What’s happened in AI: June 4th-June 9th

By | June 10, 2018

Big news this week with Microsoft’s $7.5bn acquisition of GitHub.

Other news this week includes numerous developments in the autonomous vehicles space, with announcements from Waymo, GM, Ford, Innoviz, Cadillac, Volvo and more. We also received word that the White House plans to release government data to help advance the speed of AI developments. It remains to be seen how this is implemented, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Company developments:

Waymo wants its driverless cars in Europe, but it could face challenges – June 8, 2018 (TechRadar)

  • John Krafcik, speaking at the Automotive News Europe Congress in Turin, Italy, told the audience that, “There is an opportunity for us at Waymo to experiment here in Europe, with different products and maybe even with different go-to-market strategies,” Reuters first reported
  • Last Friday, Waymo tried out its Fiat Chrysler (FCA) self-driving vans on a private racing track in Italy to impress FCA executives
  • “For the first time we brought Waymo technology and demonstrated true Level 4 (autonomy), no humans in the front row, fully autonomous, no safety-net driving, right here in Italy – it was amazing,” Krafcik said

Amy Marentic leaves Lincoln China to market Ford’s driverless vehicles – June 7, 2018 (Detroit Free Press)

  • Amy Marentic, a small-town Michigan native who has successfully led the Lincoln brand in China, is being called home as Ford Motor Co. transitions its leadership in Asia to native speakers
  • Marentic this summer will leave her role as Lincoln president for Asia Pacific and China and assume a new position as global autonomous vehicle director, marketing
  • “Amy has done a terrific job as our president of Lincoln Asia Pacific and China during the past two years. She brought great enthusiasm to her job and built a strong team of local talents,” said Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president, Asia Pacific, and chairman and CEO, Ford China

Volvo sets new goal for autonomous cars in big industry bet – June 7, 2018 (Automotive News Europe)

  • Volvo is betting driverless vehicles will make up one-third of its deliveries by the middle of the next decade, setting the auto industry’s most ambitious target yet for the new technology
  • Half of the cars the Swedish company offers will be available through its subscription service, creating links to more than 5 million consumers and generating new sources of revenue, Volvo said Thursday in a business update
  • While several automakers have included robotaxis in their planned future lineups, Volvo is the first prominent global automaker to set a target for deliveries. Its sales rose 7 percent last year to 571,577 vehicles.

Google’s new ‘AI principles’ forbid its use in weapons and human rights violations – June 7, 2018 (TechCrunch)

  • Google has published a set of fuzzy but otherwise admirable “AI principles” explaining the ways it will and won’t deploy its considerable clout in the domain. “These are not theoretical concepts; they are concrete standards that will actively govern our research and product development and will impact our business decisions,” wrote CEO Sundar Pichai
  • The principles follow several months of low-level controversy surrounding Project Maven, a contract with the U.S. military that involved image analysis on drone footage. Some employees had opposed the work and even quit in protest, but really the issue was a microcosm for anxiety regarding AI at large and how it can and should be employed

Israeli autonomous technology developer Innoviz is entering China’s car market – June 6, 2018 (TechCrunch)

  • Innoviz, a developer of light-detection and ranging technologies for computer vision and autonomous vehicles, is getting a toehold in China, the world’s fastest growing auto market, through a partnership with the Chinese automotive supplier HiRain Technologies
  • From offices in Beijing, Chicago, Detroit, Shanghai and Tianjin, HiRain serves as a global supplier to some of China’s largest automakers and has already been a gateway to success for another Israeli company developing sensing technology for vehicle manufacturers — Mobileye
  • That company has half of its business coming from China and has won 9 of its supplier agreements with different automakers in the country through its HiRain partnership, according to people with knowledge of the company

Cadillac Adding Semi-Autonomous Driving Technology Across All Models, GM to Follow – June 6, 2018 (The Drive)

  • Luxury General Motors spinoff Cadillac has announced that its semi-autonomous driving platform, Super Cruise, is set to be deployed fleet-wide by 2020. By bundling the Autopilot competitor with wireless vehicle communication advancements, the Detroit automaker hopes to gain an early advantage over some of its biggest rivals in the industry
  • GM calls Super Cruise “the world’s first true hands-free driver assistance feature for the freeway,” which includes an important word: assistance. Super Cruise, much likes Tesla’s Autopilot feature, is an autonomous driving aide which operates within the SAE-defined functionality of “Level 2” autonomy. This means that the automobile will use baked-in sensors and software logic to intelligently control both vehicle speed and steering, but only under certain conditions
  • GM highlights that Super Cruise is a feature to be used on the freeway to offer what its marketing team is calling a “hands-free driver assistance feature”, however increasing controversy over how drivers treat Tesla’s autonomy software may lead drivers down a potentially dangerous path by ignoring the need to pay attention to their surroundings

