Mapping the Canadian AI Ecosystem


UPDATE June 13, 2017: Last week I posted V1 of our Map of the Canadian AI Ecosystem, and since then I've been inundated with additions. Indeed, Edmonton received $35M from Ottawa while Vancouver received none of that federal money, despite having 5x the number of startups that Edmonton has. Edmonton has a great opportunity to build their startup ecosystem before the venture funding really kicks in. But if we want to go beyond research and become big players in the AI market, research is not enough.

Is it unethical to design robots to resemble humans?


There is no trigger to feel compassion toward this inanimate object: It is only a machine, made of plastic, and filled with microchips and wires. But in 2015, Japanese researchers found neurophysiological evidence that humans feel empathy for robots appearing to be in pain: Brain scans indicate that we have an automatic visceral empathic reaction with both humans and objects that look like humans. In other words, society's push toward humanizing AI could have the unintended consequence of the dehumanization of actual humans. These robots are built specifically to read and respond to human emotions and provide artificial empathy. - Innovations in #IoT, Machine Learning, and #ArtificialIntelligence-Based Security Solutions 2017


Newswire) Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Innovations in IoT-, Machine Learning-, and Artificial Intelligence-based Security Solutions" report to their offering. This edition of Network Security TOE provides a snapshot of the emerging security solutions based on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other new technologies that help companies mitigate threats and defend against modern attacks. TechVision Information & Communication Technology cluster provides global industry analysis, technology competitive analysis, and insights into game-changing technologies in the wireless communication and computing space. These innovations have profound impact on a range of business functions for computing, communications, business intelligence, data processing, information security, workflow automation, quality of service (QoS) measurements, simulations, customer relationship management, knowledge management functions and many more.

Tech Metaphors Are Holding Back Brain Research


If memory works the way most neuroscientists think it does--by altering the strength of connections between neurons--storing all that information would be way too energy-intensive, especially if memories are encoded in Shannon information, high fidelity signals encoded in binary. That assumption leads some scientists--mind-body dualists--to argue that we won't learn much by studying the physical brain. Over time, our memories are physically encoded in our brains in spidery networks of neurons--software building new hardware, in a way. That's because the street lamp infrastructure in the two halves of the city remain different, to this day--West Berlin street lamps use bright white mercury bulbs and East Berlin uses tea-stained sodium vapor bulbs.

Minority Report at 15 years: what did it get right?


When "Minority Report" hit theaters on June 21, 2002, it arrived to an America -- and a world -- that feels equal parts familiar and alien. There are little minidiscs everywhere, from Anderton's home-based video player to the video records the precrime operatives use in their office. Perhaps the best vision of our future (or present) that "Minority Report" offers is its all-seeing world of eye-scanning subways, ads, store windows and cars. Amazon's test convenience store lets you walk in and out, automatically using facial recognition and automated cameras to charge your account.

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


Networking and security boss David Goeckler focused on the new offering's actual hardware and software, stressing advances in security. The company is using a new series of Catalyst switches and machine learning to crunch data and detect malware, with Goeckler claiming early tests showed detection rates for malware greater than 99%. In addition to the Catalyst 9000 switching platform, Cisco's networking bundle includes control software called DNA Center, which Goeckler said is "where we define intent, which translates it for the network." On the back-end, Cisco is launching security and data software it calls Encrypted Traffic Analytics, which Goeckler said could detect intrusions even in encrypted traffic.

Lettuce-Weeding Robots, Coming Soon to a Farm Near You


The Sunnyvale, California-based company makes farming machines. Blue River's machines are robots that help farmers manage their fields more efficiently. The jury is still out on whether this will be a fruitful sector for venture capitalists like those backing Blue River Technology, since large exits have been thin on the ground since Monsanto's 2013 acquisition of the Climate Corporation for more than $1 billion. Lawyer Roger Royse, whose California law firm specializes in representing agtech companies, tells Inc. that he thinks Blue River is a prime acquisition target, especially as the industry consolidates.

Microsoft used AI to combat global tech support scams - TechRepublic


The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced an official crackdown on these scams with Operation Tech Trap in May 2017. Chris White, a principal researcher at Microsoft who worked with the Digital Crimes Unit during the operation, said in the release: "These people are very clever." Of the tech scams reported to Microsoft from Germany, 85% started with a phone call, the post said. After collecting a bunch of data that seemed like it could be part of a scam, Microsoft researchers used machine learning to look through it all, the post noted.

Machine learning, data science dominate top tech jobs


The Indeed top tech jobs list merely lists the job role sought and the percent of increase in posting for each position. According to Indeed, demand for software engineers within fields such as machine learning and data science were two of the five fastest-growing categories within tech this year, with a 191 percent growth and 136 percent increase in both fields respectively since 2015. However, Indeed also said its data showed that despite high demand for developers, matching the job listings with available talent was tough for many employers. Of the 50 most difficult roles to fill on the site, 44 percent were for software and tech developers.

France wants to put driverless 'drone trains' on tracks by 2023


France's state-run railway operator SNCF is working to develop driverless high-speed trains for its national rail system, effectively putting "drone trains" on the tracks. The conductor-free TGVs (the French acronym for high speed trains) would bring self-driving tech to some of the fastest vehicles in the world, which regularly travel at speeds around 200 mph. SNCF Deputy Managing Director Matthieu Chabanel told FranceInfo the trains aren't being developed to phase out conductors, comparing the tech to the systems used in airplanes. Autonomous train systems aren't that rare globally, but Chabanel claims this could be the first time self-driving is applied to high-speed systems.