Splice gets $55 million for its software bringing beats from bedrooms to bandstands

Steve Martocci Splice

Splice, the New York-based, AI-infused, beat-making software service for music producers created by the founder of GroupMe, has managed to sample another $55 million in financing from investors for its wildly popular service.

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Shell and Microsoft announce the Open AI Energy Initiative for AI-Based Energy solutions

This month, Shell, Microsoft, C3.ai, and Baker Hughes announced the launch of their collaborative AI initiative, Open AI Energy Initiative™ (OAI). Designed for the process and energy sectors, OAI is an open-source tool that offers AI-based solutions, diagnostics, and monitoring to prevent crucial issues.

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Microsoft details Speller100, an AI system that checks spelling in over 100 languages

Bing

In a post on its AI research blog, Microsoft today detailed a new language system, Speller100, that the company claims is one of the most comprehensive ever made in terms of language coverage and accuracy. Comprising a number of AI models that can understand speech in over 100 languages collectively, Speller100 now powers all spelling correction on Bing.

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Microsoft launches Viva, an AI-powered information hub for enterprises

Microsoft Viva

Microsoft today unveiled Microsoft Viva, an employee experience platform that aims to deliver first- and third-party products across learning, wellness, insights, knowledge, and engagement. . A Forrester survey found that between 60% and 73% of all data within corporations is never analyzed for insights or larger trends. The opportunity cost of this unused data is substantial, with a Veritas report pegging it at $3.3 trillion by 2020 if the current trend holds. That’s perhaps why the corporate sector has taken an interest in cognitive search and robotic process automation products that ingest, understand, organize, and act on digital content from multiple digital sources.

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Microsoft debuts Synthetic Speech Platform ‘Custom Neural Voice’

Microsoft has unveiled the Custom Neural Voice service and begun accepting applications from customers interested in a synthetic voice built on the neural text-to-speech (TTS) feature of Azure Cognitive Services. Custom Neural Voice is already in use by brands like Warner Bros. and Progressive, but any company can now seek to build their own artificial voice actors.

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IBM quantum computing development roadmap envisions applications running 100 times faster

IBM believes it has an achievable timetable to advance its quantum hardware to reach the power and reliability that will allow for commercial applications within 5 years. The challenge then is enabling the tools and the environment to let companies and developers start experimenting with writing the applications that will allow them to harness this power.

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Microsoft launches Custom Neural Voice in limited access

Microsoft today announced the general availability of Custom Neural Voice, an Azure Cognitive Services product that lets developers create synthetic voices with neural text-to-speech technology. It’s in limited access, meaning customers must apply and be approved by Microsoft, but it’s ready for production and available in most Azure cloud regions.

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Microsoft is adding new Cortana voice AI features to Outlook and Teams

Cortana

Microsoft is adding new voice AI features to its iOS mobile apps built around its Cortana voice assistant. The updates are part of Microsoft’s ongoing reintroduction of Cortana via Microsoft 365 products after ending its independent existence over the last year. Microsoft Outlook, Teams, Lens, and Office are all going to get additional natural language controls and interactive functions.

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Alphabet’s Verily teams up with Microsoft to power multi-cloud biomedical research

Tera Workspaces

Verily, Alphabet’s research subsidiary focused on life sciences, has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to adopt a new multi-cloud approach to biomedical research. The news comes less than a month after Verily raised a fresh $700 million in funding from parent Alphabet, Silver Lake, and Temasek.

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Microsoft releases Unadversarial examples: Designing objects for robust vision – a complete hands-on guide

In a recent work by Microsoft Research, a new framework is introduced which can address these problems of data models to create “unadversarial objects,” inputs that are optimized particularly for more robust model performance. This newly proposed approach for image recognition/classification methods helps in predicting better in the case of unforeseen corruptions or distribution shifts.

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13 acquisitions highlight Big Tech’s AI talent grab in 2020

It’s no secret that Big Tech has for years nabbed top technology talent through product acquisitions and acqui-hires. In fact, this is something the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is currently looking into through ongoing antitrust investigations. So it should come as little surprise that Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet (FAAMG) have also engaged in an AI talent arms race that involves dangling millions of dollars in front of some of best technical minds.

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Microsoft debuts Power Automate process advisor and new RPA features

Microsoft today announced the public preview of process advisor, a process mining capability in Power Automate that identifies processes for automation. At the same time, Microsoft Power Automate Desktop has hit general availability, marrying robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities to a desktop authoring experience. Microsoft today also added four RPA enhancements to Power Automate: role-based sharing, lifecycle management, setting execution priorities, and real-time run and queue monitoring.

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Why Intel believes confidential computing will boost AI and machine learning

Companies are collecting increasing amounts of data, a trend that is driving the development of better analytical tools and tougher security. Analysis and security are now converging as confidential computing prepares to deliver a critical boost to artificial intelligence. Intel has been investing heavily in confidential computing as…

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AI research finds a ‘compute divide’ concentrates power and accelerates inequality in the era of deep learning

AI researchers from Virginia Tech and Western University have concluded that an unequal distribution of compute power in academia is furthering inequality in the era of deep learning. They also point to the impact on academia of people leaving prestigious universities for high-paying industry jobs.

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Microsoft introduces Lobe: A free Machine Learning application that allows you to create AI Models without coding

Microsoft has released Lobe, a free desktop application that lets Windows and Mac users create customized AI models without writing any code. Several customers are already using the app for tracking tourist activity around coral reefs, the company said.

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Microsoft and MITRE release framework to help fend off adversarial AI attacks

Microsoft, the nonprofit MITRE Corporation, and 11 organizations including IBM, Nvidia, Airbus, and Bosch today released the Adversarial ML Threat Matrix, an industry-focused open framework designed to help security analysts to detect, respond to, and remediate threats against machine learning systems.

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Microsoft’s new AI auto-captions images for the visually impaired

A new AI from Microsoft aims to automatically caption images in documents and emails so that software for visual impairments can read it out. Researchers from Microsoft explained their machine learning model in a paper on preprint repository arXiv. The model uses VIsual VOcabulary pre-training (VIVO) which leverages large amounts of paired image-tag data to…

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Google should have picked Microsoft’s app store principles over Apple’s

Microsoft this week outlined a list of 10 principles for the Microsoft Store on Windows in a not-so subtle jab at Apple and Google. The overall message: Microsoft supports Epic Games in its war with Apple and Google over the 30% cut the companies take of every purchase on the iOS App Store and the Google Play store, respectively.

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Microsoft is granted exclusive rights to use OpenAI’s GPT-3

Microsoft and OpenAI’s close relationship has taken another leap forward with the former gaining exclusive GPT-3 access. GPT-3 has been the talk of the AI town in recent months. OpenAI’s innovation can help to create convincing articles and the company once deemed it too dangerous to release in a world where misinformation and fake news…

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