• The House of Representatives formed the “Congressional Artificial Intelligence Caucus” last month. Today they will hold their first open briefing. In preparation for that hearing, David Kenny, IBM Senior Vice President for Watson and Cloud sent this open letter to Congress.

“It’s time to move beyond fear tactics and refocus the AI dialogue on three priorities I believe are core to this discussion: Intent, Skills and Data.”

  • Several countries (notably China, Canada and the UK) are making substantial investments aimed at leadership in the coming digital/AI economy. New Zealand is betting on the long term as they invest in compulsory digital education:

bill-english-talks-to-schoolkids-technology-rosie-gordon“…(U)pskilling teachers and helping them create digitally-oriented classrooms. …(Y)oung people today need to build their digital skills and fluency, to prepare them for this technological world. …(T)he new curriculum will be in schools from 2018 – and mandated by 2020. It involves not only enabling young people to be able to use new technologies, but also be the creators of new technologies in the future, so it will include a part around computational thinking. All young people, from years one to 10, will take part in digital technologies learning.”

On a related note, this article argues that countries not investing in AI could find themselves in serious trouble in the not-too-far-distant future.

  • In my presentations lately I have touted the fact that Facebook and Microsoft are now working across dozens of languages. Now it seems Google has passed the century mark (I love the following use of ‘hallucinate’):

“Google announced that the Google Translate app, which is in 103 languages, is now available in Swahili, Zulu and Xhosa.

Speaking at the event, Blaise Agüera y Arcas Scientist for Machine Learning at Google, said, “Machine learning gives us an advance of understanding. There are certain things that machine learning enables us to do, like translation, We can now translate from one language to another without using rules. These new neural techniques ingest a sentence and then hallucinate the sentence in another language.”

  • Microsoft’s legal department has been running a pilot to see how well AI can help with their contract management. It ends this week. If the results are encouraging, they’ll expand AI to other parts of their in-house legal work. At the same time, Microsoft Research is looking at ways it can help the company’s in-house lawyers evaluate contracting risks and other issues….”
  • Once we’re comfortably past the hype of AI and into pretty much off-the-shelf real world solutions, I expect the positioning statements for AI products will be pretty amazing. As an example, here’s the statement on Genpact Cora’s homepage today:

“What’s in it for you? That’s easy. Our platform hones in on specific business challenges and tackles them from beginning to end. It optimizes your work. Provides business flexibility while never losing sight of your investment expectations. Gives you crucial insights. Creates exceptional customer experiences. Drives growth. Cuts costs. And helps you turn data into action at every step of your process. It lets you move from reporting on the past to predicting future performance. Transforms billing. Reimagines loan processing. And lets you breathe easier.”

Wow. What more could you want? (Disclaimer: I’m not saying they can’t do all of this today.)

  • You’re probably tired of my relentless mantra that “it’s all about the data.” Here’s a slightly different slant than my usual focus on data that’s ‘clean, comprehensive and connected:’ especially in the EU, but everywhere, we need to keep privacy rights in mind when we’re building our data architectures. This article has some good insights in that regard.

Giving you a peek behind the curtain: I’ve mentioned before that I use Google alerts and (fabulous) Manzama to help with my reports each morning. Among the several others I regularly consult is “10 things in tech you need to know today.” If you’d like to keep up with tech in general (you’re such a geek!), not just AI, I highly recommend it.