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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Baidu and AI Voice Enablement

Voice continues to push forward, here with the Baidu Duer solution.   Expect for more to emerge.   Towards more intelligent assistant solutions on a number of platforms, like the Snapdragon mentioned below.  See the Duer tag below for more on this.

Qualcomm, Baidu form AI partnership to optimize DuerOS for Snapdragon

Qualcomm's collaboration with Baidu will bring AI for voice enabled solutions to the new Snapdragon 845 mobile platform   By Jake Smith for Between the Lines   ....  "

IOT Security with Microsoft's Sopris

Security is important for devices that have to be safe in the wild.

A Tiny New Chip Could Secure the Next Generation of IOT

By Lily Hay Newman in Wired

The Internet of Things security crisis persists, as billions of inadequately secured webcams, refrigerators, and more flood homes around the world. But IoT security researchers at Microsoft Research have their eye on an even larger problem: the billions of gadgets that already run on simple microcontrollers—small, low-power computers on a single chip—that will gradually gain connectivity over the years, exponentially expanding the internet of things population. And that connected electric toothbrush needs protection, too.

The challenge with internet of things security so far has been the cost of implementing hardened features. It's cheaper and faster to develop a product without spending time and resources on security. Devices rush off the line without adequate protections, often riddled with bugs, and rarely have a mechanism for manufacturers to distribute patches. An attacker who penetrates those IoT devices can potentially steal data, rope the unit into a botnet, or even use it as a jumping off point to infiltrate other parts of a network. .... "

Report on Quick Draw

Report from the Google Blog:   An example of how to get data with a game. A data game.

Since November 2016, people all around the world have drawn one billion doodles in Quick, Draw!, a web game where a neural network tries to recognize your drawings.

That includes 2.9 million cats, 2.9 million hot dogs, and 2.9 million drawings of snowflakes. .... 

By Jonas Jongejan
Creative Technologist, Google Creative Lab

Saturday, December 09, 2017

McKinsey on the Chinese Consumer

A considerable look at the China consumer.   Much more in the article.

Double-clicking on the Chinese consumer
By Wouter Baan, Lan Luan, Felix Poh, and Daniel Zipser

 The rising post-90s generation is emerging as a strong engine of consumption, in one of four important new trends in the Chinese consumer landscape.

If you’re looking for evidence that Chinese consumers are confident, look no further than the one-day online-sales phenomenon known as Singles Day, which falls every year on November 11. Singles Day has morphed from being a day dedicated to lonely singles to becoming the largest e-shopping day globally. With an estimated $25 billion in sales, or over $1 billion in transactions per hour, Singles Day this year easily bested last year’s sales by close to 40 percent, and was larger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States combined. .... " 

AI to Replace Coders

Seeing indications of this, perhaps not so soon, but inevitable.  The implications?   Transparency perhaps the major issue.

AI Will Replace Coders by 2040, Warn Academics    By V3.co.uk 

Coders and programmers could find themselves becoming marginalized by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, with humans being replaced in these jobs by 2040, according to a study from academic researchers published by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The report predicted by 2040, machine learning and natural language processing technologies will have become so advanced they will be able to write better software code faster than the best human coders.  .... " 

Paper  Abstract—Programming trends suggest that software development will undergo a radical change in the future: the combination of machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and code generation technologies will improve in such a way that machines, instead of humans, will write most of their own code by 2040. This poses a number of interesting challenges for scientific research, especially as the hardware on which this Machine Generated Code will run becomes extremely heterogeneous. Indeed, extreme heterogeneity may drive the creation of this technology because it will allow humans to cope with the difficulty of programming different devices efficiently and easily. ... 

Unsupervised Decision Trees

Nicely done piece.   Big supporter of decision trees in general, since they have a basic element of transparency.

