Peeking into AI’s ‘black box’ brain — with physics

Cats aren’t dogs. Even modern AI knows that. But how exactly AI distinguishes cat images from those of dogs is not clear. Standard neural networks are akin to a black box, as even the people who program them often have little to no idea how they make decisions. It’s not as critical when it’s just a picture of a cute puppy or a kitten. But it becomes important when an AI tries to interpret, say, a sequence of weather images that show…

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AI leaders make the most of the COVID-19 crisis to increase the role of AI

There is little doubt that COVID-19 has been the single most influential driver of our lives and livelihoods in 2020. The impact of the pandemic however has been very mixed for certain groups of society, certain industry sectors, certain companies and for certain technologies. Three key themes emerge around PwC’s Global Responsible AI survey, of over 1,000 C-level executives, conducted in November 2019.

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How Industries will move past the Pandemic and thrive in 2021 using AI

The response from COVID-19’s gradual recovery will be top of mind for nearly every firm and industry in 2021. Some businesses may become stagnant or never recover. Others will view the shakeup as an unprecedented opportunity to understand and improve their data and analytical assets, operationalize and update their model production process, and reassure customers that their AI can be trusted.

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Incoming White House science and technology leader on AI, diversity, and society

Technologies like artificial intelligence and human genome editing “reveal and reflect even more about the complex and sometimes dangerous social architecture that lies beneath the scientific progress that we pursue,” said Dr. Alondra Nelson today as part of the introduction of the Biden administration science team. On Friday, the Biden transition team appointed Nelson to the position of OSTP deputy director for science and society. Biden will be sworn in Wednesday to officially become the 46th president of the United States.

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OpenAI’s text-to-image engine, DALL-E, is a powerful visual idea generator

Once upon a time in Silicon Valley, engineers at the various electronics firms would tinker at their benches and create new inventions. This tinkering was done, at least in part, to show to the engineer at the next bench so they could both appreciate the ingenuity and inspire others. Some of this work eventually made it into products — but much of it did not. This inefficiency that existed until the late 1980s was largely supplanted (by the bean counters first, and then marketing staffs), and product development shifted to focus instead on perceived customer desires.

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“Don’t just beat the market – crush it”

When I was reviewing our new flagship SaaS TradersAlmanac.ai, I thought that the charts could use a little extra ‘oomph’ to make them do their conversion magic more powerfully. Indeed, in versions gone by of charts like these for other projects, Coindex CEO Ryan had asked for the very same thing: comparisons against S&P, NASDAQ and DJIA.

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Feature store repositories emerge as an MLOps linchpin for advancing AI

A battle for control over machine learning operations (MLOps) is beginning in earnest as organizations embrace feature store repositories to build AI models more efficiently. A feature store is at its core a data warehouse through which developers of AI models can share and reuse the artifacts that make up an AI model as well as an entire AI model that might need to be modified or further extended. In concept, feature store repositories play a similar role as a Git repository does in enabling developers to build applications more efficiently by sharing and reusing code.

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Facebook claims its AI can anticipate COVID-19 outcomes using X-rays

Researchers at Facebook and New York University (NYU) claim to have developed three machine learning models that could help doctors predict how a COVID-19 patient’s condition might develop. The open-sourced models, all of which require no more than a sequence of X-rays, ostensibly predict patient deterioration up to four days in advance and the amount of supplemental oxygen (if any) a patient might need.

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The AI Incident Database wants to improve the safety of machine learning

AI systems’ failures have become a recurring theme in technology news. Credit scoring algorithms that discriminate against women. Computer vision systems that misclassify people with darker skin. Recommendation systems that promote violent content. Trending algorithms that amplify fake news.

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Voice AI in 2021 — will it finally speak out?

New year, new voice AI solutions? Well, why not? Artificial intelligence doesn’t laze around and constantly influences all of its fields of expertise. Although voice technologies are quite fresh, they found their own place on the market and have a continuous impact on developing various industry branches. Maybe they still haven’t launched like a rocket, but the path is being paved in front of our eyes. Here are some of the most realistic forecasts for 2021.

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Oqton raises $40 million to apply AI to additive manufacturing

Oqton, a startup developing an operating system that integrates engineering software with manufacturing hardware, has raised $40 million.

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IBM’s Squawk Bot AI helps make sense of financial data flood

In our recent work, we detail an AI and machine learning mechanism able to assist in correlating a large body of text with numerical data series used to describe financial performance as it evolves over time. Our deep learning-based system pulls out from large amounts of textual data potentially relevant and useful textual descriptions that explain the performance of a financial metric of interest – without the need of human experts or labelled data.
The post IBM’s Squawk Bot AI helps make sense of financial data flood appeared first on IBM Research Blog.

