Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘artificial intelligence’ Category

IT Big Spender: AI, Blockchain, IoT

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Gartner Inc. presented its 2018 worldwide IT spending projections in a webinar yesterday, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

In its estimate, Gartner projected that worldwide IT spending this year would hit $3.7 trillion, up 4.5 percent over last year. Key areas that would help increase that spending included blockchain, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, among others.

Enterprise software spending is projected to reach $389 billion, up from 9.5 percent in 2017, as corporate budgets channel more funds into software-as-a-service.

Other big gains included devices, which are expected to grow 5.6% over last year to $704 billion.

As to AI:

By 2021, spending on AI will generate an estimated $2.9 trillion in new business value, as businesses seek to use AI-powered tools to “drive efficiency gains, create insights that personalize the customer experience, entice engagement and commerce, and aid in expanding revenue-generating opportunities,” Mr. Lovelock said.
– via WSJ

Written by turbotodd

January 18, 2018 at 10:32 am

A Powerful Reading

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Chinese tech giant Alibaba’s research unit has said its deep neural netowrk model is the first to beat humans in the Stanford Question Answering Dataset, according to a report from ZDNet.

Alibaba’s research unit, the Institute of Data Science on Technologies, said it had developed a deep learning model that attained a score of 82.44 in Exact Match on the Stanford Question Answering Dataset. Humans had clocked a previous score of 82.304.

More background:

Squad comprised more than 100,000 question-and-answer sets based on more than 500 Wikipedia articles, in which participants were required to build machine-learning models to respond to the questions. These models would be evaluated by Squad, which then would run the model on the test set.
– via ZDNet

Commenting on the Squad score, Alibaba IDST’s chief scientist of natural language processing Si Luo, said: “That means objective questions such as ‘what causes rain’ can now be answered with high accuracy by machines. We believe the technology underneath can be gradually applied to numerous applications such as customer service, museum tutorials, and online responses to medical inquiries from patients, decreasing the need for human input in an unprecedented way.”
– via ZDNet

Written by turbotodd

January 16, 2018 at 9:19 am

Another New News Feed?

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Facebook has announced it is once again fundamentally changing the nature of its underlying News Feed algorithm.

The New York Times is reporting that it would prioritize what peoples’ friends and family share and comment on while de-emphasizing content from publishers and brands.

As of 10:00 A.M. EST this morning, Facebook stock is down nearly 4%.

The Times reports that over the next few weeks, Facebook users will start seeing fewer viral videos and news articles shared by media companies, and instead will highlight posts that friends have interacted with.

The changes are intended to maximize the amount of content with “meaningful interaction” that people consume on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, said in an interview. Facebook, he said, had closely studied what kinds of posts had stressed or harmed users. The social network wants to reduce what Mr. Zuckerberg called “passive content” — videos and articles that ask little more of the viewer than to sit back and watch or read — so that users’ time on the site was well spent.
– via www.nytimes.com

The goal of the overhaul, ultimately, is for something less quantifiable that may be difficult to achieve: Facebook wants people to feel positive, rather than negative, after visiting.
– via www.nytimes.com

Wall Street obviously doesn’t take kindly to this move, and so what about Facebook’s 2 billion users. That I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

But here’s a novel concept: Give Facebook users themselves more control over what they see in their feed.

Give me access to Facebook’s new machine learning models and AI algorithms so I can “tune” the engine and get just the right mix of skateboarding bulldogs, fake news, and pictures from the high school reunion I didn’t bother showing up for.

In other words, start treating us like adults and put a stop to the social network nanny state.

Written by turbotodd

January 12, 2018 at 9:05 am

AI On A Friday

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Well this week went fast.

I was scanning the tech headlines and saw a number of tidbits on AI in the news.

First, from ZDNet: Qualcomm and Baidu have formed a strategic collaboration to optimize Baidu’s DuerOS conversational AI system and create a better AI voice and smart assistant solution for smartphones and IoT devices. More details here.

CNBC is reporting that Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, was talking up the company’s work to develop custom hardware for AI on Thursday during a talk at a company party for academic and industry researchers.

The specialized hardware could one day be used inside Tesla vehicles to do the computing work necessary for autonomous driving.

