management built on machine learning and analytics, powered by an embedded CMDB and Discovery to help drive down costs and speed up time to resolution. Built-in best practices are quickly and easily configured and extended in an entirely codeless way with the SMAX Studio enabling customers to achieve faster time to value. The scalable, multi-tenant cloud-native solution delivers significantly lower cost of ownership and enables customers to deploy on their choice of public or private cloud. SMAX is also available as-a-service by Micro Focus partners worldwide.

Why Tech Firm Scale AI Is the Next $1 Billion Unicorn Star


Scale AI Inc., a three-year-old startup run by a 22-year-old, is teaching machines how to see. For that, it just joined Silicon Valley's list of unicorns with a fresh $100 million investment that puts its valuation above the coveted $1 billion mark, and its artificial intelligence (AI) technology has already attracted big-name customers in the field for autonomous vehicles, according to Bloomberg. Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) Waymo, General Motor Co.'s (GM) Cruise, and Uber Technologies Inc. (UBER) are all buying what Scale has to offer, because well, self-driving cars are machines that need to be able to see. Scale stands out because it has built a set of software tools that are significantly reducing the time it takes to train a machine how to process and interpret visual imagery. And less time means lower costs.

How Cities Should Prepare for Artificial Intelligence


It's time for city administrations and local employers to close AI-related skills gaps. This article is part of an MIT SMR initiative exploring how technology is reshaping the practice of management. While there is much discussion of how artificial intelligence will continue to transform industries and organizations, a key driver of AI's role in the global economy will be cities. How cities deal with coming changes will determine which ones will thrive in the future. Many cities have plans to become "smart cities" armed with AI-driven processes and services, like AI-based traffic control systems, to improve residents' lives.

Lessons From Implementing AI In A People Business


Charles Brayne is EY's UK Chief Tax Innovation Officer and Partner and has a dual role. On the one hand, he works with clients to help them adopt new tax technologies and on the other, he oversees the implementation of AI technologies within EY's own tax business. Meanwhile, as EY's UK Chief Tax Data Scientist, Harvey Lewis works directly with tax and law professionals to create and deliver new AI tools and applications, as well as provide strategic oversight for their automation projects. In this keynote, Charles and Harvey discuss EY's lessons from implementing AI within their own organisation. With flagship shows in San Francisco, London, New York, Munich, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Cape Town, 2019 will see over 30,000 delegates from businesses globally joining the AI revolution through The AI Summit events.