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) …
Robots in factories have historically been unwieldy, dangerous, and confined to large industrial settings. But now, smaller collaborative robots are overcoming traditional challenges in the robotics industry. They're paving the way for robot technology that gets us much closer to our Jetsons-like future. When George C. Devol, inventor of the automatic garage door opener, pitched his programmable Unimate arm, he was initially met with skepticism. However, "the robot had one advantage immediately," said Devol. "And that is that a robot can work three shifts, or 24 hours a day." Get the free data-driven report to see how robots are revolutionizing factories and manufacturing.
It was the eighth-largest private employer in the US at the end of 2016, and it's poised to climb those ranks quickly. The online retailer also announced plans to build a second US headquarters that will employ 50,000 employees. But Amazon's growth comes at a cost. It has a well-earned reputation for overwhelming competitors. Even though Amazon represents a small portion of the overall retail industry, it dominates the industry's sales growth.
RPA, which covers AI and machine learning capabilities used to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks that once needed humans, is coming. RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation, but don't be confused: it doesn't refer to R2D2, or any of the Kiva robots scurrying around the Amazon warehouse. RPA is language that covers the broad use of software with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks that previously required humans to perform. Given the innovation it represents and the pain points it satisfies, RPA is quickly making its way towards a billion dollar revenue market. In recent months alone, leading startups in the space have raised over $300 million for their RPA systems.
Sorcero, a Washington DC-based AI learning solutions startup, has announced that its co-founder, Dr. Ken Haase has been invited to give the keynote address at the Automation & AI for Good forum on June 12 in San Francisco. Sorcero was one of ten early-stage AI companies selected to participate in the forum. The forum, sponsored by Village Capital and Autodesk Foundation, is showcasing the leading startups using AI, automation, or robotics to benefit society and create new jobs in emerging industries. "Usually, when we hear about automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in the workforce, it's in negative terms: robots coming for our jobs, millions of displaced workers, and so on," said Ken Haase, Ph.D., Sorcero co-founder and Chief AI Officer. "At Sorcero, we approach AI very differently," said Dr. Haase."Our goal is not to replace people but to empower them for new and emerging opportunities."
A three-way merger is shaking up the market for end-of-arm components that give robots task-specific abilities. The merging companies are Perception Robotics (US), OptoForce (Hungary), and On Robot (Denmark). The resulting company will be called OnRobot and will be headquartered in Denmark. Former CEO of Universal Robots, Enrico Krog Iversen, will manage the new enterprise. Collaborative robots (cobots) have transformed industrial automation in the last decade.
The belief that robots, automation, and AI simply displace jobs and make humans irrelevant is not borne out in Asia, reports Chris Middleton. However, there are lessons to learn from the technologies' impact – in Asia and the rest of the world. Robots and automation are creating more jobs in Asia than they destroy, according to a new report from the Asia Development Bank (ADB). ADB analysis of a dozen Asian economies between 2005 and 2015 found that rising demand more than compensated for jobs lost to automation. The adoption of robotics and other connected systems stimulated higher productivity and economic growth, creating 134 million new jobs, compared with the 101 million lost to new technologies.
CHENNAI: Drafting legal contracts -- be it employment documents or the highly complex merger agreements -- has been a constant pain for larger corporates. For smaller enterprises that may not be able to hire legal organisations to vet such documents in detail, it is even harder to manage and map laws to particular contracts. With the development of Artificial Intelligence, legal contract mapping and management has been automated to a large extent and is turning out to be an area of growth for technology start-ups such as SpotDraft, which makes about $5 million in revenue every month. Amid Indian players like VakilSearch, Legal Desk and Near Law, SpotDraft is one of the first few to provide contract management services using Artificial Intelligence. The legal tech start-up, founded by Harvard Law School graduate Shashank Bijapur, along with Madhav Bhagat, a former software developer at Google, looks to expand its operations from its home base in India to European countries, Singapore and Hong Kong, among others, this year to cash in on the rapid growth in the $80 billion contract automation market.
ActiveCampaign is focused on providing value with features that ultimately save time. With the introduction of Win Probability, users are armed with actionable insights that enable them to sell more efficiently and effectively, giving users more time to focus on business initiatives. "Machine learning is often seen as a black box where users aren't sure what's happening behind the scenes," said Jason VandeBoom, Founder and CEO of ActiveCampaign. "Win Probability is built to give our users visibility into what's driving the predictions as they know their business better than we ever could. By giving users the ability to customize the inputs, they can uncover the actions that make the most impact and better allocate their resources based on the likelihood of winning a deal."
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a strategic imperative with various nations announcing centralized plans and initiatives to remain globally competitive. Automation is on the rise due to recent breakthroughs in deep learning, the availability of big data, decentralized computing via the cloud, and improved AI algorithms. "For governments, there is an urgent need to support both firms and citizens to ensure that they benefit from the AI-powered digital economy. This means preparing workers for rapidly changing job requirements, facilitating AI investment and adoption, and solving for broad-based, productivity-driven economic growth." Globally the most active AI hubs are in Silicon Valley, New York, Beijing, Boston, London, and Shenzhen .
Elon Musk's hubris has come back to bite him -- and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) shareholders -- yet again. Less than three months ago, Musk devoted a substantial part of Tesla's Q4 earnings call to talk about plans for massive automation of the vehicle manufacturing process. Musk even said that Tesla's factory and production process, rather than its brand or vehicle designs, would be its long-term competitive advantage. This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool. It didn't take long for reality to set in.