Have You Heard About Unsupervised Decision Trees

By William Vorhies in DSC

Summary: Unless you’re involved in anomaly detection you may never have heard of Unsupervised Decision Trees.  It’s a very interesting approach to decision trees that on the surface doesn’t sound possible but in practice is the backbone of modern intrusion detection.

I was at a presentation recently that focused on stream processing but the use case presented was about anomaly detection.  When they started talking about unsupervised decision trees my antenna went up.  What do you mean unsupervised decision trees?  What would they split on?
It turns out that if you’re in the anomaly detection world unsupervised decision trees are pretty common.  Since I’m not in that world and I suspect few of us are, I thought I’d share what I found. .... "


A piece that looks at the history and math background of modern cyber security.    Not overly technical video.

Cybersecurity, Nuclear Security, Alan Turing, and Illogical Logic
Martin E. Hellman discusses "Cybersecurity, Nuclear Security, Alan Turing, and Illogical Logic" (cacm.acm.org/magazines/2017/12/223042), a Contributed Article in the December 2017 CACM.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Better Recommendation Engines

Researchers Devise Better Recommendation Algorithm 
Improved recommendation algorithm should work especially well when ratings data are “sparse.”

MIT News  By Larry Hardesty

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new recommendation algorithm based on a theoretical analytic framework using cosine similarity, which they say should work better than current algorithms. The researchers note the algorithm should be especially effective when ratings data is "sparse." Sparse data means there may be so little overlap between users' ratings that cosine similarity is rendered meaningless, making it necessary to aggregate the data of many users. MIT professor Devavrat Shah says the framework assumes the relative weight a user assigns to ratings remains the same, and each user's function is running on the same set of features. Shah notes this yields sufficient consistency to extrapolate statistical inferences about the probability that one user's ratings will predict another's. The team used the framework to demonstrate that, in instances of sparse data, their "neighbor's-neighbor" algorithm should return more accurate predictions than any known algorithm.... " 

Document Classification with Deep Learning

Once again, a good introduction.  And demonstration of how these systems can be constructed.

Best Practices for Document Classification with Deep Learning   by Jason Brownlee

Text classification describes a general class of problems such as predicting the sentiment of tweets and movie reviews, as well as classifying email as spam or not.

Deep learning methods are proving very good at text classification, achieving state-of-the-art results on a suite of standard academic benchmark problems.

In this post, you will discover some best practices to consider when developing deep learning models for text classification.

After reading this post, you will know:

The general combination of deep learning methods to consider when starting your text classification problems.

The first architecture to try with specific advice on how to configure hyperparameters.

That deeper networks may be the future of the field in terms of flexibility and capability.

Let’s get started. .... ".

Ultimate PDF Converter

Always interested in making things more productive.   I was told about this method and giving it a try.   Remember having some messy experiences with the problem of OCR conversion from PDFs, especially in varying contexts when I needed data from scanned information.   They have recently made parts of it free:

" ... This transcendent PDF converter has proven to be our most revolutionizing app so far. Easily convert PDFs to Text, Word, Excel, JPG, PowerPoint, AutoCAD files, and back to PDF. PDF Converter Ultimate enables you to import files from Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, and other cloud services. Our OCR technology makes it possible to convert even scanned files. All conversions are done online on our servers, so this app will make best of your processor and RAM memory as well as save battery life.

• No limits on file size or number of converted files. Conversions are fast and accurate.
• Scanned and complex PDFs can be converted due to our leading OCR technology.
• You can convert Gmail attachments and files from Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, Box, and OneDrive directly from our app. .... "

See it on Apple in ITunes.  They write: 

We’ve recently launched a new improved version of PDF Converter Ultimate, after listening to our users’ feedback. So what’s new?

- You can now convert files from online services such as Gmail, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive for free!
- From now on, you can convert files from iCloud, also for free
- Top of the line OCR engine which is improved once again   ....  "   

Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble

Glad to have contributed to innovation and co-innovation at these companies for many years. Lets keep it all moving along. 

