If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Bill Stasior, the longtime former Apple executive overseeing its Siri digital assistant, has joined Microsoft, continuing a reshuffling of artificial intelligence leadership at big tech companies. Starting this month, Stasior, whose move to Microsoft hasn't been previously reported, will become a corporate vice president of technology, reporting to Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott. Stasior referred questions about his new job to a Microsoft spokesperson, who confirmed Stasior's hiring, adding that "he will work to help align technology strategies across the company." At Microsoft, Stasior will lead an artificial intelligence group, a person familiar with the matter said. The shift underscores the intense demand for AI leadership inside the largest tech companies, all of which are jockeying for position against each other.
Within Microsoft, O'Brien is trying to extend the community of people who are focused on the ethics topic. He sent me a collection of materials suggesting that lots of people are already engaged. The materials include, for example, a blog post on Microsoft guidelines about developing responsible conversation bots (no doubt occasioned by the off-the-rails comments from the Tay AI chatbot research project in 2016). They also include a presentation and article on intelligible models in health care, and an internal project for a "learning door" that recognizes (with opt-in) who is coming in and out of Microsoft buildings. O'Brien said he works closely with Smith's legal team and also has a matrixed reporting relationship to Eric Horvitz, technical fellow and director at Microsoft Research Labs.
Encryption has always been a battle line in cyberspace. Attackers try to break it; defenders reinforce it. The next front in that struggle is something known as homomorphic encryption, which scrambles data not just when it is at rest or in transit, but when it is being used. The idea is to not have to decrypt sensitive financial or healthcare data, for example, in order to run computations with it. Defenders are trying to get ahead of attackers by locking down data wherever it lies.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning has become essential if you are selling sales, customer service and marketing software, especially in large enterprises. The biggest vendors from Adobe to Salesforce to Microsoft to Oracle are jockeying for position to bring automation and intelligence to these areas. Just today, Oracle announced several new AI features in its sales tools suite and Salesforce did the same in its customer service cloud. Both companies are building on artificial intelligence underpinnings that have been in place for several years. All of these companies want to help their customers achieve their business goals by using increasing levels of automation and intelligence.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning could be the next frontier for ETFs to outperform the market. So says Robert Tull, President of ProcureAM, an innovative exchange-traded product firm and wholly owned subsidiary of Procure Holdings. A veteran in the business, Tull has been involved in the ETF industry for decades, creating more than 400 ETFs across 18 different countries. Now, he's looking at new ways to beat the market by using big data as raw material, combined with machine learning, to build ETF portfolios that could potentially outperform active management -- even actively managed ETFs. "Active management has been out there for a long time, underperforming," he said on CNBC's "ETF Edge." "They haven't found a solution yet, and I think the technology that I've run into is going to help the marketplace today."
Amazon announced a breakthrough from its AI experts Monday: Their algorithms can now read fear on your face, at a cost of $0.001 per image--or less if you process more than 1 million images. The news sparked interest because Amazon is at the center of a political tussle over the accuracy and regulation of facial recognition. Amazon sells a facial-recognition service, part of a suite of image-analysis features called Rekognition, to customers that include police departments. Another Rekognition service tries to discern the gender of faces in photos. The company said Monday that the gender feature had been improved--apparently a response to research showing it was much less accurate for people with darker skin.
As it stands now, farmers are employing new-age technologies to transform production driven by the fact that there is a need to feed more with less and the necessity to address the influences of industrial farming. At present around half of the current food produced, roughly 2 billion tons a year, ends up getting wasted while approximately 124 million people across 51 countries suffer food insecurity or worse. In addition to this, several other climatic challenges are lowering agricultural production. Governments across almost every country need to look into the matter and solve it as the world population is forecast to grow from 7.6 billion to 9.8 billion by 2050. On the brighter side, the world has ventured into the second green revolution through the fourth industrial revolution.
It's easy to forget that Silicon Valley starts with'silicon', and that there would be no technology innovation without innovation at the silicon level. And Graphcore is well aware of that as the Bristol-based company is designing its own dedicated AI chipset. That's why I'm glad to announce that Graphcore co-founder and CEO Nigel Toon is joining us at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin. Graphcore has managed to attract a ton of attention from day one. Originally founded in 2016, the startup has raised more than $300 million from top investors, such as Sequoia Capital, BMW, Microsoft, Samsung and a ton of others.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) founder Bill Gates was speaking to a group of college students in 2004. According to The New York Times, Gates was a bit concerned about the decline in the number of computer science majors, as well as the notion that the field had matured and there weren't many breakthroughs left to achieve in the area. One student expressed doubt that there would ever be another tech company as successful as Microsoft. ''If you invent a breakthrough in artificial intelligence, so machines can learn, that is worth 10 Microsofts.'' Fast-forward to today, and of course someone has figured it out.