GM Cruise Prepping Launch Of Driverless Car Pilot In San Francisco: Emails – June 5, 2018 (Jalopnik)

  • General Motors has said it wants to deploy a fleet of self-driving Chevy Bolts for a commercial ride-sharing service at some point in 2019. But ahead of that, GM’s self-driving unit, GM Cruise, is aiming to deploy autonomous cars without a driver at the wheel as part of a pilot program in San Francisco that, emails obtained by Jalopnik suggest, could launch imminently
  • As recently as last month, Cruise officials were corresponding with the San Francisco mayor’s office about using some of the city’s first responder vehicles for autonomous car tests and data collection. The training exercise, a Cruise officials wrote in one email, “is critical to both public and vehicle safety” ahead of “driverless deployment.”

Chinese AI startup Rokid will mass produce their own custom AI chip for voice recognition – June 5, 2018 (Technode)

  • Rokid, a Hangzhou-based startup which specializes in robotics research and AI development, is about to launch and mass-produce its own dedicated voice-first AI chip after two years of research and development. The company told TechNode that the custom AI chip is more power efficient, lower in cost, and better designed for third-party vendors, OEMs, and small appliance manufacturers. The chip’s specifications will be unveiled at the “Rokid Jungle” event in Hangzhou on June 26, along with new product developments and major partnerships
  • TechNode spoke to Dr. Zhou Jun, who headed Samsung’s Semiconductor Institute in China prior to joining Rokid as vice president in April, about the new AI chip and its significance in the AI chip wave that we’re witnessing now

Nvidia launches Isaac robot platform with Jetson Xavier robot processor – June 4, 2018 (Venturebeat)

  • Nvidia launched its Nvidia Isaac robot platform today to power the next generation of autonomous machines, bringing artificial intelligence capabilities to robots for manufacturing, logistics, agriculture, construction, and many other industries
  • Launched at Computex 2018 in Taiwan by Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, the Nvidia Isaac platform includes new hardware, software, and a virtual-world robot simulator that makes it easy for developers to create new kinds of robots
  • At the heart of Nvidia Isaac is Jetson Xavier, Nvidia’s first computer designed specifically for robotics. With more than 9 billion transistors, it delivers over 30 TOPS (trillion operations per second). That’s more processing capability than a powerful workstation while using a third the energy of a lightbulb

Apple’s Core ML 2 is 30% faster, cuts AI model sizes by up to 75% – June 4, 2018 (Venturebeat)

  • Apple announced Core ML 2, a new version of its suite of machine learning apps for iOS devices, at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2018 in San Jose, California today
  • Core ML 2 is 30 percent faster, Apple says, thanks to a technique called batch prediction. Furthermore, Apple said the toolkit will let developers shrink the size of trained machine learning models by up to 75 percent through quantization
  • Apple also announced Create ML, a new GPU-accelerated tool for native AI model training on Macs. The tool supports vision and natural language, as well as custom data. And because it’s built in Swift, you can use drag-and-drop programming interfaces like Xcode Playgrounds to train models. “It’s really easy to use,” Apple senior vice president of software engineer Craig Federighi said onstage

World-Renowned AI Scientists, Dr. Sebastian Seung and Dr. Daniel Lee Join Samsung Research – June 4, 2018 (Samsung)

  • Samsung Electronics today announced that it is adding prominent artificial intelligence (AI) experts Dr. H. Sebastian Seung, the Evnin Professor in the Neuroscience Institute and Department of Computer Science at Princeton University, and Dr. Daniel D. Lee, the UPS Foundation Chair Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, to expand its global AI R&D capabilities
  • At Samsung Research, Drs. Seung and Lee will play a central role in building up fundamental research on AI that will advance human knowledge with the potential for revolutionary business impact. “Samsung is a company with a long history of pursuing innovation, and is committed to tapping the full potential of artificial intelligence,” said Dr. Seung. “I look forward to working at Samsung to help discover what lies ahead in AI.”


