Issue 204: CognitionX Data Science, AI and Machine Learning Briefing


$57B investments in Big Data in 2017. Google is fighting fake news. Dave, the chat bear will save you ££.

Amazon is on an AI-roll. They have recently been rapidly expanding their voice-recognition tech to a host of new applications, from call centres (Amazon Connect), to developers (Amazon Lex, conversational interfaces for your applications), and most recently to a new Alexa device, the
Echo Look
, a hands-free camera and style assistant.

Not sure what to make of this: is it cool or creepy?  Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Cool         Creepy


Tabitha UntiltheBotsTakeOver Goldstaub


The importance of storytelling with the rise of AI

Erik P.M. Vermeulen (professor and entrepreneur) argues that AI, big data, and robotics will have a far-reaching impact on individuals and businesses alike. He asks, “What then should individuals be doing in order to ensure that they remain relevant in an age of AI, big data, and automation?

In order to do so, Vermeulen argues that we must begin by eschewing the ‘culture of fear’ that has cropped up surrounding AI. He says that “in order to succeed, we need to become a smart link in this networked and digital world. And one of the best ways to do this is to develop our capacity to build and then project a compelling personal narrative about ourselves. By doing so, we can take control of our lives and reduce the fear that technology will render us irrelevant.”

Education and Advice We Rate

A knowledge graph-based semantic database for biomedical Sciences

In this article, Jo Stichbury at GraknLabs speaks with Antonio Messina, creator of BioGrakn about how GRAKN.AI was used to build a prototype of a bioinformatics semantic database. They discuss how BioGrakn takes advantage of the power of knowledge graphs and machine reasoning to solve problems in the domain of biomedical science. They also address the major issue of semantic integrity, that is, interpreting the real meaning of data derived from multiple sources or manipulated by various tools.

What’s next for GRAKN.AI? In the short term, further developments are expected, such as the integration of other publicly available biological resources, the use of the native GRAKN.AI migration tools for data migration procedures, and the deployment of a user-friendly web interface.

Stats that Impress

Big data investments to top $57B in 2017

Global spending on big data technology is expected to surpass $57 billion this year, and will increase by at least 10 percent per year through 2020.

That is the forecast of SNS Research, which just released its report “Big Data Market: 2017 – 2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies, Industry Verticals & Forecasts.” The report presents an in-depth assessment of all aspects of big data, including key market drivers, challenges, investment potential, vertical market opportunities and use cases, future roadmap, value chain, case studies on big data analytics vendor market share and strategies. The report will cost you over £2K, but you can catch the highlights here.

Future of News

Google rewrites its powerful search rankings to bury fake news

Google isn’t planning to rid fake news from its search results — but it’s trying to purge it from the top. The Alphabet Inc. company is making a rare, sweeping change to the algorithm behind its powerful search engine to demote misleading, false and offensive articles online. Google is also setting new rules encouraging its “raters” — the 10,000-plus staff that assess search results — to flag web pages that host hoaxes, conspiracy theories and what the company calls “low-quality” content.

Additionally, Google is applying the same new parameters for its “auto-complete” function, which finishes search questions based on popularity. Some of the auto-completes that are deemed offensive (such as “are women evil”) will be eliminated. Google is adding a feature to allow searchers online to flag these instances with a feedback form.

Chat Bots are the New Black

Dave, the AI chat bear, wants to save you from expensive overdraft fees

Meet Dave: an AI dressed up in a bearsuit that’s just launched to save you from the evils of expensive overdraft fees. Hand Dave access to your checking account and the app’s machine learning algorithms will get busy crunching your spending data so the bear can warn you about pending transactions — like a monthly subscription for Netflix or your typical Saturday night Uber bill — which might push you into the red and incur an expensive bank penalty.

The US-only app (sorry fellow UK residents) predicts a user’s “7 Day Low”, aka the lowest it thinks your bank balance will drop in the next seven days, in order to encourage and support better money management. The ultimate aim being to help people avoid having to fall back on their overdraft as “an expensive form of credit”, says co-founder Jason Wilk, describing it as a sort of “weather forecast” for money management.

Deal of the Day

Verizon invests in self-driving vehicle startup Renovo Auto

Telecom giant Verizon invested in the autonomous vehicle startup Renovo Auto, a company founded in 2010 and best known for converting a vintage DeLorean into a self-driving car. The investment, $10 million in all, is one of several Verizon has made into “telematics” – the quickly growing field seeking to bridge the gap between automated communications software and traditional transportation.

Depending on how the market unfolds and what inevitable regulations will require as self-driving cars become more common, the sheer amount of data generated will grow exponentially. The Wall Street Journal reported (paywall) the typical autonomous vehicle generates 4 terabytes of data in 90 minutes, the average amount of time Americans spend in a car each day. That massive data output is the equivalent of 3,000 people’s Internet usage over the course of three years and would be very useful to Verizon.

Products We Love

This interactive map uses machine learning to arrange visually similar fonts

Typography enthusiasts likely already know how to identify fonts by name, but it’s always useful to explore visually similar fonts when you feel like changing up your options. Design consultant firm IDEO’s Font Map helps you do exactly that, with an interactive tool that lets you browse through fonts by clicking on them and seeing ones nearby that look similar, or by specifically searching for fonts by name.

Business Impact of AI

Some industries that machine learning will likely never touch

 Auren Hoffman, SafeGraph CEO, discussed on Quora this question and gave his thoughts on which industries will not be impacted by machine learning in the next 20 years.

His picks were: 1) nutrition, 2) predicting the weather, 3) finding out how the brain really works, and 4) predicting fads more than 3 years out. Curious to hear your thoughts.

Dates for Your Diary

Tuesday May 2Why Women in AI 

Thursday May 25:
Will robots replace HR? 

June 19-21: CogX: The AI Innovation Exchange

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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