Technology Innovation Isn’t Just for Tech Companies
Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble make the top 20 for innovation in the Drucker Institute’s Management Top 250 rankings    ... in the WSJ.

Electronic Health Data And Drugs

Fascinating thought.  Like the leveraging of 'public' data like the Wikipedia too.  Taking a look.

Mining electronic health records and the web for drug repurposing

Kira Radinsky describes a system that mines medical records and Wikipedia to reduce spurious correlations and provide guidance about drug repurposing.     By Kira Radinsky in O'Reilly

This is a keynote highlight from the Strata Data Conference in Singapore 2017. Watch the full version of this keynote on Safari. .... 

You can also see other highlights from the event. .... " 

Satellites for Business

The ultimate large scale sensory play.   At an early time we looked at them for supply chain data, to support decisions, modeling and analytics.  I continue to follow advances.

This Company Has the Largest Fleet of Orbiting Satellites in Human History. Here's What it Plans to Do Next

Planet Labs' fleet can photograph all the land on earth every day--and it's just getting started.
By Kevin J. Ryan in Inc. .... "

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Walmart Enters Meal-Kit Fray

Good margin I assume,  but is this really worth the effort?   Going to Wal-mart or an App versus ordering online?

Walmart sells meal kits to challenge Amazon and Blue Apron
Conveniently, it also sells the kitchenware you need to make those meals.

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas  in Engadget

Walmart's never-ending quest to beat Amazon has it venturing into unfamiliar territory: meal kits. The big-box retailer has started selling just shy of 30 meal kits (such as a Thai crab curry) from multiple brands. How much you'll pay varies, but it's not uncommon to pay $35 for a meal for four. There are also bundles, such as a $60 Everyday Supper pack that serves three meals for two people. The brands themselves fulfill the orders. This isn't a subscription service like Blue Apron, but it's helpful if you'd like a fanciful meal without hunting down ingredients. And importantly, Walmart will soon compete more directly with Amazon's meal kits through an app tie-in. ... " 

Customer Service via Cognitive Solutions and BPM

Found this customer service example to be interesting ... in particular that it uses Business Process Modeling (BPM)  and Watson.    I believe any such problem should include a BPM analysis.

 " ... Customer insight gathered from unstructured data can lead to new business opportunities, improved customer satisfaction, and a greater competitive edge in the industry. Outthink your competitors by becoming a Cognitive Business. .... 

With Princeton Blue’s Cognitive Customer Service solution, you can benefit from the combined capabilities of BPM and IBM Watson

Princeton Blue, founded in 2006, is a leading provider of digital automation services and solutions delivered via Business Process Management (BPM), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies .....  " 

MIT: An Ink that is a Sensor

Possible packaging applications.

MIT researchers made a living ink that responds to its surroundings
The 3D-printed, bacteria-loaded gel can be used as a sensor.

By Mallory Locklear, @mallorylocklear

Researchers at MIT have developed a 3D printable hydrogel that can sense and respond to stimuli. The hydrogel is loaded with bacteria that can be genetically programmed to light-up when they come in contact with certain chemicals and, therefore, could be used as living sensors.

To demonstrate the living ink's abilities, the researchers printed the hydrogel in a tree pattern with different sections of the tree's branches containing bacteria sensitive to different types of chemicals. They then smeared those chemicals on a person's skin and put the 3D-printed tree-shaped "living tattoo" on top. When the branches came in contact with those chemicals, the bacteria were triggered to fluoresce. .... " 

Kaiser Fung on the Limitations of AI

Colleague Kaiser Fung  on on hype and limitations of AI today.   Some useful thoughts.  In his always interesting Junkcharts blog.  I too have lived through several waves of AI hype, seeing it from an enterprise perspective.   Points to a number of studies.  In part this does depend on your definition of AI.

