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Video is becoming “the brand new Voice” in our own lives as well as in business, with greater businesses realizing its ROI competencies. We see this trend towards visible communications as a part of the alterations within the collaboration space. Cisco TelePresence is on the center of this fashion and we’re dedicated to delivering the easiest-to-use, highest quality and most compelling adventure throughout our collaboration portfolio, which by the way is the broadest in the trade. I invite you to view and listen to an interview I did on this theme at Cisco reside this previous July.
delivering telepresence to everybody.
Cisco is concentrated on accelerating the adoption of telepresence across all industries, and corporations of all sizes all over the place on earth. Our strategy and center of attention is clearly working, as we’ve considered quick world adoption of Cisco TelePresence and continuous market share growth. we can see this in the these days published Wainhouse market share document which indicates that we are the clear #1 participant in telepresence with 52% market share. This soar in telepresence market share underscores Cisco’s capacity to lengthen our know-how to a wide array of latest customers, including small and midsize agencies (SMBs). we've the breadth of endpoints, deployment fashions and interoperability to make telepresence all over for every person a fact. we're seeing enormous growth from valued clientele who're new to telepresence and now see the cost Cisco can convey and the flexibility to fulfill their pleasing organizational needs.
driving deeper and greater different deployments with present valued clientele.
Our purchasers consider in the power of telepresence and are using a good deal deeper deployments into their company, taking it from the boardroom to the computer. They’re beginning to recognize telepresence as a transformative force for his or her company, and they trust Cisco to provide a complete video architecture that scales, optimizes useful resource and bandwidth efficiency to support reduce TCO.
I actually have been working in the video trade for decades, and no different adventure is as life like, intuitive, seamless, and scalable as Cisco TelePresence. I additionally see clear value to our consumer as we offer not simplest video, however teleprescence as a part of our unified collaboration architecture that places people at the middle of how they talk, work and do company. Cisco is riding to make video “the new Voice” by way of making a video call event as convenient and natural as a phone call. I individually consider that the Tandberg/Cisco integration is in all probability probably the most premier acquisitions in our business and now that we're absolutely built-in, we are able to bring on telepresence like no one else can and we're well on our way in making video the new voice for everybody.
Cisco is a number one dealer in IT that attracts thousands of candidates yearly. Their intention is to be Cisco certified, as this company is a true authority in this field. for this reason, these individuals intention to get superior job, enhanced profession prospects and enhanced income. Cisco offers certification for any taste.
one of the vital pleasing credentials by using Cisco is CCNP Routing and Switching. It gives the networking experts with the potential to put into effect, plan, investigate, in addition to to troubleshoot the advanced community enterprise. CCNP Routing and Switching also equips the candidates with the means to collaborate and work with very skilled specialists on aggrandized voice, security, video, and wireless options.
As an IT knowledgeable, you'll want to be aware of that CCNP Routing and Switching certificationhas definite necessities that must be met. The distinctive necessities that you'll want to understand are:
For the candidate wants to acquire CCNP Routing and Switching certification, one should circulate three exams. The order of taking doesn't rely considering the fact that every examination is carried out independently. The assessments protected in Cisco CCNP Routing and Switching certification are right here:
This exam, 300-a hundred and one, assessments whether the candidates are established with the principles required to put into effect Cisco IP Routing. 300-a hundred and one is a great verify for CCNP and CCDP credentials. After passing the exam, the candidates are authorised in using complicated IP addressing in addition to routing strategies in securing Cisco routers. they're also geared up with the highest quality abilities in implementing routers which might be involving IPV6, LANs, and WANs.
examination 300-115 (imposing Cisco IP Switched Networks) is a qualifying exam for certifications corresponding to Cisco CCDP and Cisco CCNP. It proves that the candidates have the abilities and capabilities in verifying, planning, and configuring the specific enterprise switching options which use Cisco business Campus architecture.
This exam is focused on testing the potential utilized in preserving and troubleshooting Cisco IP Networks. it is additionally a qualifying examination for Cisco CCNP certification. 300-a hundred thirty five TSHOOT examination proves that the candidate has won the competencies and advantage that are productive in:
300-101 ROUTE exam and 300-one hundred fifteen change exam include assorted-choice questions, while 300-one hundred thirty five TSHOOT exam certainly carries hands-on simulations. more details about these exams can also be found at the professional Cisco site.
CCNP Routing and Switching certification is value each penny. The individuals who are smitten by networking and want to dedicate their profession to it may well sign up during this certification. This credential offers one a feeling of feat, makes one a valuable expert, exposes one to greater salary, and offers job safety. CCNP Routing and Switching is a very good deal, so make sure you consider earning this certification.
merits of CCNP Routing and Switching certification
CCNP Routing and Switching certification has a collection of benefits connected to it. It holds a fine and imperative place in the technology trade. Possessing CCNP certification implies a very good mastery of the talents in Routing and Switching. under are one of the most advantages of this credential:
CCNP Routing and Switching is a sturdy certification that calls for working in labs, pleasant discovering, and passing checks. Being an authorized skilled, one is exposed to dissimilar jobs such as:
consultants with CCNP Routing and Switching certification are competent to earn significantly greater than their uncertified colleagues. The usual annual revenue for the gurus with this credential is $10,2786.
before you attempt any Cisco CCNP Route Dumps exam, it is awfully essential to take a proper practising. be cautious – some substances can also include outdated guidance. it is better to train the use of the professional substances for CCNP Routing and Switching certification posted with the aid of Cisco Press. These materials enable the candidates to maximize their talents and advantage in a network commercial enterprise. one of the substances provided are eBooks, books, apply checks, video practicing, and simulator software. Use exam dumps all through your examination training for CCNP R&S certification. among the superior web sites that supply the most valid and up-to-date cloth are ExamSnap, ExamCollection, examination-Labs, PrepAway.
