Issue 152: CognitionX Data Science, AI and Machine Learning


Today we discuss Baidu, China’s largest search engine, and their deployment of AI in their search engine, as well as their work on augmented reality, an AI medical assistant, autonomous vehicles, and an Alexa competitor.

In addition, we encourage you to watch a panel from the Future of Life Institute
with some of the foremost thinkers in the field, including Demis Hassabis and Jürgen Schmidhuber. They discuss how we can we make future AI systems more robust than today’s, so that they do what we want without crashing, malfunctioning or getting hacked.  Head on over to the forum to discuss the panel.


Tabitha UntiltheBotsTakeOver Goldstaub

Video Killed the Radio Star

Creating human-level AI: how and when?

The Future of Life Institute hosted a panel about the future of AI with some of the foremost thinkers in the field. They discussed how we can improve on AI, both in terms of capabilities as well as security. Click on the video below to hear Yoshua Bengio, Yann LeCun, Demis HassabisAnca Dragan, Oren Etzioni, Guru Banavar, Jurgen Schmidhuber, and Tom Gruber discuss how and when we might create human-level AI.


How Chinese internet giant Baidu uses AI and machine learning

Baidu is currently considered to be pack leader amongst the Chinese internet giants as they race to develop and deploy machine and deep learning technology. Much like their US-based counterparts such as Google and Amazon, self-teaching, neural net technology is being integrated into both their core services and used to innovate in new ways.

Like Google, Baidu’s core service is also search – Baidu is said to account for 75% of search traffic in its homeland. Here, it has rolled out machine learning algorithms for voice and image recognition, as well as natural language processing, to help it return smarter, more useful and more personalized results. Other AI-related initiatives that Baidu are involved in are: augmented reality, Melody (an AI medical assistant), Xiaoyu Zaikia (an Alexa competitor), and autonomous vehicles.

Future of Transportation

Ford to invest $1 Billion in AI startup

Ford Motor announced on Friday its plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence start-up formed in December that is focused on developing autonomous vehicle technology. The move is Ford’s biggest effort to move into self-driving car research. Argo AI will develop the technology exclusively for Ford at first, and then plans to license its technology to others.

The investment is also a way for Ford, which is more than century old, to tap into Silicon Valley talent and make headway in a competitive space. Former Google and Uber self-driving technologists will lead the effort out of Pittsburgh, a hub for robotics and autonomous vehicle research, and satellite offices will be in place in the San Francisco Bay Area and southeastern Michigan.

Chat Bots, yadda yadda yadda

Cleverbot makes debut on Amazon Echo as Alexa skill

Cleverbot as an Alexa Skill can freely talk to by voice independently on Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, offering real-time conversations and companionship on all popular topics.

Average conversation with Cleverbot can last more than 20 minutes, with a maximum delay in replies stretching to just about 8 seconds. Google Home assistant will also feature Cleverbot Action based on Cleverbot API.Cleverbot, capable of engaging in 7 million interactions per second, which gains its intelligence from Cleverscript engine. Recently, a Twitch stream of two Google Home devices inserted capabilities, garnering 700,000 visitors and 30,000 peak-time interactions since its conception.

Tools of the Trade

Trend Micro leverages newest XGen™ security capabilities across all solutions

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions, today announced that it is leveraging its newest capabilities of XGen™ security, including machine learning, to better protect networks and hybrid cloud environments. XGen™ security, which powers all of Trend Micro’s solutions, is a unique blend of cross-generational threat defense techniques that is continually evolving and optimised for each layer of security – user environments, networks and hybrid clouds – to best protect against the full range of known and unknown threats.

“Our business requires us to be protected from the high volume of known and unknown threats occurring every day,” said William Crank, chief information security officer of MEDHOST. “We also sought a security solution that is focused on protecting our business from future targeted attacks. Trend Micro was the right choice for us as their cross-generational approach to security helps us protect our organisation today and tomorrow. It is good to know that our investment is protected for the future.”

Open Source

15 open source AI tools

PCQuest published a list of 15 open source AI tools that one can use to enhance their product or just play around with. The list includes Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, which empowers you to harness the intelligence within massive datasets through deep learning by providing uncompromised scaling, speed, and accuracy with commercial-grade quality and compatibility with the programming languages and algorithms you already use. Also, check out PredictionIO which is an open source machine learning server built on top of state-of-the-art open source stack for developers and data scientists, creating predictive engines for any machine learning task.

Business Impact of AI

Dyson is moving into frontier technologies such as AI

Sir James Dyson, the company’s 69-year old founder, is relying on the company’s culture of innovation to take its reputation beyond domestic products and into the wider world of cutting-edge technology, including areas such as battery storage, robotics, artificial intelligence and, possibly, even automobiles.

“In 15 years’ time what you will see from Dyson will be something very unusual . . . and across quite a broad range of technologies,” says Sir James, speaking to the Financial Times from the Malmesbury campus that is home to 3,000 employees. “We are a technology company and we’re passionate about developing technologies that are going to be very important in the future.” Even so, there are questions over whether the company, sometimes described as “the UK’s Apple”, risks overreaching itself as it moves from the home into frontier technologies.

Future of Health

SigTuple raises $5.8M to develop affordable disease screening solutions 

SigTuple, an Indian AI medical technology startup, has raised $5.8 million led by Accel Partners along with institutional investors such as IDG Ventures India, VH Capital, Endiya Partners and Pi Ventures.

“Our goal is to develop intelligent, scalable and affordable disease screening solutions which can empower the medical experts and facilitate quality healthcare delivery. Our initial focus is on the solutions for the screening tests so that we can positively impact a larger population not only in India but globally,” said Rohit Kumar Pandey, chief executive of SigTuple. The core product of SigTuple, ‘Manthana’, is a continuous learning platform. Manthana takes in visual medical data, like blood sample images, and can classify various objects of interest from the image, detect diseases, if any, and compute the metrics for reporting.

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