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) …
As if active portfolio managers didn't have enough challenges from computer-driven passive investing strategies, now machines are directly horning in on their territory. San Francisco-based EquBot LLC is launching the first ever exchange-traded fund to use artificial intelligence, according to a company statement on Tuesday. Employing International Business Machines Corp.'s Watson platform, the AI Powered Equity ETF, ticker AIEQ, will attempt to mimic an army of equity research analysts working around the clock, according to Art Amador, co-founder of EquBot. "There has been an explosion of information," Amador said by phone. "AI provides a more informed way of investing."
At BoxWorks 2017, Box showcased skills powered by IBM Watson, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as Box Skills Kit, a set of developer resources for building custom skills. "Box Skills brings together Box's cloud content management and Microsoft Azure's industry leading AI services to deliver intelligent insights for customers," said Scott Guthrie, EVP of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise division. Box Skills Kit will enable an ecosystem of cloud services providers, independent software vendors, systems integrators, and enterprises themselves to create custom Box Skills implementations. This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding (a) the expected availability, timing and market acceptance of the Box Skills framework, the Box Skills Kit, and specific skills powered by integrations with third-party solutions, (b) the benefits that are expected to be derived by Box, its customers and other stakeholders from the Box Skills framework, including Box Skills Kit and third-party integrations, and (c) the expected availability, timing and market acceptance of Box Graph.
A scathing report from investment bank Jefferies claims that from an earnings per share perspective "it seems unlikely to us under almost any scenario that Watson will generate meaningful earnings results over the next few years". While exact figures for Watson aren't given, Jefferies pulled together a range of information, including market research data and public filings, to build financial models predicting Watson's future prospects. "Watson services are offered on either a subscription or a pay-per-use basis and everyone can get started for free," an IBM spokesperson told WIRED. "Watson is clearly part of IBM's Strategic Imperatives, whose figures are reported," an IBM spokesperson told WIRED when quizzed on whether the supercomputer is making any money.
NEW YORK CITY - 15 Jun 2017: LivePerson, Inc. (Nasdaq: LPSN), a leading provider of cloud mobile and online business messaging solutions, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) have announced LiveEngage with Watson, the first global, enterprise-scale, out-of-the-box integration of Watson-powered bots with human agents. The new offering combines IBM's Watson Virtual Agent technology with LivePerson's LiveEngage platform, allowing brands to rapidly and easily deploy conversational bots that get smarter with each interaction, and lets consumers message those brands from their smartphone - via the brand's app, SMS, Facebook Messenger, or even the brand's mobile site - instead of having to call an 800 number. IBM Global Business Services, the company's consulting unit, is providing a set of strategy and implementation services to help companies integrate LiveEngage with Watson as part of their broader business transformation. LivePerson, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPSN) is the leading provider of mobile and online messaging business solutions, enabling a meaningful connection between brands and consumers.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff isn't just predicting that artificial intelligence will one day help run everyone's companies, he's already using it at Salesforce today. He's got a special, not-yet-released version of Einstein, the company's artificial intelligence tech baked into its products, helping him run his company, he told Wall Street analysts on Thursday during the company's quarterly conference call. He invites this version of Einstein, called Einstein Guidance, to his Monday morning staff meeting, where up to 30 top executives update him on their progress for the quarter. One day, most CEOS will likely have a so-called AI "executive" listening on meetings and keeping everyone honest with the data.
The Watson win was a major win for IBM IBM, -0.31% at the time, underscoring its transition to a new-age technology company with artificially-intelligent computers. On Friday, shares of IBM fell 3% to $154.45 after billionaire investor Warren Buffett announced that his company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRK.A, -1.07% It has unloaded 30 million shares so far in 2017, from the 81 million shares it held at the end of 2016. Buffett bought more than $10 billion in IBM shares the year Watson won "Jeopardy," and increased his stake a few more times in the years proceeding. IBM reported profit and revenue declines, even as its newer software-as-a-service business saw revenue gains of 60%.
The Watson win was a major win for IBM IBM, -2.51% at the time, underscoring its transition to a new-age technology company with artificially-intelligent computers. On Friday, shares of IBM fell 3% to $154.45 after billionaire investor Warren Buffett announced that his company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRK.A, 0.18% sold about a third of its stake in IBM. Buffett bought more than $10 billion in IBM shares the year Watson won "Jeopardy," and increased his stake a few more times in the years proceeding. IBM reported profit and revenue declines, even as its newer software-as-a-service business saw revenue gains of 60%.
IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) yesterday announced a global strategic partnership to deliver joint solutions designed to leverage artificial intelligence and enable companies to make smarter decisions, faster than ever before. With the partnership, IBM Watson, the leading AI platform for business, and Salesforce Einstein, AI that powers the world's #1 CRM, will seamlessly connect to enable an entirely new level of intelligent customer engagement across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more. IBM is also strategically investing in its Global Business Services capabilities for Salesforce with a new practice to help clients rapidly deploy the combined IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein capabilities. The partnership will bring new insights from Watson directly into the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform, combining deep customer insights from Salesforce Einstein with Watson's structured and unstructured data across many sources and industries including weather, healthcare, financial services and retail. Together, Watson and Einstein will ingest, reason over and derive recommendations to accelerate decision making and drive greater customer success.
Benioff also noted that IBM offers cloud compute capacity and systems integration muscle. This slide from the Salesforce "Year of Einstein" video streamed this week lists 17 of the 20 AI features now generally available from the CRM vendor. On the Service Cloud, Einstein Supervisor is a bundle of the pre-existing Omni-channel Supervisor and Service Wave Analytics apps with the Analytics Cloud Einstein Smart Data Discovery feature. Analytics Cloud Einstein Smart Data Discovery, which is optional, is priced based on data volume and user counts.
On Tuesday, Salesforce Einstein – the CRM giant's foray into baked-in artificial intelligence – was launched in general availability, months after Salesforce first launched Einstein at Dreamforce in October. In the lead up to Tuesday's event, Salesforce announced a partnership with IBM on Monday whereby they will deliver joint solutions that combine IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein. The partnership will initially see an integration of IBM Watson APIs into Salesforce to bring predictive insights from unstructured data with customer data delivered by Salesforce Einstein. The partnership will also enable customers to bring together on-premise enterprise and cloud data with specialized integration products for Salesforce, according to a press release.