adjacent Certification for network engineers
CCNP R&S credential validates one’s abilities to work collaboratively with professional in wireless, protection, voice and video solutions domains. For the candidates drawn to getting CCNP Collaboration credential and dealing as network engineers whose day by day projects are to provide guide of video, voice and messaging functions in corporations, candidates deserve to pass 4 exams. 300-075 examination is one them, and it checks one’s potential to put into effect Cisco IP Telephony and Video. The questions delivered to the exam cowl the following issues: globalized call routing, Cisco Unified Survivable far off web page Telephony, call manage Discovery amongst others.
in accordance with the profession course the prerequisite of getting CCNP certification is to get CCNA Collaboration credential. Cisco presents a wide variety of certification, still they're logically structured and may be simply tracked. It’s as much as you which one to opt for.
It is obvious that the certification comes with loads of advantages to each the knowledgeable and the enterprise. The specialists working in industries which observe the routing and switching options may still believe possessing this certification. good luck together with your exams!
In an attempt to expand in the gigantic commercial enterprise market, Zoom Video Communications Inc. these days delivered assist for Cisco room programs in Zoom Connector, the company's integration tool for third-party video conferencing apparatus.
The stream, announced closing week, is large since it receives Zoom's cloud-based mostly conferencing carrier in entrance of the customer base of one of the largest video infrastructure vendors.
"[Zoom] is growing to be all of a sudden, however we haven't seen them all that lots yet in the better business market," referred to Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Nemertes research, based mostly in Mokena, ill. "This offers Zoom the means to move to clients with a less complicated means of connecting their present video systems."
Zoom has placed itself as a company of cloud-primarily based video conferences that may run on companies' present hardware. In may additionally, the business introduced that Zoom Connector would supply integration with Polycom video room methods.
The latest integration would position Zoom in opposition t Cisco's on-line assembly software, WebEx. "If Zoom can are available at a lower expense than WebEx, with identical ease-of-use, they have got an opportunity to win over some of those Cisco purchasers," Lazar stated.using Zoom Connector
Deploying Zoom Connector on Cisco hardware includes a self-carrier setup although a Zoom internet utility, said Simon booth, lead assignment engineer at Zoom, based in San Jose, Calif. After installing Connector, individuals can delivery the usage of Zoom functions.
The system for becoming a member of a Zoom-powered assembly depends on the classification of Cisco hardware, booth noted. for example, users of Cisco TelePresence contact 10 -- a pill-measurement computer reveal for video conferencing -- handiest have to press a gathering button after which a be part of button to attend a prescheduled meeting. but if an individual starts a gathering spontaneously, then the consumer would ought to search through a listing to locate it.
With Zoom Connector, companies can use Zoom functions on Cisco SX, DX and MX collection room programs, sales space stated. Connector does not help the CTS, IX or MXP systems.
Zoom Connector expenses $41.fifty eight monthly, per conferencing system. Zoom's video conferencing provider begins at $12.forty nine monthly for conferences of up to one hundred individuals.
Zoom gives exquisite video and audio to a cell machine, computing device or convention room gadget. The business has 650,000 paying and nonpaying users -- specially in the training and tech space.
The business raised $one hundred million in its latest round of funding, bringing Zoom's valuation to $1 billion. funding company Sequoia Capital led the funding, which also included Emergence Capital, AME Cloud Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures.
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A walk down the hallway at Conant High School in Jaffrey doesn’t feature your typical school-day scenery, marked by beige walls and humming fluorescent lights. It’s more like a walk through an impromptu gallery, colorful designs decorating every locker along the walls.
That’s all thanks to Anna Rizzitano’s Studio in Art 1 class, which has been working to transform the lockers since the first week of school. The project began when first-year Principal Brett Blanchard approached Rizzitano’s class about designing a mural for the building, she said.
“It was just such a great speech that he gave about how powerful the arts are and how awesome (they are), and then all of a sudden the students were just coming up with ideas themselves,” Rizzitano said. “So really it was the kids that kind of were like, ‘We could give you a mural in your office, but wouldn’t it be grand if we could paint the lockers?’ ”
Rizzitano agreed to make the murals the focus of the class for the semester, and the students launched into creating their designs.
“We really wanted — and I really put emphasis on this — we wanted to just do students’ designs. A lot of the kids created designs that they thought were really unique for them,” Rizzitano said. “So they would paint these little mini swatches, and we would just go through the swatches and see which ones that we felt were going to be successful on each locker.”
Some of the lockers were designed to represent an academic subject, such as math, science or English, but the sources of inspiration were wide-ranging, from a tribute to the high school’s mascot (the oriole) to a Star Wars-themed design.
And though the class ended with the new semester in January, the students are still working on the murals during their flex time — time scheduled during the day that students can use for “enrichment” activities, including study time, tutoring, course offerings and physical fitness.
In fact, Rizzitano decided to use flex time to open up the project to the student body, inviting other students to come and help with the painting. So far, they’ve finished painting all the lockers on the first floor of the high school and are about halfway done with the second floor, Rizzitano said.
For her students, the project has been an opportunity to paint on a large scale — something they don’t always get the chance to do — as well as share their art with the community.
“They’ve grown as artists, and they kind of own their art, and they’re very proud of it, and I like that,” Rizzitano said. “I think it takes courage to put your own art up on the wall knowing that it could be received good or bad, who knows.”