Microsoft has acquired GitHub for $7.5B in stock – June 4, 2018 (TechCrunch)

  • After a week of rumors, Microsoft today confirmed that it has acquired GitHub, the popular Git-based code sharing and collaboration service. The price of the acquisition was $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock. GitHub raised $350 million and we know that the company was valued at about $2 billion in 2015
  • Former Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman (and now Microsoft corporate vice president) will become GitHub’s CEO. GitHub founder and former CEO Chris Wanstrath will become a Microsoft technical fellow and work on strategic software initiatives. Wanstrath had retaken his CEO role after his co-founder Tom Preston-Werner resigned following a harassment investigation in 2014
  • The fact that Microsoft is installing a new CEO for GitHub is a clear sign that the company’s approach to integrating GitHub will be similar to how it is working with LinkedIn. “GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos and will operate independently to provide an open platform for all developers in all industries,” a Microsoft spokesperson told us

Black Knight Announces Acquisition of HeavyWater, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Solution – June 4, 2018 (Global Newswire)

  • Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI) announced that it has acquired HeavyWater, a provider of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to the financial services industry. Black Knight will be integrating AIVA (pronounced Ay-vah) into its premier solutions, while also making the technology available to clients who seek to deploy AI/ML within other parts of their organizations to help enhance efficiency, effectiveness and accuracy
  • By taking on manual tasks that have diverted resources away from value creation projects, AIVA reads, comprehends and draws conclusions based on context to mimic cognitive thinking and build expertise over time. Located in Philadelphia, HeavyWater has been providing this solution to help lenders verify income, assets and insurance coverage, which are traditionally manual activities that take hours to complete and are prone to error. Clients benefit from accelerated processes and reduced expenses as AIVA gains experience and manual routines are automated
  • “With the cost of origination and servicing at, or near, all-time highs, AIVA is poised to help increase efficiencies for Black Knight clients,” said Anthony Jabbour, Black Knight’s chief executive officer. “AI, machine learning and neural network solutions are the future of delivering enhanced productivity and capabilities to our clients, and we are very excited about the potential HeavyWater has to offer. Now, with HeavyWater a part of Black Knight, we’ll be able to apply this groundbreaking technology at scale and pursue our shared goal of transforming the industry.”

Fundraising / investments:

Belarus’ Bulba Ventures is betting on the next big machine learning startups – June 9, 2018 (Venturebeat)

  • Nearly one year after AIMatter’s sale to Google, VentureBeat caught up with Yury Melnichek, the Belarusian serial entrepreneur who was a founding investor in AIMatter and who previously worked as a software engineer at Google and eBay. Melnichek also cofounded Maps.me, a mobile map service that was acquired by Russian tech titan Mail.ru back in 2014
  • Earlier this year, Melnichek launched a new investment vehicle called Bulba Ventures, in conjunction with business partner Andrei Avsievich. Bulba’s focus is on investing between $100,000 and $500,000 in machine learning startups in Belarus, though the firm’s reach may extend into surrounding regions, such as Russia and Ukraine
  • To date, Bulba has invested in three startups: OneSoil, which is setting out to leverage data and machine learning to enhance agricultural productivity; a virtual makeup service called Voir; and its most recent deal, an AR-commerce beauty startup called Wannaby, whose $2 million investment Bulba joined last month. We’re told that Bulba is in the process of tying up another deal to invest in Rocketbody, an AI-powered fitness training app that recently closed a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign

Zebra Medical Vision gets $30M Series C to create AI-based tools for radiologists – June 7, 2018 (TechCrunch)

  • Zebra Medical Vision, an Israeli medical imaging startup that uses machine and deep learning to build tools for radiologists, has raised a $30 million Series Cled by health technology fund aMoon Ventures, with participation from Aurum, Johnson & Johnson Innovation—JJDC Inc. (the conglomerate’s venture capital arm), Intermountain Health and artificial intelligence experts Fei-Fei Li and Richard Socher. Existing investors Khosla Ventures, Nvidia, Marc Benioff, OurCrowd and Dolby Ventures also returned for the round
  • Zebra also announced its Textray research today, which it claims is the “most comprehensive AI research conducted on chest X-rays to date.” Textray is being used to develop a new product that has already been trained using almost two million images to identify 40 clinical findings. Scheduled to launch next year, it will help automate the analysis of chest X-rays for radiologists
  • CEO Elad Benjamin said Zebra, which has now raised a total of $50 million, differentiates its approach by looking at its algorithms from a “holistic product perspective. Developing an algorithm is just one piece,” he added. “Integrating it into the workflow, adapting it to the needs of multiple countries and healthcare environments, supporting and updating it, and regulating it properly globally takes a tremendous focus – and that’s what delivers value, over and above an algorithm.”

