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) …
There are two big tech topics in banking these days, namely Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain. These two tech titans are changing the back office of banks into intelligent shared structures that will be mind-blowing a decade from now. In fact, they're not far off that today. I've written a lot about Blockchain, and feel that it's a slow-burn as it needs an awful lot of agreements before it will come to fruition. A bit like Brexit, Blockchain has too many counterparties involved in agreeing how it will happen, which is why it will not be until the next decade that we really start to see this technology transform clearing and settlement.
The new Google venture is called the Launchpad Studio and it was unveiled in November 2017. The aim is to provide a new health-orientated artificial intelligence access path to Google experts for start-up companies to take advantage of. The service, PharmaPhorum reports, also aims to assist new ventures via product validation and also to give them feedback with their new projects and to help to nurture them into commercially viable healthcare solutions. As part of this process, Google will give eligible new ventures $50,000 in funding plus full access to business focused Google products, such as Google Cloud. Malika Cantor, a program manager with Launchpad, told TechCrunch: "It's our hypothesis that there's a lot of learning to be extracted by looking at an industry and all the ways machine learning can be applied across that industry.
One of the most intriguing concepts put forward by the blockchain community is the possibility to use Ethereum (an open software platform based on blockchain technology that enables developers to build and deploy decentralized applications) to build so-called Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO). "A DAO is a fully autonomous, decentralized organization with no single leader. DAO's are run by algorithms, and governed by a set of smart contracts written on the Ethereum blockchain. The code is designed to replace the rules and structure of a traditional organisation, eliminating the need for people and centralized control. A DAO is owned by everyone who purchases tokens, but instead of each token equating to equity shares and ownership, tokens act as contributions that give people voting rights…" Imagine, for a moment, a DAO governing the transportation system of a whole city (including public transport and other privately run mobility services).
What is the future according to Google? It's a pretty exciting place. All of the world's information is available right at our finger tips, and, of course, Google is the company to provide it. Google may seem to have diversified in recent years, exploring everything from self-driving cars to smartphones. The truth is that machine learning is actually at the heart of everything it does.
It is with much rejoicing that today we can share that one of our favorite robotics startups, Dash Robotics, is acquiring another of our favorite robotics startups, Bots Alive. Usually, we don't cover acquisitions, or when we do, it's with resigned skepticism--all too often, one company gets completely swallowed by another, and the things that made them unique and exciting simply vanish. The sense that we get from talking with Dash Robotics' CEO Nick Kohut and Bots Alive founder Brad Knox is that the amazing things that Bots Alive does fit right in with the equally amazing but totally different things that Dash Robotics does, and that together, they'll be able to come up with some totally cool (and totally affordable) robotic toys with sophisticated personalities built right in. Part of the reason that we're fans of Dash Robotics and Bots Alive is that they're both successful examples of taking robotics research and turning it directly into a compelling product. Dash Robotics turned UC Berkeley's DASH pop-up hexapod robot into a skittery and blisteringly fast toy called Kamigami that's now being sold in partnership with Mattel for US $50, while Bots Alive's software runs on your phone and gives a $20 Hexbug more brains and personality than an enthusiastic and mildly well trained puppy.
Anthony Levandowski makes an unlikely prophet. Dressed Silicon Valley-casual in jeans and flanked by a PR rep rather than cloaked acolytes, the engineer known for self-driving cars--and triggering a notorious lawsuit--could be unveiling his latest startup instead of laying the foundations for a new religion. But he is doing just that. Artificial intelligence has already inspired billion-dollar companies, far-reaching research programs, and scenarios of both transcendence and doom. Now Levandowski is creating its first church.
A sense of impending doom has intensified in recent years, with various news reports and television dramas depicting a near-future of fallible humans being forced onto the breadline, replaced by a superior workforce of robots. While this dystopian theme has long been the fare of science fiction, for many, the prospect of C-3PO delivering their P45 is fast becoming a reality. Indeed, the BBC's'Will a robot take your job?' report - collating data from Deloitte, the Office for National Statistics, and an Oxford University study on the future of employment - indicates several vocations are destined for automation, including telesales, typists, and testers: While most marketers will sleep easy at night, safe in the knowledge that AI is some way off mimicking the human ability for creative thinking, planning and strategising – marketing professionals rank 223, and marketing directors 347 on the list, out of 365 job titles – there is one group that may have cause for concern: content writers. Needless to say, any self-respecting content writer wouldn't label themselves as mere'typists' or'keyboard related workers' - great content relies on imagination, research and skill. However, there's clearly some overlap, and with that particular subset of professionals facing a 98.5% risk of automation, the alarm bells could be ringing, especially with automated writing software on the rise.
A dozen or so companies are well-positioned to reap big profits from the burgeoning market for artificial intelligence (AI), Barron's reports. Among these companies are: semiconductor manufacturers Micron Technology Inc. (MU) and Nvidia Corp. (NVDA); Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL); database management software developer Oracle Corp. (ORCL); online merchant and cloud-computing leader Amazon.com In 1997, IBM scored a major milestone in AI history when its Deep Blue program beat reigning world chess champion Gary Kasparov, still considered by many experts to be the best player of all time. IBM's Watson question answering system passed a high-profile test in 2011, beating two top former champs on Jeopardy!, the long-running quiz show on TV. Since then, Watson has been rolled out for general commercial use, most notably to aid doctors in making diagnoses.
Google has a vision for a world full of cheap and tiny smart devices--and it hopes its software will power them all. A couple of years back, Google launched an open-source machine-learning software library called TensorFlow. It has since exploded in popularity, to the point where it's now used by the likes of Airbnb, eBay, Uber, Snapchat, and Dropbox to power their AI development. Its appeal is obvious: it allows relative beginners to build and train neural networks without needing a PhD in artificial intelligence. As a result, the library now forms a major component of Google's business plan.