And it’s been a positive change for the rest of the Conant community, too.
“Now it’s just popping with color, vibrant — it’s got life in the hallway,” she said. “It’s taken on a personality, if you will.”
Submissions are now open for the first annual Magnify Voices Film and Writing Contest. The contest is open to 5th- through 12th-graders, and invites young Granite Staters to submit two-minute videos or creative writing pieces centering on mental health.
Students can choose from five themes related to mental health: 5 Things I/We Wish People Knew About Mental Health; No Shame: Erase The Stigma; This Is How I/We R.E.A.C.T. (Recognize the Signs, Express Concern, Act Now, Care, Text for Help); S.O.S. (Stamp Out Stress): Coping Skills and Self Care; or create your own theme.
The first-place student or group of students in each category will receive a cash prize of $500. Middle and high school submissions will be judged separately.
The contest is sponsored by the N.H. Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative. Submissions are due March 1, and additional information is available at magnifyvoices.org.
Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering can apply for the new Norman F. and Marilyn W. Jones Scholarship. More than $100,000 will be awarded annually to rising sophomores, juniors and seniors studying electrical, aeronautical and mechanical engineering and related fields.
The multi-year scholarship is awarded by the N.H. Charitable Foundation and recognizes students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential, passion for the field and financial need. The amount of each scholarship will vary depending on need and the number of applicants.
The Monadnock Regional High School Wellness Committee will host a free presentation for parents at the high school titled “Risky Business: Defend our Youth, Empower our Parents, Educate our Educators” on Feb. 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Using a staged teenage bedroom, the presentation will teach parents how to recognize warning signs of risky behaviors such as drug use and underage drinking. Attendees will also learn techniques for communicating with teenagers and receive information about drug and alcohol use trends.
The presentation will be led by Melissa Fernald, a licensed clinical social worker and master licensed alcohol and drug counselor. Child care will be provided by the Monadnock Regional High School Key Club.
W hat’s going on in your school? Education reporter Meg McIntyre can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or mmcintyre@keenesentinel. com.
NewRelic, the cloud-based application analytics firm, has added machine learning to its armoury in the shape of SignifAI, an Israeli-US startup focused on event intelligence - or sorting signal from noise in the fast-moving field of DevOps.
SignifAI, according to its white paper, is a 'SaaS-based correlation engine that leverages AI and machine learning to break down the data silos found in complex enterprise IT environments.'
It integrates via APIs to around 60 commonly used monitoring and collaboration tools including Splunk, AppDynamics, Slack, AWS, Nagios - and NewRelic itself - and promises to help developers identify the root cause of errors by sifting through events, logs, time-series data and infrastructure alerts, ranking and outputting the most probable causes to a user console or through the monitoring tool. Users can also train the model to improve the accuracy of the correlations.
AIOps is a relatively new addition to the blizzard of AI and DevOps-related phrases. It refers to the use of machine learning to analyse data collected from various IT operations tools and devices in order to spot and react to issues in real time.
In the company's blog, NewRelic's chief product officer Jim Gochee comes down in favour of the term ‘applied intelligence' to describe the application of machine learning to the software development process.
"We decided to use the term 'Applied Intelligence' to describe our philosophy and approach to bringing artificial intelligence (AI) / machine learning (ML) to our space. We chose 'Applied Intelligence' to remind ourselves to continuously reflect on the individual words and their meanings, with the goal of keeping us on track to deliver truly meaningful customer value with our AI efforts," he writes.
04/02/2019 Heathrow trials AI system for landing planes in bad weather
In bad weather, visibility from Heathrow's 87-metre tall control tower can be drastically reduced as low clouds obscure the views of the runways below.
When this happens, air traffic controllers need to rely on radar to ensure that a plane that has just landed has cleared the runway, and a margin of error must be built in for safety. This causes delays and backlogs and a 20 per cent loss of landing capacity, according to Airport World.
This is an area where AI - together with ultra HD 4K cameras - can help, believes air traffic control service NATS. The organisation has begun a trial using 20 such cameras installed in the tower together with a machine learning system called Aimee which has been developed by Canadian vendor Searidge Technologies. A similar trial is underway at Singapore's Changi Airport.
Once trained, Aimee should be able to track the aircraft from the time they land until they are clear of the runway, even when the cameras' images are difficult to interpret by the human eye. It will then alert the air traffic controller who will make the final decision on whether to clear the next arriving flight for landing. As such, Aimee is very much an aid to human decision making rather than being an autonomous control system.
The behaviour of 50,000 arriving aircraft will be studied over the next 12 months to see how the system responds to real-world situations.
AI is likely to play an increasingly important role in the management of air traffic in the future, including for Heathrow's planned third runway, said Heathrow's operations director, Kathryn Leahy.
"We'll be keeping a close eye on this trial, as the technology could have a major role as we prepare for the expanded airport. We will watch how AI and digital towers could be used to monitor all three of the expanded airport's runways in future," she said.
The results of the trial will be presented to be presented to the UK Civil Aviation Authority next March.
28/01/2019 Amazon open-sources its SageMaker Neo machine learning optimisation software
Amazon has open-sourced SageMaker Neo, its software for training machine learning models and optimising the way they run on different types of devices.
SageMaker Neo is designed to ensure that ML models run as efficiently as possible on a variety of machines and environments. Unlike the training stage, in which models are generally honed on high-powered machines, for the inference stage, where the model makes predictions based on new data, it may be running on much lowlier devices.
The environment can have a big effect on the amount of time it takes for a model to infer a result and on the number of such calculations that can be run in parallel. On edge devices in the IoT - a single board computer like a Raspberry Pi for example - latency and limited concurrency can be severe impediments. ML models are far from device-agnostic.
