Issue 222: CognitionX Data Science, AI and Machine Learning Briefing


Curious + creative AI. Pinterest Lens. Paris’ first autonomous vehicle.

Meet Sophia, a humanoid made by Hanson Robotics that looks, sounds, and acts like a human. She’s been on the front cover of Elle magazine and The Tonight Show and now she’ll be presenting with me at the conference – what a life! So happy she’s coming along to CogX London 2017 (June 20-21) along with her inventor, founder and CEO of Hanson Robotics, Dr. David Hanson – get your questions ready, she likes cheesy jokes too!


Tabitha UntilTheBotsTakeOver Goldstaub


Looking forward to seeing you at our event tonight on the impact of AI on HR. To continue the conversation at a larger scale, come to CogX and hear from the likes of
Calum Chace (“The Economic Singularity”) and Lord Young (Former Secretary of State for Employment).


When will AI exceed human performance? Evidence from AI experts

Advances in AI will transform modern life by reshaping transportation, health, science, finance, and the military. To adapt public policy, we need to better anticipate these advances. In this paper, the authors report the results from a large survey of machine learning researchers on their beliefs about progress in AI.

Researchers predict AI will outperform humans in many activities in the next ten years, such as translating languages (by 2024), writing high-school essays (by 2026), driving a truck (by 2027), working in retail (by 2031), writing a bestselling book (by 2049), and working as a surgeon (by 2053). Researchers believe there is a 50% chance of AI outperforming humans in all tasks in 45 years and of automating all human jobs in 120 years, with Asian respondents expecting these dates much sooner than North Americans.

Video Killed the Radio Star

Researchers have created an AI that is naturally curious

Researchers at UC Berkeley have produced an AI that is naturally curious. They tested it successfully by having it play Super Mario and VizDoom (a rudimentary 3-D shooter), as the video below shows.

While the AI that was not equipped with the curiosity ‘upgrade’ banged into walls repeatedly, the curious AI explored its environment in order to learn more. Pulkit Agrawal, a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley, a member of the team, compared it to babies, who “do all these random experiments, and you can think of that as a kind of curiosity.” Brenden Lake, a Data Science Fellow at New York University said in an email to MIT that this work is encouraging. “Developing machines with similar qualities is an important step toward building machines that learn and think like people.”


How is AI impacting creativity

Check out this thought-provoking article from
Julian Harris, Ex-Googler, Product Manager, and Innovation Consultant, in which he explores how AI is impacting creativity.

Creativity is one of the most human qualities. So how is the rapid evolution of AI and machine learning affecting our creativity? Here’s a simple template:

  • Clarify: what do we mean by “creative”?
  • Illustrate: show examples of both products and project
    into the future based on research today around AI creativity.
  • Act: Where does this leave this human skill? What should we do concretely?

Products We Love

Pinterest’s Lens now lets foodies find similar dishes by snapping a photo

Pinterest has just launched a handful of new ways to find recipes using its Lens and Search tools.

While Lens already recommended recipes for certain ingredients, such as coconut and squash, it’s now going the extra mile by unearthing recipes related to an entire dish. Examples provided by Pinterest include waffles, quesadillas, bruschetta, and fried chicken, with computer vision smarts not only recognizing what’s on the plate but also identifying similar existing recipes and showing the user how to make the dish.


Google Attribution is a free and easy way to evaluate marketing efforts

Up until recently, most marketers would credit any sale to the last touchpoint their company had with a customer. This flawed strategy allows marketers to quantitatively evaluate marketing campaigns, but its more of a heuristic than a ground truth.

New machine learning-powered methods enable marketers to model the relative contribution of disparate advertising efforts. This is a much more informative method of evaluation. In the real world, video ads, banner ads, emails and other materials all work
in consonance to drive conversions — it doesn’t make sense for the final social media ad to get all the credit.

“We capture the clicks, as long as there was a click, we can, for example, say how many of the conversations were from the social channel,” explained Babak Pahlavan, Google’s senior director of product management for analytics and measurement, in an interview.

Future of Transportation

Roborace’s Robocar, the first autonomous car tested in Paris

Robocar may not be the first car to race through Paris, but it is the first to do it autonomously. At Formula E’s Paris ePrix, the Robocar negotiated the 1.9-kilometer circuit’s 14 turns without human intervention, and the company says this is the first time an autonomous car has been tested on Parisian streets.

On the computer side, the car “sees” with five lidar emitters, two radar emitters and 18 ultrasonic sensors, six cameras and two optical speed sensors. The data crunching is done by a Nvidia Drive PX2 computer that can perform 24 trillion A.I. functions a second.

Business Impact of AI

Nasdaq invests in AI

Following a string of market-disrupting financial scandals, stock exchange Nasdaq needed a more effective way to detect financial fraud that didn’t depend on older lexicon search tools. After months of searching, it found a way — via technology based on AI.

With the help of a cognitive computing platform from Digital Reasoning, Nasdaq is now capable of detecting divulging language in trader communications based on communication patterns. It can analyze data in order to better understand a trader’s intentions and actions, thereby exposing potential fraud.

Chat Bots 4Eva

Twitter announces new ways to engage with chat bots

This week, Twitter launched a new, customizable Direct Message Card that businesses can use to promote and share bots and other customer experiences built in Direct Messages. This new card will help businesses drive discovery of such experiences both through Promoted Tweets and organic sharing.

Several brands around the world are launching Promoted Tweet campaigns using the Direct Message Card this week to drive discovery of the experiences they have built. Patrón Tequila, a leading spirits brands, is using the Direct Message Card to entice people to engage with their messaging bot — Bot-Tender — which creates personalized cocktail recommendations based on responses to questions around occasion, flavor, and even emoji.

Dates for Your Diary

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