Tech giants are fighting to hire the best AI talent at the NIPS conference in LA this week


Chris Bishop is the director of Microsoft Research Cambridge. The global war for artificial intelligence (AI) talent is raging, with tech giants fighting it out to hire the brightest minds in the field and use them to take their platforms into unchartered waters. Finding the top people isn't easy. There's currently a shortage of people with the skills and experience needed to make breakthroughs in machine learning, a field of computer science that gives machines the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Fortunately, many of the top minds in the field are going to be concentrated in one place this week when they descend on a conference in Long Beach, California, called NIPS, which stands for neural information processing systems.

It's Official: Amazon is Putting Alexa to Work in the Office - InformationWeek


It's no surprise that Amazon plans to push its Alexa speech recognition capability beyond the home where Alexa-powered Echo-connected speakers are used by millions of people to order take out, buy stuff from, order Uber rides, and play music, all using voice control. Everywhere, the home, the car, the office," Tom Taylor, Amazon's senior vice president of Alexa told a session at the company's annual AWS RE:Invent conference in Las Vegas last week. The Seattle Mariners, for example, installed Alexa in the 56 luxury suites at Safeco Field so customers can easily order food and drinks, Charlie Kindel, director of Alexa Home, noted during the same session. So, Alexa is already showing up in the workplace. Last year AWS made two key pieces of technology available to software builders to use however they wanted They were Amazon Lex for incorporating speech recognition into software and Polly, which does the same with text-to-speech recognition.

MCubed returns to London in 2018, call for papers open


Events The call for papers for MCubed 2018 is open, and we really want to hear how you're putting machine learning, AI and robotics to work in real organisations. We pulled it off, as you can see here, and are aiming to push things forward in 2018, reflecting the breakneck progress in the sector over the last year – not forgetting to learn from any breakages along the way. So we want to hear from you if you can explain the fundamental technologies and thinking underpinning today's tech – and if you're one of the people taking these fundamentals and putting them to work. You might be applying ML to make sense of vast unstructured data lakes to throw up profound new insights – or on discrete sets of data to make existing processes run more smoothly. You might be developing AI to make sense of huge amounts of financial data to empower your traders, or working out the UX that will help them understand the insights in the first place.

In Ed Lee's San Francisco, Utopia and Dystopia Are Neighbors


From the tall windows of WIRED's offices in San Francisco's South-of-Market neighborhood I've watched almost a decade of radical change made physical in concrete and glass. The city's forest of new skyscrapers is at least in part the legacy of Mayor Ed Lee, who died early Tuesday morning after almost seven years in office. San Francisco is rolling into the second quarter of the 21st century with the purposeful but cautious stutter-step speed of a first-generation self-driving car--the wealthiest, youngest, smartest people on earth live alongside some of the poorest; utopia and dystopia are barely a few blocks apart. That's the city Ed Lee built. It's a cliché to say upon a politician's death that he or she had a complicated legacy, but here we are. Lee was a housing advocate who presided over a city in a deepening housing crisis, facing massive gentrification, displacement, and homelessness.

10 Surprising Ways Machine Learning is Being Used Today - InformationWeek


Machine learning is taking the tech world by storm. Google announced it was open-sourcing Tensor Flow, their machine learning (ML) software, and Microsoft quickly followed suit. Baidu and Amazon unveiled their own deep learning platforms a few months later, while Facebook began supporting the development of two ML frameworks. But the revolution has spread far beyond the tech realm. In fact, some of the more recent applications of ML technology aren't just innovative; they're weird and surprising.

Cisco hopes artificial intelligence and subscription pricing can make it cool again


Cisco Systems Inc. says it has figured out how to transform its sales to the new age, and believes it can do the same with intelligent networks. At an event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Cisco CSCO, 0.69% Chief Executive Chuck Robbins introduced new networking architecture aimed at leveraging two of tech's most popular buzzwords, artificial intelligence and subscription pricing. Robbins added terms like "exponential expansiveness" and "ruthless simplicity" in describing the new product, which was styled as "The Network. "We are going to build the secure, intelligent platform for digital business," Robbins said. Networking and security boss David Goeckler focused on the new offering's actual hardware and software, stressing advances in security.

10 Digital Marketing Trends for 2018


Once you hit Los Angeles, you will be amazed how locals interact with visitors and tourists. You may be discussing business, digital, tourism or fashion, business owners and citizens easily engage conversations in a very casual manner. We just arrived in Santa Monica for the Get Global Conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday and Wednesday. While we can smell the economy is doing well, we are still fascinated with America's customer service both online, with Uber and taxi drivers or in retail stores. They are so customer-centric, they try to make your experience as enjoyable as possible.

Google's Simon Balfe: 'Machine learning is the next big shift for business'


Google's Simon Balfe says we are now in a mobile-only world and at the dawn of the AI-first age of computing. Simon Balfe is agency development manager at Google Marketing Solutions in Dublin. We caught up with him at the recent Virgin Media Digital Evolution conference at the Titanic Belfast centre. 'There is that kind of fear factor initially; they think it's a massive problem that is only for really large organisations' – SIMON BALFE Summing up the digital age we are in, Balfe revealed that seven times more data is created daily today than in 2010. "More people are searching on Google via mobile than desktop."

So, you want a job in machine learning? 5 takeaways from NIPS 2017


Machine learning is nothing new. Many of the techniques which now come under the umbrella term of machine learning have been around for decades. However, machine learning recently become much more popular, spurred by the availability of vast amounts of data and cheaper computing power. For one week earlier this month, over 8,000 data scientists, including myself, converged on Los Angeles for the annual NIPS (Neural Information Processing Systems) conference. Started over 30 years ago, NIPS is now one of the world's biggest events on machine learning.

Researchers Used 'Up' to Teach AI How to Feel


I generally don't care for the poetics of life. When I'm walking down the street and something poetic happens--sunlight piercing rainclouds, golden leaves dancing in an autumn wind--I just go "ehh." But human emotion is quantifiable, meaning it can be taught to computers. A collaboration between MIT's Lab for Social Machines and McKinsey's Consumer Tech and Media team want to use film to quantify and "teach" emotions to computers in order to create AI that can tell emotional stories. How do you teach emotions to AI? Make them watch movies.