Most devices can be optimised to speed up the inference process, but this generally involves a fair bit of manual tinkering and trial and error. The original SageMaker was a model training framework, but SageMaker Neo, introduced last November, combines that with an optimisation stage, taking the fully trained model and generating an executable that's specific to the target device - be that a GPU or a Pi.
"Amazon SageMaker Neo automatically optimises machine learning models to perform at up to twice the speed with no loss in accuracy. You start with a machine learning model built using MXNet, TensorFlow, PyTorch, or XGBoost and trained using Amazon SageMaker. Then you choose your target hardware platform from Intel, Nvidia, or Arm. With a single click, SageMaker Neo will then compile the trained model into an executable," the company says on its website, adding that the compiler uses neural networking techniques to analyse the target platform so that optimisations can be applied.
The Neo-AI project is available on Github under the Apache Software License, allowing developers to tailor the code to suit their own needs.
Other cloud firms, including Microsoft and Google, are also working on applying AI to the ‘intelligent edge'.
07/01/2019 Huawei announces 'highest performance ARM-based CPU' aimed at AI workloads
Huawei has announced what it claims is the world's best performing ARM-based processor.
Unveiled on Sunday, the Kunpeng 920 is purpose-built for AI workloads that involve processing large volumes of data utilising distributed storage.
In SPECint benchmarking tests, the Kunpeng 920 scored more than 930, or almost 25 per cent higher than the industry benchmark, while using 30 per cent less power than competitors, Huawei claims.
The Huawei-designed processor is manufactured on a 7-nanometer process based on the ARM architecture. It has 64 cores with clock speed 2.6GHz and 8-channel DDR4 memory.
The enhanced performance is primarily due to optimised branch prediction algorithms and an increased number of OP units, along with an improved memory subsystem architecture, according to the firm.
"Today, with Kunpeng 920, we are entering an era of diversified computing embodied by multiple cores and heterogeneity. Huawei has invested patiently and intensively in computing innovation to continuously make breakthroughs. We will work with our customers and partners to build a fully connected, intelligent world," said William Xu, Huawei's chief strategy marketing officer.
Huawei also announced three new servers in its TaiShan range that will be powered by Kunpeng 920 processors. These are aimed at corporate data centres for big data tasks requiring high concurrency and low power consumption.
The Kunpeng 920 announcement follows hot on the heels of the AI-focused Ascend AI IP and chip series unveiled in October (see earlier in this blog).
With its emphasis on in-house design, Huawei is becoming less reliant on non-Chinese chipset suppliers such as Intel, Qualcomm, AMD and Nvidia.
The company has been enmeshed in controversy in recent months, with a number of countries banning its products in their networking infrastructure, claiming they are a security risk.
The company has close connections to the Chinese government whose ‘Made in China 2025' strategy targets ten advanced technology areas including AI, robotics, renewable energy and biotechnology. The US has claimed this strategy is a "real existential threat to US technological leadership".
02/01/2019 Researchers use machine learning to diagnose dyslexia
A pair of researchers have achieved promising results from a machine learning study of dyslexia among school children, diagnosing the condition successfully in 80 per cent of cases without any human intervention
Alex Frid and Larry Manevitz from the University of Haifa, Israel, ran a series of tests on 32 school children, 17 of whom had previously been diaganosed with dyslexia. The children performed a Lexical Decision Task (LDT) in which they were asked to judge whether strings of letters appearing on a screen were meaningful or not.
During this task, the eye movements of subjects were monitored and at the same time electrical activity in different areas of the brain was recorded using electrodes placed on the scalp.
After a preprocessing stage, the researchers used the ReleifF to extract meaningful features from the results in an attempt to classify the results. Many valuable features were in fact discovered in areas of the signal traditionally considered as noise.
By training their ML algorithm using the 60 ‘best' features extracted from the results, the researchers were able to diagnose dyslexia with a 79 per cent success rate; using just the ten best features, a success rate of 70 per cent was still achieved.
However, the goal was not just to use ML for diagnosis.
One theory of the cause of dyslexia, which affects an estimated ten per cent of the population, is that the different parts of the brain involved in decoding written texts operate asynchronously, so signals can arrive in the wrong order. The greater the asynchrony, the more difficult reading will be for the subject.
The greatest difference between the dyslexic and other readers was observed in activity in the left hemisphere of the brain, particularly the left temporal node which has long been thought to be important in the process of interpreting the written word.
The paper is published by arxiv.org
19/12/2018 EU expert group draws up draft AI ethics guidlines, seeks feedback
The European Commission's High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLEG) has released draft ethics guidelines on trustworthy AI. The 37-page document covers proposals to ensure AI is always human-centric and deployed with "an ethical purpose ground in". It includes discussions around limiting bias and maximising inclusiveness, as well as ensuring that AI is robust in design and implementation so that it does not cause unintentional harm.
AI HLEG boils down the core requirements for trustworthy AI into ten broad areas: Accountability; Data governance; Design for all; Governance of AI autonomy (human oversight); Non-discrimination; Respect for (and enhancement of) human autonomy; Respect for privacy; Robustness; Safety; and Transparency.
It looks at each of these topics from technical and non-technical standpoints with a view to creating guidance on how each might be ensured.
"Trustworthy AI has two components: (1) it should respect fundamental rights, applicable regulation, and core principles,ensuring 'ethical purpose'; and (2) it should be technically robust and reliable," the report notes in its conclusion.
