Dyllan Furness

Dyllan explores technology and the human condition for Tech Emergence. His interests include but are not limited to whiskey, kimchi, and Catahoulas.

Articles by Dyllan

30 articles
Swarm Intelligence Correctly Predicted a Superfecta – What Does it Think About AI?

“Swarm Intelligence” Correctly Predicted a Superfecta – What Does it Think About AI?

Horse betting is harder than it looks. At the 142nd Kentucky Derby last week, only one of five experts from Churchill Downs Racetrack correctly predicted the winner. None of them correctly predicted the top four horses. Known as a superfecta, this latter bet came with 540 to 1 odds, meaning $100 down would return $540,000. And although the experts failed to predict the finishing order, an anonymous group of internet users did.

Why is AI Today's "Most Important" Technology? Ask Microsoft's Chief Envisioner

Why is AI Today’s “Most Important” Technology? Ask Microsoft’s Chief Envisioner

If you aren’t yet convinced by the real world potential of artificial intelligence, Microsoft’s chief envisioning officer, Dave Coplin has a few words for you. Speaking at an AI conference in London on Tuesday, Coplin emphatically told business leaders that AI is “the most important technology that anybody on the planet is working on today,” reports Business Insider.

Meet Siri's Stronger, Faster Sister

Meet Siri’s Stronger, Faster Sister

The inventors of Apple’s virtual assistant software, Siri, have just demonstrated their secret, next-generation, artificial intelligence assistant. Created by Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, Viv is four years in the making. She offers an open platform through which queries can connect with third-party merchants. And yesterday, during Kittlaus’s demo at TechCrunch Disrupt NY, Viv performed flawlessly as her creator gave her tasks that would likely see Siri fumbling for answers.
Viv’s talent is in analyzing natural language queries, breaking them down to their components to determine intent, and feeding these requests off to bots that can easily process them. In this sense, Viv is a flexible “top bot” that commands a number of very inflexible specialized bots. This enables Viv to satisfy many unique requests by delegating tasks vertically. Whereas the highly specialized, personal assistant X.ai is capable of competently managing a calendar, Viv – like Siri – is designed to handle multiple tasks at various times. However, where Siri often falls back on a search engine to answer complicated questions, Viv seems to capably find an answer by relying on the support of the company’s partners. See Kittlaus's demonstration and interview at Disrupt NY below.

AI is Colorizing and Beautifying the World 2

AI is Colorizing and Beautifying the World

Artificial intelligence may be making the world smarter, safer, more functional and accessible. But can it make the world more beautiful? A number of researchers hope to do so by developing AI systems that can paint, write, and colorize photographs.

Google and Microsoft Invest in "Privacy-Preserving" Deep Learning

Google and Microsoft Invest in “Privacy-Preserving” Deep Learning

Big data is big business. But in an age of digital privacy paranoia, it isn’t always easy for tech companies to get their hands on information – particularly when some of the most potentially beneficial data is also confidential, locked up in healthcare and finance companies who aren’t comfortable sharing.

An AI Cybersecurity System May Detect Attacks with 85 Percent Accuracy

An AI Cybersecurity System May Detect Attacks with 85 Percent Accuracy

How secure is your company’s online data?
Probably not as secure as you think. Recent statistics from a security risk benchmarking startup called SecurityScorecard suggest that the United States federal government ranks dead last among major cybersecurity industries, despite having spent $100 billion on cybersecurity measures over the past decade.

Unseen Ways AI is Making the World a Better Place

Unseen Ways AI is Making the World a Better Place

Despite what the media tends to depict, artificial intelligence is being put to better use than winning video games and board games. In fact, two of the world’s leading tech giants have begun using AI to help the blind perceive the world in helpful new ways.

Goldman Sachs Leads a $30 Million Funding Round in Persuasion Automation

Goldman Sachs Leads a $30 Million Funding Round in Persuasion Automation

Last week, Goldman Sachs led a $30 million investment round into Persado, a company that offers AI-based copywriting and marketing services. Persado claims its system "outperforms man-made messages 100% of the time” in a process they call "persuasion automation." In other words, according to Persado's promotional video below, human marketers hardly stand a chance.
Persado’s unique selling point is its ability to create and test the strength of words, phrases, and entire sentences used in marketing content. The company claims to have tagged, scored, and categorized some 1 million of these terms to determine their effectiveness in marketing copy.
Backed by this database, Persado says its software can “effectively parse hundreds of thousands of ways to convey emotions” and apply those expressions to augment marketing campaigns. Thus, the software can alternate copy between feelings of safety, intimacy, and anxiety, depending on a client’s needs. (See below for their "Wheel of Emotions" infographic). This automated system enables the company to generate and test more texts than human-managed marketing departments, which tend to rely on individually created A/B test samples. For international clients, Persado boasts that its software can translate texts into 23 languages.

Should You Fear AI in Finance?

Should You Fear AI in Finance?

Science Magazine’s report on Friday that an artificial intelligence system was caught stealing banking customers’ money may have made you rethink vesting your funds in the burgeoning technology. But have no fear – the article was an April Fool’s joke.

Millennials Develop "World's First" AI Creative Director 1

Millennials Develop “World’s First” AI Creative Director

Picture this: Mad Men returns for a final season set in the near future. The advertising agency Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce is still a powerhouse though its namesakes have since retired. Actually, the entire human staff has been reduced to just a few account men, managers, and technicians. Where are the creatives? They're in the computers.