And just yesterday, IBM unveiled its next-generation Power Systems Servers incorporating its newly designed POWER9 processor that is built specifically for compute-intensive AI workloads.

The new POWER9 systems are capable of improving the training times of deep learning frameworks by nearly 4X, allowing enterprises to build more accurate AI applications faster.

Written by turbotodd

December 8, 2017 at 9:25 am

Facebook AI to Detect Suicidal Posts

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TechCrunch is reporting on Facebook’s new “proactive detection” artificial intelligence technology which will scan all posts for patterns of suicidal thoughts, and when necessary send mental health resources to the user at risk or their friends, or even contact local first-responders.

Facebook also will use AI to prioritize particularly risky or urgent user reports so they’re more quickly addressed by moderators, and tools to instantly surface local language resources and first-responder contact info. It’s also dedicating more moderators to suicide prevention, training them to deal with the cases 24/7, and now has 80 local partners like Save.org, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Forefront from which to provide resources to at-risk users and their networks.
– via TechCrunch

TechCrunch’s Josh Constine goes on to observe that this evolution could trigger “some dystopian fears about how else the technology could be applied” (scanning for political dissent or petty crimes, for example), but that Facebook had no comment on the possibility of such scans.

So how did they get to this point?

Facebook trained the AI by finding patterns in the words and imagery used in posts that have been manually reported for suicide risk in the past. It also looks for comments like “are you OK?” and “Do you need help?” “We’ve talked to mental health experts, and one of the best ways to help prevent suicide is for people in need to hear from friends or family that care about them,” Rosen says. “This puts Facebook in a really unique position. We can help connect people who are in distress connect to friends and to organizations that can help them.”
– via TechCrunch

Written by turbotodd

November 27, 2017 at 4:46 pm

Better AI

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Happy Monday.

That was some baseball game last night between the Houston Astros and the LA Dodgers at Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston.

The Astros go down 4-0 early, then come back and tie the game, and then the score seesaws back and forth all the way through the bottom of the tenth before Houston’s Bregman hit a walk-off single to drive in the winning run.

No AI-driven computer simulation could likely have foreseen such an insane game with that outcome.

Then again, we might out imagine what would might become of us if it could.

Which is why the Information Technology Industry Council, whose members include IBM, Amazon, Facebook, and Oracle, have listed five areas to improve the development of artificial intelligence.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, suggestions include designing autonomous systems that are consistent with international conventions and preserve human rights; prioritizing user safety; using large, representative data sets while identifying potential bias; and creating accountability frameworks to assuage concerns over liability when AI takes action after making a decision.

You can read the full ITI AI Policy Principles here.

 

Written by turbotodd

October 30, 2017 at 9:47 am

Rooting for the People Who Make the Machines

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Happy Monday.

And go, those Houston Astros (sorry, Yankees fans…there’s always next year, and you have a great team).

We’ll see how the ‘Stros can hold up tomorrow against the Dodgers in what’s expected to be a very heated environment in game 1 of the World Series (literally…the temperatures at game time are expected to be around 95 or beyond!).

Some tech news you can use for the morning of October 23…Cisco is making yet another acquisition (just last week they bought San Jose-based startup, Perspica, which specializes in machine learning and stream analysis.)

This time the deal’s a wee bit bigger, some ~ $1.9B for BroadSoft, a 28 percent premium. As Bloomberg reports, the deal will give Cisco a “major new presence in cloud-based communications products and services.”

Also on the M&A/IPO front, Chinese online loan provider Qudian raised some $900M in a U.S. IPO, but is already coming under fire from local media about the “legitimacy of its business.”

According to TechNode, the company claims to have suspended student-targeted loans in November 2015 as the state issued a ban on online loans to college students following outrage over exorbitant rates and various financial scams.

The story went on to suggest added risk with the company’s reliance on Alipay for new user acquistion.

And the AI war for talent continues. The New York Times’ Cade Metz looks deep into the AI talent bench, and writes that salaries are spiralikng so fast that “some joke the tech industry needs a National Football League-style salary cap on AI specialists.”

No word as of press time as whether or not the AI gurus stand on the sidelines during the National Anthem.

Written by turbotodd

October 23, 2017 at 8:58 am

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