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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Turing Award at 50

Twitter Stream from ACM's 'Turing Award at 50' meeting this week.  Watched small part of it, inspirational and am glad to see it will be made available on going, details at the link.

ACM Marks 50 Years of the ACM A.M. Turing Award and Computing's Greatest Achievements

Since its inauguration in 1966, the ACM A. M. Turing Award has recognized major contributions of lasting importance in computing. Through the years, it has become the most prestigious technical award in the field, often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of computing.”

During the next several months, ACM will celebrate 50 years of the Turing Award and the visionaries who have received it. Our aim is to highlight the significant impact of the contributions of the Turing Laureates on computing and society, to look ahead to the future of technology and innovation, and to help inspire the next generation of computer scientists to invent and dream.

ACM’s Celebration of 50 Years of the ACM Turing Award will be livestreamed during the event on June 23 – 24, and available for viewing on demand afterwards. ... "  

Saturday, June 24, 2017

New Origami Folding Algorithm

A favorite and surprisingly useful topic.  Heard of this being developed.  'Any structure' is an interesting statement,  but will the folding itself be usefully practical?   Even so a remarkable result.

New Algorithm Generates Folding Patterns to Produce Any 3-D Origami Structure   By TechXplore 

In a 1999 paper, Erik Demaine—now an MIT professor of electrical engineering and computer science, but then an 18-year-old PhD student at the University of Waterloo, in Canada—described an algorithm that could determine how to fold a piece of paper into any conceivable 3-D shape.

It was a milestone paper in the field of computational origami, but the algorithm didn't yield very practical folding patterns. Essentially, it took a very long strip of paper and wound it into the desired shape. The resulting structures tended to have lots of seams where the strip doubled back on itself, so they weren't very sturdy.

At the Symposium on Computational Geometry in July, Demaine and Tomohiro Tachi of the University of Tokyo will announce the completion of a quest that began with that 1999 paper: a universal algorithm for folding origami shapes that guarantees a minimum number of seams. .... " 

Snap Getting Better Store Sale Measures

Snap acquires Placed to better measure in-app ads to in-store sales
Placed is able to attribute brand’s digital, TV and out-of-home campaigns to store visits and in-store sales.
Tim Peterson on June 5, 2017 at 9:10 pm
Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, has acquired location analytics firm Placed, a company spokesperson said on Monday, confirming a GeekWire report published earlier in the day.

The spokesperson declined to say how much Snap paid for Placed — Bloomberg reported the price to be $125 million — but it’s easy to see how buying Placed — which measures store visits and offline revenue generated by digital, TV and out-of-home ads — could pay off for Snap.

Advertisers like Procter & Gamble and Unilever are pressuring digital ad sellers like Google, Facebook and Snapchat to prove that the money brands spend on ads results in people spending money on the brands’ products. As a result, Google, Facebook and Snapchat have stepped up their measurement capabilities, especially when it comes to measuring if a digital ad led to a real-world purchase. .... " 

Getting Direct to Consumer Right

From CustomerThink, detailed piece on how Gillette is doing direct to consumer, followiing un a number of moves to deliver quality razor blades with new pricing and replenishment models.
Gillette Shows How to Get It Right When Going Direct to Consumer (DTC).  Will continue to see new approaches  like this.

Procter Captures Flying Insects

Not a thing normally in their space.  No IOT dimension indicated.

Procter & Gamble Introduces Zevo™ Flying Insect Trap for 24/7 Flying Insect Protection in Your Home without Chemical Insecticides

Business Wire Business WireJune 20, 2017
CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports the ending of the United States’ 8th warmest and 11th wettest spring on record, entomologists are predicting the beginning of an increase in flying insects this summer for homes across most of the country. To combat the nuisance of these insects, Procter & Gamble (PG) has made limited quantities of Zevo™ available to US consumers. Zevo™ is a new in-home insect control product that continuously eliminates flying insects without chemical insecticides.    .... " 

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170620006063/en/

SiriusXM Now Streams on Amazon Echo

Full subscriptions or streaming individual shows from SiriusXM are now accessible via voice on Echo.  Trial subscriptions available.