"However, even with the best of intentions, the use of AI can result in unintentional harm. Therefore ... AI HLEG has developed a framework to actually implement Trustworthy AI, offering concrete guidance on its achievement."
The group is seeking feedback on its draft proposals before 18 January. In March a final version will be presented to the Commission.
10/12/2018 Pharma giant Merck in deal to use AI for drug discovery
The use of AI in drug discovery - identifying promising molecules and testing their suitability using models rather than patients - has been a focus of the pharmaceutical industry for some time. Typically drugs require years (and a huge amount of money) to move from the lab into production.
In the latest move, pharmaceutical giant Merck is to licence an AI-based drug screening platform from Canadian biotechnology firm Cyclica as part of a year-long trial.
Cyclica's Ligand Express is a drug screening tool which Cyclica says is a "cloud-based platform that screens small-molecule drugs against repositories of structurally-characterized proteins or ‘proteomes' to determine polypharmacological profiles."
By understanding how a small-molecule drug will interact with all proteins in the body, scientists can prioritise candidate molecules for drugs, understanding possible side effects, and identify genetic variations which might affect the binding of the proposed drug to the target protein. Another use is investigating new uses for existing drugs.
Small-molecule drugs typically target specific proteins associated with disease, but once in the body they may bind to other proteins too, and the side effects are hard to predict in the lab, leading to lengthy R&D and trial procedures. But AI-based techniques can help build a full picture of the likely interactions of a particular molecule.
Friedrich Rippmann, Computational Chemistry & Biology director at Merck said the goal is to identify promising molecules and test them as quickly as possible.
"Assessing new technologies is central to how we will advance our discovery programmes, and artificial intelligence applications like Ligand Express will provide important insights to enhance how we think about target identification to support phenotypic screening and off-target profiling in general," Rippman said.
"Artificial intelligence has the power to make the previously unimaginable a reality - we are eager to harness these new possibilities to help drive the discoveries that can transform the lives of people affected by difficult-to-treat diseases," added Belén Garijo, member of the executive board and CEO Healthcare at Merck.
07/12/2018 AI cracks text-based captchas
A team of computer scientists has developed a new machine learning program that can crack the text-based captchas still used by many websites to protect against bots in a fraction of a second.
The program was developed by scientists from Lancaster University in the UK, Northwest University in the US and Peking University in China. It uses deep learning techniques and its makers claim a much higher success rate compared to other captcha attack methods.
It uses Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) to decode the captchas, creating synthetic captchas that are used to train the base solver algorithm. This is then fine-tuned using a smaller set of real captchas. This saves time and effort, with just 500 genuine captchas required to train the attack programme.
In tests on 33 captcha schemes, some used by the likes of Wikipedia, Google, eBay and Microsoft, the program was able to solve a captcha within 0.05 seconds when run on desktop graphics processing unit (GPU).
It was also able to evade advanced security features and demostrated a high level of accuracy.
"It allows an adversary to launch an attack on services, such as Denial of Service attacks or spending spam or phishing messages, to steal personal data or even forge user identities," said Guixin Ye, a researcher on the project, which was presented at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) 2018 in Toronto.
"Given the high success rate of our approach for most of the text captcha schemes, websites should be abandoning captchas."
14/11/2018 Facebook, Google and Twitter use AI to track illegal drug dealing
During his rather feeble 'grilling' by US Congress over Cambridge Analytica and other topics related to the influence of his social networks, one question that did elicit a (relatively) direct response from Mark Zuckerberg was the illegal sale of drugs on Facebook and Instagram - presumably because he could use his favourite stock answer of throwing some more AI at the problem.
The opioid crisis is a raw issue in the US: 72,000 people died from overdoses in 2017 alone.
Now Facebook has said it is actively using AI to track down dealers, coordinating its efforts with experts including forensic labs and local and national organisations. Google and Twitter are also involved in the collaboration.
Facebook's vice president of US public policy Kevin Martin laid out the company's thinking in a blog post.
"We want to make vital resources for treatment easier to find. When people search for information about opioids on Facebook and Instagram, we direct them to SAMSHA's [Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration] National Helpline Information Page and other resources for free and confidential treatment and education," he said.
"We've also begun to roll out proactive detection on Facebook and Instagram to take down more content that violates our policies before people may see or report it. Our technology is able to detect content that includes images of drugs and depicts the intent to sell with information such as price, phone numbers or usernames for other social media accounts.
"By catching more posts automatically, this technology allows our team to use their expertise instead to investigate accounts, Pages, Groups and hashtags, as well as work with experts to spot the next trends."
Susan Molinari, vice president for public policy at Google, said that 50,000 searches about specific opioid drugs were made each day on the search engine.
"We know overwhelmingly the people who are searching for help are the parents or family members of opioid users, so we know that if we can push them toward organisations like the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, then we're getting them instant connections," Molinari said.
The efforts so far are all about blocking content and nudging users towards getting help rather than reporting transgressors to law enforcement.
24/10/2018 Oracle acquires AI company-intelligence firm DataFox
Oracle has acquired DataFox, a SaaS AI firm that crunches large volumes of data on public and private businesses and feeds the results into an AI engine to create company-intelligence that customers can add to their CRM.
The San Francisco-based startup received initial funding from Google Ventures in 2014 and counts Bain Capital, NetApp and Goldman Sachs among its customers. Co-founder and CEO Bastiaan Janmaat was a growth equity analyst at Goldman Sachs before founding the firm, and the investment bank has a stake in DataFox.
In a letter to DataFox customers and partners, Steve Miranda, executive VP applications development at Oracle, said: "The combination of Oracle and DataFox will enhance Oracle Cloud Applications with an extensive set of AI-derived company-level data and signals, enabling customers to reach even better decisions and business outcomes."
