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Showing posts from July, 2017

Only data-savvy retailers will survive in tomorrow’s market

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Today’s big data-driven marketplace only has room for the fittest. This sounds a little scary, I know. For a long time, mastering the art of accurate and effective number-crunching was no small feat. Over the last decade, machine learning has grown and matured from a flashy high-tech tool to a business essential. But too many retailers still fail to acknowledge the incredibly positive impact artificial intelligence (AI) and big data can have on their businesses and are suffering as a result of their sluggishness. AI is no longer an angsty teenager waiting to be taken seriously. It is fully grown and powerfully important. The sooner retailers understand this, the sooner they can leverage its advice and insights to their benefit — and there are a LOT of those. I’ll get to that in a minute, but first I need to make one thing clear. Investing in AI is not a luxury, it is something all retailers must do if they want to survive — and thrive — in today’s tech-savvy market. Until now, most compa…

How Machine Learning AI going to make your phone even smarter

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We all know that our smartphones are as powerful as desktop computers from a few years ago, and even supercomputers from a few decades ago—and now they’re on the verge of teaching themselves to become even smarter and more competent. Today, image-recognition AI company Clarifai debuted new software that allows mobile apps to do machine learning—the actual training of models—right on smartphones, going back to at least the iPhone 5, with no cloud server farm required. Understanding the significance of this development requires us to unpack some jargon. Tech companies frequently talk about apps that use machine learning—showing enough images or other data to an artificial intelligence program until it starts to discern important patterns, such as what a hamburger patty and bun look like. That’s how apps like Dog Breed Identifier or Food Calorie Counter, for instance, can identify what you point the phone’s camera at. But these apps aren’t learning on the phone what, say, a Yorkie looks…

New Development Makes Next-Level Brain Implants Possible

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Current brain implants are less than ideal. They are crude brain-computer interface (BCI) devices that are implanted during an invasive procedure, and a relatively small number of electrodes make contact with the brain despite the large size of the devices. While they are somewhat effective in the mitigation of the effects of epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and other neuron degenerative conditions, they’d be far more useful with more electrodes making contact than the mere tens of thousands that is possible now. To dramatically improve BCI s, scientists need to create an implant device that is less invasive than current methods and can still offer more interactive channels, including direct interfaces with the visual and auditory cortices. This kind of BCI would create a vastly expanded range of contact points for brain function support by artificial systems. Enter the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and its Neural Engineering System Des…