Shopping with AR

What the best way to shop using Augmented Reality?   Apple and IKEA team up.  Planning for the advanced AR capabilities in future I-Phones.

Apple Team Up With IKEA To Create AR Shopping App

Apple users will soon be able to see what furniture from IKEA fits their home using augmented reality.   By Rebecca Hills-Duty in VRFocus:

Apple have begun making a push towards augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology recently. With news that SteamVR would be supporting Mac platforms, and the iPhone 8 expected to have advanced AR capabilities, Apple have teamed with well-know furniture store IKEA to create an AR shopping app to show off some of Apple’s new focus.

The app is designed to help customers in choosing what kind of furniture and accessories they wish to buy for their home. By using an iPhone camera to view the customer’s home, and overlaying the image of the furniture in question over the top, it is possible to get an impression of what the sofa, or table or lamp would like like when placed in the home, allowing customers to make more informed buying decisions. .... "

Google to Stop Reading Your Email for Targeting

Somewhat surprised at this.  Probably the most obvious thing, after search,  that Google does that is the base of much of its considerable revenue.  It has been often criticized.  At the same time so much indicative data has been gathered on us by now, and other behavior, like search is still being tracked to note and maintain our knowledge graphs.   May be no additional value to continue to do it.  Or perhaps Google has discovered it can infer it from its AI?

Google Will Stop Reading Your Email to Target Ads  In Extremetech
One of Google’s most controversial practices over the years has been the automated scanning of email contents. Google used that data to target ads inside Gmail, which it places at the top of the list in your social and promotions tabs. Google now says it will end the practice of targeting ads based on email text, but the decision was not made by the Gmail or advertising teams. It comes from Google’s cloud unit, which is responsible for selling G Suite business subscriptions. ....  " 

Also from Adage.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Watching How the Giants Buy AI

Below reminds me of our own attempts to buy AI during the last explosion.  And we did, buying some considerable equity positions.  Of course the scale was far less than Google's acquisitions.   Ultimately these investments lost money.   Still, it was the way then , as it is now, to understand what had real value in the marketplace.  Also, specifically, what Algorithmia is doing, was brought up at the time as a good idea to establish. develop and market needed ideas.  Watching now.

Google’s secretive AI fund makes first public investment in Algorithmia   By Maria Deutscher

 In May, word leaked that Google has set up a venture capital fund run by engineers rather than professional investors and focused exclusively on backing artificial intelligence startups. The existence of the fund received official confirmation today after it was named as the lead contributor to a $10.5 million round into Seattle’s Algorithmia Inc.

The four-year-old startup is on a mission to ease the deployment and use of AI models. To that end, it offers two platforms aimed at reducing the massive amounts of manual work normally involved in the task.

The first is a marketplace through which researchers and developers can share their algorithms without the logistics of the delivery posing an obstacle. On the provider’s side, Algorithmia offers analytics features for monitoring model usage along with a monetization option geared towards submitters that wish to sell their algorithms on a commercial basis. These capabilities are joined by programming interface that enables buyers to embed solutions from the marketplace into their applications. Algorithmia runs models in the cloud to spare users the trouble of operating them on their own.  .... " 

Secret Algorithms and Rule of Law

Challenges posed in Technology Review.  Slightly different from what was posed in the 80s.   But unsolved.

Very broadly, if we don't know what an algorithm does,  how do we know that it obeys laws?   And in what context of data?

Sending people to jail because of the inexplicable, unchallengeable judgments of a secret computer program undermines our legal system.

Imaginary People

We are not far from generating very convincing faces of people.  Even making them dynamic.  And if you put these on humanoid robots?   Give them Generative AI?   In the Verge: 

" .... As we get better at making, faking, and manipulating human faces with machine learning, one thing is abundantly clear: things are going to get ~freaky~ fast.