Primer on the limitation of current AI

Today, I turn attention to another Technology Review article in the same special AI issue, the important article by Rodney Brooks on the limitation of the current AI systems, driven by the "deep learning" "revolution." Brooks was the head of MIT's CSAIL lab, and an expert in AI who has lived through several waves of AI hype.

Brooks frames his content differently, titling the piece "The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions." He opens with the breathless forecasts published by various media outlets, predicting that AI (computers) would wipe out the job market for human beings in a broad range of industries, in some cases, in a matter of 10 or 20 years. He then describes seven fallacies that have led these hype-meisters astray. Read the whole article here. Some of these dire forecasts: Oxford/Yale, McKinsey. [PS. I do not understand why those technology leaders who claim to believe in these forecasts do not immediately stop their AI programs for the public good.]

Brooks calls these predictions "ludicrous." He points out that there have been zero realistic demonstrations of robots that can take over grounds and maintenance work even though the forecasters claim that 90% of such jobs would disappear in 10 to 20 years. For the rest of us, who are not knee-deep in AI research, it's simple to validate Brooks's viewpoint: just make a call to your favorite service provider (your bank, your credit card provider, your health insurer, for example); subject yourself to the AI "chatbot" for even five minutes. 

In debunking the hype, Brooks outlines several key limitations of the current AI systems, built on the deep learning revolution (discussed in the prior post).   .... " 

( See also his previous piece on this, pointed to in the above) 

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Social Reasoning and Intentionality for AI

Big issues here.   This is what we will have to address if we want to ultimately create useful conversations between people and machines.     Another moves towards intelligence.

Making AI 'Intentional' 
In NC State News  By Matt Shipman

Researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) have developed a game-playing artificial intelligence (AI) program imbued with social reasoning and "intentionality," or the ability to deduce how other players are likely to respond to new information and what other players likely want from the AI when they share information. The program is a proof of concept for Ostari, a new programming framework the researchers developed for creating more intentional AI algorithms.

 In one experiment, the team matched human players with several versions of a program that plays a card game, and the participants noted they had more fun playing against a fully intentional program, which accounts for both how players will interpret its intent and how it should interpret the intent of other players. Another study details how Ostari can be used by developers to author intentional AI programs, ideally in conjunction with other programming languages for any application in which situations requiring information exchange must be modeled. .... " 

The first paper, “An Intentional AI for Hanabi,” was presented at the IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence in Games (CIG), which was held Aug. 22-25 in New York City. Lead author of the paper is Markus Eger, a Ph.D. student at NC State. The paper was co-authored by Marcela Alfaro C√≥rdoba, a former Ph.D. student at NC State.

The second paper, “Practical Specification of Belief Manipulation in Games,” was presented at the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE), held Oct. 5-9 in Snowbird, Utah. Eger is lead author of the paper.   ... " 

GE to Roll Out Predix Asset Management

Have been following Predix, was a beta user.   Managing Assets in the IoT is important

GE to roll out its Predix Asset Performance Management software at its monitoring, diagnostic center  .... By rolling out APM to its monitoring and diagnostic center, it will be able to tap into utility sensor data around the world for more predictive abilities. .... "    By Larry Dignan in ZDNet

Google Takes Youtube Off Echo Show

I have verified this has happened.  Have been involved in sketching out an application using the Echo Show.  With an option of using the Youtube content on the device.   Will this  ultimately be solved?  Not giving access to a usually freely accessible Web based service is a dangerous precedent.  It had been allowed for a few months, then pulled off again.     Should be noted too that Google has plans to create a similar, competitive device.    Comments on the site below are interesting.

Google is pulling YouTube off the Fire TV and Echo Show as feud with Amazon grows   New Nest devices have mysteriously disappeared from Amazon     by Ben Popper in Engadget  ....

Driving AI Adoption in the Enterprise

Interesting infographic style view look at this question, driven by Forrester surveys.     In particular how enterprises are choosing to do work in this area,  an area I was involved in in previous attempts to bring in this and related technologies. 

