press release


BlackBerry Completes Acquisition of Cylance

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BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) today completed its previously-announced acquisition of Cylance, a privately-held artificial intelligence and cybersecurity company based in Irvine, California. "Today BlackBerry took a giant step forward toward our goal of being the world's largest and most trusted AI-cybersecurity company," said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry. "Securing endpoints and the data that flows between them is absolutely critical in today's hyperconnected world. By adding Cylance's technology to our arsenal of cybersecurity solutions we will help enterprises intelligently connect, protect and build secure endpoints that users can trust." Cylance's machine learning and artificial intelligence technology is a strategic addition to BlackBerry's end-to-end secure communications portfolio.


How Google, Microsoft, and Big Tech Are Automating the Climate Crisis

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In a deal that made few ripples outside the energy industry, two very large but relatively obscure companies, Rockwell Automation and Schlumberger Limited, announced a joint venture called Sensia. The new company will "sell equipment and services to advance digital technology and automation in the oilfield," according to the Houston Chronicle. Yet the partnership has ramifications far beyond Houston's energy corridor: It's part of a growing trend that sees major tech companies teaming with oil giants to use automation, AI, and big data services to enhance oil exploration, extraction, and production. Rockwell is the world's largest company that is dedicated to industrial automation, and Schlumberger, a competitor of Halliburton, is the world's largest oilfield services firm. Sensia will be, according to the press release, "the first fully integrated digital oilfield automation solutions provider."


Google Follows Microsoft's Alert On A.I.'s Negative Brand Impact

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Tech companies Microsoft and Google are sounding the alarm on just how harmful artificial intelligence can be for investors and brands alike. A.I. is still the most disputed part of technology and is becoming increasingly more commonplace as companies look to incorporate it across their platforms. While critics call for justification on the use of the technology and in some cases an all-out ban, A.I. continues to be a billion dollar industry, with many tech companies willing to withstand a tarnished brand reputation for lucrative profits. In Google's recently released 2018 SEC annual report it highlighted their brand issues around A.I. that could impact the company's bottom line. "New products and services, including those that incorporate or utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning, can raise new or exacerbate existing ethical, technological, legal, and other challenges, which may negatively affect our brands and demand for our products and services and adversely affect our revenues and operating results."


Baidu credits AI focus for annual revenue increase

ZDNet

Baidu announced on Thursday its full year financial results to 31 December 2018, posting revenue of 102.3 billion yuan ($14.88 billion). This was an increase of 22 percent year over year -- or 28 percent year over year if the impact of divested businesses such as Baidu Mobile Games, Baidu Deliveries, Global DU businesses, and Du Xiaoman are excluded -- with the search giant citing increased deployment of AI technologies for the increases. "2018 was a pivotal year for Baidu, as we worked on deploying AI technologies beyond search to feed voice assistant, AI solutions, and autonomous driving, to enable more users, customers, and partners to benefit from Baidu's AI," CEO Robin Li said. Of that combined revenue, online marketing revenues accounted for 82 billion yuan ($12 billion) for the full year, up 19 percent year over year. Baidu also had approximately 856,000 active online marketing customers for the same period, increasing 10 percent year over year.


Senseon raises $6.4M to tackle cybersecurity threats with an AI 'triangulation' approach

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Darktrace helped pave the way for using artificial intelligence to combat malicious hacking and enterprise security breaches. Now a new U.K. startup founded by an ex-Darktrace executive has raised some funding to take the use of AI in cybersecurity to the next level. Senseon, which has pioneered a new model that it calls "AI triangulation" -- simultaneously applying artificial intelligence algorithms to oversee, monitor and defend an organization's network appliances, endpoints and "investigator bots" covering multiple microservices -- has raised $6.4 million in seed funding. David Atkinson -- the startup's CEO and founder who had previously been the commercial director for Darktrace and before that helped pioneer new cybersecurity techniques as an operative at the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense -- said that Senseon will use the funding to continue to expand its business both in Europe and the U.S. The deal was co-led by MMC Ventures and Mark Weatherford, who is chief cybersecurity strategist at vArmour (which itself raised money in recent weeks) and previously Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Others in the round included Amadeus Capital Partners, Crane Venture Partners and CyLon, a security startup incubator in London.


Xinhua unveils first female AI anchor modelled after human presenter

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China's state-run press agency has welcomed its first female AI anchor who will join its growing team of virtual presenters. The female AI newsreader will make her professional debut during the upcoming meetings of the country's national legislature and top political advisory body in March, according to Xinhua at a press conference on Tuesday. Modelled after the agency's flesh-and-blood journalist Qu Meng, the AI newsreader was jointly developed by Xinhua and search engine company Sogou.com China's state-run press agency Xinhua on Tuesday unveiled its first female AI anchor, Xin Xiaomeng, who will join its growing team of virtual presenters The female AI anchor is modelled after agency's flesh-and-blood journalist Qu Meng. 'Hello everyone, I am the world's first female AI presenter developed by Xinhua News Agency and Sougu.


Gong.io Transforming CRM Solutions with AI

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News that Gong.io has acquired $40M to add their existing funding shows they are well on their way to transforming CRM systems with the use of artificial intelligence. Gong.io is relatively new on the scene but is already making big moves in the CRM industry. Their AI-assisted Conversation Intelligence and account analytics platform removes the conjectures and unknowns to assist sales and marketing teams to formulate winning sales strategies. Founded in 2015 by Amit Bendov, CEO, and Eilon Reshef, CTO, the San Francisco and Israel based company has two very successful people at the helm. Both founders have impressive resumes with proven track records in the growing, selling, and IPOing of startups.


ViSenze an Image Recognition Startup Raises $20 Million

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ViSenze, an image recognition startup that delivers visual search tools designed for online retailers such as ASOS and Rakuten, recently revealed that it had secured $20 million in a Series C funding round. Both Sonae IM and Gobi Ventures co-led the financing round, which also included the participation of other investors, including returning backers WI Harper and Rakuten. Established back in 2012, ViSenze has so far raised a total of 34.5 million dollars (its previous funding round was a Series B held in September 2016). ViSenze customers include the likes of Uniqlo, Zalora, and Urban Outfitters, who bill the Singapore-based company's software portfolio as a "personal shopping concierge" that helps shoppers in finding or discovering products based on automatic photo tagging, visual search, and suggestions based on their browser history. The company's verticals include intellectual property, furniture, jewelry, and fashion.


Zoho targets Microsoft Office -

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Zoho has announced the launch of its next generation business automation applications. The Zoho Office suite consists of four applications: Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet, Zoho Show, and Zoho Notebook. The release of version 5 sees the applications integrated with Zia, the Zoho AI engine and introduces several innovative and useful features for document creators. Other improvements include Apple TV and Android Integrations, Proprietary Data Cleansing, and Smart Note Card Functionality. Zoho is continuing to introduce Zia across its different platforms.


Zoho targets Microsoft Office -

#artificialintelligence

Zoho has announced the launch of its next generation business automation applications. The Zoho Office suite consists of four applications: Zoho Writer, Zoho Sheet, Zoho Show, and Zoho Notebook. The release of version 5 sees the applications integrated with Zia, the Zoho AI engine and introduces several innovative and useful features for document creators. Other improvements include Apple TV and Android Integrations, Proprietary Data Cleansing, and Smart Note Card Functionality. Zoho is continuing to introduce Zia across its different platforms.