Case in point: this online demo hosted (and, we presume, made) by web developer AlteredQualia. It combines two different research projects, both of which use neural networks. The first is DeepWarp, which alters where subjects in photographs are looking, and the second is a work in progress by Mike Tyka dubbed Portraits of Imaginary People. This does exactly what it says on the tin: feeding a generative neural network with a bunch of faces and getting it to create similar samples. .... "

Intelligent Edge Computing

HPE and GE Digital try to break IT/OT silos for intelligent edge computing   by R. Danes  

" ... an interview at HPE Discover in Las Vegas, Nevada, Anthony Rokis (pictured, right), vice president of software engineering, Predix, at GE Digital, agreed that the edge must get smarter to fulfill IoT’s promise.

GE and and HPE are converging on IoT edge and compute strategies, Rokis told John Furrier (@furrier) and Dave Vellante (@dvellante), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio ... " 

Home Furnishing

I examined some early attempts at using online methods for buying home furnishing, usually with online camera interaction.  The idea of selling furnishing online is reemerging.  How does the Browser-Buyer change occur?   Piece in Think with Google.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Value Delivery Modeling Language (VDML)

Brought to my attention again.   Should this be the place to start for any project that claims to generate value?  Even doing a simplified model can act as a prototype from which to build from.  To test prototypes with people and other systems.  We used other BPM methods, but these were not as focused as was necessary.  Has anyone done this?  Point me to some examples.  Reconsidering.

Has been used with Watson and other AI/Expert systems for Smart Service Systems

http://www.omg.org/spec/VDML/       Also search in GitHub  …

Value Delivery Modelling Language
Value Delivery Modeling Language (VDML) is a standard modeling language for analysis and design of the operation of an enterprise with particular focus on the creation and exchange of value.

In 2009, the Object Management Group (OMG) launched a Request for Proposal (RfP) to develop a standard for value modeling. The goal of this RfP is to integrate the different existing value models and give a complete overview of the business logic of an organisation. To reach this goal, the standard has to satisfy nine requirements .... "

Purpose, use, examples of VDML  VDMBee

Use in Cognitive Computing and Watson Discover.

IFTTT Public Access Data Project

Very nice idea from  IFTTT about giving access to public data across devices.  I am an active IFTTT user.  Plan to test with public data.

IFTTT's Data Access Project Seeks to make Public Data More Accessible  By Kyle Wiggers 
You might not be familiar with IFTTT (short for If This Then That), but chances are you have seen it in action. The web-based service acts as a middleman between apps and hardware that would not otherwise talk to each other. Using IFTTT, you can trigger a Philips Hue bulb to turn blue when it begins to rain or have Facebook sync your status with Slack. IFTTT makes linking devices easier with improved developer program. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

On Thursday, IFTTT announced the Data Access Project, a program that seeks to make public data from more than 35 federal and state agencies more accessible, manipulable, and shareable across devices.

It builds on the foundation of IFTTT’s partnerships with ProPublica and the city of Louisville, Kentuck, and IFTTT’s native integration with RSS feeds. Starting Thursday, it is flipping the switch on hundreds of public data sources across wide-ranging categories, including the Library of Congress, National Science Foundation, Energy Information Association, and more.  .... " 

Examples in TechCrunch

Generative Adversarial Networks (GAN)

Similar in type to 'generate and test' methods.
GAN network   Generative adversarial network    Imitative.
      for creating new things that are like another.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generative_adversarial_networks

are a type of artificial intelligence algorithms used in unsupervised machine learning, implemented by a system of two neural networks competing against each other in a zero-sum game framework. They were first introduced by Ian Goodfellow et al. in 2014.[1]

This technique can generate photographs that look authentic to human observers.

 ..... One network is generative and one is discriminative.[1] Typically, the generative network is taught to map from a latent space to a particular data distribution of interest, and the discriminative network is simultaneously taught to discriminate between instances from the true data distribution and synthesized instances produced by the generator. The generative network's training objective is to increase the error rate of the discriminative network (i.e., "fool" the discriminator network by producing novel synthesized instances that appear to have come from the true data distribution). These models are used for computer vision tasks.[1][3]. ..... 

