SAS Toronto event focuses on overcoming hurdles to successful customer AI projects


SAS partners played a bigger role than ever in the event this year, as SAS continues to move beyond its legacy direct sales days and invest more in its channel. TORONTO – Curiosity Meets Capability was the theme of the main keynote at the annual SAS Toronto roadshow for executives. The event this year was held Wednesday at the Globe and Mail Centre across the street from SAS's offices east of downtown Toronto, and there didn't appear to be a vacant seat in the house. Many of the execs in attendance were focused on AI, rather than being general line of business people, and the focus of the event was to explain to them how to optimize the chances of their projects being successful. "The goal is to demystify AI and walk through real world examples, to show why it's not that hard or that new," said Shadi Shahin, SAS's VP of Product Strategy, in the main keynote.

Where is this online lender using AI? Everywhere


The online lender Enova, which has been using artificial intelligence to make credit decisions for years, has lately been expanding its use of AI to handle additional tasks: spotting fraud, determining who should receive product offers, and projecting possible losses once a loan is booked. Most recently, it has also been been having AI scour paper documents to uncover false information, verify income and employment, and conduct know-your-customer checks. It also sponsored a survey, conducted by Harvard Business Review and set to be released Thursday, that benchmarks how businesses are using AI. Generally speaking, it finds companies are adopting AI slowly: though 68% of executives say AI will be a competitive differentiator within the next year and 64% are investigating or piloting AI projects, only 15% of organizations have AI-powered analytics in place due to technical and cultural challenges. In its back office, Enova has been training AI engines to review documents such as bank statements and pay stubs and automating decisions based on the information in those documents.

Topaz Labs Gigapixel AI Takes Image Upscaling to the Next Level with Machine Learning


Intel Distribution of OpenVINO toolkit optimization delivers high-quality image upscaling at higher speeds with Intel Core processors. Photo upscaling has long been limited by the capabilities of existing technology. Once a photo is taken, the size and number of pixels are set in stone. Trying to stretch those pixels into a larger format causes clarity and quality to suffer immediately. Thanks to advancements in machine learning, Topaz Labs has been able to harness the power of artificial intelligence to more elegantly overcome this hurdle.

Gartner depicts a business world reshaped by AI in 2019 Hype Cycle


By 2029, industries will see leading companies leverage advanced analytics and supercharge their workforce with automation. As businesses use blockchain to navigate a complex digital ecosystem of partners, these companies will maximize efficiency with sensor technology and next-generation computing to edge out the competition. That's the reality depicted in Gartner's Hype Cycle 2019, the yearly future-gazing report from the analyst firm on what technologies will more closely impact industry. The central element in this year's report was also top of mind in 2018: Artificial intelligence will continue to redefine how businesses operate. "What is seeping in everything else is AI," said Brian Burke, research VP at Gartner, in an interview with CIO Dive.

Four Challenges to Overcome for AI-Driven Customer Experience


To launch a successful virtual agent project for your organization's customer service capability, the company must overcome four hurdles. This article is part of an MIT SMR initiative exploring how technology is reshaping the practice of management. Are you ready to turn your company's customer service over to AI-powered virtual agents? Whether your goals include creating a fully digital business, improving customer experience, or cutting costs, virtual agents and automation offer many benefits. Consider the experience of Mark Baylis, vice president of customer service and digital customer engagement at Optus, Australia's second-largest telecom operator.

Cerebras unveils the world's chunkiest AI chip


COMPUTER BRAINS are tiny rectangles, becoming tinier with each new generation. Or so it used to be. These days Andrew Feldman, the boss of Cerebras, a startup, pulls a block of Plexiglas out of his backpack. Baked into it is a microprocessor the size of letter paper. "It's the world's biggest," he says proudly, rattling off its technical specs: 400,000 cores (sub-brains), 18 gigabytes of memory and 1.2trn transistors.

Rapid skill changes scare most Indians - Times of India


BENGALURU: Given today's fast-changing world, as high as 62% of Indian professionals said in a survey by LinkedIn that they felt daunted by the rapid pace of change in skills that are in demand. A high proportion (45%) of those surveyed left organisations because of lack of learning and development opportunities, according to LinkedIn, which surveyed about 5,000 employees and professionals in Australia, India, Japan, and Singapore. And this mismatch between market requirements, labour skills and opportunities is expected to grow more acute in future. By 2020, it is estimated that Asia-Pacific (Apac) will face a labour shortage of 12.3 million workers at an annual opportunity cost of $4.2 trillion. By 2020, it is also expected that 42% of the core skills required for a job will change, LinkedIn said.

AI Deployment Challenges: 5 Tips to Help Overcome the Hurdles


Everyone is talking about the power of AI and it's slowly invading our lives--emphasis on slowly. While you might have a few AI assistants and connected devices in your house, the business world hasn't fully jumped on board yet with AI. Sure, the forward-thinking companies have and those are the headline we are seeing, but I'm talking about full adoption from the mom and pop shops all the way up to the enterprise level, spanning across all industries. We all understand the power and the potential of AI, but we don't seem to discuss the AI deployment challenges that many businesses are likely facing. We see statistics like 61 percent of companies with an innovation strategy are using AI to identify opportunities in data and think that a majority of companies must be adopting AI.

Lyft records 50,000 self-driven rides since 2018 becoming largest semi-automated ride-hailer in U.S.

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Ride-hailing company Lyft has passed an important mile-marker in its self-driving car program by successfully delivering more than 50,000 rides, making it the most well-trafficked U.S. program of its kind. According to the company, the milestone marks a ten-fold increase over its total in August 2018 when the program announced that it reached 5,000 rides. The program currently operates 30 modified BMW's within a 20 square-mile area in Las Vegas where it delivers riders to some of the city's most heavily trodden areas, like the Las Vegas strip. Lyft has become the the largest ride-hailing program that lets users take self-driven vehicles. Lyft says the precedent is significant not just for the sheer volume of rides, but for the reported quality.

As federal AI spending nears $1B, 2nd wave of agencies consider use cases


Buzz about artificial intelligence has led to increased spending and put several Trump administration directives in motion, but only a handful of agencies have gotten into the early stages of AI adoption. However, a second wave of agencies may soon launch their own AI tools if they can overcome some common hurdles. The Professional Services Council Foundation, in a report released Wednesday, highlighted some of the challenges and opportunities agencies face in using AI to deliver on their mission. Looking across four agencies -- Defense Department, the General Services Administration, NASA and the Department of Health and Human Services -- the report highlights use cases where program offices have pioneered AI to reduce backlogs or increase the output of their existing workforce. "They've turned to AI to say, 'Are there routine decisions that we make on a regular basis that AI is now competent enough to handle in a way that we can delegate those decision processes to?'" Dominic Delmolino, the chief technology officer at Accenture Federal Services, said Wednesday at a briefing with reporters.