Everyone is talking about artificial intelligence these days actually if you look at searches and mention of artificial intelligence online you can see a clear exponential trend AI is not new it actually started over 65 years ago but today we finally have a cost efficient way to store transfer and compute a massive amount of data in a way that was never possible before. In 2017 I have been wondering the growth of AI industry and I have to say to you that I'm quite amazed by the attention AI is receiving recently. At some point I realized that all the tech newsletters I'm subscribed whenever I receive an email, almost every time there are news about AI. Developers are talking about AI. Engineers are talking about AI.
"We think this could be the third wave where you have programmable objects blanketing your home," said David Eun, president of Samsung NEXT, Samsung's investment group, during an interview at The Wall Street Journal's WSJ D. Live technology conference. Companies across tech have been rushing to launch products and software for the so-called smart home. Inc.'s Alexa and Alphabet Inc.'s Google Assistant have made it possible to embed artificial intelligence in everyday home devices, letting people unlock doors and dim lights with their voices. Those companies and Apple Inc. are launching smart speakers, as well. Samsung has an inherent hardware advantage in this arena because it sells an array of appliances.
Tony Fadell is at the Grove, a spectacularly beautiful country estate outside of London. The event is Founders Forum: the ultra exclusive invite-only tech conference. Prince William is in the house. The guest list is lousy with knights and lesser officers of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Marissa Mayer, the now ex-CEO of Yahoo, and Biz Stone, recently returned to Twitter, are mingling with the other hundred or so invitees.
Payload secured, it backs up--beep, beep, beep--whips around, and speeds to its dirt pile, stopping so quickly that it tips forward on two wheels. It drops its quarry and backs up--beep, beep, beep--then speeds back to its excavation for another bucketful. Atop the tractor is, of all things, a cargo carrier, like one you'd put on your car. But instead of carrying camping gear, it's packed with electronics. Because no one is sitting in this Bobcat tractor--it's operating itself, autonomously zipping around a lot lined with 4,500-pound concrete blocks.
Ontario is increasing support for students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, including artificial intelligence, to continue to build a highly skilled workforce and support job creation and economic growth. Leading businesses from around the world choose Ontario because of its talented workforce, strong public education system and commitment to universal health care. These same qualities help to support an ecosystem that enables locally owned companies to succeed and grow. To bolster provincial competitiveness, the government plans to increase the number of postsecondary students graduating in the STEM disciplines by 25 per cent over the next five years. This initiative will boost the number of STEM graduates from 40,000 to 50,000 per year and position Ontario as the number one producer of postsecondary STEM graduates per capita in North America.
Chinese search giant Baidu has some bold new targets for its self-driving auto plans. Baidu CEO Robin Li outlined company's self-driving vehicle goals for the next few years onstage at the Wall Street Journal's D.Live technology conference, touting a plan to roll out driverless busses in China next year, semi-autonomous vehicles by 2019, and fully autonomous cars by 2021. Li also revealed that Baidu spends about $1.5 billion on self-driving R&D efforts annually, which amounts to about 15 percent of the company's revenue. The driverless bus will be manufactured by an unnamed Chinese bus maker, with plans to run one predetermined route when its ready for service. Baidu will partner with Chinese automaker BAIC Motor to make the self-driving vehicles, since the tech company has focused primarily on developing its autonomous platform, rather than actually making cars.
Alphabet Inc., Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and others are hunting for new areas of growth--often on each other's turf--as they enjoy soaring revenues and stock prices. They are poised to bump into each other across the board, in online sports viewing, movies, news and even podcasting. Up for grabs is an extra $300 billion a year in revenues that Activate projects will flow into the $1.7 trillion global consumer media and internet market by 2021, through growing internet-access fees, ads and paid content. Activate estimates the market will grow 4.1% a year. Consumers' time, though, is already stretched, with young people in particular tethered to devices much of the day.
General Motors President Dan Ammann (right) with Cruise Automation co-founders Kyle Vogt (center) and Daniel Kan (left). General Motors will begin testing self-driving vehicles in fully autonomous mode in New York starting in early 2018 -- the first time level 4 autonomous vehicles will be tested in the state. GM and its subsidiary Cruise Automation are applying to begin autonomous testing in Manhattan. GM and New York State on Tuesday said testing will include an engineer in the driver's seat to monitor and evaluate performance, and a second person in the passenger seat. Mapping for autonomous vehicles has begun in a geofenced area.
The future is here, and boy is it spicy. Alphabet's Project Wing announced Monday that it will start delivering burritos to hungry customers via drone. That's right, you can soon have heavenly manna slathered in Australian Jack cheese dropped right on your head -- that is, if you happen to live in the outskirts of the Australian Capital Territory. Project Wing, one of Alphabet's "moonshot factories" under the X umbrella, is testing delivery drones and has selected the relatively remote area for its latest voyage into the tinfoil-wrapped unknown. In addition to Mexican food from a chain, the company will also ferry medication on behalf of a pharmacy.
Each October on ZDNet we do a special report on how business leaders are planning to spend their tech budgets for the year ahead. SEE: Tech Budgets 2018: A CXO's Guide Aside from specific tech projects, 35% of leaders said they are investing in training existing employees and 29% said they are investing in hiring new employees. To learn more, read our full special report "Tech Budgets 2018: A CXO's Guide." It is written by a member of ZDNet's global editorial board, which is comprised of our lead editors across Asia, Australia, Europe, and the US.