AI Combing Through Your Data

An approach we worked on.   A kind of dynamic data mining approach.  Find the best leverage, estimate value.   Look for new combinations of data and analytic value.   The computing power is here now.

AI Can Comb Through Your Data to Create More Compelling Customer Experiences
by Blake Morgan in the HBR

The world has more data than ever before. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2020, we’ll produce 44 zettabytes every day. That’s equal to 44 trillion gigabytes. One gigabyte can hold the contents of enough books to cover a 30-foot-long shelf. Multiply that by 44 trillion. That’s a lot of data — too much for most companies to process. And yet front-line employees are still often left operating with data that’s “too little, too late.”

Most organizations are challenged to extract meaningful insights from their customer data when they’re drowning in so many data feeds. Data is not always shared efficiently. Many of the world’s biggest companies operate in silos — for example, their customer service and sales departments do not share a customer relationship management (CRM) database, and employees don’t collaborate around the customer to ensure a powerful customer experience. More often than not, employees in one department don’t even know the employees in other departments, let alone use data that spans the organization. This often results in wildly inconsistent customer experiences that make companies look disconnected and unfocused.

Organizations need to create easy and elegant customer experiences; how can they overcome their data challenges to satisfy increasingly fickle customers? ....

Machine learning offers one solution, if organizations can overcome their silos enough to implement it correctly. Each new customer action feeds back into the analytics engine, which helps inform the next best steps for a positive customer experience. For example, if a customer indicates through her online browsing habits that she’d prefer an Android phone instead of an iPhone, she’ll immediately start seeing an Android upgrade offer the next time she goes on Facebook.

Granted, some customers find it a bit creepy that brands can make their way into personal social media feeds in this way, so it’s important to make it easy for customers to opt out of social media targeting. However, companies can earn customers’ trust simply by being relevant and providing value. Just like in any relationship, a business can earn trust and loyalty by being a good listener and being there for the customer at a point of need. By leveraging automated analytics, customer interactions can fuel a continuous feedback loop that adapts in real time to add value at every touch point. .... "

Update on Kuri Robot


An update on the Kuri in home traveling 'friendly' robot  by Mayfield, and camera.   Says it can learn a space.  Now at 1080p.   Now can distinguish between dogs and people. Still, I think overpriced at $699 for the average home, smart or not. Indications it will be out by fall.  Had thought this might be best positioned as a security tool that can move to motion or noise.  No indication about how it can might be upgraded with skills or linked to databases.

Kuri home robot can tell your pets from people
The cute bot's camera 'eye' is also getting a 1080p upgrade .... 
By Jon Fingas, @jonfingas  in Engadget.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Teaching Cognitive Computing

" .... This a reminder about our Cognitive Systems Institute Speaker Series, on Thursday, June 22, 2016 at 10:30 am ET US (7:30 am PT).  Our speaker is Ralph Badinelli from Virginia Tech, who will be presenting "Teaching Cognitive Computing with IBM Watson."

Please point your web browser to https://apps.na.collabserv.com/meetings/join?id=2894-8491 password=cognitive.   Use audio on computer or dial 855-233-7153  PIN Code: 43179788   Non-IBMers please use the "guest" option instead of entering your email.  

Please find the schedule of presenters here for the next several calls.   A link to slides and a recording of each call should be available on the CSIG website (http://cognitive-science.info/community/weekly-update/).   We encourage those who join the calls to add questions and comments to the LinkedIn Discussion Group https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Cognitive-Systems-Institute-6729452 and please ask questions at the end of the call.  .... "

Thank you!
Dianne Fodell, IBM Global University Programs

KD Nuggets Observer

Newly brought to my attention.  Easy to scan.  News and updates.

The KDnuggets Observer
What's Interesting in Data Science and Machine Learning ...

