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Automation May Take Jobs--but AI Will Create Them

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Chances are you've already encountered, more than a few times, truly frightening predictions about artificial intelligence and its implications for the future of humankind. The machines are coming and they want your job, at a minimum. Scary stories are easy to find in all the erudite places where the tech visionaries of Silicon Valley and Seattle, the cosmopolitan elite of New York City, and the policy wonks of Washington, DC, converge--TED talks, Davos, ideas festivals, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, The New York Times, Hollywood films, South by Southwest, Burning Man. The brilliant innovator Elon Musk and the genius theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking have been two of the most quotable and influential purveyors of these AI predictions. AI poses "an existential threat" to civilization, Elon Musk warned a gathering of governors in Rhode Island one summer's day.


Big Tech swallows most of the hot AI startups

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In 2016, Seattle-based startup Turi was helping almost 100 customers create and manage software that uses machine learning, a powerful type of artificial intelligence. Its technology was so promising that Apple Inc. snapped it up for $200 million. The deal was a triumph for investors and founders, but one backer thought Turi -- and the broader tech industry -- might be better off if the startup had spurned Apple's advances. Matt McIlwain, managing director at Madrona Venture Group, said it's important that at least some emerging tech businesses remain independent, rather than falling into the arms of Apple, Amazon.com "It is economically beneficial to society to have more stand-alone, independent companies. We generally think that's better than just having these companies consolidated into larger ones," McIlwain said.



IT expert roundtable: Driving sales efficiency with Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AI

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Dynamics 365 for Sales and Microsoft AI are used to present the highest-priority sales leads to sellers. With this new solution, sellers can quickly act on the leads most likely to become customers. The solution creates a simple, intelligent system for discovering and contacting the best lead and makes our sellers more efficient and effective. During this webinar experts from Core Services Engineering Organization (CSEO) answered questions on how to use Microsoft AI with Dynamics 365 for Sales.


ThetaRay, Provider of Big Data and AI-enhanced Analytics Tools, Joins Microsoft's Partner Program to Offer AML Solution

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ThetaRay, a provider of Big Data and artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced analytics tools, has joined Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) partner program, One Commercial Partner, which provides various cloud-powered solutions. ThetaRay's anti-money laundering (AML) solution for correspondent banking can be accessed through Microsoft's Azure Marketplace. A large US bank has reportedly signed an agreement to use the solution. "We are proud to join the One Commercial Partner program and offer Microsoft Azure customers access to our industry-leading AML for Correspondent Banking solution." "Global banks are increasingly de-risking or abandoning their correspondent banking relationships due to a lack of transparency and fears of money laundering and regulatory fines. Our solution provides banks with the … ability to reverse the trend and grow their business by allowing full visibility into all links of the cross-border payment chain, from originator to beneficiary."


C3.ai launches digital transformation institute

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Tech company C3.ai has teamed up with an all-star cast of collaborators, including Microsoft and several prestigious educational institutions. Partnering with Princeton University, Berkley, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and others, C3.ai has launched two new initiatives to develop research and innovation within the field of artificial intelligence (AI): C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute: Pooling the research assets of several leading institutions, this project will seek to drive the widespread adoption of AI in business, government and wider society. C3.ai DTI First Call for Research Proposals: Designed to create a dialogue between researchers, academics and concept developers, C3.ai is hoping to tackle a timely subject and hopefully accelerate the finding of a solution: the COVID-19 pandemic. Thomas M. Siebel, CEO, presented the projects as a unique opportunity to bring together the best minds from every aspect of the tech industry and unite their abilities for the greater good of society. "We have the opportunity through public-private partnership to change the course of a global pandemic […] I cannot imagine a more important use of AI," he stated.


Governments turn to AI in fight against coronavirus – Government & civil service news

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Countries around the world – including the US, South Korea and Taiwan – are using artificial intelligence (AI) to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The technology is being used to speed up the development of testing kits and treatments, to track the spread of the virus, and to provide citizens with real-time information. In South Korea, the government mobilised the private sector to begin developing coronavirus testing kits soon after reports of a new virus began to emerge from China. As part of this drive, Seoul-based molecular biotech company Seegene used AI to speed up the development of testing kits, enabling it to submit its solution to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) three weeks after scientists began working on it. The company's founder and chief executive, Chun Jong-yoon, told CNN that had AI not been used, the process would have taken two to three months.


AI Weekly: Coronavirus prompts call to service for ML talent

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On Thursday afternoon, the United States became the country with the greatest number of known COVID-19 cases in the world. With millions out of work and the spread of the virus taking its toll, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and in anguish without ever getting off the couch. Inadequately supplied frontline healthcare workers are the heroes in the trenches of this war, but the world's scientific community is also considering how it can respond and provide solutions. People with expertise in AI, data science, and tech tools are in demand right now as the world scrambles for ways to avert disaster. In last week's newsletter, VentureBeat AI editor Seth Colaner characterized it as a kind of digital flotilla.


Divesting from one facial recognition startup, Microsoft ends outside investments in the tech – TechCrunch

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Microsoft is pulling out of an investment in an Israeli facial recognition technology developer as part of a broader policy shift to halt any minority investments in facial recognition startups, the company announced late last week. The decision to withdraw its investment from AnyVision, an Israeli company developing facial recognition software, came as a result of an investigation into reports that AnyVision's technology was being used by the Israeli government to surveil residents in the West Bank. The investigation, conducted by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his team at Covington & Burling, confirmed that AnyVision's technology was used to monitor border crossings between the West Bank and Israel, but did not "power a mass surveillance program in the West Bank." Microsoft's venture capital arm, M12 Ventures, backed AnyVision as part of the company's $74 million financing round which closed in June 2019. Investors who continue to back the company include DFJ Growth and OG Technology Partners, LightSpeed Venture Partners, Robert Bosch GmbH, Qualcomm Ventures, and Eldridge Industries.


What are the top AI platforms?

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Microsoft AI is a platform used to develop AI solutions in conversational AI, machine learning, data sciences, robotics, IoT, and more. Its Cognitive Services is described as a "comprehensive family of AI services and cognitive APIs to help you build intelligent apps". Tom Bernard Krake is the Azure Cloud Executive at Microsoft, responsible for leveraging and evaluating the Azure platform. Tom is joined by a team of experienced executives to optimise the Azure platform and oversee the many cognitive services that it provides. Uber uses Cognitive Services to boost its security through facial recognition to ensure that the driver using the app matches the user that is on file.