DataFox pulls information on millions of businesses from multiple sources including news articles, digital properties and 'unique signals' and analyses them to provide real-time information on when a company's fortunes might be about to change. Oracle says it plans to "enrich" its cloud applications such as ERP, CX, HCM and SCM with "AI-driven company-level data". Presumably the idea is to steal a march on cloud compeition from the likes of Salesforce.
Terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.
19/10/2018 UK supermarkets to trial AI checkouts for age-verification
Facial recognition technology is to be trialled by UK supermarkets for age verification purposes, with a few as-yet-unidentified stores rolling out the scanning tech at self-service checkouts this year and more widely in 2019.
The rollout is being led by US vendor NCR, which makes self-service checkout machines for Tesco and Asda among others. The company will integrate an 'AI-powered camera' (whatever that may be) into the checkout machines, which will be able to estimate the age of shoppers when they are buying restricted items like cigarettes and alcohol. Read more on this story here.
19/10/2018 AI - where does the liability lie?
The arguments regarding liability in the event of error or incident are beginning to expand. As developments continue, and the use of AI becomes more mainstream, there will increasingly be cases which call in to question who has liability for the systems in use.
So says Emma Stevens, associate solicitor - dispute resolution, at law firm Coffin Mew in this article for Computing.
The majority of the existing legislation and case law in relation to liability and duty in cases of negligence significantly pre-dates the ongoing robotics revolution. It is clear that the legal system has a lot of ground to cover before it can effectively regulate such advances and the existing law will need to be translated to apply to situations where considering the role and impact of AI and robotics was not previously necessary.
Businesses would be sensible to make themselves aware of the technological advances in the sectors in which they operate, to ensure that their contracts are clear regarding liability (both generally and for AI) and that they have adequate insurance in place for any systems used, where appropriate.
16/10/2018 It's big companies that are making the running in machine learning, survey
A survey of data scientists, software engineers, architects and senior management has found that large organisations are taking the lead in their experiments with machine learning, with respondents in large organisations more likely to consider their efforts as 'sophisticated' and to have their early successes rewarded by increasing budgets than those in smaller firms.
About half of the respondents were located in the US, a quarter in Asia with the remainder based elsewhere. The survey was conducted by Algorithmia, a US company offering a marketplace for machine-learning models.
Across the entire sample, the main drivers for deploying machine learning models were generating customer insights and intelligence and improving the customer experience. However, in large enterprises improving customer loyalty topped the list, mentioned by 59 per cent. Large enterprises were also more likely to mention cutting costs as being a motivating force.
Just 10 per cent of companies counted themselves as sophisticated in their use of AI and machine learning. The report notes that the sort of companies that pioneered big data techniques a few years back also have a headstart when it comes to deploying machine learning models. They have the data, the infrastructure and the skills required to build proprietary internal platforms - or 'AI layers' - on which to deploy. Examples include Facebook's FB Learner, Netflix's Notebook Data Platform and Twitter's BigHead. It seems likely that this lead widen as investment follows success.
A statistic that demonstrates the general immaturity of the field is the fact that 55 per cent of efforts are driven by IT compared with 37 per cent by the business.
12/10/2018 China will overtake the US in AI, predicts former president of Google China Kai-Fu Lee
Kai-Fu Lee, head of VC firm Sinovation Ventures and former president of Google China, says that AI's influence will be hugely disruptive to everything from the geopolitical power balance to the job market and peoples′ individual feelings of self worth. While some of the changes will be for the better, many will not, he says, warning against the techno-utopianism common in Silicon Valley.
The speed of the coming AI revolution makes parallels with the job creation that accompanied the proliferation of electrical power and the industrial revolution redundant, Lee argued.
"Those earlier technological revolutions took a century or longer," Lee explained, in a fascinating if discomfiting interview with IEEE Spectrum. "That gave people time to grow, and develop, and invent new jobs. But we have basically one generation with AI, and that's a lot less time."
"We've opened Pandora's box," Lee went on, contrasting AI with other technological threats. "We did, as humans, control the proliferation of nuclear weapons, but that technology was secret and required a huge amount of capital investment. In AI, the algorithms are well known to many people, and it's not possible to forbid people to use them. College students are using them to start companies."
Lee believes the fact that the algorithms are easily available means that the nations with the most computing power - and the most centralised command structures - will get make the running, ultimately exporting their innovations to others that might try to slow the tide to cushion its impacts. China has big advantages over current leader the USA, he said, as companies such as Tencent, which has close connections to the Chinese government, have the data, the infrastructure and a workforce that′s quite prepared to get stuck into the more humdrum parts of developing AI.
"Chinese entrepreneurs find areas where there's enough data and a commercially viable application of AI, and then they work really hard to make the application work. It's often very hard, dirty, ugly work. The data isn't handed to you on a silver platter."
Much of the learning data for the ML algorithms comes from applications like Tencent′s all-encompassing WeChat app, which is "Facebook, Twitter, iMessage, Uber, Expedia, Evite, Instagram, Skype, PayPal, GrubHub, LimeBike, WebMD, Fandango, YouTube, Amazon and eBay" rolled into one. Detailed information about a large proportion of China′s huge population resides in one place. And size matters when you're training neural networks.
These factors, together with the Chinese government′s ability to squash any opposition to developments like driverless trucks, are all in the country′s favour as it seeks to become the dominant force in AI.