Amazon Dash Wand with Alexa

Another way to scan, talk, ask, buy  as part of a commercial process in your own home.  Link to extensive recipe system.   Includes the Alexa voice engine.  Performs other smart home functions by voice.  (but no music, and more oddly, no timers) The Amazon Dash Wand.  Yet another commercial and semi-ambient idea offered by Amazon.   Feed shopping list or order a delivery directly. Will Amazon ever stop with new AI based smart home ideas?   $20 cost refunded with purchase.  Demo Video:



Microsoft and AI

During the last AI go around, we worked with Microsoft.  They were a natural partner, because they were also providing all the fundamental things to get work done.  And get it done more intelligently.   We were early experimenters with advisory systems like 'Paperclip', a form of Ambient computing.

Then they did seem to fade. And Apple, IBM, Google and even Amazon have taken over.    Is Microsoft coming back?  How and what parts should we pay attention to?   How should we use them? Integrate their methods with our own developments?   And use their data and communications integrations like Linkedin, Skype and Cortana?

Inside Microrosft's AI Comeback  Jessi Hempel in Wired:

" ... Yes, Microsoft. His bet is that the former kingdom of Windows alone has the capability to establish itself as AI’s third giant. It's a company that has the resources, the data, the talent, and—most critically—the vision and culture to not only realize the spoils of the science, but also push the field forward. In January, in a move noted throughout the industry, Bengio agreed to be a strategic advisor to the company. This gives Microsoft a direct line to one of AI’s top resources for ideas, talent, and direction. And it’s a strong sign that Microsoft actually has a shot at making the ruling AI duo into a trio. ... " 

2D Materials

The super materials that could trump graphene
A wave of innovative flat materials is following in the wake of graphene — but the most exciting applications could come from stacking them into 3D devices. ...    by Elizabeth Gibney

Physicists have used almost every superlative they can think of to describe graphene. This gossamer, one-atom-thick sheet of carbon is flexible, transparent, stronger than steel, more conductive than copper and so thin that it is effectively two-dimensional (2D). No sooner was it isolated in 2004 than it became an obsession for researchers around the world. .... " 

Even 2D Magnets. ...

Decision Makers or Data Clerks?

Having had more interactions with physicians in later life, I see this all the time.   Seems they spend half their time looking for data and refilling the printer paper.

Culture and Technology
By Ajai Kapoor     Partner at Goldratt Consulting

"We've turned physicians into data entry clerks     - Representative (Dr) Tom Price ...... 

Anybody who has spent time with business hears a form of Dr Price's complaint from lawyers, engineers, sales professionals or supervisors. On the other hand it is not unusual for managers to be blind to what is happening while drowning in oceans of data. Projects are way late right after everybody thought things were on track; production orders miss delivery and need last minute expediting; inventory is missing or in surplus despite the ability to see down to the SKU level at the last retail location; getting a fully loaded laptop to a new employee can take 1 month; company data is stolen all the time despite best efforts. What gives?  .... "

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

PC as a Deep Learning Machine

Interesting direction. Applicability to real world problem?

Google can turn an ordinary PC into a deep learning machine
You can speed up AI training without having to use a supercomputer. ...."
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas .... "

Embedding AI in the Enterprise

Steps in getting AI in the enterprise.  In Forbes. " ... In the context of contemporary applications, it's hard to think of an application that doesn't use a database. From mobile to web to the desktop, every modern application relies on some form of a database. Some apps use flat files while others rely on in-memory or NoSQL databases. Traditional enterprise applications interact with large database clusters running Microsoft SQL, Oracle or DB2. Irrespective of the kind of database, the fact is that every app needs it. ....      Like databases, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is moving towards becoming a core component of modern applications. In the coming months, almost every application that we use will depend on some form of AI. .... Artificial Intelligence is all set to become the new database for the next generation applications. ... " 

AI Can Take Your Job

'All' is a very inclusive word.

AI may take your job - in 120 years
A global survey of experts in machine learning suggests it will be 120 years before all human jobs are automated.

In 45 years' time, though, half of jobs currently filled by humans will have been taken over by an artificial intelligence system, results indicate.   The report, When will AI exceed human performance?, says AI will reshape transport, health, science and finance.

The study was compiled by the Future of Humanity Institute (FHI), at the University of Oxford.

