machine learning

The ultimate guide to the state of today’s A.I.

Fortune’s beautifully redesigned magazine hits newsstands this week. I urge you all to check it out, not least because the coverage package is devoted entirely to artificial intelligence. The issue serves as a concise field guide to the state of A.I. technology today. Here’s a preview of what you’ll find inside. Why are some of the world’s most valuable corporations putting big money into efforts to create artificial general intelligence (or AGI), the kind of human-like, super-capable A.I. that exists only in Hollywood flicks and sci fi paperbacks? I explore that question through the prism of Microsoft’s $1 billion investment into San Francisco-based OpenAI. The answer, it turns out, has as much to do with the quest’s ancillary benefits—improved algorith...

A.I. breakthroughs in natural-language processing are big for business

This article is part of a Fortune Special Report on Artificial Intelligence. In October, Google announced the biggest change to the way its search engine works in five years. Given its centrality to Google’s business, the tech giant doesn’t tinker with its search algorithm lightly. But the new algorithm added capabilities Google had been trying to achieve for years without success. Thanks to the overhaul, the algorithm finally understands how prepositions, such as “for” and “to,” alter meaning. A search for “2019 brazil traveler to usa need a visa” no longer returns, as it did previously, irrelevant results about Brazilian visa requirements for U.S. visitors. Searching “Can you get medicine for someone at the pharmacy” now returns results specifically related to picking up another person’s...

What the Struggles of Pizza and Coffee-Making Robots Mean for Investors

Robots that make pizzas and cappuccinos are having a tough new year. In recent weeks, two high-profile robotics startups specializing in food preparation, have both significantly slashed costs. Automated coffee shop Café X shut down three San Francisco-based stores, laid off some staff, and is now focusing on two robotic cafes in airports, Axios reported. Meanwhile, Zume Pizza fired over 200 employees and has pivoted from pizza-making robots to creating sustainable packaging for food, Business Insider reported. Both startups were reportedly attempting to raise additional funding.  The troubles at the two companies are noteworthy because they come at a time when expectations for cutting-edge robotics are high. The rise of machine learning and the declining cost of robotic com...

Whatever happened to the Next Big Things?

In tech, this was the smartphone decade. In 2009, Symbian was still the dominant ‘smartphone’ OS, but 2010 saw the launch of the iPhone 4, the Samsung Galaxy S, and the Nexus One, and today Android and iOS boast four billion combined active devices. Today, smartphones and their apps are a mature market, not a disruptive new platform. So what’s next? The question presupposes that something has to be next, that this is a law of nature. It’s easy to see why it might seem that way. Over the last thirty-plus years we’ve lived through three massive, overlapping, world-changing technology platform shifts: computers, the Internet, and smartphones. It seems inevitable that a fourth must be on the horizon. There have certainly been no shortage of nominees over the last ...

Photoshop for iPad gains ‘Select Subject’ feature

Adobe’s Photoshop on the iPad got off to a rocky start that doesn’t seem to have left fans of the desktop version very happy, but the company looks intent on incorporating user feedback and releasing meaningful feature updates on a timely basis. Like today, for instance, it’s adding ‘Select Subject’ to the iPad version of Photoshop, which is a feature that should make working with photos and compositions on the Apple tablet much, much easier and more flexible. Select Subject is a new feature that Adobe introduced last year to the desktop version, and offers one-tap selection of the subject of your image, as determined by Adobe’s Sensei AI engine to take all the manual work out of the process. This is one of the Photoshop tasks that people are used to doi...

When and how to build out your data science team

Ganes Kesari Contributor Share on Twitter Ganes Kesari is a co-founder and head of analytics at Gramener. He helps transform organizations through advisory in building data science teams and adopting insights as data stories. Increasingly, startups across the spectrum are looking to artificial intelligence (AI) to help them solve business problems and drive efficiency. The numerous benefits of building AI capability in  your startup shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone — in fact, the advantages for business are so far-reaching that PwC predicts that AI will add $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Contrary to popular belief, successfully implementing AI to drive impactful decisions requires a diverse team with expertise in several skill sets. Launching your AI journey is no simp...

