Voice-controlled products like Amazon Echo are taking off
AI spend among enterprise customers is expected to increase
For the highlights, we’d recommend this Recode article, as well as this one from TechCrunch. For the best coverage of AI’s place in the presentation, check out Khari Johnson‘s (VentureBeat) article which covers China’s AI expertise, the rise of AI among enterprise customers, and more.
Read on to learn about the impact of AI on women’s health, Uber’s discussions with Waymo, IBM’s pledge of $30M to fight natural disasters, and more.
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As the worlds of health and technology continue to knit closer together through advances in hardware and big data analytics, a startup called Ava, which has built a $199 wearable device and app to help women track their fertility cycles, has raised $30 million to expand into other aspects of female health.
“Everything we do is artificial intelligence,” CEO & Co-Founder Lea Von Bidder said of the analytics part. “We are clearly an AI company in the end. It’s just a fancy term for big data analytics and that is exactly what we do. When you think about what Ava does, we are measuring your body and understanding it, and the only way we could do that is with AI.”
IBM is committing $30M over five years to a global initiative aimed at addressing social challenges, like natural disaster relief, the company said. IBM gets something out of the programme, too. Aside from good will, the competition is designed to motivate developers to use IBM’s technologies, including Watson AI, IBM Blockchain, and IBM Cloud.
The donation will, in part, fund an annual contest called “Call for Code” in which developers can win up to $200,000 for creating tools that solve problems involving humanitarian crises. This year, the competition seeks to get engineers building software that can help people respond to, or prepare for, environmental catastrophes.
Speaking yesterday at the Code Conference, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that his company is in “discussions” to have Waymo self-driving cars
added to its network. It’s probably too early to think that these talks are definitely going anywhere yet, but it’s nevertheless notable because we’re less that four months past the resolution of a bitter legal fight between the two companies over alleged trade-secret theft. “I’d welcome Waymo to put cars in our network,” he says.
When Recode’sKara Swisher asked how Uber would make the case to Waymo to make its cars available via the Uber app, Khosrowshahi’s answer was simple: “Economics.” He characterised Uber’s ride-sharing network as the biggest on the planet, so it would make sense for Waymo to want to be on it. However, at the end of the day, “It’s up to them,” Khosrowshahi says.
The image recognition firm said Thursday that it raised $620 million in fresh funds from prominent investors including Fidelity International, Hopu Capital, Silver Lake and Tiger Global. Chipmaker Qualcomm’sventure capital arm also participated in the round.
The new funds would be invested into research and development and acquiring talent, according to the company. SenseTime said it is now valued at over $4.5 billion, maintaining its standing as one of the most valuable AI start-ups in the world.
Skydio’s AI-powered R1 drone can autonomously track subjects like a champ, but until now it’s been limited to following humans. Now, the company has introduced a feature called Car Follow cinematic mode that can film you on four wheels and not just two feet. Skydio said it trained the R1’s neural networks on large data sets of car images, helping the 13 cameras automatically follow your vehicle while ducking any obstacles.
The new feature lets you capture four-by-four offroading, autocross racing or even golf cart riding. The only caveat is that you have to be on a closed course, so you can’t just film yourself driving down the street.
South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT has recently announced a 2.2T won (£1.5B) budget for research and development in AI and expansion of AI-related infrastructure as part of the nation’s bid to transform the country into an AI heavyweight by 2022. The announcement comes as South Korea seeks to provide assistance to local technological development to gain parity with regional counterparts and gradually reduce foreign dependence.
According to a memorandum released by South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT on 15th May 2018, artificial intelligence forms part of the Data-Network-AI (DNA) framework for South Korea’s approach to the 4th Industrial Revolution. The money will be allocated to a number of large-scale projects in national defence, medicine and public safety, establishing six AI graduate schools with the aim of cultivating 5000 AI specialists, as well as strengthen public-private partnerships in artificial intelligence research and development.
The reality is, we are inherently biased. We can’t stop ourselves from automatically liking people who resemble ourselves. That’s why it might be time to admit that tech could do a better job than us at hiring. Check out this great article from TNW highlighting AI startups in the hiring space, including:
Goshaba lets job candidates play cognitive games to make the recruiting process more efficient and inclusive
Headstart, which is based in London uses machine learning to determine which candidates are the best technical and cultural fits
Pymetrics makes you play neuroscience games that let you solve different tasks
In stark contrast to the famine-stricken images that linger in the minds of many Westerners, Addis Ababa has, in recent years, become a hub for international business and diplomacy. Glitzy new office blocks and hotels continue to rise across the sprawling capital, and while Ethiopia is still ranked among the world’s poorest countries in terms of GDP per capita, it is also among the fastest growing.
Getnet Assefa (founder and chief executive of iCog, the first AI lab in Ethiopia) hopes to place AI at the heart of Ethiopia’s rapid development, but he receives little backing from the government, which has been encouraging investment in the manufacturing sector. “They think that advanced technologies are a luxury,” he sighs, as we sit in the Lucy-themed restaurant next door to the museum. “It’s not a luxury, it is crucial.”
Yesterday, Mapbox, a popular mapping platform, unveiled a new toolkit — the Vision SDK — that adds AI-powered AR navigation to its sprawling collection of developer APIs and services. It also announced a partnership with Intel subsidiary Mobileye that will see its software ship in a major European automaker’s autonomous car next year.
“The Vision SDK works in conjunction with live traffic and navigation,” CEO Eric Gundersen told VentureBeat in a phone interview. “We’re putting that functionality out there and giving developers direct access to the data.”