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AI continues to flourish in business despite the pandemic and a turbulent economy

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Nearly three-quarters of businesses now consider artificial intelligence (AI) critical to their success, and AI continues to grow in importance across companies of various sizes and industries, according to a new report. And despite turbulent times, more than two-thirds of respondents to Appen Limited's 2020 State of AI Report do not expect any negative impact from the COVID-19 pandemic on their AI strategies. Nearly half of companies have accelerated their AI strategies, 20% doing so "significantly," betting their AI projects will have a positive impact on their organization's resiliency, efficiency, and innovation, according to the annual report. SEE: Managing AI and ML in the enterprise 2020: Tech leaders increase project development and implementation (TechRepublic Premium) Yet almost half (49%) of respondents feel their company is behind in their AI journey, suggesting a critical gap exists between the strategic need and the ability to execute among business leaders and technologists, Appen said. Surprisingly, respondents are not that leery of AI: The report also found that only 25% of companies said unbiased AI is mission-critical.


The main beneficiaries of artificial intelligence success are IT departments themselves

ZDNet

Artificial intelligence, seen as the cure-all for a plethora of enterprise shortfalls, from chatbots to better understanding customers to automating the flow of supply chains. However, it is delivering the most impressive results to information technology departments themselves, enhancing the performance of systems and making help desks more helpful. At the same time, there's a recognition that AI efforts -- and involvement -- need to expand beyond the walls of IT across all parts of the enterprise. This is one of the takeaways of a recent survey of 154 IT and business professionals at companies with at least one AI-related project in general production, conducted and published by ITPro Today, InformationWeek and Interop. Among those survey respondents with at least one AI application in general production, those with "excellent" and "very good" results comprise 64% of the group -- excellent results account for 23% of respondents and 41% report very good results.


The main beneficiaries of artificial intelligence success are IT departments themselves

#artificialintelligence

Artificial intelligence, seen as the cure-all for a plethora of enterprise shortfalls, from chatbots to better understanding customers to automating the flow of supply chains. However, it is delivering the most impressive results to information technology departments themselves, enhancing the performance of systems and making help desks more helpful. At the same time, there's a recognition that AI efforts -- and involvement -- need to expand beyond the walls of IT across all parts of the enterprise. This is one of the takeaways of a recent survey of 154 IT and business professionals at companies with at least one AI-related project in general production, conducted and published by ITPro, InformationWeek and Interop. Among those survey respondents with at least one AI application in general production, those with "excellent" and "very good" results comprise 64% of the group -- excellent results account for 23% of respondents and 41% report very good results.


EU will speed up its spaceflight plans in response to SpaceX and China

Engadget

The modern space race is heating up, and the European Union is acutely aware that it needs to keep pace. Space chief Thierry Breton told Reuters in an interview that the EU is accelerating its plans in light of rapid progress by private companies like SpaceX as well as China's successes. It's moving the deployment of its Galileo navigation satellites ahead by three years, to 2024, and will use its budget for the first time to support reusable rockets and other new launch tech. The EU is also forging a €1 billion deal with Arianespace to spur innovation, and will propose a €1 billion European Space Fund and competitions to foster startups. Breton also hoped to launch a pan-European satellite broadband network as well as a system to avoid collisions with satellites and other items in orbit.


Two-Thirds of Execs Say AI Work Continues Despite Covid-19

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The stat comes from a survey of 347 business leaders across a variety of industries conducted by Australian data AI company Appen. While about 31% of the respondents said the pandemic has either somewhat (24%) or significantly (8%) delayed AI strategies, about 41% said the pandemic had actually sped up such efforts. The report also found an increase in the number of execs who said AI strategies were now led by members of the C-suite--a jump to 71% of respondents from 40% last year--suggesting that companies increasingly see the field as essential to their core business. Budgets are growing too; 28% of execs say their allocated AI budget is between half a million and $5 million, twice as many as last year's 13%. The small fraction with AI budgets beyond $5 million has similarly doubled from 4% to 8%.


AI is now a C-suite imperative

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Executive involvement in enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives is growing rapidly and more emphasis is being placed on high-quality training data. Both C-suite ownership of AI and budgets over $500K nearly doubled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic serving as a catalyst for accelerated AI initiatives. A key lesson learned from the pandemic is that businesses need to be ready for anything that requires a high level of business agility. It's Darwinism at its finest as businesses that can adapt to market trends faster than their competition can become market leaders and maintain that position. Those that can't do this will fade into obscurity with many going away.


Eight in 10 respondents find online learning programmes more effective than physical classroom sessions: Survey

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BENGALURU: Eight in 10 survey respondents say that live online learning programmes have been equally or more effective than physical classroom sessions, with artificial intelligence and machine learning skilling programmes seeing the highest demand, according to a survey by digital skills training provider Simplilearn . The survey was conducted to understand the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on employee training programmes and productivity post the implementation of work-from-home. The company surveyed executives and managers in the learning and development and HR functions of companies around the globe on issues related to current and future employee training plans. While responses were gathered from various global regions, the majority were gathered from representatives of companies located in India (39%) and the United States (41%). The global health crisis has disrupted work patterns worldwide, and one of the work areas most affected has been employee learning and development.


Kaia Health gets $26M to show it can do more with digital therapeutics – TechCrunch

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Kaia Health, a digital therapeutics startup which uses computer vision technology for real-time posture tracking via the smartphone camera to deliver human-hands-free physiotherapy, has closed a $26 million Series B funding round. The funding was led by Optum Ventures, Idinvest and capital300 with participation from existing investors Balderton Capital and Heartcore Capital, in addition to Symphony Ventures -- the latter in an "investment partnership" with world famous golfer, Rory McIlroy, who knows a thing or two about chronic pain. Back in January 2019, when Kaia announced a $10M Series A, its business ratio was split 80:20 Europe to US. Now, says co-founder and CEO Konstantin Mehl -- speaking to TechCrunch by Zoom chat from New York where he's recently relocated -- it's flipped the other way. Part of the new funding will thus go on building out its commercial team in the US -- now its main market.


Review: Andrew Ng's Machine Learning Course - Regina Of Tech

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Stanford's Machine Learning course taught by Andrew Ng was released in 2011. This has become a staple course of Coursera and, to be honest, in machine learning. As of this article, it has had 2,632,122 users enroll in the course. That is just enrolled in, but unknown if they have finished. It is estimated that 1% – 15% of users who start complete the course.


How to get free AI training and tools

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Organizations failing to adopt AI risk falling behind in their markets. Even without the budget for it, advancing the AI know-how in your organization must include democratizing AI so it can become the province of everyday operations, and not just data scientists. "'Democratization' can be a dirty word," wrote blogger Chrissy Kidd in 2019. "Some folks hear it and conjure up long conference calls or work meetings abuzz with words like synchronicity and alignment. On the much more positive side, however, democratization is a good thing, where a resource that is useful can become more readily available to the masses."