Apple Buys Startup That Puts A.I. to Work for Better Smartphone Photos

Apple acquired a U.K.-based startup with technology that improves photos taken on smartphones. According to filings made public in the U.K. on Thursday, Apple corporate lawyer Peter Denwood was recently named a director of Cambridge, U.K.-based Spectral Edge, while the startup’s other advisers and board members were terminated. The documents show that Apple now controls Spectral. Similar filings in the past have revealed other startup acquisitions by the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant, such as the purchase of digital marketing startup DataTiger earlier this year. A purchase price for Spectral Edge could not be ascertained. The startup said last year that it raised more than $5 million in funding. Apple didn’t respond to requests for comment. The U.S. company has opened offices in Cambr...

DataRobot is acquiring Paxata to add data prep to machine learning platform

DataRobot, a company best known for creating automated machine learning models known as AutoML, announced today that it intends to acquire Paxata, a data prep platform startup. The companies did not reveal the purchase price. Paxata raised a total of $90 million before today’s acquisition, according to the company. Up until now, DataRobot has concentrated mostly on the machine learning and data science aspect of the workflow — building and testing the model, then putting it into production. The data prep was left to other vendors like Paxata, but DataRobot, which raised $206 million in September, saw an opportunity to fill in a gap in their platform with Paxata. “We’ve identified, because we’ve been focused on machine learning for so long, a number of key data...

Google makes moving data to its cloud easier

Google Cloud today announced Transfer Service, a new service for enterprises that want to move their data from on-premise systems to the cloud. This new managed service is meant for large-scale transfers on the scale of billions of files and petabytes of data. It complements similar services from Google that allow you to ship data to its data centers via a hardware appliance and FedEx or to automate data transfers from SaaS applications to Google’s BigQuery service. Transfer Service handles all of the hard work of validating your data’s integrity as it moves to the cloud. The agent automatically handles failures and uses as much available bandwidth as it can to reduce transfer times. To do this, all you have to do is install an agent on your on-premises servers, select the dire...

The last decade in real estate, and a peek into the next one

Allen Miller Contributor Share on Twitter Allen Miller is a principal at Oak HC/FT based in San Francisco. He’s excited by bold entrepreneurs building great companies across categories, especially in fintech. More posts by this contributor 2019 looks to continue another lights-out year for fintech startups Financial technology startups emerged as serious challengers to financial services in 2017 As we barrel towards the start of a new decade, it’s amazing to think about the ongoing transformation within real estate. In the U.S., housing’s contribution to our GDP is ~15-18% spread across residential transactions, construction and housing services (i.e. rent, utilities, insurance, etc.) For the average homeowner, their primary residence is the biggest component of their net worth. And ...

Waymo buys Latent Logic, drives deeper into simulation and Europe

Waymo has acquired Latent Logic, a UK company that spun out of Oxford University’s computer science department, as the autonomous vehicle company seeks to beef up its simulation technology. The acquisition also marks the launch of Waymo’s first European engineering hub will be in Oxford, UK. This likely won’t be the end of Waymo’s expansion and investment in Europe and the UK. The former Google self-driving project that is now an Alphabet business said it will continue to look for opportunities to grow the team in the UK and Europe. Earlier this year, Waymo locked in an exclusive partnership with Renault and Nissan to research how commercial autonomous vehicles might work for passengers and packages in France and Japan. In October, Waymo said that its working with R...

Inovat modernizes tax reimbursement for streamlined international shopping

If you’ve ever traveled to Europe and purchased something, you’re either likely aware that you can get the Value-Added Tax (VAT) reimbursed once you depart since it’s actually only intended for taxpaying residents of the country wherein its charged. Whether or not you actually bother to get your VAT reimbursement might depend on how convenient it is to do so, and generally speaking, the process is paper-based and pretty annoying. Inovat is a startup that aims to simplify and digitize the process so that it’s not such a pain, opening the door for people to get more of the money they’re rightly owed. Inovat accomplishes this with an app, available on mobile or on desktop, which employs optical character recognition (OCR) and machine learning to interpret receipt...

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