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Getting down to Business with AI: Double Economic Growth Rates, Boost Labor Productivity

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One of the examples of these areas in action is work Accenture is doing using a a combination of drones, computer vision, Bayesian learning and geospatial analytics to survey palm fields in Indonesia. Through the application of Artificial Intelligence, we've been able to help a leading forestry company in Indonesia analyze over 1 million records and 6000 variables covering 15 years across 0.5 million hectares of land. This involves combinations of disparate data such as GIS, Video, Water table, Soil information, historical inventory, work orders and more. Through this work we've helped identify deforestation and growth patterns, and identify areas and species where planting seedlings to reforest is not effective. We've gone from what used to take 36 human hours of analysis down to minutes.


AI Partnership Launched by Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM

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Five tech giants announced on Wednesday that they are launching a nonprofit to "advance public understanding" of artificial intelligence and to formulate "best practices on the challenges and opportunities within the field." The Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society is being formed byAmazon, Facebook, Google, IBM, and Microsoft, each of which will have a representative on the group's 10-member board. The partnership will conduct research and recommend best practices relating to "ethics, fairness and inclusivity; transparency, privacy, and interoperability; collaboration between people and AI systems; and the trustworthiness, reliability and robustness of the technology," according to the announcement. "It does not intend to lobby government or other policymaking bodies." "We're in a golden age of machine learning and AI," said Ralf Herbrich, the director of machine learning at Amazon, in a prepared statement.


Apple acquires Hyderabad-based machine learning startup Tuplejump ETtech

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Apple has acquired a Hyderabad-based machine learning startup Tuplejump to strengthen its expertise in artificial intelligence, reports TechCrunch. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." the Cupertino giant told the publication, indicating the deal was likely an acqui-hire. Tuplejump was founded in 2013 by Rohit Rai, Satyaprakash Buddhavarapu and Deepak Alur and helps companies to store, process and visualise big data. Tuplejump's website has now shut down and founders Rohit Rai and Satyaprakash Buddhavarapu have joined Apple, as indicated by their LinkedIn profiles. This deal comes a month after Apple acquired another machine learning company Turi.


4 Examples of AI's Rise in Journalism (And What it Means for Journalists) - MediaShift

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The rise of artificial intelligence and automation in journalism has been front and center in the news lately, from Narrative Science co-founder Kris Hammond's prediction that "a machine will win a Pulitzer one day" to Facebook's decision to automate its Trending Topics feed. Algorithms seem certain to play a growing role in the production and curation of news, but it remains unclear what exactly this trend will mean for journalism -- or for the human journalists who currently produce it. Celebrants argue that algorithms will simply take over journalism's most menial tasks, freeing up human journalists to tackle more advanced work. Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait, for example, called automation "crucial to the future of journalism," and New York magazine writer Kevin Roose described the introduction of automated reporting as "the best thing to happen to journalists in a long time." However, skeptics fear that robots may end up replacing journalists instead of helping them.


Announcing Sentient Ascend - Evolutionary AI Reinvents Conversion Rate Optimization

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In one example, Classic Car Liquidators used Ascend to find the best design for its affiliate revenue program, testing copy, layout, format and image changes of multiple items. The total number of potential designs was 28,800. Ascend determined the best option in only three weeks, and 40,000 visitors, lifting performance by 557%. "Sentient is bringing to market a disruptive product that can easily be described as a modern marketing director's dream," said Courtney Connell, marketing director for Cosabella, another Ascend customer. "Their CRO platform is allowing us to test all variables at once without human intervention, fear of contamination or traditional timelines.


NVIDIA Unveils Palm-Sized, Energy-Efficient AI Computer for Self-Driving Cars

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BEIJING, CHINA - GPU Technology Conference China -- NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) today unveiled a palm-sized, energy-efficient artificial intelligence (AI) computer that automakers can use to power automated and autonomous vehicles for driving and mapping. The new single-processor configuration of the NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 AI computing platform for AutoCruise functions -- which include highway automated driving and HD mapping -- consumes just 10 watts of power and enables vehicles to use deep neural networks to process data from multiple cameras and sensors. It will be deployed by China's Baidu as the in-vehicle car computer for its self-driving cloud-to-car system. DRIVE PX 2 enables automakers and their tier 1 suppliers to accelerate production of automated and autonomous vehicles. A car using the small form-factor DRIVE PX 2 for AutoCruise can understand in real time what is happening around it, precisely locate itself on an HD map and plan a safe path forward.


Facebook Messenger boss says chatbots got 'really overhyped,' announces new native payment feature

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Facebook's chatbot platform had too much hype. That's what David Marcus, head of Facebook Messenger, said on stage today at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. Facebook first released its chatbot platform in April, enabling developers to build robots that use artificial intelligence and natural language processing to let people talk with businesses just like they do with friends and family on Messenger. At the April launch, Facebook showed how a commerce company like 1-800-FLOWERS could use chatbots to help people order flowers and automate communication with customers, for example. But after TechCrunch reporter Josh Constine noted today that the product was "half-baked" when it first launched and asked what was missing, Marcus said that expectations for chatbots were a bit overdone.


Crunching Statistics at Scale with SparkR on Amazon EMR

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Christopher Crosbie is a Healthcare and Life Science Solutions Architect with Amazon Web Services. This post is co-authored by Gopal Wunnava, a Senior Consultant with AWS Professional Services. SparkR is an R package that allows you to integrate complex statistical analysis with large datasets. In this blog post, we introduce you running R with the Apache SparkR project on Amazon EMR. The diagram of SparkR below is provided as a reference, but this video provides an overview of what is depicted.


Twitter Invests in Machine Learning, SAP Embraces Diversity, More

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Twitter is investing in machine learning with the 150 million acquisition of Magic Pony Technology, a London-based firm that developed machine learning techniques for visual processing. Calling machine learning "the core of everything we build at Twitter," CEO Jack Dorsey blogged that the buy builds on other investments his company has made: an acquisition of Madbits in July 2014 and Whetlab in June 2015. Machine learning makes it easier for Twitter users to create, share and discover "so that every time you open Twitter you're immersed in the most relevant news, stories, and events for you," he said. Magic Pony's team will join Twitter Cortex, a team of engineers, data scientists and machine learning researchers "dedicated to building a product in which people can easily find new experiences to share and participate in." Twitter has 310 monthly active users and 3,800 employees.


Shopify acquires Kit, the artificially intelligent marketing bot

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We're standing on the edge of the chatbot revolution, and I'm reminded of how I felt when those first apps hit the store in 2007. Only this time, the apps talk back. And following its announcement at Facebook's F8 developer conference yesterday -- where it became the first commerce platform to announce an integration with Facebook Messenger -- Shopify today announced that it has agreed to acquire privately held Kit CRM Inc. Details of the deal were not disclosed. Kit is the virtual marketing assistant I've covered at length before.