Issue 191: CognitionX Data Science, AI and Machine Learning

Happy World Health Day.

If you are a practitioner – you should have a look at Cerebrum, a recently announced cloud-based machine learning platform for health apps.

If you are a health tech startup in NYC – I’ve got some good news: New York City’s economic development arm is offering a $250K round of funding through its Digital Health Marketplace programme.

If you are a data scientist – today could be the day you compete in a competition (or two) related to health and data.

If you are an interested party – you should attend “Digital, Data and Technology: Disrupting Clinical Trials” by HealthTech Women UK on Thursday, 27 April.

Got some other examples of AI’s impact on health? Tweet them at @Cognition_X .


Tabitha UntiltheBotsTakeOver Goldstaub


How to embrace AI for enacting humanitarian change

Gideon Kimbrell, CEO of, discusses how AI can help us herald a more compassionate world. He brings in several examples such as an AI-based tool that uses social media and other data to pick good candidates for peer leaders among homeless youths around Los Angeles.

He also gives tips for how to think about where we can apply AI for the bettering of society: 1) determine the social areas with the most need, 2) encourage active education, 3) start small, and 4) seek partners that will help support your vision of social impact.


AI Won’t Change companies without great UX

As AI algorithms infiltrate the enterprise, organisational learning matters as much as machine learning. Michael Schrage in the Harvard Business Review asks, “How should smart management teams maximize the economic value of smarter systems?”

He argues that strategically speaking, a brilliant data-driven algorithm typically matters less than thoughtful UX design. Thoughtful UX designs can better train machine learning systems to become even smarter. The most effective data scientists I know learn from use-case and UX-driven insights. At one industrial controls company, for example, the data scientists discovered that users of one of their smart systems informally used a dataset to help prioritize customer responses. That unexpected use case led to a retraining of the original algorithm.

Products We Love

Off-grid smart house, 3D printed by a robot

Living off grid doesn’t mean that you should forego enjoying the benefits of smart home technology. To prove this point, Delaware-based startup company PassivDom has introduced an autonomous self-learning 3D-printed mobile house at the recent StartupGrind Conference in Silicon Valley. It was the first presentation of this project on a global stage.

Available in sizes ranging from 380 square feet to 1,550 square feet, the innovative homes are sold completely ready for living, with furniture, household appliances, a kitchen, shower, and even pillows provided. Go here for pricing, a list of amenities included in each model, and more information.

Ethics Question for the Day

Cisco and Dimension Data: reduce rhino poaching in South Africa through IoT

More than a year after joining forces, Dimension Data and Cisco have said their goodwill project Connected Conservation reduced rhinoceros poaching in a South African game reserve next to the Kruger National Park by 96 percent in 2016, thanks to the use of a solution involving networks, security, Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, and hybrid cloud computing.

“The goal of our end-to-end technology solution is to proactively intervene and stop people entering the reserve illegally — whether it’s cutting fences, being dropped onto the ground by helicopters, or simply driving through the entrance,” Bruce Watson, Data Dimension’s Cisco Alliance group executive said. “Over time, the solution will be replicated in other reserves in South Africa, Africa, and globally.”

Data Visualisation

Uber’s open source data visualization tool now goes beyond maps

You may not be aware, but Uber offers an open source version of the data visualization framework it uses internally, called The tool was made available to anyone via open source license last November, and now it’s getting some key updates that should help make it more useful to external teams and individuals looking for interesting ways to take their
data and turn it into compelling visual representations.

The updates to the framework make it possible to go beyond maps, to visual data sets from machine learning and other more abstract use cases, including network traffic and more. The team also focused on usability, making it easier than ever to work with for developers with better documentation, as well as new demonstration projects.

Chat Bots, yadda yadda yadda

Facebook’s AI assistant will now offer suggestions inside Messenger

Facebook’s AI assistant, known simply as M, will now pop into your Messenger chat windows to suggest actions it can take on your behalf, the company announced yesterday. Facebook first began testing this feature in December, and it appears ready to be unleashed on the public.

The current system works by analyzing your conversation and looking for key words to trigger M’s suggestive capabilities. Those capabilities include sending stickers on your behalf, initiating payment requests through Messenger, calling a ride-hailing app like Uber and Lyft, starting a poll for group chat participants, and sharing your location with others.

Future of Transportation

Volkswagen expands footprint in China with AI venture

The German automaker announced a $180 million investment into Chinese firm Mobvoi on Thursday. The tie-up will focus on implementing Mobvoi’s AI technology, such as its voice recognition feature and a smart rearview mirror, to help improve drivers’ experiences.

“We are impressed by Mobvoi’s innovative approach of AI technologies, and we are pleased to form this joint venture to explore the next generation of smart mobility,” Jochem Heizmann, CEO of Volkswagen China said in the joint statement.

Video Killed the Radio Star

Adobe research on the potential future of selfie photography

The Adobe Research team has been exploring what the future may hold for selfie photography powered by Adobe Sensei. Great portrait photography requires the right perspective, equipment, and editing expertise. But what happens when we tap into the power of artificial intelligence and deep learning to transform bad portrait shots into good ones – all on a smartphone?

By combining perspective effect editing, automatic, software-only photo masking, and photo style transfer technology, we’re able to
transform a typical selfie into a flattering portrait with a pleasing depth-of-field effect that can also replicate the style of another portrait photo.


Top 20 recent research papers on machine learning and deep learning

Here are the 20 most important (most-cited) scientific papers that have been published since 2014, starting with “Dropout: a simple way to prevent neural networks from overfitting“.

The criteria they used to select the 20 top papers are by using citation counts from Google Scholar, Microsoft Academic, and Semantic Scholar .

Future of Sports

How IBM is using its Watson AI platform to automatically generate Masters highlight reels

IBM is using new technology to help speed up the highlight reel production process at the Masters golf tournament.

It uses computer vision algorithms to analyze the video content and understand what’s going on, while also converting the audio from commentators to text in order
to find exciting words and expressions that might indicate a potential highlight. There is also sound classification and environmental sound analysis built by IBM Research that can detect crowd cheering and commentator excitement.

Dates for Your Diary

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