Issue 179: CognitionX Data Science, AI and Machine Learning

The story is typically the same: “as automation increases, the amount of available jobs will decrease”. Ryan Avent, senior editor and economics columnist at The Economist, has recently highlighted another fear: ‘given the structure of our social safety net, automation tends to increase poverty and inequality rather than unemployment.’

Michael Karnjanaprakorn (CEO of Skillshare), on the other hand, is optimistic, providing ‘7 reasons to be excited about the future of work’. One thing he is excited about is the fact that with the rise of AI and automation comes the rise of creative (as opposed to routine) work.


Tabitha UntiltheBotsTakeOver Goldstaub

Another Example of “Robots Taking Humans’ Jobs”

The productivity paradox

Ryan Avent, senior editor and economics columnist at The Economist, recently wrote an article on Medium in which he tackles the perennial ‘robots are taking our jobs’ problem. He argues that the robot threat is totally overblown: the fantasy, perhaps, of a bubble-mad Silicon Valley — or an effort to distract from workers’ real problems, trade and excessive corporate power. Generally
speaking, the problem is not that we’ve got too much amazing new technology but too little.

In short, he says that continued high levels of employment with weak growth in wages and productivity is not evidence of disappointing technological progress; it is what you’d expect to see if technological progress were occurring rapidly in a world where thin safety nets mean that dropping out of the labour force leads to a life of poverty.

Deal of the Day

Andrew Ng, head of AI, is leaving Baidu

The chief scientist helping drive Baidu Inc.’s push into AI is quitting the Chinese search giant, putting at risk its efforts to put AI at the centre of a business revival.

Andrew Ng, who joined Baidu in 2014, said he’s leaving the business next month. Ng doesn’t plan to join another technology company and will seek to bring AI into sectors such as health care and education around the world.

Products We Love

Pottery Barn introduces augmented reality app

Pottery Barn worked with Google to create 3D Room View. The catch is that the app will work only on phones that run Google’s Project Tango technology.


ARM unveils Dynamiq multicore chip designs for faster AI and cloud computing

Chip design firm ARM has unveiled its Dynamiq technology to make better multicore processors that can handle artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and new kinds of devices. Cambridge, England-based ARM said in a press call that the new designs (ARM designs chips and its partners incorporate them into their own manufactured chips) will be available in ARM Cortex-A processors coming to market later this year in automotive, networking, server, and “primary compute devices.”

The new processors will enable flexible multicore processing — in which a computing device has to juggle many different tasks of varying sizes at once. It will also emphasise “heterogeneous compute,” or using different kinds of cores or processors in the same machine, said Nandan Nayampally, general manager of the ARM Compute Products Group, in a press briefing.

Future of Transportation

DeepScale raises $3 million for perception AI to make self-driving cars safe

DeepScale, a startup out of Mountain View, has raised $3 million in seed funding to help automakers use industry-standard low-wattage processors to power more accurate perception. Alongside sensors, mapping, planning and control systems, perception, (sometimes referenced as “computer vision”) enables vehicles to make sense of what’s going on around them in real time.

DeepScale is competing for a share of this burgeoning market versus some 800-lb. gorillas in automotive tech, like Mobileye, now owned by Intel, or Bosch, but also other funded startups like, Argo and, which are trying another approach of building their own, fully autonomous vehicles or retrofit systems.

Chat Bots, yadda yadda yadda

Indian YES BANK partners with Payjo to make a banking chat bot

YES BANK is launching its wallet services through a chat-based financial assistant in partnership with Silicon Valley-based Payjo on Facebook Messenger.

“The experience offered through Payjo will make banking services for customers more accessible and fun, leading to more financial literacy in India,” said Payjo Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Srinivas Njay.

Education and Advice We Rate

Index of best AI/machine learning resources

Arun Agrahri, founder and CEO of Nucleus Labs, has put together a very useful collection of resources related to AI and machine learning.

His list includes articles, courses, videos, and newsletter which you can check out to educate yourself. If you have any resources which you feel like he should add, comment on his post or tweet at him.

Ethics Question for the Day

Google responds to outrage regarding inappropriately placed Youtube ads

There has been a lot of talk recently (and outrage) regarding Youtube ads being played alongside inappropriate material. Due to this concern, the UK government, among others, has pulled their ads from Youtube.

Google responded yesterday with a
blogpost. They said that they will be hiring significant numbers of people and developing new tools powered by our latest advancements in AI and machine learning to increase their capacity to review questionable content for advertising. In cases where advertisers find their ads were served where they shouldn’t have been, they plan to offer a new escalation path to make it easier for them to raise issues. In addition, they will soon be able to resolve these cases in less than a few hours.

Business Impact of AI

Introducing Foursquare Analytics: a dynamic foot traffic dashboard for brands

Foursquare is back. On Monday, they unveiled Foursquare Analytics, a clean, simple dashboard that puts the power of our proven location intelligence in the hands of brands. Foursquare Analytics allows brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurant chains to understand how their own company and an entire category are performing based on actual, measurable, real-world visits — and much more quickly than any option out there.

It’s a dashboard for insights on chain-level foot-traffic performance that can be easily compared to a competitive set and to the broader industry. It provides unprecedented metrics that measure loyalty, reveal demographic insights, and uncover sources of acquisition and loss. It allows analysts to have a precise understanding of changing store visit patterns and share of visits from a competitive set.

Future of Health

Introducing ZocDoc’s new machine learning search engine

Zocdoc’s new Patient-Powered Search provides an intuitive search experience, built specifically to bridge the gap between healthcare industry and human speak. With Patient-Powered Search, each person can use his or her own language – from “gyno” to “hurt wrist” to “post-election stress disorder”– to confidently
find the right provider for their needs.

In building Patient-Powered Search, their goal was to use data-driven technology to power a search engine that will evolve over time. The team started by building a machine learning algorithm using existing medical literature gathered online. This algorithm is a natural language processing model, which means it processes and understands the ways humans communicate, and then maps those colloquial terms to the appropriate specialty, visit reason or procedure type.

Dates for Your Diary

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