Industry News

Industry News

Microsoft AI driven Bing Visual Search, How AI helps you shop online, AI in Financial Risk Management, MatplotLib leads data visualization tools, Analysing Sound using ML, Microsoft acquires Bonsai.

AI & Machine Learning News. 25, June 2018


Microsoft Adds AI-Enabled Visual Search to Bing Mobile Apps

Microsoft is turning vacations, walks around the neighborhood and nature hikes into an opportunity for users of its Bing mobile apps to learn more about their surroundings and help improve the company’s artificial intelligence technologies along the way.
The software giant has added new intelligent visual search technology to the Bing mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Custom Vision, part of the Azure Cognitive Services suite of cloud services, allows users to train, deploy and optimize image classifiers. In May, Microsoft revealed that the offering was the first Azure Cognitive Service to make the leap from the cloud to the edge, setting the stage for drones and internet of things (IoT) devices that can process visual information without connecting to the cloud service.
2018-06-22 Read the full story (E-Week).
2018-06-21  Read the full story (GeekWire).
CloudQuant Thoughts… We are now seeing the big tech companies Google, IBM, Apple and Microsoft all providing lightweight Neural Net based APIs to developers that allow them to push incredibly strong AI to the edges of the network, even to your phone. Expect to see lots of new Apps taking advantage of these advances in AI. I am already hard at work on Not Hodog II.

Richrelevance opens up AI black box for custom shopping experiences

When a shopper walks through the aisles of Saks or Urban Outfitters, they see the same displays as everyone else. But online, it’s a different story: Galleries of clothing items, accessories, and jewelry are tailored to each visitor. Behind the scenes, artificially intelligent algorithms churn through mountains of data, personalizing on-page product recommendations, navigation and sidebar content, and search results.
It’s in part the work of Richrelevance, a 12-year-old company headquartered in San Francisco, California that uses a powerful machine learning framework distributed across 14 datacenters to “turn digital interactions into personal experiences,” as CEO Carl Theobald puts it.
2018-06-22 00:00:00 Read the full story.
CloudQuant Thoughts…. A very interesting look under the hood of how these shopping sites use AI to serve up content that will interest you.

RegTech – the smart future for model risk management

The inexorable advance of new technologies; artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data and cloud computing are transforming financial institutions and markets. Machine learning in particular, is rapidly gaining traction in the world of model risk management, where the increased number of models to be managed, requires a consolidation of effort across the entire model landscape.
2018-06-21 10:40:34 Read the full story.
CloudQuant Thoughts… A nice overview of all the roles AI and ML can take in the processes of financial firms and some of the challenges therein.

In The Crowded Data Visualisation Sector, Python’s Matplotlib Emerges As A Winner

The latest Anaconda State of Data Science Survey 2018 showcases that Matplotlib is the most-preferred data visualization tool. It continues to enjoy its first-mover advantage in visualization with 75 percent votes as compared to other popular tools such as Plotly, Tableau, Microsoft Power BI and Tibco Spotfire, the official press release said. The survey has once again rekindled the old debate and pitted Python’s most used visualization library against the crowd favorite Tableau. Data visualization tools have always been polarising subject with the community divided over the favorite tools – D3, Tableau, R or Python.
2018-06-25 10:46:24+00:00 Read the full story.
CloudQuant Thoughts… Coming up with new ways of visualizing Market Data is one way to find an edge. A number of our data scientists use the Python Library MatPlotLib, so it is no surprise to us to see it leading the pack.

Urban Sound Classification — Part 1: sound wave, digital audio signal

Most of my ML posts are about NLP, specifically sentiment analysis, to give my data science learning a bit of diversity, I turned to another type of data, Audio data.
2018-06-24 21:57:51.076000+00:00 Read the full story.
CloudQuant Thoughts… It is always interesting to look at how someone would analyze a completely different type of dataset. See also this article on analyzing the music in the BillBoard Hot 100.

Microsoft Acquires Startup Bonsai to Build Industrial AI Assets

Microsoft announced the acquisition on June 20 of Bonsai, a Berkeley, Calif. startup specializing in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for autonomous systems and industrial environments.
Microsoft was mainly interested in Bonsai efforts to make industrial-scale AI and machine learning accessible to developers.
“Bonsai has developed a novel approach using machine teaching that abstracts the low-level mechanics of machine learning, so that subject matter experts, regardless of AI aptitude, can specify and train autonomous systems to accomplish tasks,” stated Gurdeep Pall, Corporate Vice President of Business AI at Microsoft, in the June 20 announcement. “The actual training takes place inside a simulated environment.”
2018-06-20 Read the full story (e-Week).
2018-06-20 Read the full story (Microsoft Blog).
2018-06-20 Read the full story (Geekwire).
CloudQuant Thoughts… Not a product that is in our wheelhouse but this acquisition certainly garnered a lot of attention this week.

