$258M supercomputer. IBM Watson + LivePerson. Snap + AI. https://cognitionx.com/news-briefing/.
Word on the street is that Amazon is considering acquiring Slack, the fast-growing corporate chat platform. A deal could give Slack a valuation of $9 billion, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Adrienne Lafrance (from The Atlantic) argues that Amazon’s possible interest also signals some clear ways of thinking about how the company wants to position itself in the future. This acquisition would give Amazon access to Slack’s 5 million daily users’ work data. Just think of what bringing all that work data to the Echo’s capabilities would mean for the worker—and the further blurring of any remaining line between work and home.
Why do you think Amazon is eyeing Slack? Curious to hear your thoughts.
On Thursday, the United States Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project announced it was awarding six companies — AMD, Cray, HPE, IBM, Intel and Nvidia — $258 million to research building the nation’s first exascale supercomputer.
An exascale supercomputer would be capable of computing 1 million trillion floating-point operations per second. The US is coming up against an aggressive China, which currently possesses the fastest supercomputer in the world, called the Sunway TaihuLight.
LivePerson, a leading provider of cloud mobile and online business messaging solutions, and IBM have announced LiveEngage with Watson, the first global, enterprise-scale, out-of-the-box integration of Watson-powered bots with human agents. The new offering combines IBM’s Watson Virtual Agent technology with LivePerson’s LiveEngage platform, allowing brands to rapidly and easily deploy conversational bots that get smarter with each interaction, and lets consumers message those brands from their smartphone – via the brand’s app, SMS, Facebook Messenger, or even the brand’s mobile site – instead of having to call an 800 number.
In a recent research paper, the company seems to detail one of its tricks for compressing crucial image recognition AI while still maintaining acceptable performance. This image recognition software, if indeed used by Snap, could be responsible for tasks like recognizing users’ faces and other objects in the app’s World Lenses.
Snap’s method hinges on two techniques: simplifying the way that its convolutional neural networks (a flavor of machine learning common in image recognition) recognize shapes, and proposing a slightly different configuration of the network to offset that simplification. Check out the research paper here .
Kinetics is a large-scale, high-quality dataset of YouTube video URLs which include a diverse range of human-focused actions. Their aim in releasing the Kinetics dataset is to help the machine learning community to advance models for video understanding.
The dataset consists of approximately 300,000 video clips, and covers 400 human action classes with at least 400 video clips for each action class. Each clip lasts around 10s and is labeled with a single class. All of the clips have been through multiple rounds
of human annotation, and each is taken from a unique YouTube video. The actions cover a broad range of classes including human-object interactions such as playing instruments, as well as human-human interactions such as shaking hands and hugging.
Dan Moss and Scott Lanman bring you a jargon-free dive into the stories that drive the global economy. In this episode, they discuss how AI is leading the way toward economic growth, compensating for the nation’s shrinking population.
Investor Peter Tasker joins Dan and guest co-host Chris Anstey to share his reasons for optimism. Along the way, Tasker reminisces about Japan’s go-go years in the 1970s and ’80s — how his fictional anti-hero Mori survived all those long years of economic stagnation.
Founders Factory has just announced a strategic partnership with University of Oxford’s AI Society, OxAI. This partnership with OxAI will include mentorship for its members as well as co-hosted events and AI challenges for students set combining data sets from Founders Factory’s corporate investors.
Oxford AI Society has a community of around 800 researchers, students and professors from across University of Oxford. Dr Jeffrey Ng, Chief Scientist at Founders Factory, spoke to a packed auditorium about his experiences of taking AI research through to fully fledged business, Cortexica.
RE2 is developing a control scheme for a bomb-defusing reobot that closely mimics our own movement. The scheme is designed to operate the rover’s arms in some of the high-stress environments, from decommissioning roadside bombs to handling harmful materials in the wake of a major disaster like 2011’s Fukushima accident.
“Often times, you still need the human intellect to perform those tasks,” founder and CEO Jorgen Pedersen explains. “But they’re dangerous, so the question is, how can we project that human capability remotely, so they’re still able to do their job and leverage the human intellect to solve a really big problem? That’s what we’re trying to do — keep the human safe, but allowing them to still do their job.”