Self-driving robot delivery startup Starship Technologies raises $25 million – June 7, 2018 (TechCrunch)

  • The robots are here and one company, Starship Technologies, has raised $25 million to bring even more to the mainstream. This latest round of funding includes a follow-on investment from Matrix Partners and Morpheus Ventures. New investors include Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk, Skype founding engineer Jaan Tallinn and others
  • These autonomous robots can carry items, like groceries or packages, within a two-mile radius. The plan with the funding is to deploy Starship robots in neighborhoods, corporate and university campuses in both the U.S. and Europe
  • Prior to this round, Starship raised $17.2 million in a seed round led by Mercedes-Benz Vans with participation from Shasta Ventures, Matrix Partners, ZX Venturers, Morpheus Ventures and others

CloudNC scores £9M Series A led by Atomico to bring AI to manufacturing – June 7, 2018 (TechCrunch)

  • CloudNC, the U.K. startup and Entrepreneur First alumni that is developing AI software to automate part of the manufacturing process, has quietly raised £9 million in Series A funding, TechCrunch has learned
  • According to sources — and since confirmed by the company — Atomico, the European VC firm founded by Skype’s Niklas Zennström, has led the round. A number of existing investors, including Episode 1 and Entrepreneur First, also participated. We first heard a term sheet had been put on the table as far back as March, and last week the investment finally closed
  • With the broader aim of using AI to dramatically reduce the time and costs associated with manufacturing, CloudNC is developing software and a cloud computing service that hopes to automate the programming of CNC milling machines

Hailo raises a $12.5M Series A round for its deep learning chips – June 5, 2018 (TechCrunch)

  • For the longest time, chips were a little bit boring. But the revolution in deep learning has now opened the market for startups that build specialty chips to accelerate deep learning and model evaluation. Among those is Israel-based Hailo, which is building deep learning chips for embedded devices. The company today announced that it has raised a $12 million Series A round
  • Investors include Israeli crowdfunding platform OurCrowd, Maniv Mobility, Next Gear, and a number of angel investors, including Hailo’s own chairman Zohar Zisapel and Delek Motors’ Gil Agmon
  • Hailo tells me that it will use the new round, which brings its total funding to $16 million, to further develop its deep learning processors. The company expects samples to reach the market in the first half of 2019. Those chips will be able to run embedded AI applications in a wide range of settings, including drones and cars, as well as smart home appliances and cameras

Mozilla announces $225,000 in grants for “artwork and advocacy exploring AI” – June 4, 2018 (BoingBoing)

  • Kevin from Mozilla writes, “In a world where biased algorithms, skewed data sets, and broken recommendation engines can radicalize YouTube users, promote racism, and spread fake news, it’s more important than ever to support artwork and advocacy work that educates and engages internet users.”
  • “Specifically, we’re seeking projects that explore artificial intelligence and machine learning. In a world where biased algorithms, skewed data sets, and broken recommendation engines can radicalize YouTube users, promote racism, and spread fake news, it’s more important than ever to support artwork and advocacy work that educates and engages internet users”
  • These awards are part of the NetGain Partnership, a collaboration between Mozilla, Ford Foundation, Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the Open Society Foundation. The goal of this philanthropic collaboration is to advance the public interest in the digital age


IBM and the DoE launch the world’s fastest supercomputer – June 8, 2018 (TechCrunch)

  • IBM and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) today unveiled Summit, the department’s newest supercomputer. IBM claims that Summit is currently the world’s “most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer” with a peak performance of a whopping 200,000 trillion calculations per second. That performance should put it comfortably at the top of the Top 500 supercomputer ranking when the new list is published later this month. That would also mark the first time since 2012 that a U.S.-based supercomputer holds the top spot on that list
  • Summit, which has been in the works for a few years now, features 4,608 compute servers with two 22-core IBM Power9 chips and six Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs each. In total, the system also features over 10 petabytes of memory. Given the presence of the Nvidia GPUs, it’s no surprise that the system is meant to be used for machine learning and deep learning applications, as well as the usual high performance computing workloads for research in energy and advanced materials that you would expect to happen at Oak Ridge