Whichever power bloc ultimately takes the lead, the real challenge, says Lee, will be how to manage societies characterised by increasing inequality and the loss of up to 50 per cent of current jobs, many with no obvious alternative role for those that hold them, over the coming decades.
11/10/2018 New AI-focused announcements from Nvidia and Huawei
Graphics processing firm Nvidia has announced an open-source GPU-acceleration platform called Rapids which is aimed squarely at data scientists who need to crunch large volumes of data. Nvidia claims that for machine learning-type use cases Rapids has proved to be 50 times faster than CPU-only systems.
Unveiled yesterday in Munich, Rapids is a two-year-old collaboration between Nvidia engineers and Python contributors, building on Apache Arrow, Pandas and Scikit-learn. It is released at rapids.ai under the Apache 2.0 open-source licence.
"Rapids connects the data science ecosystem by bringing together popular capabilities from multiple libraries and adding the power of GPU acceleration." the firm says in its blog.
Meanwhile, Huawei has unveiled two AI-focused chips of its own. "As part of its full-stack AI portfolio, Huawei today unveiled the Ascend AI IP and chip series, the world's first AI IP and chip series that natively serves all scenarios, providing optimal TeraOPS per watt," proclaims the company's press release. "Their unified architecture also makes it easy to deploy, migrate, and interconnect AI applications across different scenarios," it says.
Alibaba, the "Chinese Amazon" which is investing heavily in AI capailities is also reported to be developing a new AI chip for release next year.
10/10/2018 Apple buys machine learning firm Spektral
Apple had kept its $30m acquisition of virtual reality (VR) firm Spektral last year a secret until Danish newspaper Brsen got hold of the story, reports Apple Insider.
Spektral, whose founders have now joined Apple, was a startup specialising in computer vision, using deep learning techniques and GPU hardware to improve the real-time processing of images and video directly from the camera. Apple is known to be keen to get ahead in the field of augmented reality (AR), and Apple Insider speculates that this may be behind the acquisition. Apple recently changed the design of iPhone cameras to better support AR and VR it notes.
10/10/2018 What's new in Spark and machine learning?
Creating useful machine learning models is a tough job, but making models that are robust enough to support business processes operationally is far tougher still. This is why the web giants build their own platforms to support their data scientists and then engineers. Matei Zaharia and Andy Konwinski of Databricks told Computing about two open source projects that are designed to bring such capabilities to within the reach of mere mortals. ML Flow is a framework for standardising and packaging workflows and models, while Project Hydrogen improves the integration of popular deep learning frameworks such as Tensorflow and PyTorch with Apache Spark. Read the full story here.
09/10/2018 Autonomous agents are the next phase of enterprise AI, claims Fetch.AI
What if AI could take on complex negotiation tasks without requiring human intervention? This is where we are going next, according to Cambridge-based startup Fetch.AI, which recently partnered with Clustermarket, a booking platform for loaning scientific equipment. Using the system, instruments are represented by autonomous agents which navigate a virtual landscape seeking the best possible deal for themselves and optimising availability and price overall. Read more here.
Peter Hirst ContributorMore posts by this contributor
At a conference last October, I encountered a fascinating “creature” named AVA that I mentioned in a blog post shortly afterwards.
Though extraordinarily helpful in keeping a conversation going with another conference attendee, AVA was not a person. She (or perhaps I should say “it”) was a telepresence-enabled robot that made it possible for an Internet of Things World Forum participant to attend the conference in Chicago while remaining physically in Germany.
Seeing AVA made a strong impression on me. So much so that earlier this year I ordered a similar robot to see if we could enable our team at the MIT Sloan School of Management’s Office of Executive Education to work remotely without missing out on more social aspects of work-life in the office.
We already were using the usual array of remote working technologies—chat, video conferencing, the ubiquitous email, and even virtual-reality avatars—but I was noticing that teammates who work mostly or entirely remotely seemed still to be at a disadvantage. It is too easy to forget the person on the phone in the middle of the conference table, or even waving frantically at you from the big screen at the end of the room, and those people certainly do not benefit from all the side conversations or spontaneity of being able to drop into a colleague’s office for a chat.
In contrast, we are finding that the telepresence robots (we now have three of them for an office of 35 staff) give our remote colleagues a level of human engagement that helps us to work well together.
Our robot is essentially an iPad on wheels that a remote user can operate and steer around the building using a web browser or iPhone App. They can drive themselves into a conference room or to another person’s office, for instance, or even to a water cooler or lunch table. The remote user gets an eye-level view of the people they are engaging with, and their more or less life-size face is at eye level for us too. This way, we have found, they can be part of conversations in a much more natural and organic way.
We have also started to experiment with the telepresence robots as a way to attend executive education programs, to give participants who are unable to be there in person the ability to take part in the learning experience in a more meaningful way than a traditional video link or webcast. We still believe very strongly, of course, in the power of getting together in person, but when that is not possible or practical, telepresence robots seem to be a viable alternative.
Space Tech Moves Closer To Home
Telepresence robots are an example of the much broader field of telerobotics, an area of engineering that has been moving steadily away from science fiction into our everyday lives. Telerobots, simply, are robots that are controlled by people to perform tasks remotely. Like many technologies that we take for granted today, telerobotics got its start (and early R&D funding) in the space exploration and military fields. For example, Curiosity rover made it possible for NASA researchers to gather data on the surface of Mars. And we are now sadly familiar with the image of remote controlled robots being used to defuse improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Another example that started with a defense application and spawned major scientific, educational and commercial outcomes was pioneered by the legendary deep-sea explorer Dr. Robert Ballard from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He famously used remotely operated submarines in his discovery of the Titanic’s wreck and many other famous shipwrecks. Today, WHOI scientists are using robots to virtually connect classrooms with underwater expeditions in real time, so that students can experience the excitement of exploration and discovery first-hand.