It asked three keys questions about AI:

How will high-level machine intelligence affect economic growth?
What are the chances this will lead to extreme outcomes?
What should be done to help ensure AI progress is beneficial? .... " 

Microsoft and Accenture Build Blockchain Platform

Microsoft and Accenture team up to build a blockchain-based global ID platform  By Duncan Riley

Microsoft Corp. has teamed up with management consulting firm Accenture PLC to design a blockchain-based platform that provides identification services to people worldwide. .... 

Robotics Acquisitions

In IEEE Spectrum.  Robotics continue to advance.

SoftBank Acquires Boston Dynamics and Schaft
By Erico Guizzo and Evan Ackerman

SoftBank's massive robot collection now includes Pepper, Boston Dynamics' BigDog and Handle, Schaft's S-One, and many more.

We knew that Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of telecom giant SoftBank, loved robots. Now the Japanese billionaire is about to significantly expand his collection.

Minutes ago, SoftBank announced that it will be acquiring Boston Dynamics and Schaft from Google parent Alphabet for an undisclosed sum, in order to “collaborate in advancing the development of smart robotics technologies.”

Boston Dynamics and Schaft were two of the nine robot companies that Google bought in 2013 to form the core of its robotics division, headed by Android founder Andy Rubin. As far as anyone could tell, not much happened after all those companies became part of Google, and not much continued to happen through 2016, much to the frustration of roboticists everywhere.

Boston Dynamics, led by legendary robot builder Marc Raibert, just kept on doing its own awesome thing, unveiling ever more agile and capable quadrupeds and humanoids, and Schaft, founded by a team of University of Tokyo engineers, quietly improved its bipedal robots, with a surprise sneak peak at a new dual-legged machine last April. .... " 

Crowdflower with AI Augmentation

We spent considerable time using crowd sourcing techniques, and now follow some of the methods of Crowdflower.  Could have used the methods in the enterprise.   In SiliconAngle:


AI-augmented crowdsourcing company CrowdFlower raises $20M for enterprise push  by Kyt Dotson

" ....  People power and machine learning go hand in hand at San Francisco-based CrowdFlower, which uses data and training from large groups of people – a practice known as crowdsourcing – to train machine learning algorithms to do tedious data science work.

Robin Bordoli, chief executive at CrowdFlower, believes that AI applications within the enterprise is on the verge of a “Cambrian explosion.” This is a reference to a point in the biological history of life on Earth when a huge variety of different body designs begin to appear in the fossil record. In short, “living thing” applications began to try out a lot of different ideas.

With CrowdFlower’s approach to crowdsourcing AI training, Bordoli said, enterprise data science could find its killer app. “The bottleneck for the large-scale adoption of machine learning still remains the availability of high-quality training data and human-in-the-loop workflows to handle the failure states,” he said.

The crowdsourced labor works by applying simple tasks to individual workers, such as transcribing text seen in an image, determining the sentiment of a sentence, statement or forum post, annotating images and other work that humans do well. These are processes that can be broken down into thousands of small tasks, and each individual task is executed by a small group of people. .... " 

Indoor Smart Garden

I am a long time gardener, nursery planner and amateur botanist,  and a practitioner of 'smart', so this was intriguing.   Seems impractical for any reasonable and useful volume of results.   Still,  makes me think about what might work.

Indoor Smart Garden uses Artificial Intelligence to Grow Real Plants   By Lulu Chang 

No one will know if you lack a green thumb so long as you have a smart garden. No matter how agriculturally dumb you may be, artificial intelligence is here to help. It comes in the form of AVA Byte from AVA Technologies. Heralded as the first indoor smart garden to combine AI technology, including machine learning, and a straightforward user experience, you can have a farmer’s market right in your own home.

By leveraging “continuously optimized” algorithms, the AVA Byte purports to be able to sustain year-round plant cultivation. Whether you’re interested in growing vegetables, micro-greens, fruits, or even mushrooms (apparently, AVA is among the first indoor gardening device to offer fungus support), you can do it with this garden.

