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From Energy To Transport To Healthcare, Here Are 8 Industries Being Disrupted By Elon Musk And His Companies


Elon Musk is CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has plans to colonize Mars, and thinks AI may turn humans into its pets. But beyond the hype and his enormous net worth and Twitter presence, here's how Musk's companies are actually taking on ... virtually every industry. Elon Musk thinks and acts on a larger, more cosmic scale than we're accustomed to from entrepreneurs. Elon Musk has become a household name synonymous with the future. Whether he's working on electric vehicles (Tesla) or sending rockets into space (SpaceX), his larger-than-life reputation attracts its fair share of hero-worship.

Venture capital funding in AI doubles to US$12 billion


Artificial intelligence, particularly its applications in health, finance and the automotive sector, attracted US$12 billion of investment from venture capitalists globally last year, double the volume in 2016, according to a report by KPMG. AI pushed total venture capital (VC) investment in China to a record high of US$40 billion in 2017, up 15 per cent from the previous year. China accounted for five of the world's 10 biggest venture capital investments in the fourth quarter, the data released on Thursday shows. And more of the companies receiving the financing are electing to plough that money into AI development. Didi-Chuxing, China's top ride-hailing company, received US$4 billion in a round of fundraising led by Softbank in December, in part to enhance their AI capabilities.

2018: Innovation -- Trends and Opportunities – The Innovation Machine – Medium


Technology is moving at an incredible pace. We live in an amazing era where things like autonomous cars, personalized medicine and quantum computing are becoming real as we speak; Artificial Intelligence, crypto-currencies, advanced automation, deep learning and concepts like Universal Basic Income are about to reshape our world -- what an exciting era to live! It is not feasible to summarize the trends of technology and opportunities for innovation in a single article. Instead, I am listing below the areas I find most exciting to watch -- the most promising developments in the wider information technology spectrum. Everybody is talking about Artificial Intelligence these days.

What the Rise of the Freelance Economy Means for the Future of Work


Today an increasing number of workers are veering off the time-honored career path of joining an employer, rising through the ranks and staying for decades. Some are freelancing by choice, relishing the opportunity to set their own schedules, choose their assignments and work independently. Others have turned to contingent work out of economic necessity. Freelancing has long been commonplace in professions ranging from writing, editing and design to many skilled trades, real estate appraisal and even fitness training. Statistics do not always provide a clear picture of the contingent workforce because of the variety of working arrangements that are possible.

5 CES 2018 announcements that put Alexa inside cars


Amazon's Alexa strategy is to be everywhere: ubiquitous, omnipresent, and all-knowing, like some AI god. In pursuit of that goal, the Seattle-based company certainly covered some ground at last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The extension of the Home Skills API to control microwaves and ovens adds to the more than 800 skills and more than 1,000 devices that Alexa can control in the home today. When it comes to cars, however, Alexa has made fewer inroads. That's why VentureBeat drew up this list of five ways Alexa will enter vehicles in 2018, as revealed at CES. Select Toyota vehicles, like 2018 models of the Camry and Sienna, as well as some Lexus vehicles, will be able to speak with Alexa this year.

Microsoft Says AI Advances Will Require New Laws, Regulations


The rapidly advancing area of artificial intelligence will require a new field of law and new regulations governing a growing pool of businesses involved, according to Microsoft Corp., a 25-year participant in AI research. Companies making and selling AI software will need to be held responsible for potential harm caused by "unreasonable practices" – if a self-driving car program is set up in an unsafe manner that causes injury or death, for example, Microsoft said. And as AI and automation boost the number of laborers in the gig-economy or on-demand jobs, Microsoft said technology companies need to take responsibility and advocate for protections and benefits for workers, rather than passing the buck by claiming to be just the technology platform'' enabling all this change. Microsoft broaches these ideas in a 149-page book entitled "The Future Computed," which will also be the subject of a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, next week. As Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft seeks to be a leader in AI and automating work tasks, it's also trying to get out in front of the challenges expected to arise from promising new technologies, such as job losses and everyday citizens who may be hurt or disadvantaged by malfunctioning or biased algorithms.

Will we ever be able to trust driverless cars?

BBC News

When you're sitting in the driver's seat at 60mph on a rain-lashed motorway, covering your eyes would normally be a dangerous, if not downright suicidal move. Putting on a virtual reality headset, obscuring the view of the road altogether, might seem even crazier. But that's exactly what I did recently. To start with, I was looking at a computer simulation of the motorway in front of me. Then the road disappeared altogether, the car took off, and I began flying through an alien landscape.

COTA: Improving Uber Customer Care with NLP & Machine Learning


To facilitate the best end-to-end experience possible for users, Uber is committed to making customer support easier and more accessible. Working toward this goal, Uber's Customer Obsession team leverages five different customer-agent communication channels powered by an in-house platform that integrates customer support ticket context for easy issue resolution. With hundreds of thousands of tickets surfacing daily on the platform across 400 cities worldwide, this team must ensure that agents are empowered to resolve them as accurately and quickly as possible.

Dehyping Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) at InterConnect 2017


Dr. Sabine Hauert, President and Co-Founder of and Assistant Professor in Robotics at the University of Bristol, provided the InterConnect 2017 audience with an insightful (and interactive) discussion about robotics – highlighting the need for balanced media and communications around robotics and artificial intelligence. As a member of the Royal Society's Working Group on Machine Learning, Dr. Hauert is an expert in science communication and a frequent speaker on the future of robotics. In her talk, Hauert explains how robots can be game changers, but not in the way we think. Robots are not going to replace humans, they are going to make their jobs much more humane. Difficult, demeaning, demanding, dangerous, dull – these are the jobs robots will be taking.

Reimagined Car: Shared, Autonomous, and Electric Vehicle


Today, that seems like a science fiction dream. In the near future, though, it will be reality. You've heard about autonomous vehicles. You've probably used a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft. There's a lot of buzz about each of those innovations.