Milestone


Amazon's Alexa passes 15,000 skills, up from 10,000 in February

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Amazon's Alexa voice platform has now passed 15,000 skills -- the voice-powered apps that run on devices like the Echo speaker, Echo Dot, newer Echo Show and others. In the meantime, Amazon's Alexa is surging ahead, building out an entire voice app ecosystem so quickly that it hasn't even been able to implement the usual safeguards -- like a team that closely inspects apps for terms of service violations, for example, or even tools that allow developers to make money from their creations. In the long run, Amazon's focus on growth over app ecosystem infrastructure could catch up with it. In addition, Google Home has just 378 voice apps available as of June 30, Voicebot notes.


Cray Works with Industry Leaders to Reach New Performance Milestone for Deep Learning at Scale - insideBIGDATA

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Cray Inc. (Nasdaq: CRAY) announced the results of a deep learning collaboration between Cray, Microsoft, and the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) that expands the horizons of running deep learning algorithms at scale using the power of Cray supercomputers. Running larger deep learning models is a path to new scientific possibilities, but conventional systems and architectures limit the problems that can be addressed, as models take too long to train. Cray worked with Microsoft and CSCS, a world-class scientific computing center, to leverage their decades of high performance computing expertise to profoundly scale the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (formerly CNTK) on a Cray XC50 supercomputer at CSCS nicknamed "Piz Daint". By accelerating the training process, instead of waiting weeks or months for results, data scientists can obtain results within hours or even minutes. With the introduction of supercomputing architectures and technologies to deep learning frameworks, customers now have the ability to solve a whole new class of problems, such as moving from image recognition to video recognition, and from simple speech recognition to natural language processing with context.


The year in tech: 2016's 10 greatest wins, milestones, and epic comebacks

PCWorld

AI was a major theme in 2016, with tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon all touting their machine-learning chops and virtual-assistant skills. But nothing underscored the coming AI invasion like DeepMind's AlphaGo, which has become so skilled at the strategy board game Go that it trounced world champion Lee Se-dol four games to one. Researchers have long viewed Go--with 361 potential moves on the first turn alone--as the ultimate AI challenge, yet Lee said AlphaGo's decisive victory left him feeling "powerless." It's a win for technology, but for humanity maybe not so much.


'Rogue One' is a milestone (and warning sign) for CG resurrection

Engadget

You probably didn't expect many surprises in Rogue One, the first Star Wars "side story" which details how, exactly, the Rebel Alliance acquired the plans for the Death Star. Indeed, the entire film seems to exist just to fill in a bit of background detail for A New Hope, our first Luke Skywalker adventure. But it turns out Rogue One is much more than an elaborate bit of fan service. It's surprisingly harrowing, genuinely moving and it'll likely go down as a milestone for digital-actor resurrection. Rogue One brought Peter Cushing, the legendary British actor who played Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars and passed away in 1994, back from the dead this past weekend as a CG character.


Google DeepMind AI destroys human expert in lip reading competition - TechRepublic

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A new artificial intelligence tool created by Google and Oxford University researchers could significantly improve the success of lip-reading and understanding for the hearing impaired. In a recently released paper on the work, the pair explained how the Google DeepMind-powered system was able to correctly interpret more words than a trained human expert. The tool is called Watch, Listen, Attend and Spell (WLAS), and the paper describes it as a "network that learns to transcribe videos of mouth motion to characters." Using videos from the BBC, the team trained the system with a dataset of more than 100,000 natural sentences. While similar attempts in the past have focused on a narrow set of words, the report said, Google and Oxford wanted to address lip reading through "unconstrained natural language sentences, and in the wild videos."


Just say something: IBM's AI software can estimate a person's age based on speech

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IBM just passed two milestones in artificial intelligence. From a distance, the accomplishments seem insignificant but IBM Research Audio Analytic's Jason Pelecanos called them necessarily small steps toward increasingly intelligent machines. The first milestone involved demonstrating higher sensitivity in IBM's automatic speaker recognition software, which is tasked with recognizing the identity of a speaker based solely on his or her voice patterns. Back in 2000, the best speaker verification software had an error rate of about 10 percent. Today's industry standard has an error rate of less than one percent.


Just say something: IBM's AI software can estimate a person's age based on speech

#artificialintelligence

IBM just passed two milestones in artificial intelligence. From a distance, the accomplishments seem insignificant but IBM Research Audio Analytic's Jason Pelecanos called them necessarily small steps toward increasingly intelligent machines. The first milestone involved demonstrating higher sensitivity in IBM's automatic speaker recognition software, which is tasked with recognizing the identity of a speaker based solely on his or her voice patterns. Back in 2000, the best speaker verification software had an error rate of about 10 percent. Today's industry standard has an error rate of less than one percent.


CAN Capital Provided Access to 6 Billion of Working Capital for Small Businesses

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One of the market leaders in the alternative small business finance space, CAN Capital, has announced that it reached 6 billion in delivering access to working capital for small businesses. Over the past five years, the company has grown transaction count by 29 percent (CAGR) and revenue by 24 percent (CAGR), with commensurate growth in earnings. CAN Capital, Inc., established in 1998, is the pioneer and market share leader in alternative small business finance, having provided access to over 6.0 billion in capital for over 70,000 small businesses in a wide range of locations and different business types. As a technology-powered financial services provider, CAN Capital uses innovative and proprietary risk models combined with daily performance data to evaluate business performance and facilitate access to capital for entrepreneurs in a fast and efficient way.


Bringing AI to Automakers

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As a pioneer in human-computer dialogue, multimodal interaction, and artificial intelligence, Phil has the charter to aggressively push VoiceBox's development of Artificial Intelligence (AI). What recent milestones in AI have leading scientists buzzing? Many of these milestones were supported by machine learning technologies, most recently Deep Learning Neural Networks (DNN). It's called: On the Future of the Personal Assistant I'll be discussing Building Intelligent Apps at the Madrona Venture Group's Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Summit in Seattle.


AlphaGo beats human Go champ in milestone for artificial intelligence

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Doug Polk, one of the world's best poker players, shoveled egg whites into his mouth with a plastic fork and slurped unsweetened oatmeal from a paper cup, 13 days into the oddest tournament he has ever entered. His opponent, Claudico, did not struggle with fatigue, mental breakdown or hunger, despite... Doug Polk, one of the world's best poker players, shoveled egg whites into his mouth with a plastic fork and slurped unsweetened oatmeal from a paper cup, 13 days into the oddest tournament he has ever entered. His opponent, Claudico, did not struggle with fatigue, mental breakdown or hunger, despite... AlphaGo's success is "a really big deal" not just because it beat a world champion player at what might be the world's most complex board game, but because of how it did it, said Guy Suter, founder of AI communications start-up Notion. This is the kind of AI powering AlphaGo, which learns by observing the moves from the best human players, then training itself to get even better.