Telepresence robots are being used in a wide variety of other applications ranging from medicine to toxic waste cleanup to art installations. In hard-to-reach communities in Canada, a telerobot named Zeus serves as the eyes and hands of Dr. Mehran Anvari who performs surgeries remotely from St Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario.
As of last year, Dr. Anvari has conducted over 20 operations using telecommunications, robotics, and skilled nurses on site. “It’s the same as if I were sitting in the operating room,” he told the BBC. “I have both my hands on the robot the same way I would have instruments in both hands.”
Closer to home, researchers from MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering have built a bipedal robot named HERMES that has human split-second reflexes, allowing it to balance while performing complex tasks. The engineers envision HERMES being very useful at disaster sites and other dangerous environments, with its precise movements controlled by a remote human operator.
Telerobotics, Telecommuting and Accessibility
These and countless other examples of people using robots to perform work remotely made me wonder how tremendously useful this could be for making more workplaces accessible to people with physical disabilities. It’s important to note the difference between telepresence and telecommuting, which has been a popular option for people with mobility challenges.
A growing trend in many industries, telecommuting is actively promoted by organizations that help people with disabilities find meaningful employment. Work Without Limits, a Massachusetts network of engaged employers and innovative, collaborative partners that aims to increase employment among individuals with disabilities, cites telecommuting as a highly useful tool for employers interested in making their workplaces more accessible. I wrote about our engagement with this fine organization in a previous post.
However, telecommuting has recently come under legal scrutiny as a “reasonable accommodation” per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Just like the Ford Motor Company that was the beneficiary of the Sixth Circuit Court decision when it reversed its previous opinion to grant telecommuting as “reasonable accommodation” to a disabled employee, many employers are resistant to telecommuting, insisting that work tasks need to be performed face to face.
Perhaps telepresence robots could help solve that problem by allowing employees to engage with colleagues, vendors, or customers not only in real time, but also face to face (via robot), and be able to “move around” an office or a manufacturing floor?
Regardless, I hope that more enlightened employers will see the merit of expanding their mindset beyond “reasonable accommodation” and into “enabled workplace” for everyone.
In the future, no doubt more advanced assistive technologies, prosthetics, “bionics,” new therapies, and the like being developed at MIT and elsewhere, will have profoundly beneficial impacts for people living and working with mobility challenges and disability (both physical and cognitive.) With an ageing population, of course, that will be an increasing number of us!
Enter Machine-Enabled Workforce
In their best-selling book “The Second Machine Age,” my colleagues Erik Brynjolfsson, professor of Management at MIT Sloan, andAndrew McAfee, co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, discuss some very serious concerns about robots replacing people in the workforce. According to their findings, robots today are taking over not only the areas of work that benefit from automation—like factories, warehouses, and distribution centers—but also “knowledge work” that requires performing complex cognitive tasks. In the opening chapter, the authors warn us about “the second machine age unfolding right now.”
They see it as “an inflection point in the history of our economies and societies (…) but one that will bring with it some difficult challenges and choices.” Despite some rather grim predictions, Brynjolfsson and McAfee are optimistic about the future of work.
And so are the authors of a recent Harvard Business Review article Julia Kirby, editor at large at the Harvard Business Review, and Thomas Davenport, professor of Information Technology & Management at Babson College. Kirby and Davenport outline five highly tangible approaches that humans involved in knowledge work can take to remain relevant and successful in the workforce of the future.
Combining telerobotics with other technologies that are already enhancing our work and living spaces could be a great boon to employers looking to tap into diverse talent pools. In its Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report, Deloitte lists “Machines as Talent” as one of the major trends and encourages Human Resources professionals to “focus on the opportunities cognitive technologies offer through collaboration between people and machines to help make companies more efficient, productive, and profitable, and jobs more meaningful and engaging.”
As MIT Sloan professor of Management and Information Technology Thomas Malone said, “the future of work is not man v. machine, but man plus machine.” You can learn more about the subject in Prof. Malone’s new online executive education course, Intelligent Organizations 4DX, in which he and all the program participants will be meeting as avatars in a 3D virtual-world classroom.
Happy Humans Are Better Workers
Here at MIT Sloan Executive Education Office, we are definitely not replacing our people with machines, but instead we are using telepresence robots and other information and organizational technologies to help our people to be more productive and, we hope, happier workers.
We want to make sure that people working remotely or in a different time zone are able to fully participate in the work-life of the office. We want to allow people to work more flexibly in time and place. However, we are not expecting anyone to work around the clock just because they are not in the office physically.
We have built a structure that seems to be working well so far. About two thirds of our employees work remotely one to three days a week and we only ask everyone to be in the office in person if possible on Wednesdays. We try to hold internal meetings between 10:30 am and 4:30 pm, we discourage meetings before 8:30 am or after 5:30 pm, and encourage everyone to be thoughtful about the work patterns and preferences of others on the team, while still, of course, doing what we need to do to get things done efficiently and effectively.
As I explained in a recent interview, what we are finding is that even allowing for some of the challenges of physical distance, people who work remotely can contribute just as much if not more because they are getting so much back from not wasting time commuting, for example. Overall, morale and outcomes have improved, as, crucially, has our agility as an organization. These facts are not disconnected.
As a manager, I value very much all the extra work that people on my team are able to do as a result of these new ways of working. As a leader and human(e) being, though, I value even more how these innovative working practices and technologies are helping us achieve the goal of being a better place to work for all.
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