This Week In Digital – Week 46

Last week has been a great ride for innovators in science and technology. Huawei throws a challenge at Siri & Alexa, VR shows a new path in sports media, Google comes up with a wonderful cancer detecting technology.

ConsenSys’ Kaleido Launches Marketplace for Plug-and-Play Enterprise Blockchain Solutions – Ricardo Seteves, November 12, 2018.

Kaleido, a subsidiary of ConsenSys, is launching a marketplace of plug-and-play services to help blockchain projects from proof-of-concept to live production business networks. The firm, which announced the product at the Web Summit in Lisbon, is working with Amazon Web Services to provide the enterprise blockchain platform. According to the company, early adopters of the Kaleido Marketplace have eliminated 80 percent of the custom code required to build their blockchain project, saving time and energy to focus on what comes next. The full-stack platform includes plug-and-play tools from Kaleido, Amazon Web Services, and third-party developers. A survey conducted by PwC in August 2018 found that 84 percent of executives said their companies were “actively involved” with distributed ledger technology.

IBM opens up its blockchain dev platform to AWS (and other cloud services) – November 13, 2018.

IBM appears hell-bent on establishing its dominance in the fledgling blockchain enterprise market. The company has announced a bunch of improvements to its IBM Blockchain Platform, which offers a suite of developer tools to build decentralized solutions. Among other things, the platform will now support third-party cloud providers like AWS (Amazon Web Services). “To support clients as they work to accelerate solutions that rely on blockchain, IBM is making the Blockchain Platform something a wide range of clients can implement — whether on the IBM Cloud, on another preferred cloud environment such as AWS, or locally using on-premises data centers,” the announcement reads. The news comes days after IBM announced plans to acquire cloud firm Red Hat for $34 billion.

Huawei reportedly plans a voice assistant to compete internationally with Siri and Alexa – Kyle Wiggers, November 15, 2018.

Is there room in the market for another voice assistant? Huawei seems to think so. Richard Yu, CEO of the company’s consumer business group, told CNBC in a recent interview that it plans to make globally available a voice platform for smart speakers and smartphones. “We are using our own in China, in future we will also have our own outside of China,” Yu told the publication. “In the beginning, we are mainly using Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but we need more time to build our artificial intelligence services, later we will expand this outside of China.” It’d be Huawei’s second voice assistant after Xiaoyi, a China-only offering available through Huawei’s combination smart speaker/wireless hotspot AI Cube that made its debut in September during IFA 2018 and the recently announced Huawei AI speaker.

Hive taps a workforce of 700,000 people to label data and train AI models – Kyle Wiggers, November 16, 2018.

Datasets are the lifeblood of artificial intelligence (AI) — they’re what make models tick, so to speak. But data without corresponding annotations is, depending on the type of algorithm at play (i.e., supervised versus unsupervised), more or less useless. That’s why sample-labeling startups like Scale have raised tens of millions of dollars and attracted clients like Uber and General Motors. And it’s why Kevin Guo and Dmitriy Karpman cofounded Hive, a startup that uses annotated data supplied by hundreds of thousands of volunteers to train domain-specific AI models.

BlackBerry to acquire AI-powered cybersecurity startup Cylance for $1.4 billion – Paul Sawers, November 16, 2018.

The rumors, it seems, were true — BlackBerry is acquiring cybersecurity startup Cylance in an all-cash deal worth $1.4 billion. Founded in 2012 by CEO Stuart McClure — an entrepreneur who sold a previous cybersecurity firm to McAfee for $86 million in 2004 — Irvine, California-based Cylance is an endpoint protection platform designed to thwart advanced threats using artificial intelligence (AI). Its suite of security protocols inspects networks for weaknesses and shuts them down if detected, and it doesn’t require a “signature” from an existing threat to block it — it can spot new threats.

VR is leading us into the next generation of sports media – Mateusz Przepiorkowski, November 16, 2018.

The way we watch sports is changing, and it’s leading us into the next generation of media consumption. That may seem like an abstract concept. What’s next when we can already watch pretty much anything we want wherever we want on any device and with crystal-clear picture quality? The answer is a viewing experience more intimate than ever before, and it’s all thanks to virtual reality, which is already changing the way we experience sports.

Google’s AI system can grade prostate cancer cells with 70% accuracy – Kyle Wiggers, November 16, 2018.

Google has made headway in diagnosing it, encouragingly, with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). In a paper (“Development and Validation of a Deep Learning Algorithm for Improving Gleason Scoring of Prostate Cancer“) and accompanying blog post, Google AI researchers describe a system that uses the Gleason score — a grading system that classifies cancer cells based on how closely they resemble normal prostate glands — to detect problematic masses in samples. The goal, according to technical lead Martin Stumpe and Google AI Healthcare product manager Craig Mermel, was to develop AI that could perform Gleason grading objectively — and precisely.

Millennials seen paving way for blockchain, emerging tech – Rizal Raoul Reyes, November 18, 2018.

MILLENNIALS have a big role to play in new technology. So says 29-year-old Andrea de Francisci, the chief operating officer of ElpisInvestments Corp. In a teleconference held at the Bonifacio Global City, the University of Buckingham alumnus told the BusinessMirror the emergence of blockchain and other emerging technologies suits millennials’ working style of having no intermediaries because they trust each other. “As long as we have the blockchain system, we feel we can trust each other. If you don’t have an intermediary or the middle man, it will lower cost in doing business and create a more efficient economy unlike the traditional one, which has prevailed over the past 50 years in Europe and the US,” de Francisci pointed out.“We feel that the old financial ecosystem has to be changed and blockchain, AI and cryptocurrency can help humanity evolve into the next stage,” he added.

Spatial audio design is key to creating ‘presence’ in VR and AR – Amir Bozorgzadeh, November 18, 2018.

George Lucas once received a hearty round of applause back in 2011 when he declared that “sound is half of the experience of a motion picture.” If that’s true, what happens to the equation in the setting of VR and AR, where the vicarious experience of a 2D cinematic transcends into experiential 3D immersion?After all, immersive worlds are creative imitations of the real world, in which sound and the auditory function play far more of an operative role than we tend to realize.


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