1 – Artificial Intelligence a Job Killer? Not here

New York City-based X.AI is relatively new on the artificial intelligence scene and has created 60 more AI-based jobs on the east coast. The company, which raised $11.3 million in ventral capital over the past two years, is engineering virtual personal assistants to schedule events for their user. Co-Founder and CEO Dennis Mortensen commented on the growing AI-sector on the east coast, particularly in NYC, stating that top-tier universities like MIT, Columbia, and others, from north to south, provide a burgeoning talent pool from which to find top data scientists. While the company is creating jobs, its product – Amy and Andrew – might disrupt thousands of jobs once brought to market. The company plans to launch out of beta by end of year 2016.

(Read the full article on the New York Business Journal)

2 – IBM To Hold $5 Million Watson Artificial Intelligence Contest

Competition often encourages top-of-the-line ideas, and IBM is using this as leverage in a $5 million contest  for developers and researchers to come up with a revolutionary new use for its Watson technology. IBM, in conjunction with the X Prize Foundation, announced the competition at the TED conference in Vancouver, British Columbia this week, with detailed guidelines set for release in mid-May 2016. Contestants will participate in an IBM annual Watson conference over the next three years, for prizes totaling $500,000. The top three teams will then present their AI technology at a TED conference in 2020. At present, there are no limitations or specific problem-solving criteria that teams need to meet in the creation of their AI.

(Read the full article on Fortune)

3 – Digital Baby Project’s Aim: Computers That See Like Humans

Researchers in Israel have performed a large-scale cognitive psychology experiment to shed light on the differences between how humans and machines process and see images. More than 14,000 participants went up against computer algorithms to identify partial or fuzzy images of common objects like eyeglasses, horses, and cars. While humans (not surprisingly) outperformed computers at identifying smaller images, researchers noticed an interesting trend with fuzzy images – human recognition dropped while machine vision did not reveal any significant gaps than with previous images. Scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot attribute part of this to how the brain sees, from both a top-down and bottom-up approach, while computers work from bottom-up, and suggest that this points to learning and recognition mechanisms that machines lack. The research could be used to improve computer vision algorithms for future artificial intelligences.

(Read the full article on IEEE Spectrum)

4 – United Nations CITO: Artificial Intelligence Will be Humanity’s Final Innovation

In an in interview with the UN’s Chief Information Technology Officer, Atefeh Riazi, TechRepublic asked a number of questions about how technology, including artificial intelligence, may help and hinder society now and in the future. Riazi commented that artificial intelligence may be the last true innovation by humanity, stating

“The next innovations will come through artificial intelligence…it will be the AI innovating. We need to think about our role as technologists and we need to think about the ramifications—positive and negative—and we need to transform ourselves as innovators.”

Discussion also covered the poverty gap in access to the Internet and digital technologies, the role of e-waste in developing countries, and whether the Deep Web exposes or encourages criminal activity.

(Read the full article on TechRepublic)

5 – Google Ideas Think Tank Becomes Tech Incubator Jigsaw

Google Ideas, one of Google’s “Other Bet” businesses, is being expanded and getting a new identity. The rebranded Jigsaw will continue the original think tank’s mission of exploring ways in which technology might help solve an array of global issues. Formally a tech incubator, Jigsaw will invest in finding solutions to the “toughest geopolitical challenges”, says Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt, such as digital attacks, organized crime, human trafficking, and a list of other policy-related problems. Jared Cohen, who served as a staff member under former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, will continue to lead the business operations.

(Read the full article on SiliconBeat)

Image credit: Fortune