Forrester Data Infographic: Who’s Driving AI Adoption In The Enterprise?

Elizabeth Cullen, Researcher

There’s no doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) and its underlying technology building blocks are top of mind for enterprises today. But who’s driving this change and its adoption within their organizations?

On the surface, it may appear that AI is yet another technology that firms will expect their technology organization to champion, evaluate, and bolt onto existing systems — as opposed to letting their business leaders drive the charge. Yet the Forrester Data Global Business Technographics® Data And Analytics Survey, 2017 reveals a nuanced view of AI adoption. We found that business technology decision makers (TDMs), i.e., those technologists aligned with a business unit, are the ones driving AI adoption within their firms, more so than traditional technology decision makers who are aligned with the tech organization.  .... " 

Big Data and AI

Once again, my take,  its about using analytical methods to detect patterns (Machine Learning) in enough managed data (Big Data) , and inserting what is found into process (AI)  to augment and improve systems.   We are seeing all of these components advance.

How Artificial Intelligence is Making Big Data Better Than Ever     By Brigg Patten

The concept of Big Data is a relatively new one. It denotes the availability of vast volumes and sources of data, which were not available before. By itself, Big Data is powerful, and when combined with Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, the opportunities presented by this combination are just endless.  As big data moves to the maturity phase, firms are now looking for ways to combine the scale of AI and the agility of Big Data processes to bring about an acceleration on the delivery of the much-needed business value.  ... " 

Kroger Restocks

Kroger begins next phase in Restock initiative
Company expects partnerships based on local preference to increase   By Dan Orlando in SuperMarketNews

The Restock Kroger Initiative, which launched in October, has begun to change the layout and operational procedures of the Cincinnati-based company’s vast network of stores, Chief Financial Officer Mike Schlotman said on Tuesday. 

The program—which Schlotman referred to as a “balance between merchandising and operation efficiencies” during a presentation at the Barclays Eat, Sleep, Play Conference—involves an accelerated effort that centers around pricing, personalized communications with shoppers and a significant revamp of product assortments based on findings from the company’s research arm, 84.51°. .... " 

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Micro Battles for Strategic Problems

So What is a Micro-Battle?   via Bain & Company    The HBR explains:

Figure Out Your Company’s Make-or-Break Strategic Problems, Then Use Small Teams to Solve Them   by James Allen  .... " 

James Allen explains micro battles in a video

And in Founder's Mentality.

On AI Transforming the Economy

Also some about the AIIndex mentioned here recently.   Good points here,  what has been done is still only scratching the surface of what we would call 'intelligence'.  We are not there yet, but making progress that we have to pay attention to.

A.I. Will Transform the Economy. But How Much, and How Soon?
By The New York Times in the ACM News

There are basically three big questions about artificial intelligence and its impact on the economy: What can it do? Where is it headed? And how fast will it spread?

Three new reports combine to suggest these answers: It can probably do less right now than you think. But it will eventually do more than you probably think, in more places than you probably think, and will probably evolve faster than powerful technologies have in the past.

This bundle of research is itself a sign of the A.I. boom. Researchers across disciplines are scrambling to understand the likely trajectory, reach and influence of the technology — already finding its way into things like self-driving cars and image recognition online — in all its dimensions. Doing so raises a host of challenges of definition and measurement, because the field is moving quickly — and because companies are branding things A.I. for marketing purposes. .... " 

Gaming Machine Learning

Previously mentioned.   A good means for applying simulation.  Here in further detail.  And Gaming.

Gaming Machine Learning   By Samuel Greengard 

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 60 No. 12, Pages 14-16

Over the last few years, the quest to build fully autonomous vehicles has shifted into high gear. Yet, despite huge advances in both the sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) required to operate these cars, one thing has so far proved elusive: developing algorithms that can accurately and consistently identify objects, movements, and road conditions. As Mathew Monfort, a postdoctoral associate and researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) puts it: "An autonomous vehicle must actually function in the real world. However, it's extremely difficult and expensive to drive actual cars around to collect all the data necessary to make the technology completely reliable and safe."

