Issue 219: CognitionX Data Science, AI and Machine Learning Briefing


Bill Gates gives advice & AI stops poaching.

Want some career advice from Bill Gates? For those of you looking for an opportunity to make a big impact in the world, Gates thinks you should consider one of 3 fields: Artificial Intelligence, Energy, or Biosciences. Technology allows you to see problems in new ways and it empowers you to help in innovative ways to fight inequity sooner.

How are you using technology to build a better world? Are you worried about the future of work? Are you trained to embrace work in the AI era? Join us at CogX London 2017
(June 20-21) to learn more about the future of work and happiness from leading experts including Calum Chace (author of “The Economic Singularity“ & “Surviving AI“) and Lord Young (Former UK Secretary of State for Employment).


Tabitha UntilTheBoyBotsTakeOver Goldstaub


29 days till CogX. Be there or be intelligence artificial.

Education, training and advice we rate

Bill Gates has a message for every college grad who wants to change the world

The founder of Microsoft and Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has an important message for those ambitious students who are graduating from university this year and want to change the world: Artificial Intelligence.

In an amusing open letter written to students, Gates celebrates their success. “Congratulations! You’ve just accomplished something I never managed to do – earn a college degree”. While reflecting on his own career, Gates points to Energy, Biosciences, and Artificial Intelligence as the industries that will fundamentally alter the way we live our lives.


Drones and AI help stop poaching in Africa

Drones have been used to protect herds of elephants and rhinos for several years now but a recent partnership between Lindbergh Foundation and Neurala has taken this to the next level. The drone footage is poured over by an AI that can recognize the pachyderms and poachers, spotting them before they get close to a herd. The Air Shepherd program is a great example of the real good AI can do. Watch below as the drone identifies targets in real-time.

What you might have missed from last week

A16Z AI Playbook

“How do I get started with artificial intelligence?” “What can I do with AI in my own product or company?” If you find yourself asking these question, you will find this AI Playbook, put together by Andressen Horozwitz incredibly useful. This microsite was written to help newcomers (both non-technical and technical) begin exploring what’s possible with AI.

Article to share with your less data savvy friends 

An AI invented a bunch of new paint colors that are hilariously wrong

At some point, we’ve all wondered about the incredibly strange names for paint colors. Research scientist and neural network goofball Janelle Shane took the wondering a step further. Shane decided to train a neural network to generate new paint colors, complete with appropriate names.

Writes Shane on her Tumblr, “For this experiment, I gave the neural network a list of about 7,700 Sherwin-Williams paint colors along with their RGB values. (RGB = red, green, and blue color values.) Could the neural network learn to invent new paint colors and give them attractive names?”


Machine learning algorithms re-create city in 3D using only image data

The city of Zurich, Switzerland has been reconstructed in 3D using millions of images and videos. Developed by researchers at ETH Zurich, the Varcity platform pulls from huge volumes of image data and uses algorithms to automatically stitch it all together. Urban city planning, architectural design, traffic modeling, autonomous navigation, and tourist guidance, as well as catastrophe response planning are some of the applications for this new technology.

Products we love

If You Want to Glimpse the Power of AI, Play These Games

“What we’re trying to do with these AI experiments and demos is to show that it’s beyond academics at this point,” says Suzanne Chambers, the executive producer of the Google Creative Labs. These AI experiments have been featured here before but in light of the recent Google Developer conference it might be worth looking at the Google AI Experiments again. Some are just simple, fun and, engaging, while others offer a glimpse into the systems increasingly affecting our lives. As Google, an “AI-first company,” plunges headlong into this world we can expect more fun experiments to wow and hopefully make us think.

Open source

P: A programming language designed for asynchrony, fault-tolerance and uncertainty

Have you heard of P: programming language? This project is a collaborative effort between Microsoft researchers and engineers, and academic researchers at the University of California, Berkeley
and Imperial College in London. Azure, similar to other cloud providers, faces the challenge of Heisenbugs caused by unexpected race conditions and software or hardware faults. These bugs result in disruption of live services — a huge problem for both customers and providers of cloud services. Read here some of the characteristics of P that are transforming the development of cloud infrastructure in Azure.

Dates for Your Diary

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