Gridsum Joins Artificial Intelligence Industry Alliance – June 7, 2018 (PR Newswire)

  • Gridsum Holding Inc. (“Gridsum” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: GSUM), a leading provider of cloud-based big-data analytics and artificial intelligence (“AI”) solutions in China, today announced that it has joined the China Artificial Intelligence Industry Alliance (“AIIA”) alongside IBM, Microsoft, Intel and Thundersoft as council members
  • Under the guidance of the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the State Network Information Office, the AIIA was formed by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology and a number of other respected institutions. The AIIA’s focus is to promote the development of the AI industry by creating a platform that serves enterprises and local government in the implementation of China’s “Internet + artificial intelligence action plan” and the development of “Internet +”
  • Mr. Guosheng Qi, Chief Executive Officer of Gridsum, commented, “I am proud we have been accepted as an AIIA council member alongside our globally respected peers. I believe this demonstrates the quality and recognition our products and technologies are well received across the AI industry and the value-add they can bring to our clients. Joining the AIIA will allow us to work alongside and learn from our peers in the development of AI technologies and participate in the formulation of policy. We will continue to develop new and innovative AI and big data solutions to help our clients make better business decisions and drive their business KPIs.”

Remote-control driverless car startup partners with vehicle manufacturers – June 5, 2018 (TechCrunch)

  • Phantom Auto, a platform that can remotely control autonomous vehicles if something goes wrong, has partnered with Einride, Transdev and NEVS, formerly known as Saab Automobile
  • Phantom Auto’s tech enables a remote driver to take control of an autonomous vehicle in the event the car encounters something it can’t handle on its own. The plan for NEVS is to use Phantom Auto’s technology to better ensure the safe deployment of electric, autonomous vehicles
  • “Our AVs must be able to drive from any point A to any point B, which means driving through all edge cases they experience on the road, such as inclement weather, road work, and any other road obstructions,” NEVS CEO Stefan Tilk said in a statement. “Phantom Auto’s teleoperation safety technology ensures that passengers in our vehicles can safely and efficiently drive through any edge case, and that’s why I am excited and proud to call them NEVS’ partner.”

BNY Mellon and Deutsche Bank launch chatbots to deliver faster status information flow – June 4, 2018 (FTSE)

  • BNY Mellon and Deutsche Bank have integrated their chatbots built on the Symphony platform that they say will result in a more seamless flow of information for clients trading securities on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE). The chatbots will improve the workflow efficiency between both organisations and the client experience
  • Building on an award-winning proof of concept developed in a 24-hour hackathon by BNY Mellon’s Singapore Innovation Center team, Deutsche Bank and BNY Mellon jointly deployed a chatbot-to-chatbot communication solution that replaces previously manual responses to status updates on their securities trades. Using these new chatbots, trade settlement status queries for the Hong Kong market are now available to both organisations using Symphony, a widely used financial markets messaging platform. This significantly reduces the manual effort required to query status updates, improving both speed and accuracy
  • The collaboration began at BNY Mellon’s Innovation Center in Singapore in November 2017 following a the development of a prototype built and introduced by the BNY Mellon Singapore Innovation Centre team as part of the company’s Technology Leadership Forum’s hackathon

Research / studies:

Campus artificial intelligence research group creates data set for self-driving cars – June 8, 2018 (Daily Californian)

  • The Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab, or BAIR, released a study on BDD100K — a driving database that can be used to train algorithms of self-driving cars — May 12
  • The data set can be used to train self-driving cars’ artificial intelligence programs, according to BAIR’s website. The study concluded that the data set can help researchers understand how different scenarios affect current self-driving car programs
  • A study by the research team that created the data set described two contributions to self-driving cars, one of which is the data set and the other its video annotation system. According to BAIR’s website, BDD100K is “the largest and most diverse driving video dataset,” containing 100,000 driving clips. Each clip in the data set is about 40 seconds long for various scenarios and driving conditions in different locations

Machine learning detects lymphedema in breast cancer survivors – June 8, 2018 (Health Data Management)

