This Week In Digital – Week 01, 2019

IBM is back with an AI machine to defeat man, once again; Blockchain to become a bit more efficient; Humans a step closer to Mars; Why VR is 1000x bigger than AR?

Read about all the groundbreaking things that have happened in the latest update of This Week In Digital.

It’s Interesting How IBM’s AI Debater Sways Opinions, But Who Wins – Man Or Machine? – Naveen Joshi, December 31, 2018.

Yes, there’s anxiety around machines taking over our jobs and even becoming smarter than us. Adding to the equation is that AI has now learnt the art of debate. The war between man and machines has begun. So, will it be Man-0, Machine-1 or Man-1, Machine-0? Remember when chess-playing computer Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov? The year was 1997. It was a Man-0 Machine-1, then. It was IBM that built the amazing chess playing application. Not too long after, IBM struck again on the grounds of development, innovation and progress in the field of AI. The company has now developed an AI-powered debater machine. The AI debator has the ability to pitch coherent counter-arguments to those made by humans. The chess playing machine was trained with pre-determined chess rules, appearing to act intelligent and smarter than humans on that application. Similarly for the AI debater machine, developers have used training data including news facts, research papers, statistics, and so on, and the way the debator machine understands a topic (without any prior notice), and can argue for or against it with humans, is quite amazing.

How can AI and ML Tools Help in Achieving Greater Efficiency for the Investment Industry – CIOReview, January 3, 2019.

Today’s cut-throat market demands a high level of transparency and efficiency from the enterprises. Recent technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning have helped the enterprises to achieve greater efficiency and a high level of transparency with incredible returns. Human biases can hamper a company’s growth. It can affect any industry, be it education, hospitality, entertainment, or any other industry. It applies to any sector that has a human presence. Employees can get biased based on the recent turn of events. Human biases also mar the investment sector. Employees tend to make decisions based on the recent turn of events around them.The customers require a significant amount of transparency and simplicity from investment companies. Customers need marketing strategies customized to their requirements and numbers that they can understand and relate. Enterprises need to make sure that the customers are assured of their future returns and have a sense of control over their money.

Privacy and Credit Reporting Through Block chain – Gerald Fenech, January 6, 2019.

Recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared his thoughts on privacy and potential laws that would help ensure the protection of personal data. But what if we could solve the privacy issue without the help of the government and without legislation? What if it could be done with blockchain? Cook’s four key principals for privacy law are the right to have personal data minimized, the right to knowledge, the right to access, and the right to security – all rights that could easily become universal if companies stored personal data on a decentralized network.

Artificial intelligence turns brain activity into speech – Kelly Servick, January 2, 2019.

For many people who are paralyzed and unable to speak, signals of what they’d like to say hide in their brains. No one has been able to decipher those signals directly. But three research teams recently made progress in turning data from electrodes surgically placed on the brain into computer-generated speech. Using computational models known as neural networks, they reconstructed words and sentences that were, in some cases, intelligible to human listeners.

Facebook Board Member Marc Andreessen: VR Will Be “1000 Times Bigger” Than AR – David Heaney, January 6, 2019.

Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Marc Andreessen stated that he believes that VR will be “like 1000 times bigger” than AR. The entrepreneur, who is also a member of Facebook’s board of directors, made the comments on his company’s bi-weekly podcast. This is the opposite of the view stated by many tech leaders and visionaries today. As Andreessen put it: “In the Valley right now, this is a very contrarian view.” The venture capitalist explained his reasoning by pointing out that most people’s real life surroundings aren’t particularly interesting, so the appeal of the reality they could live in VR will outweigh the advantage of overlaying content into their real world.

Bigger Data, Smaller Farms: The Role of Big Data in Sustainable Intensification – Food Tank (blog), January 6, 2019.

Farming, like any business, has a bottom line. At the end of the season, a farmer has to be able to account for the farm’s costs, subtract from the revenue, and determine whether or not the farm is profitable. Due to the number of variables involved in farming, however, calculating the bottom line for a farm is harder than for most businesses. The emerging field of Big Data is creating new approaches to help farmers analyze their farm operations and ultimately make agriculture more efficient, profitable, and sustainable.

ConsenSys and AMD to Jointly Develop Blockchain-Based Cloud Computing Infrastructure – Ana Alexandre, January 4, 2019.

Blockchain software company ConsenSys, semiconductor producer AMD, and Abu-Dhabi-based investment management firm Halo Holdings are jointly working on a blockchain-based cloud computing infrastructure. ConsenSys announced the collaboration in a press release published on Jan. 4.

Per the release, the companies have partnered to create the so called W3BCLOUD aimed at the development of AMD hardware-based datacenter products for emerging blockchain workloads. Within the collaboration, ConsenSys will provide expertise in the field of computing in blockchain transactions, security issues, and use cases for the technology. According to the statement, W3BCLOUD would be “the first” independent cloud computing blockchain infrastructure to satisfy the requirements of both the public and private sector.

World Bank: Automation won’t lead to redundancy – Software Testing News, January 4, 2019.

Advances in automation, including increased use of artificial intelligence and robotics, are unlikely to lead to redundancy, according to a new report by the World Bank. As the future of employment continues to change, The Changing Nature of Work report, notes that the increase of AI and automation has had a negligible impact on jobs at a global scale. When it comes to technology’s impact on the economy and the job market, many believe that the advancement of AI and automation will lead to people losing their jobs. People working in the industrial sector have lost their jobs in advanced economies, but the rise of the “industrial sector in East Asia has more than compensated for this loss”. Despite these fears and concerns, the report states that automation, robotics, AI and other emerging technologies, could create new job opportunities and the need for new skills.

UK scientists complete Martian robot test – Software Testing News, January 2, 2019.

Scientists in the UK have finished testing an autonomous Martian robot that is set to land on the Red Planet in March 2020, according to a recent press release. The new autonomous systems were tested on the Moroccan northern tip of the Sahara Desert, on a four-wheeled rover nicknamed ‘Sherpa’ and provided by the German Robotics Innovation Centre DFKI. During the test, the rover was able to successfully travel over 1.4km without communicating with any human operators. The AI software on the robot, developed by researchers at King’s College London and aerospace company Airbus, will allow future rovers to plan their own routes and react to unexpected situations. The software will also give the Martian robot the ability to explore and inspect things it considers as important to scientists, as well any research items that could advance scientists’ knowledge. The success of these tests proves that Martian robots could help improve scientific research into other planets.


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