Yoshua Bengio Helps Launch AI Incubator, Stanford and USDE Ramp Up Smart Grid, and More – This Week in Artificial Intelligence – 10-28-16

Daniel Faggella

Daniel Faggella is Head of Research at Emerj. Called upon by the United Nations, World Bank, INTERPOL, and leading enterprises, Daniel is a globally sought-after expert on the competitive strategy implications of AI for business and government leaders.

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1 – Machine Learning Veterans Launch ‘ElementAI’ – A Montreal Based Artificial Intelligence Startup Factory

ElementAI, a Montreal-based AI incubator co-founded by Dr. Yoshua Bengio, officially launched on Monday. Co-founder and CEO Jean-Francois Gagné announced the company’s mission:

“Our mission is to bring entrepreneurs and academics together and help them incubate advanced AI-First solutions.”

The founding team also includes Co-Founder Nicolas Chapados and Real Ventures, a leading source of seed stage capital in Canada. ElementAI will serve as a hub where entrepreneurs and academic experts come together to work on solving challenges that necessitate an “AI-first” solution.

(Read the full article on Yahoo Finance)

2 – AI Program Able to Predict Human Rights Trials with 79 Percent Accuracy

Though AI will not be taking the place of human judges anytime soon, computer sciences recently tested an AI program that was able to predict the correct outcome of human rights cases 79 percent of the time. The system was trained on data from about 600 cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), and looked for patterns in data that correlated with the judge’s final decision. Researchers found that specific factors in the case, such as history and details, were more heavily weighted in the judge’s decisions than the legal arguments. The intent of this study, which was published in JPeer CompSci, was not to search for ways to replace human judges, but to help streamline cases filtered through the judicial system. As Dr. Nikolaos Aletras, the scientist who led the research noted, this AI system could help pinpoint more urgent cases amidst a backlog of cases that need to be prosecuted.

(Read the full article on The Verge and published paper at JPeer CompSci)

3 – Silicon Valley Startup Gets $33.5M from Intel-Led Group

Redwood City-based Paxata, a start-up working to make business analytics accessible to business executives, announced this week that it raised $33.5 million in funding from Intel Capital. Additional new investors include Microsoft Ventures, Cisco Investments, and Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, among others. According to CEO Prakasj Nanduri, the funds will be applied toward advancing the machine learning technology that is the foundation of its visual information management platform. Paxata’s target audience is 1 billion large-business executives and employees who have knowledge of Excel and want to use related data to guide business decisions. With a total of $61.5 million raised in funds, Paxata also plans to expand into Europe and other quickly growing markets.

(Read the full article on Silicon Valley Business Journal)

4 – AI-Powered Body Scanners Could Soon be Inspecting You in Public

According to documents filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Boston-based Evolv Technology is getting ready (on November 1) to pioneer an AI-powered high-speed body scanner at Union Station in Washington DC, Los Angeles’s Union Station metro, and at the Denver international airport. The system uses the same body scanners found in airports, but uses computer vision and machine learning to complete a scan in a fraction of a second (which equates to up to 800 people in one hour). Potential implementation could mean that passengers are able to walk through scanners instead of having to stop for long periods of time at security. Nearby security guards would possess a tablet that would give individuals an “all clear” or highlight items of suspicion on a person. Initial tests will assess how finely tuned the scanners can be and the types of weapons and explosives (or other objects) that they detect.

(Read the full article on The Guardian)

5 – SLAC, Stanford Launch ‘Bits & Watts,’ the First-of-its-kind Holistic Approach to Creating the 21st Century Electric Grid

Stanford and the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have joined forces to pioneer “Bits & Watts”, an initiative aimed at transitioning a society dependent on a massive and delicate electric power grid to one that incorporates more sustainable energy sources. Steven Chu, a Stanford professor, Nobel laureate and former U.S. Energy Secretary and one of the founding researchers of Bits & Watts said,

“We must develop the right technologies, financial incentives and investment atmosphere to take full advantage of the lowering costs of clean energy.”

Cloud-connected labs at Stanford and SLAC will work together to develop ways to use digital sensors, machine learning, and other technologies to collect massive amounts of data from green energy sources, from wind farms and rooftop solar panels to household appliances and thermostats. Simulations that test new software and hardware in both homes and commercial spaces are slated to begin in 2017. The Bits & Watts team will also work closely with industry and policymakers to plan and participate in cooperative research and help facilitate adoption of newly developed software and related technologies.

(Read the full press release at Stanford News)


Image credit: Element AI

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