  • A new study led by NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing shows that machine learning—combined with the collection of real-time symptom reports using a mHealth system—can provide early detection and help patients to receive timely intervention to effectively manage lymphedema. It’s one of the most distressing side effects from breast cancer treatment, stemming from the removal of lymph nodes. Lymphedema, which has no cure and comes with lifelong risk, is the build-up of lymph fluid that causes swelling in the arms or legs of patients
  • In the study of 355 women from 45 states who had undergone treatment for breast cancer, the performance of five machine learning algorithms were evaluated—artificial neural network (ANN), Decision Tree of C4.5, Decision Tree of C5.0, gradient boosting model and support vector machine. According to results published in the journal mHealth, all five machine learning approaches outperformed the conventional statistical approach. However, of the five, the ANN achieved the best performance for detecting lymphedema with accuracy of 93.75 percent, sensitivity of 95.65 percent and specificity of 91.03 percent
  • “Such detection accuracy is significantly higher than that achievable by current and often-used clinical methods,” says Mei Fu, associate professor of nursing at NYU Meyers and the study’s lead author. “Clinicians often detect or diagnose lymphedema based on their observation of swelling. However, by the time swelling can be observed or measured, lymphedema has typically occurred for some time, which may lead to poor clinical outcomes.”

MIT’s Deranged AI Raises Questions about Data Bias – June 4, 2018 (TechTheLead)

  • A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has created an AI that was trained with data from the, let’s say, murkier corners of the internet. It has been aptly named after Norman Bates, Hitchcock’s well-known “Psycho” character. The AI was shown images filled with gore, found on a Reddit group
  • The experiment was intended to reveal how an AI responds to this type of training via inkblots, since all the other AIs have given responses to them such as “a group of birds sitting on top of a cherry tree”, and other, equally non-aggressive interpretations

Wizard of AI: Meet India’s foremost reinforcement learning expert – June 4, 2018 (FactorDaily)

  • In a quest to demystify this tremendously arcane area of AI research, FactorDaily spoke to Professor Balaraman Ravindran, an IIT Madras professor, who is widely considered to be India’s foremost reinforcement learning expert. Based on a previous data story at FactorDaily in which we attempted to map out the country’s leading machine learning researchers, this assessment rings true
  • AI researchers like Ravindran are a rarity in India – there were less than 400, according to the Global AI Talent Report 2018, especially in light of the Indian government’s growing interest and ambitions in deploying AI across various sectors, from agriculture, education, healthcare, and defence. This year, we’ve heard of instances of AI being deployed to find 3,000 missing children and to improve hygiene in railway trains, for example
  • Ravindran’s academic work, which spans across over two decades, has produced 170 research papers, 12 of them in 2018, according to his Google Scholar profile. He’s also a co-organiser of dozens of data science and AI-focused conferences, seminars and workshops in India and the world. We spoke to him about his journey into reinforcement learning, and felt right at home quizzing him on a wide variety of questions about AI – whether we’re an AI bubble, democratisation of AI, its comparisons to alchemy, and more

AI to Save Healthcare Sector US$52 Billion in 2021 – June 4, 2018 (PR Newswire)

  • In its recent report, ABI Research finds that while only a few AI applications have resulted in commercialized and scaled solutions so far, most do show promise in Proof of Concepts (PoCs). If successful, these applications could produce more effective drugs, save doctors’ time, and save lives
  • Hospitals in Israel and the United States have already started to adopt AI-based predictive analytics. The number of patient monitoring devices using the data to train AI models for predictive analytics will rise from 53,000 at the end of 2017 to 3.1 million in 2021 with a CAGR of 176%. This includes the use of AI for home-based preventive healthcare solutions. With more devices connected to AI-based predictive analytics models, hospitals will save US$52 billion in 2021, led by North America with US$21 billion in savings
  • Applications that target hospitals and medical institutions include predictive analytics for patient monitoring, finding patients for clinical trials and transcribing notes for electronic health records (EHRs). EarlySense builds AI-based predictive analytics that use data from a contact-free sensor that goes underneath a mattress. The company has launched products for both hospitals and homes. Deep 6 AI finds and matches patients to clinical trials. It claims it shortens the process from ten months to seven minutes. It scans complete EMRs including the free text and reports using natural language processing (NLP) to find the best possible matches. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has used Deep 6 and already sees an ROI of US$10,500 per trial. LexiconAI has expanded its NLP voice-controlled transcription software to healthcare to save clinicians time in filling out EHRs. Its PoCs have resulted in US$5,000 per user per year in efficiency and savings, and it only takes early adopters one month to reach ROI

Government / policy:

New AI ethics council in Singapore will give smart advice – June 5, 2018 (CNET)

