Digital & Technology

DLD Special: CognitionX Daily Briefing


As we head into the weekend we share the low down from a week coverage of CES 2017. I’m surprised to see video conferencing as one of the buzz words but “education through speech recognition” is promising!

Excited for DLD to start tomorrow and the buzzword tag cloud to start to get populated! What’s your guess for the hottest topic of the moment? Come tell us on Twitter @Cognition_X.

Question from the audience: Is facial recognition pushing towards the return of physiognomy?

In “Automated Inference on Criminality using Face Images,” Xiaolin Wu and Xi Zhang describe how they trained classifiers using various machine learning techniques that were able to distinguish photos of criminals from photos of non-criminals with a high level of accuracy. They simply assume there’s no bias in the criminal justice system, but suppose instead you start from the assumption that there isn’t any relationship between facial features and criminality. Then you’ll take Wu and Zhang’s result as evidence that there is bias in the justice criminal system  — i.e., that it’s biased against people with certain facial features, thus explaining the difference between photos of convicted criminals and photos of people from the general population.

Business Impact of AI The buzzword of CES 2017: voice

In a Quid analysis of seven days of news coverage around CES, the word “voice” appeared in 22% of the network, roughly equal to the number of mentions of the word “smartphone.” That was only slightly behind mentions of “TV,” which appeared in 23% of the network. Roundup stories and “best of” lists after the show declared Alexa, the voice-controlled digital assistant from Amazon, the winner of the entire week. Ars Technica said that after CES, they envisioned a world where Alexa controls everything.

The top 100 AI startups redefining industries

The list includes 5 unicorn startups: auto tech company Zoox, robotics startup UBTECH, healthcare AI companies BenevolentAI and iCarbonX, and sales tech startup There were nine $100M+ mega-rounds to AI 100 startups since 2014, with 6 of them just in 2016. Auto tech company Zoox raised $200M from investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Lux Capital. Zoox is the most well-funded company with total funding of $290M, followed by ($199M), which has developed a predictive scoring and analytics sales platform. Bloomberg Beta was the most active corporate investor in the AI 100.

Politics of AI

MEPs vote on robots’ legal status – and if a kill switch is required

A European Parliament committee has called for the adoption of comprehensive rules for how humans will interact with AI and robots. The report makes it clear that it believes the world is on the cusp of a “new industrial” robot revolution. It looks at whether to give robots legal status as “electronic persons”. Designers should make sure any robots have a kill switch, which would allow functions to be shut down if necessary, the report recommends.

Tools of the trade

Parascript Launches First Document Capture with Advanced Machine Learning

Parascript, the pioneer in data extraction powered by machine learning, today introduced the first commercially available data location, extraction and verification software solution that deploys template-less, neural network-based document extraction. It has productised its machine learning platform to support custom-developed recognition projects with much quicker turnaround than traditional rules-based approaches.


Deloitte Global predictions 2017 on Machine Learning and Autonomous Technology

The 16th edition of the “Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions” has said that over 300 million smartphones, or more than a fifth of units sold in 2017, will have on-board neural network machine learning capability. These are computer models designed to mimic aspects of the human brain’s structure and function, with elements representing neurons and their interconnections. They will allow smartphones to perform machine learning tasks even when not connected to a network.

Chatbot, yadda yadda yadda

The next phase of UX: designing Chatbot personalities

Why open and close a bunch of apps on your phone to get stuff done when you can invoke a text-message-like window and just say what you want done to a chatbot? Well, here’s one reason: what if the bot is annoying or tedious to talk to? In conversational UIs, personality is the new UX.


Brian Cox presents panel ‘Science Matters’: Machine learning and AI

Prof. Brian Cox, the Royal Society Professor of Public Engagement, brought together experts on AI and machine learning to discuss key issues that will shape our future. Panelists include: Prof. Jon Crowcroft FRS, Marconi Professor of Networked Systems at the University of Cambridge, Prof. Joanna Bryson, Reader in AI Ethics, University of Bath and Affiliate, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University, Prof. Sabine Hauert, Lecturer in Robotics at the University of Bristol, and President and Co-Founder of, Prof. Murray Shanahan, Professor of Cognitive Robotics at Imperial College London, Prof. Peter Donnelly FRS FMedSci, Director, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, and Prof. of Statistical Science, University of Oxford


Brad Abrams on Google Assistant

Pete Skomoroch and Brad Abrams, group product manager of Google Assistant, discuss the company’s new AI-driven bot that lives in many different contexts, including the Pixel phone, the Allo messaging app, and the Google Home voice-controlled speaker.


First ever perched landing performed using machine learning algorithms

The very first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to perform a perched landing using machine learning algorithms has been developed in partnership with the University of Bristol and BMT Defence Services (BMT). The revolutionary development of a fixed wing aircraft that can land in a small or confined space has the potential to significantly impact intelligence-gathering and the delivery of aid in a humanitarian disaster.

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