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Read on to learn about Oracle’s AI-related acquisition, self-driving cars in Jerusalem, using AI to reduce hiring bias, and more.
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Oracle announced this week that it has acquired DataScience.com, a privately held cloud workspace platform for data science projects and workloads. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Every organization is now exploring data science and machine learning as a key way to proactively develop competitive
advantage, but the lack of comprehensive tooling and integrated machine learning capabilities can cause these projects to fall short,” Amit Zavery, vice president of Oracle’s Cloud Platform, said in a statement. “With the combination of Oracle and DataScience.com, customers will be able to harness a single data science platform to more effectively leverage machine learning and big data for predictive analysis and improved business results.”
Google has built a multibillion-dollar business out of knowing everything about its users. Now, a video produced within Google and obtained by The Verge offers a stunningly ambitious and unsettling look at how some at the company envision using that information in the future.
The video was made in late 2016 by Nick Foster, the head of design at X (formerly Google X), and shared internally within Google. It imagines a future of total data collection, where Google helps nudge users into alignment with their goals, custom-prints personalized devices to collect more data, and even guides the behavior of entire populations to solve global problems like poverty and disease.
Ericsson has announced using machine learning capabilities to upgrade Japanese telecommunications carrier SoftBank’s radio access network in the Tokai region. The machine intelligence-powered service reduces telco operational expenditure and improves network performance by grouping cells and analysing cell overlap, signal strength, and receive diversity to make decisions on carrier aggregation between cells, Ericsson said.
“This highly complex task was … solved by implementing a cutting-edge design concept based on network graph machine learning algorithm (community detection) that Ericsson has now patented,” the networking giant said.
Intel and subsidiary Mobileye are bringing self-driving cars to the streets of Jerusalem. Even under the best of circumstances, the city’s crowded streets and aggressive drivers would make for a challenging environment to test autonomous cars, but that’s exactly why the two companies are bringing them to the national hub.
Mobileye is based in Israel, but the company and parent Intel also want to demonstrate that self-driving cars can work in all driving conditions, CEO Amnon Shashua said in a press release. Jerusalem’s aggressive drivers, poorly-marked streets, and complicated merges will require autonomous cars to develop a new set of skills, he said. They have also signed a deal to supply its advanced systems for eight million cars produced by an unnamed European automaker.
The HR departments of large companies face a common challenge: how to scale the hiring process when they receive hundreds if not thousands of applicants, and how to remove unconscious bias so the best or most suitable candidates are shortlisted. That’s the specific problem MeVitae, an Oxford-based startup founded by neuroscientist Riham Satti and computer scientist Vivek Doraiswamy, has set out to solve.
Intended to be deployed after a new job opening has been advertised, the MeVitae software plugs into a company’s current Application Tracking System. It then sifts through all of the applications/CVs that have been
received and analyses each CV (relative to the job spec) giving it a score. “This is done by analysing every component of a CV (e.g. education, experience etc.) and using the web to reason and validate each score,” explains Satti.
One of the world’s most visible environmentalists is optimistic about the future of the planet because of technology. Former US Vice President Al Gore believes advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence, connected devices, and other technology will make it possible for society to reach sustainability goals at record speed.
“The world is in the early stages of a sustainability revolution that has the magnitude and scale of the
industrial revolution at the speed of the digital revolution,” Gore said at the Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit in Seattle Thursday.
Google made headlines by demonstrating an AI-powered voice assistant that made haircut and restaurant reservations, without betraying that it isn’t human. But Axios had questions about the demos, which purported to be recordings of calls with real businesses.
Axios asked Google for the name of the hair salon or restaurant, in order to verify both that the businesses exist and that the calls were not pre-planned. They also said that they’d guarantee, in writing, not to publicly identify either establishment (so as to
prevent them from receiving unwanted attention). A longtime Google spokeswoman declined to provide either name. They also asked if either call was edited, even perhaps just cutting the second or two when the business identifies itself. And, if so, were there other edits? The spokeswoman declined to comment, but said she’d check and get back to them. She didn’t.
Real estate is the next area AI is conquering, and first up on the battlefield is Zillow. When Zillow’s chief marketing officer, Jeremy Wacksman, joined the company in 2009 (which, with the U.S. economy mired in
the housing crisis, he says was a “fabulous time to join a startup in the real-estate space”), he was determined to incorporate artificial intelligence into the platform.
Currently, the site is undergoing what Wacksman describes as “the evolution from a search box to an assistant.” The idea is to transform Zillow from a simple real-estate search engine to a tool that understands you. It’s doing this in a few ways: First, it’s building AI into the search engine, in the form of a new feature called Personalized Sort, expected to roll out later this year. Details are few right now, but the idea is Personalized Sort will learn the types of criteria you’re looking for and recommend homes based on that.