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) …
BILLERICA, Mass., Feb. 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OrboGraph, a premier developer and supplier of intelligent electronic/paper automation leveraging recognition technologies, image validation and check fraud detection for the U.S. check processing and healthcare revenue cycle markets, was recently highlighted in the February edition of The TECHNOLOGY HEADLINES: "Top 10 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Solution Providers to Watch in 2018".
On Tuesday, January 23rd, the 48th World Economic Forum (WEF) got underway in Davos, Switzerland. This year, the world's top business and political leaders, economists and representatives from academia are gathering under the theme of "Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World." In this context, the participants will focus on inclusive growth, sustainable development and the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The Financial Times reported earlier this year that one of the largest clothing manufacturers, Hong Kong-based Crystal Group, proclaimed robotics could not compete with the cost and quality of manual labor. Crystal's Chief Executive, Andrew Lo, emphatically declared, "The handling of soft materials is really hard for robots." Lo did leave the door open for future consideration by acknowledging such budding technologies as "interesting."
According to a recent press release, "Verint Systems Inc. today announced that it has acquired all of the outstanding equity interests in Next IT Corporation and its affiliate Next IT Innovation Labs, LLC (collectively, "Next IT"), a developer of conversational artificial intelligence-powered intelligent virtual assistants. The purchase price consisted of close to $30 million of cash paid at closing, plus potential additional future cash payments. 'We continue to execute our innovation strategy, including making acquisitions that expand our self-service portfolio, accelerate Verint's cloud and automation capabilities, and are accretive to earnings. We believe that Verint's ongoing innovation in artificial intelligence technologies--such as machine learning, robotics and natural language processing--positions us for accelerated growth by helping organizations modernize their customer engagement operations with greater automation,' says Dan Bodner, CEO, Verint."
Over the last 12 months, we've seen some incredibly stirring and thoughtful conversations from our members on LinkedIn about hot topics like the opioid crisis, immigration reform, the U.S. tax bill, healthcare coverage and harassment cases. These events sparked hundreds of thousands of insightful comments from professionals on LinkedIn around the world -- and will certainly have lasting consequences for years to come. Amazon has become a kind of corporate obsession in 2017. Companies big and small are watching the retailer: A review of last quarter's earnings calls shows that Amazon's name came up almost four times as often as President Trump's, and six times as often as wages. Amazon's moves this year proved that it's corporate tentacles are expanding, from purchasing Whole Foods to searching for its HQ2, a $5 billion project that promises to bring 50,000 high-paying jobs to the winning locale.
Appvance has announced a breakthrough using artificial intelligence algorithms to automatically create and maintain scripts for testing software applications. By modeling human testers, including manual and test automation tasks such as scripting, Appvance has developed algorithms and expert systems to take on those tasks, similar to how driverless vehicle software models what a human driver does. AI-driven test automation is available to preview today, commercially in October, and requires no changes or added code in applications under test. Most software testing today is manual (up to 90% based on recent industry surveys). The rest is semi-automated by writing scripts in various languages such as Selenium or Java to repeat actions for future tests.
We just announced the raising of $5.3 million in funding to further our drive to bring automation to the back-office finance operations of small and mid-sized enterprises. The funding puts YayPay at a major inflection point in which we can accelerate our momentum by recruiting more great talent, roll out a full suite of intelligent order-to-cash automation software, and increase sales activities. You can read the press release here. Eugene Vyborov and I co-founded YayPay with a vision to help finance teams perform their most valuable work, and we're doing exactly that. We released our first software module in January, have collected over $100 million in receivables, and processed more than 150,000 invoices.
As digital giants swallow a growing share of shoppers' spending, thousands of stores have closed and tens of thousands of workers have lost their jobs. Belinda Duperre, who sold jewelry at Sam's Club in Fall River, Mass., was one. In early 2016, the struggling store closed. But Ms. Duperre, a lifelong resident of the once-thriving factory town an hour south of Boston, went from victim of the digital revolution to beneficiary. Inc. announced plans to hire 500 full-time workers for a new 1.2-million square foot fulfillment center on the outskirts of town.
Fanuc Corporation (FANUC) (OTCPK:FANUY) just doesn't fire the imagination like the robotics companies pumping out weekly press releases about their latest highest-tech applications do. What too many robotics-are-cool, great-story, neat-concept investors are looking for in a robotics company? What might be the considerably more interesting story, if only we are willing to learn more about it. FANUC (an acronym for Fuji Automatic Numerical Controls – Fujitsu spun it off decades ago) is not in the artificial intelligence business. And at an ETF I like for the broadest exposure to the field of robotics, Robo-Stox Global Robotics and Automation (ROBO), FANUC is only the 11th largest holding, well below UAV maker AeroVironment (NASDAQ:AVAV) and Roomba vacuum cleaner marketer iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT).