Issue 186: CognitionX Data Science, AI and Machine Learning


Yesterday, I spent the day at the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator Demo Day which is powered by Wayra. The accelerator give companies “access to GCHQ’s world-class personnel and technological expertise to allow them to expand capability, improve ideas and devise cutting-edge products to outpace current and emerging threats.” It was really great to see GCHQ’s commitment to innovation in the plight of keeping us all safe.

The Memo did a great write up on the startups and you can also check out the buzz using #CyberDD17 for the Twitter coverage.

Happy Friday,

Tabitha UntiltheBotsTakeOver Goldstaub

Ethics Question for the Day

Will using AI to make loans trade one kind of bias for another?

Digital lending is expected to double in size over the next three years, reaching nearly 10 percent of all loans in the U.S. and Europe. There are now some 2,000 digital startups, many of which are using artificial intelligence to analyze the troves of data created every day.

If AI can weed out good borrowers from bad just by looking at things like Web browsing history, suddenly it doesn’t matter if you live in a low-income neighbourhood or your family just immigrated. But it does open the door to new, 21st century versions of redlining.

Future of Transportation

IBM technology creates smart wingman for self-driving cars

IBM is jumping on the self-driving bandwagon again
with tech that makes autonomous vehicles safer. They said that they have patented a machine learning technology that defines how to shift control of an autonomous vehicle between a human driver and a vehicle control processor in the event of a potential emergency.

“The technology would be a smart wingman for both the human and the self-driving vehicle,” said James Kozloski, manager, Computational Neuroscience and Multiscale Brain Modeling, IBM Research and co-inventor on the patent.

Economic Impact of AI

Self-driving cars could lend ‘£8bn boost to UK economy’

Self-driving cars could deliver an £8bn a year boost to the economy by giving people with disabilities the ability to travel more freely, increasing their education and earnings potential.

Instead of having to rely on inflexible public transport, self-driving vehicles would give freedom to an estimated 1m people, offering them the opportunity to boost qualifications and increasing their earnings by an average of £8,500 a year.

Video Killed the Radio Star

Tech giants grapple with the ethical concerns raised by the AI boom

“We’re here at an inflection point for AI,” said Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research, at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference this week. “We have an ethical imperative to harness AI to protect and preserve over time.”

Horvitz spoke alongside researchers from IBM and Google pondering similar issues. One shared concern was that recent advances are leading companies to put software in positions with very direct control over humans—for example in health care.

Exciting Opportunities

Google is heading to Canada for AI talent

America’s biggest tech companies are remaking the internet through artificial intelligence. And more than ever, these companies are looking north to Canada for the ideas that will advance AI itself. Google is investing $5 million in the Vector Institute, a brand new AI research lab backed by the Ontario government, the Canadian federal government, and as many as thirty other companies (including Accenture).

Yesterday, Google announced it’s starting an AI lab in Toronto. At the same time, it’s helping to fund a public-private partnership with the University of Toronto to develop and commercialize AI talent and ideas. In November, the company made a similar move in Montreal—a city that has also attracted Microsoft’s attention.

Chat Bots, yadda yadda yadda

This chat bot will fight your internet provider on your behalf

Originally crafted to help its user base spot and de-enroll from unwanted or deceptive subscription plans, startup Trim has recently launched a new Chrome extension that utilizes natural language processing to chat with customer service reps on your behalf. As an automated process, the chat bot represents your best interests relentlessly, with the ultimate goal
of trimming your bill at the end of the month.

Of course, in order for Trim to go to work, you’ll need to provide your personal information (ie: email, address, phone number). And while that privacy issue may deter potential users from trying out the extension, the company says that it only stores user session logs.

MAdtech

“It’s time marketing went all in on machine learning and AI” (VB Live)

The global cognitive computing market is expected to reach $12.5 billion in 2019, up from $2.5 billion in 2014, at a CAGR of 38 percent. “Machine learning is exploding right now,”says Stewart Rogers, director of marketing technology at VentureBeat. “We can’t ignore the hype.”

Jim D’Arcangelo, WhenIWork’s VP of marketing, has seen a huge push in the course of the last five or six years to harness the power of machine learning and AI for engaging new customers, acquisition optimization, and all the way through customer advocacy and churn reduction, and the market is rushing to keep up. To hear more about MAdtech, watch VentureBeat’s webinar with a stellar group of speakers.

Research

Survey of the ‘state of the art’ in Natural Language Generation

This 111-page paper surveys the current state of the art in Natural Language Generation (NLG), defined as the task of generating text or speech from non-linguistic input. A survey of NLG is timely in view of the changes that the field has undergone over the past decade or so, especially in relation to new (usually data-driven) methods, as well as new applications of NLG technology.

Education and Advice We Rate

The seven deadly sins of statistical misinterpretation

Statistics is a useful tool for understanding the patterns in the world around us. But our intuition often lets us down when it comes to interpreting those patterns. In this series Winnifred Louis
(Associate Professor, Social Psychology, The University of Queensland) look at some of the common mistakes we make and how to avoid them when thinking about statistics, probability and risk.

Dates for Your Diary


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