Albert Wenger (partner at Union Square Ventures) explores the perennial question that business executives need to ask when it comes to figuring out what role machine learning will play in their business: Should you build something on your own or should you buy from a vendor?
He has a list of helpful questions that should be asked to answer this quandary. Here are a couple:
1. Do you have the scale and is your operations team staffed to run this yourself? Can you attract top machine learning talent to your company?
2. Is this machine learning application unique to your business or something all your competitors need to do also? (e.g., fighting fraud, moderating forums) Will this allow you to competitively differentiate yourself?
NPR and Edison Research have released the second part of their study on smart speakers and voice control. The first part was released during RAIN’s Podcast Business Summit in New York this June. The
latest presentation of The Smart Audio Report focused on the specific activities and details of how and why people are using this new product segment.
Survey respondents were asked for why they wanted to own a smart speaker. The top reason was “to ask questions without needing to type,” which 87% gave as an explanation. Better music options than FM radio was the reply for 62% and as a replacement for an old radio or stereo had 45%.
Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Salesforce and other top technology companies plan to commit a total of about $300M toward boosting computer science education
in the United States, as the White House seeks to prepare more students and workers for jobs of the future.
“Today’s renewed commitment to high-quality computer science education made by the Trump Administration, the internet industry, and other businesses will help ensure all students develop the skills they need to succeed in the digital economy,” said Michael Beckerman, the leader of the Internet Association, in a statement. We wonder what AI solutions will be a focus.
Inbenta spent a week testing out chat bots from Fitcircle, Gymbot, Forsky, and Whole Foods and gave their thoughts on how good they were, in terms of functionality and user experience. Check it out here.
Fitcircle (offers five-minute workouts for you to get in shape and stay on time for the things in life that matter)
Researchers at China’s Beihang University and Harvard University have developed a fish-inspired suction cup robot, designed to hitch rides on passing sharks and other aquatic animals, without hurting them.
The technology could prove an invaluable tool in helping marine biologists better understand and track their
subjects, or simply providing a new form of underwater robot locomotion that requires less energy expenditure.
A group of researchers from the University of Zurich and NCCR Robotics is giving drones a new way to see.
Their innovation is an eye-inspired camera that can easily cope with high-speed motion and even see in near-dark conditions–crucial functionality as drones become more autonomous and applications for drones more widespread. “This research is the first of its kind in the fields of AI and robotics, and will soon enable drones to fly autonomously and faster than ever, including in low-light environments,” says Professor Davide Scaramuzza, Director of the Robotics and Perception Group at UZH.
Dubai has edged closer to its goal of launching a pioneering hover-taxi service, with the authorities announcing a successful “concept” flight was made on Monday without passengers.
Safety features for the two-seater air taxi include emergency parachutes and nine independent battery systems, according to Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA).The RTA envisions that the hover-taxi will eventually be integrated into the city’s existing public transport network, which includes a metro system,
tramway and buses.
The goal is audacious. CEO Ted Livingston previously explained in some detail that the aim is to develop a decentralized ecosystem that is not reliant on revenue from advertising or e-commerce. Instead, developers earn Kin tokens based on interactivity and attention from users, the idea then being that they develop Kik apps
and bots that focus only on the user experience.
Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology have demonstrated a new way to teach robots how to perform tasks, and demonstrated the technique’s effectiveness by training one to use a pair of nunchucks.
Many robots now are able to watch a human’s action and then repeat it, in a process known as learning from human demonstration. But the New Jersey team has taken that a step further. In a paper on arXiv, the researchers describe how human instructors can perform an operation and then evaluate their performance, giving the robot valuable extra data to understand what a good execution of the task looks like in order to hone their skills.