All of this is leading researchers down a different path: the use of game simulations and machine learning to build better algorithms and smarter vehicles. By compressing months or years of driving into minutes or even seconds, it is possible to learn how to better react to the unknown, the unexpected, and unforeseen, whether it is a stop sign obscured by graffiti, a worn or missing lane marking, or snow covering the road and obscuring everything.  ....  "

Analytics to Combat Opiod Epidemic

Becoming an epidemic in our area.  Good thoughts here, but would have liked more in the area of pattern detection, predictive and prescriptive applications.  Though once you did more accurate data gathering,  you would get more opportunity for intelligent applications. Someone doing that specifically in this space, contact me, willing to support ?

How law enforcement can use analytics to combat the opioid epidemic   
By David Kennedy on SAS Voices 

A steady drumbeat of news coverage makes one thing clear: Opioid abuse is rising and has reached epidemic levels throughout our country. Overdoses from the diversion and abuse of prescription opioids are one cause of the surge in deaths. Overdoses from heroin and other illicit synthetic opioids (such as heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil) are an even greater issue, resulting in approximately twice as many fatalities as prescription opioids. Law makers, health departments and the medical community are all searching for ways to slow the volume and diversion of prescription drugs, but law enforcement officers are at the front lines of the battle.

Domestic violence calls, emergency medical calls, narcotics investigations and patrol-related activity can all involve an officer encountering someone overdosing from opioids. Today, many officers are put in the role of drug counselor and medical worker as much as they are enforcement officer. We must understand what officers are experiencing, what resources they need to more effectively help those in need -- and the future threats they may face. ... "

NVidia Democratizing AI

Specialized hardware is becoming important for edge resident AI and analytics.  Also for more broadly available analytic and cognitive skills.

Nvidia Corp. is moving to lower the entry barrier to developing artificial intelligence models.      By Maria Deutscher in SiliconAngle

The chip maker, which sells graphics processing units commonly used for running AI applications, today updated its Nvidia GPU Cloud to support everyday desktops. Machines running the company’s consumer-oriented Titan accelerators can now take advantage of deep learning capabilities that were previously available only on enterprise platforms. .... " 

Bayesian Networks for Marketing

Some good and fairly straightforward examples of the technology in marketing.

Bayesia Presents:
Benoit Hubert: From Marketing Science to Artificial Intelligence with Bayesian Networks

Benoit Hubert (GfK) presents at the 5th Annual BayesiaLab Conference in Paris

Monday, December 04, 2017

Stanford Creates an AI Index

Recall an effort to do this back then as well.   It also makes sense to decide how we can measure things we are interested in.  Will follow.

Stanford-Led Artificial Intelligence Index Tracks Emerging Field 
Stanford News  by Andrew Myers

A Stanford University-led team called the AI100 has launched the AI Index, the first index to track the state of artificial intelligence (AI) and measure technological progress in the same way the gross domestic product and the S&P 500 indices track the U.S. economy and stock market, respectively. The new index has revealed a 14-fold increase in AI startups and a six-fold gain in investment since 2000, as well as significant improvements in the technology's ability to mimic human performance. 

The AI Index monitors and quantifies at least 18 separate vectors in academia, industry, open source software, and public interest, in addition to technical evaluations of progress toward "human-level performance" in areas such as speech recognition and computer vision. Specific metrics in the index include assessments of academic papers published, course enrollment, AI-related startups, job openings, search-term frequency, and media mentions. Still, Stanford professor Yoav Shoham, who received the ACM AAAI Allen Newell Award for 2012, notes a five-year-old's general intelligence remains beyond AI's capabilities.   .... " 

Video Understanding

Very good piece, with as you might expect, good demonstration video.   This takes such methods beyond captioning and close to what we continually do as humans, visually interpret and understand a contextually changing view.  A sort of visual scene understanding.   Sensory AI at its most useful.