  • A new council is being set up to advise the city-state’s government on the ethical and legal use of AI and data, Singapore’s Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran announced at the opening of Innovfest Unbound Tuesday
  • In particular, it will help develop ethics standards and reference governance frameworks, issue advisory guidelines, practical guidance and codes of practice for voluntary adoption by businesses, according to Iswaran
  • A five-year research program helmed by the Singapore Management University will also be established to support the work of the council. This program will drive discussion surrounding “ethical, legal, policy and governance issues” stemming from AI and data use

INSIGHT-Deep in the Pentagon, a secret AI program to find hidden nuclear missiles – June 5, 2018 (Reuters)

  • The U.S. military is increasing spending on a secret research effort to use artificial intelligence to help anticipate the launch of a nuclear-capable missile, as well as track and target mobile launchers in North Korea and elsewhere
  • The effort has gone largely unreported, and the few publicly available details about it are buried under a layer of near impenetrable jargon in the latest Pentagon budget. But U.S. officials familiar with the research told Reuters there are multiple classified programs now under way to explore how to develop AI-driven systems to better protect the United States against a potential nuclear missile strike
  • If the research is successful, such computer systems would be able to think for themselves, scouring huge amounts of data, including satellite imagery, with a speed and accuracy beyond the capability of humans, to look for signs of preparations for a missile launch, according to more than half a dozen sources. The sources included U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the research is classified

The White House promises to release government data to fuel the AI boom – June 5, 2018 (MIT News)

  • Donald Trump’s chief technology advisor, Michael Kratsios, said today that the US government would release any data that might help fuel AI research in the United States, although he didn’t specify immediately what kind of data would be released or who would be eligible to receive the information
  • Speaking at EmTech Next, a conference held at MIT, Kratsios, who is deputy assistant to the president and deputy US chief technology officer, said the government is looking for ways to open up federal data to AI researchers. “Anything that we can do to unlock government data, we’re committed to,” Kratsios told MIT Technology Review. “We’d love to hear from any academic that has any insights.”
  • Kratsios said that the Office of Science and Technology has about 60 staffers today, compared with around 120 during the Obama administration. But he said this was in line with earlier administrations, and he claimed that the office has a broad range of expertise in everything from quantum computing to energy as well as AI

Brexit Britain wants to become a mecca for driverless vehicles – June 4, 2018 (Business Times)

  • The government is awarding £25 million (S$44.63 million) this week to as many as six projects that will research and test autonomous vehicles on highways and on trials of remote-control parking
  • It’s the second competition in a program that Richard Harrington, the UK’s automotive minister, predicts will lead to driverless cars in production within the next decade
  • The UK forecasts the global driverless vehicle market will be worth £907 billion (S$1.62 trillion) by 2035 and it wants a piece of the pie. Last year, it set aside £250 million to be allocated before 2020 for companies to analyse self-driving vehicles in environments from city streets to highways and to fund prototype demonstration projects

The world is at risk of falling behind Chinese A.I., says Goldman’s Barroso – June 4, 2018 (CNBC)

  • The world could fall behind China when it comes to developing artificial intelligence (AI), the former president of the European Commission warned Monday
  • “The Chinese are not only making statements, they are investing money,” he said at the AI Deep Dive in partnership with Feedzai at Money2020
  • Barroso added that his sentiment was not negative toward China and that, in the main, Chinese-led science would benefit the world. The Goldman employee said Europe, in particular, “should not be naive” and must defend itself by ensuring that more money is committed to AI development. He said there was evidence that this was happening with European countries that are net contributors to Brussels being asked to provide 100 billion euros ($117 billion) over the next seven years to scientific research


Dr. Kai-Fu Lee is coming to Disrupt SF to talk about how AI will eat everything, especially jobs – June 7, 2018 (TechCrunch)

  • At our upcoming TechCrunch Disrupt SF (September 5-7), TechCrunch committed to go deep on artificial intelligence, and we’re pleased to announce a speaker who has few peers in that realm as a technologist or investor. Dr. Kai-Fu Lee is the CEO and chairman of Sinovation, a venture firm based in the U.S. and China, and he has emerged as one of the world’s top prognosticators on artificial intelligence and how the technology will disrupt just about everything. Dr. Lee wrote in The New York Times last year that AI is “poised to bring about a wide-scale decimation of jobs — mostly lower-paying jobs, but some higher-paying ones, too.”