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Swedish edtech startup Sana Labs bags £13M to redefine workplace training with AI

Sana Labs, a Stockholm-based online training platform, raised $18 million (approx £13.1 million) in a Series A round led by EQT Ventures. The funding round brings the total amount raised to $23 million (approx £17 million). The new funding will be used to invest more in technology R&D, sales-focused marketing, and people to make this happen.

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Honing In on AI, U.S. Launches National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office

To drive American leadership in the field of AI into the future, the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office has been launched by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The new agency was established under the American Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020, which was enacted and codified into law to expand many existing AI policies and initiatives throughout the federal government.

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The AI arms race comes to enterprise content management

Enterprise content management (ECM) platforms that have historically been employed to manage files are, thanks to the rise of AI, about to evolve into central repositories for keeping track of relationships between a much wider range of types of data.

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Nayya raises $11 million to guide employee health benefits decisions with AI

Nayya, an insurance benefits management platform, today announced it has closed $11 million in a series A round led by Felicis Ventures. Nayya says the funds will be put toward product research and development as it seeks to acquire new talent and customers.

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Molecula raises $17.6 million for its AI feature store technology

Molecula, which is developing a cloud-based feature store for AI and machine learning workloads, today announced it has raised $17.6 million. The company says the proceeds will be put toward accelerating the launch of its managed cloud service and bolstering its sales and marketing efforts.

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Rapyd raises $300 million for its unified payments platform

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Rapyd, which is developing an all-in-one payments solutions platform, today announced it has raised $300 million, bringing the company’s total raised to over $450 million. CEO Arik Shtilman said the funds will be used to double the size of Rapyd’s engineering and product teams and explore acquisitions globally.
Virtual card spend is projected to grow to $355 billion by 2022, up from $136 billion in 2017, according to Accenture. With annual transaction volumes anticipated to surpass $9 trillion, businesses are increasingly investigating unified payment solutions.

Rapyd offers solutions on the web and mobile, including the ability to accept cash, bank transfers, e-wallets, local debit cards, and over 900 alternative payment methods in more than 100 regions. The platform supports disbursements in over 170 countries and multicurrency settlement to a single file across 65 currencies. Moreover, it delivers real-time foreign exchange, ID verification via document scanning, and anti-money laundering and counter financing terrorism (AML/CFT) services.
Rapyd offers an API, a software development kit that integrates with existing apps, and responsive designs for merchant checkout flows. The checkout solution can stand alone or coexist with gateways and local payment systems, while Rapyd’s white-label wallet platform ships with features targeting retail shops and rewards programs.
Rapyd competes with a number of well-established companies in a financial tech sector estimated at $147.37 billion as of year-end 2018, including Ayden, PayPal, and Stripe. But Rapyd hit around $100 million in revenue last year at a pre-money valuation of $1.2 billion, driven by the fees it levies on payments and multicurrency transactions (3.5% plus 30 cents for funds in and $1.50 plus 1% for exchanges).

Over the past year, Rapyd has expanded its network with new and existing products for Thailand, South Korea, Mexico, India, Brazil, and the U.K. It also acquired Iceland-based payment card service provider Korta, inked agreements with Visa and Mastercard, launched an anti-fraud service called Rapyd Protect, and partnered with payments technology company InComm to support cash bill pay and load solutions at participating retailers in the U.S.
“The demand for online payments has skyrocketed following the restrictions due to the effects of COVID-19, and as a company, we are well-placed to provide businesses across the globe with the solutions they need and to get them up and running fast,” Shtilman said in a statement. “To kick off 2021 with this substantial round of funding to further invest in our platform is a tremendous vote of confidence both in the growing need for local payment solutions that can be deployed at scale globally, and more specifically in our vision and company.”
Coatue led the series D funding round announced today, with participation from Spark Capital, Avid Ventures, FJ Labs, and Latitude. Current backers General Catalyst, Oak HC/FT, Tiger Global, Target Global, Durable Capital, Tal Capital, and Entrée Capital also contributed. Rapyd has offices in London and Mountain View, California.

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What this bald eagle and neural network depiction have to do with future U.S. AI strategy

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) today announced the launch of the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office, an organization that will coordinate and oversee national AI policy initiatives for the United States government. “The Office is charged with overseeing and implementing the United States national AI strategy and will serve as the central hub for federal coordination and collaboration in AI research and policymaking across the government, as well as with private sector, academia, and other stakeholders,” according to a White House statement.

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