The Sunday AI Review: 11th June 2017
Hi there you beautiful people!
It’s a sunny weekend… a rare and beautiful thing in the UK. I spent my Saturday eating calamari and drinking rosé wine on Brighton seafront, before bingeing on pizza and the new season of Orange Is The New Black with my bezzie late into the night. And for Sunday, my daughter is away being the flower girl at her father’s wedding, so I can enjoy the sunshine and get the housework done (what an exciting life I lead!)
Speaking of exciting though, on Wednesday this week, Jon and I had the awesome opportunity to visit the offices of Unruly in Whitechapel to check out their incredible concept home of the future. It was IoT on steroids. I put together this short video on my phone whilst we were in there, which gives you some idea of how darn cool it really was:
Note the drool-inducing mid-century modern aesthetics, too. It’s like Mad Men meets the Jetsons in this place!
We also recorded a special edition of the TDMB Presents… podcast whilst sitting at the dining table and enjoying a ‘smart’ Heineken, from a very, very awesome machine – basically the beer equivalent of a fancy coffee machine. You’re going to have one in your pad soon enough – watch this space!
Anyway, you’re here for the AI news of the week, right? Well, you’re in luck. As always, I have gathered together the top five stories from the week in artificial intelligence and machine learning, along with my top picks from my email inbox, all in one place. Aren’t you a lucky little nerd?
So, let’s get started with the top AI news of the week…
This week, Apple held its Worldwide Developers Conference in which the gargantuan company revealed it’s tipping AI into all its stuff, left, right, and centre. But, of particular note, was the announcement of the “HomePod”. It’s the first piece of new hardware that Apple will release since the Apple Watch, and it’s set to rival competitor devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. It has one step up on its competition in terms of its spatial awareness, which allows it to adjust its acoustics to meet the physical requirements of the room. Siri is also getting an update to make her intelligent enough to meet the demands of its new role outside the iPhone.
But will HomePod be as successful as the Echo, which has sold more units than any other voice-controlled speaker to date? Amazon will control 70 percent of the voice-controlled speaker market this year, and is about to release its new Echo Show, which has a 7-inch screen. The HomePod doesn’t have a screen, so will it be able to compete, being so far behind its competition? Time will tell…
It seems obvious, but if you haven’t mastered your data, or already initiated some form of automation in your company already, you’re not going to be ready for the next stage. This article takes you through the steps you need to complete successfully before you unleash your flying monkeys. It’s a simple fact that a company must invest time and money to be prepared with sufficiently automated and structured data analytics in order to take full advantage of the new technologies. Like it or not, you can’t afford to skip the basics.
PICK OF THE WEEK!
I heart generative adversarial networks. They’re really really cool. And so is the pix2pix project‘s ability to create brain-warping monsters out of simple doodles. Obviously, it’s an early but significant development for GAN technology. Whilst the Vice writer behind this article is a bit down on the work the project is creating, I see it as really artistic actually. I’m totally into the shit this GAN can create from a simple drawing, and very proud of the hellish creature I’ve made. Look:
You can try it for yourself here. I would be absolutely thrilled if you would tweet me your creations: @msmichelebaker.
Well I must say this article is a bit of a comedown after the excitement of making monsters with GANs. But heigh-ho, here we go. Jobs blah blah… new ones needed blah blah blah…. YES! WE KNOW! Get on with developing the school curriculum, please. I’m sick of the lack of emphasis on computer programming, coding, and other IT skills going on at my daughter’s primary school, but I guess if there’s no bloody funding for schools in the UK, that’s not going to happen any time soon. Way to think ahead, right? Let’s move on before I start getting political…
5. A Stanford researcher is pioneering a dramatic shift in how we treat depression — and you can try her new tool right now (Business Insider UK)
As one of the millions of people across the world who has struggled with mental health issues at one time or another, I see Woebot as a nifty bit of kit. I’m generally ok these days (thanks for asking), but I’m going to give the bot a bit of a trial run and see if I think it does any good. It’s been pretty well proven with data, so I want to see for myself if I think a chatbot can really be effective at helping alleviate some symptoms of depression. I’ll try and remember to report back at some point soon. In the meantime, if you’re also curious, you can strike up a therapy sesh with the Woebot here. You’ll have to connect to Facebook Messenger, which is where the Woebot operates.
So, Michele, I hear you ask, what were your favourite stories this week? Well, my dears, I’ll tell you. Actually no, I won’t. I’ll give you some links. I’ve got stuff to do you know – and so have you, presumably. So, here’s what I have for you today:
Right, I’m off. Going to peg out that laundry and then get back to Netflix and enjoy Chapman and Voss hopefully getting it on in the prison showers. Have an outstanding week, you lovely people!
Hasta la vista, baby!