Issue 141: CognitionX Data Science, AI and Machine Learning


Recently, we’ve seen significant progress toward more open and ethical AI. Apple, for example, has just announced that they will be joining the Partnership on AI, joining the ranks of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and IBM. This is big news, since Apple has historically remained quite secretive in general and regarding their implementation of AI in specific.

Also, DeepMind has affirmed the existence of their ethical board which, through independent third-party experts, is ensuring that the company is employing AI responsibly. More publicly, they have voiced their general concern for the ethical implementation of AI in their being one of the five inaugural members of the Partnership of AI. 


The News Team


We are excited to announce that we are partnering with Tech Tour Growth Forum, which will take place March 30-31st. Sign up now, because the early bird discount ends soon! Check out our events page to stay up to date with the latest events. 


In the office yesterday we were talking graph databases, where five of our developers gave ten different opinions! To settle our debate we thought we would ask the community. So, tell us, what is your favourite graph database and why? Click the button below to voice your opinion. 

                     What’s the best graph database?

Ethics question for the day

DeepMind’s Ethics Board in Full (Secret) Swing

Externally, DeepMind has also been fighting for wider ethical oversight for the AI industry. The company was one of the inaugural five members of the “Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society”, along with Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft.

While DeepMind’s main ethics board hasn’t progressed publicly, the company has managed to get similar projects successfully off the ground. A second ethics board, created to specifically oversee DeepMind’s health-related projects like its partnerships with NHS hospitals, is public, and met for the first time in June 2016.

Open Source

Apple Set to Join Amazon, Google, Facebook in AI Research Group

Apple Inc. is set to join the Partnership on AI, an AI research group that includes Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Apple’s admission into the group could be announced as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the situation. Representatives at Apple and the Partnership on AI declined to comment. When the nonprofit organization was announced in September, it anticipated gaining additional members. Apple, Twitter Inc., Intel Corp. and China’s Baidu Inc. were among noticeable absentees at the time.

Something to get involved in 

Google opens up its Daydream VR platform to all developers

After a couple months of restricting development on
Daydream, Google has opened the floodgates, now allowing anyone to submit an app or experience for the company’s mobile VR platform. Previously, the company had worked with a select group of partners to build out apps for the platform, assumedly to give developers interested in Daydream a taste of what works well on it. Apps and games from Jaunt, Within, Lucid Sight and others were first to make the store, now Google is ready to share some key requirements and let the devs go wild with Daydream. The majority of these stipulations focus on user comfort, ensuring that users are the ones directing the camera and that the horizon line stays stable during experiences.


AI touted as key to growing Canada’s economy

The federal Liberals are expected to use the upcoming federal budget to foster the development of cutting-edge AI in the hope it will be a springboard to attracting investment and creating a highly-skilled new sector of jobs. Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains
says fostering AI is one of the pillars of the government’s economic growth strategy. He and others see an opportunity for Canada to exploit its competitive advantage in a technology that is becoming ubiquitous across all sectors — from major companies such as Google or Microsoft to the banking and automotive sectors.

Future of health

AI ‘as good as cancer doctors’

The Stanford University team said the findings
were “incredibly exciting” and would now be tested in clinics. Eventually, they believe using AI could revolutionise healthcare by turning anyone’s smartphone into a cancer scanner. Cancer Research UK said it could become a useful tool for doctors. The AI was repurposed from software developed by Google that had learned to spot the difference between images of cats and dogs. It was shown 129,450 photographs and told what type of skin condition it was looking at in each one.

Chat Bots, yadda yadda yadda

Sage adds chat bot and AI to cloud accounting software

Sage has integrated its Pegg chat bot with Sage One, adding AI technology to the company’s cloud-based accounting software. The bot, developed in collaboration with Gupshup, a San Francisco-based developer, uses AI technology to provide a “virtual accounting assistant.” Pegg allows users to submit expenses and track receipts, and see who is late on paying an invoice, via mobile messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and Slack. According to Sage, 20,000 customers in 110 countries have already begun using Pegg as early adopters since it launched six months ago.


Search marketing with added AI

It Works Media, a Leeds digital agency, has launched a new website tool, which uses AI to help understand search marketing and web performance. Using an “advanced algorithm and machine learning” the team from It Works Media say they have “taught” InsightsAI to analyse and score a website based on thousands of unique data points. He added that the platform used more than 150k data points from 4000 sites across retail, travel, finance and automotive sectors. It then evaluates how a website matches against top ranking sites and provides a score against key areas.

Tools of the trade

IBM brings Google’s AI tools to its powerful computers

IBM is merging Google’s AI tools with its own cognitive computing technologies, allowing deep-learning systems to more accurately find answers to complex questions or recognize images or voices. Google’s open-source TensorFlow machine-learning tools are being packed into IBM’s PowerAI, which is a toolkit for computer learning. The two can be combined to improve machine learning on IBM’s Power servers.

I’ve been making some changes based on Feedback. Would love to hear from more of you. Please do click to share your thoughts! 


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