Helping AI master video understanding  By Dan Gutfreund
Video Analytics Scientist, IBM Research AI

I am part of the team at the MIT IBM Watson AI Lab that is carrying out fundamental AI research to push the frontiers of core technologies that will advance the state-of-the-art in AI video comprehension. This is just one example of joint research we’re pursuing together to produce innovations in AI technology that solve real business challenges.

Great progress has been made and I am excited to share that we are releasing the Moments in Time Dataset, a large-scale dataset of one million three-second annotated video clips for action recognition to accelerate the development of technologies and models that enable automatic video understanding for AI.

A lot can happen in a moment of time: a girl kicking a ball, behind her on the path a woman walks her dog, on a park bench nearby a man is reading a book and high above a bird flies in the sky. Humans constantly absorb such moments through their senses and process them swiftly and effortlessly. When asked to describe such a moment, a person can quickly identify objects (girl, ball, bird, book), the scene (park) and the actions that are taking place (kicking, walking, reading, flying). ... " 

Amazon Rekognition Announces New Features

For a prototype project have been examining applications of face and image analysis.  I see that Amazon has added a number of new features to their Rekognition Services, which is used in Pinterist.

Amazon Adds New Features to Their Rekognition Service  by Steef-Jan Wiggers in Infoq

In a recent blog post, Amazon announced the addition of three new features to its Rekognition Service. These new features enable detection and recognition of text in images, face detection up to a hundred in a full picture, and real-time face recognition across ten million faces.

At Amazon re:Invent 2016, Amazon introduced Rekognition, allowing developers to add image analysis to their applications. Amazon is now making additional investments in this cognitive service with these new features. An early adopter of the Amazon Rekognition service is Pinterest.   .... " 

(will be starting to test, any watchouts?) 

Empathy and Product Design

Have followed this site for some time, follow along. 

Empathy and the Art of Product Design
By Vignesh Ramesh in UXMatters.

Solving extraordinary problems and creating customer-centric products and services that people want and need is a valuable skill that requires a unique blend of fact-based expertise and creativity.

Product design is more than a series of simple steps or a mechanical process for solving a problem. In fact, when done well, product design is something of a mystery. Solving extraordinary problems and creating customer-centric products and services that people want and need is a valuable skill that requires a unique blend of fact-based expertise and creativity.  ... " 

Chatbots Drive Future of Content Marketing

Based on our own experience, I concur.  Probably driven most by people starting to experience more conversations with chatbots.   Authenticity helps, but the authenticity is being accepted as a 'robotic' style.  Still has to provide value and quickly usable correctness.

How Chatbots Are Influencing the Future of Content Marketing  By John Hall  in Inc.

Call it counterintuitive, but using robots may be one of the best ways to humanize your brand and enhance your content marketing efforts.

Modern consumers crave authentic conversations. To deliver on those expectations and provide more personal experiences, marketers are constantly seeking powerful content tools and better, smarter tech. Although turning to robots doesn't immediately sound like the best way to have more human conversations, chatbots can empower brands to improve their content marketing strategies and meet evolving customer needs. .... " 

Software can Identify People from DNA

This software can Identify People from their DNA in minutes  via the Hindu Times

“We’re especially excited about the potential to improve cell authentication in cancer research and potentially speed up the discovery of new treatments,” he said.

Researchers have developed a software system to accurately identify people and cell lines from their DNA in a matter of minutes.

The technology has a wide range of applications, but its most immediate use could be to flag mislabelled or contaminated cell lines in cancer experiments, according to the study published in the journal eLife. “Our method opens up new ways to use off-the-shelf technology to benefit society,” said Yaniv Erlich, from the Columbia University in the U.S. .... " 

Original source and technical details, via Columbia University.