The AVA Byte depends on LED lights that emit a mixture of red, white, and blue light to encourage growth, fruiting, and flowering regardless of your home environment. Its hydroponic irrigation system allows you to water every few weeks instead of every few days, and a companion app will keep you updated on your plants’ progress. .... " 

Bot Asks Questions to Test Understanding


Bots test understanding by questioning.  

" ... In New Scientist By Matthew Reynolds   

Inquisitive artificial intelligence that asks questions about things it reads could be used to quiz students in class. The question-asking ability would also help chatbots with the back and forth of human conversation.

AI is usually on the receiving end of queries, says Xinya Du at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Du and his colleagues have turned the tables by building a system that has learned to ask questions of its own.

This is something that people have been wanting to do for a long time, says Karen Mazidi at the University of Dallas in Texas. Previous attempts by other people using hand-coded rules haven’t been particularly successful.

The machine-learning algorithm can read a passage of text and come up with the kind of questions you might ask to check someone’s understanding of a topic. Du’s team used a neural network – software that loosely mimics the structure of the brain – and trained it on more than 500 Wikipedia articles and 100,000 questions about those articles sourced from crowdworkers. For example, a sentence about different types of crop grown in Africa might be paired with the question “What is grown in the fertile highlands?” ... ' 

Monday, June 19, 2017

What Will Smart Mean?

Bottom line, its about how well you can augment yourself.  A form of innovation.   In the HBR, via Accenture:

In the AI Age, “Being Smart” Will Mean Something Completely Different   by Ed Hess

Andrew Ng has likened artificial intelligence (AI) to electricity in that it will be as transformative for us as electricity was for our ancestors. I can only guess that electricity was mystifying, scary, and even shocking to them — just as AI will be to many of us. Credible scientists and research firms have predicted that the likely automation of service sectors and professional jobs in the United States will be more than 10 times as large as the number of manufacturing jobs automated to date. That possibility is mind-boggling.

So, what can we do to prepare for the new world of work? Because AI will be a far more formidable competitor than any human, we will be in a frantic race to stay relevant. That will require us to take our cognitive and emotional skills to a much higher level.

Analytics are critical to companies’ performance.
Many experts believe that human beings will still be needed to do the jobs that require higher-order critical, creative, and innovative thinking and the jobs that require high emotional engagement to meet the needs of other human beings. The challenge for many of us is that we do not excel at those skills because of our natural cognitive and emotional proclivities: We are confirmation-seeking thinkers and ego-affirmation-seeking defensive reasoners. We will need to overcome those proclivities in order to take our thinking, listening, relating, and collaborating skills to a much higher level.  .... '

Being Charismatic on a Conference Call

Sounds useful.

On a Conference Call, You Have to Act Charismatic (Even If You're Not). Here's How
By treating your conference calls as performances, you can make them not just bearable (though that would be great), but actually enjoyable and productive. .... "
  
By Cathy Salit    Founder and CEO, Performance of a Lifetime. in Inc.

Anti Showrooming Patent

Wondering various aspects of this.

In ChainStore Age, requires registration.

Amazon granted anti-showrooming patent
Despite the many sales that showrooming has afforded Amazon over the years, the retailer surely doesn't want to become a victim going forward. ... " 

(UpDate) More in Retailwire on this Amazon Patent, with discussion.

Cortana Price Comparisions

Would have thought that Amazon would have tried this as well.  Ideal idea for an assistant.  I note that it works only on Windows 10,  on the not commonly used Edge Browser,  not on common mobile devices at this time.   So quite a few restrictions.

Cortana can now do price comparisons when you’re shopping online

Posted by Sarah Perez (@sarahintampa)

Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana will now be able to save you money when you’re shopping online. The company announced today that it will begin a pilot test of a new Cortana feature that will pop up the best price and availability of similar products, when you’re shopping the websites of over a dozen top retailers in the U.S., including Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Best Buy, Home Depot, and others.

The savings feature will only work when you’re shopping online using Microsoft’s Edge web browser, and have the Windows 10 Creators Update installed. ...."