Issue 205: CognitionX Data Science, AI and Machine Learning Briefing


Rumoured Siri smart speaker coming soon. Samsung working on self-driving cars. Chinese news robot. Cloudera announces Data Science Workbench. Google former head of HR creates new AI company.

It’s always good to see a report that focused on AI’s impact on job creation, as opposed to job replacement. This Fortune article nicely summarises the report and shares some exciting companies who are creating new job opportunities.

If you want to recognise any of the individuals or companies you feel are brilliant, please nominate them for one of the CogX Annual AI Awards below.

CogX Annual AI Awards


Tabitha UntiltheBotsTakeOver Goldstaub

Another Example of “Robots Taking Humans’ Jobs”

Automation jobs will put 10,000 humans to work, study says

It’s going to take a lot of humans to create the kind of artificial intelligence that could replace truckers, financial analysts, and customer service representatives with robots. U.S. employers will spend more than $650 million on annual salaries for 10,000 jobs in AI this year, according to a study from career and hiring data firm Paysa.

Chris Bolte, Paysa CEO, said the platform also makes suggestions on which skills have the highest value for employers or can help them move into an adjacent field. For this study, they looked at the market value of skills and education listed as requirements for each of these jobs and generated a projected salary.

(Rumoured) Products We Love

Apple’s smart speaker has ‘over 50% chance’ of debuting at WWDC in June

Apple’s widely rumored Siri-based smart speaker and home hub has an “over 50 percent chance” of being announced at WWDC, scheduled for June 5-9, according to often-reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities.

Kuo said Apple’s smart home product will likely
launch in the second half of 2017 and cost more than the Amazon Echo, $179. The device will supposedly support AirPlay with “excellent acoustics performance” from one woofer and seven tweeters. Kuo said its performance will be similar to the iPhone 6/6s.

Tools of the Trade

Cloudera announces general availability of Data Science Workbench

Cloudera, which just recently had a successful IPO, announced the general availability of the Cloudera Data Science Workbench, its self-service tool for data scientists. The workbench, announced in beta at Strata+Hadoop World San Jose 2017, enables fast, easy and secure self-service data science for the enterprise.

“We are entering the golden age of machine learning and it’s all about the data. However, data scientists continue to struggle to build and test new analytics projects as fast as they would like, particularly in large scale environments,” said Charles Zedlewski, senior vice president, Products at Cloudera. “The Data Science Workbench is a self-service tool that accelerates the ability to build, scale and deploy machine learning solutions using the most powerful technologies.”

Future of Transportation

Samsung self-driving cars take fight to Apple, Uber and Google’s Waymo

Samsung is stepping up its plans for self-driving cars to rival former Google project Waymo, Uber and Apple, bringing the key players from the battle for smartphone dominance to the brave new world of autonomous vehicles.

The South Korean electronics manufacturer, which is the world’s largest smartphone maker and a chip giant in its own right, has been given permission to test its self-driving cars on public roads by the South Korean ministry of land, infrastructure and transport.


2 ex-Googlers are starting Humu, a machine learning company that wants to ‘make work better’

Less than a year after departing Google as its head of HR, Laszlo Bock has become an entrepreneur. On Monday, he announced that he’s working on Humu, a startup designed to help us work better. He’s joined by Wayne Crosby, Google’s director of engineering who recently resigned. While details are sparse, the company plans on using science, machine learning, and “a
little bit of love” to improve our jobs.

In a LinkedIn post, Bock wrote about how there should be a way to ensure that employees always have good days at work, and not one where people see it as a job: “We should be constantly learning and growing, and surrounded by people who are doing the same. We all have good days and bad days, but what would work be like if every day were like our best days? Imagine what we could achieve.”

+ Curious about how AI will affect work and HR? Come to our event, Thursday May 25: Will robots replace HR?

Chat Bots are the New Black

SoftBank makes it easier to customize Pepper the robot’s greeting skills

Until now, Pepper the robot has required programming knowledge to control, a fact that’s proven a pain point toward wider adoption. This morning, the company debuted Promoter, a browser-based solution that lets anyone customize the robot’s movements — albeit within a fairly limited scope.

The Promoter application, which the company promises will be the first of several solutions to come, is essentially a mix of choosing between responses and filling out text forms in order to provide a relatively differentiated experience when the robot interacts with customers, grabbing their attention out in front of a store and attempting to convince them to surrender important contact and other marketable information on its tablet.

Future of News

Robot journalist reports for Chinese news agency

video posted last week shows China-based Xinhua News Agency’s first interactive robot reporter, Jia Jia, interviewing the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, Kevin Kelly.

While Jia Jia can understand dialogue and offers facial micro-expressions along with subtle body movements, she’s far from the sophisticated humanoid robots of “Blade Runner” and “Westworld.” Jia Jia uses minimal expressions, making her look more like a mannequin than a robotic Lois Lane, especially when you see her up close.


A system for accessible AI

While AI has become widespread, many commercial AI systems are not yet accessible to individual researchers nor the general public due to the deep knowledge of the systems required to use them. The authors believe that AI has matured to the point where it should be an accessible technology for everyone.

In this paper, they present an ongoing project whose ultimate goal is to deliver an open source, user-friendly AI system that is specialized for machine learning analysis of complex data in the biomedical and health care domains.
They discuss how genetic programming can aid in this endeavour, and highlight specific examples where genetic programming has automated machine learning analyses in previous projects.

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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