Under the Fold…

Amazon, Microsoft and Google Face Backlash over ICE, Military Deals

Forget activist investors. At a growing number of tech companies, it’s the age of the activist employee. This week, Amazon’s (AMZN) Jeff Bezos was the latest tech chief to receive a blistering protest letter from employees, urging the company to end controversial government contracts.
In Amazon’s case, the focus of the letter was Rekognition, a facial-recognition system built on AWS, Amazon’s cloud service. After a report from the ACLU revealed that Amazon is shipping the tech to police departments, a number of ‘Amazonians’ circulated a letter demanding that Bezos pull law enforcement contracts and increase transparency around the company’s participation in building surveillance systems. The letter also demanded that Amazon ban Palantir, the data firm that provides intelligence to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Seciruty (DHS), from using AWS in light of widespread outrage surrounding immigrant detention practices at the border.
2018-06-23 09:00:00-04:00 Read the full story.

Microsoft employees ask company to cancel contract with ICE in open letter to CEO

Microsoft CEO calls border policy ‘cruel and abusive,’ says company’s technology isn’t aiding separation of parents and children
More than 100 Microsoft employees signed an open letter addressed to CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, demanding that the company end its contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The New York Times first reported on the letter, which was posted on an internal message board and calls on Microsoft to end its work with ICE in light of the agency separating families and children at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Microsoft was in the spotlight Monday after an Azure blog post from January highlighting its work with ICE resurfaced on social media. The company later issued a statement, saying that Microsoft products are not being used specifically for the separation of families. Microsoft said it was “dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border.”
2018-06-20 01:40:10-07:00 Read the full story.

FXCM How to Create a Quantitative Trading System Based on Various Algos by Stéphane Ifrah

Stéphane started developing algorithmic strategies more than 10 years ago at BNP Paribas. Stéphane headed an investment team managing EUR 4.0bn until 2013. He then turned to entrepreneurship and participated in the launch of a Hedge Fund. He has developed more than 20 long standing scalable strategies library over the years.
More recently, he has started developing for the crypto currency world. (Presented at FXCM Algo Summit , 15 June 2018 in London.)
The follow-up video on Crypto Currency is also available on YouTube.
2018-06-22 14:55:17+00:00 Read the full story.

Marios Michailidis’ Inspiring Story of a Non-Programmer to No. 1 on Kaggle

Mario had no programming background until he finished his Masters’ degree. He is the very definition of an inspiring self-taught data scientist!
He is a popular figure in the world of machine learning competitions. He loves competing in Kaggle competitions and has won several of them. He holds the title of Kaggle Grandmaster and has previously held the number 1 rank globally!
2018-06-24 17:14:57+05:30 Read the full story.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Plans to Invest $4 Billion to Bring Forward New Products Across the Intelligent Edge

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is planning to invest $4 billion in Intelligent Edge technologies and services over the next four years.
Specifically, HPE will invest in research and development to advance and innovate new products, services and consumption models across a number of technology domains such as security, AI and machine learning, automation, and edge computing.
This strategic organic investment will be focused on helping customers turn all of their data – from every edge to any cloud – into intelligence that drives seamless interactions between people and things, delivers personalized user experiences, and employs AI and machine learning to continuously adapt to changes in real time.
“Data is the new IP”
2018-06-20 00:00:00 Read the full story.

XGBoost: The Excalibur for Everyone – Towards Data Science

When I discovered the XGBoost algorithm, I was a bit sceptical of it’s capabilities cause wherever I read about it, everyone was chiming on how great and magical it is. On digging up further on the “magical” factor of XGBoost, I found out that it has been the essential element of many Kaggle competition winners, and in some cases, the “only” algorithm that people applied to their dataset.
The natural course of action was to just test out the algorithm from a code sample already available and see for myself how good it is. I did that on a running project of my own where I first used the Random Forrest Regressor and calculated it’s Mean Absolute Error, and then I passed the same Dataframe to my XGB Regressor and calculated it’s Mean Absolute Error. The results varied on a dramatic scale!(It was nearly 20% better than my previous model)
2018-06-24 16:51:49.541000+00:00 Read the full story.

How Is Artificial Intelligence Boosting The SEO Game For Websites?

Organisations are now resorting to artificial intelligence to enhance their search engine ranking. Search engine optimisation (SEO), which is an important criterion for gaining traffic, has a tremendous scope to be improved by AI and machine learning — and not just for keywords and phrases. AI algorithms can help make better sense of parameters like search history, browsing history, activities within a website, and others to deliver a better experience.
2018-06-21 12:22:28+00:00 Read the full story.

In A Post-CPU World, Cloud Software Giant Microsoft Is Betting Big On Custom Silicon

Why would cloud companies like Microsoft, Google and Amazon be interested in designing their own chips? The latest news about Microsoft foraying into artificial intelligence chip design for the cloud comes close on the heels of the burgeoning AI cloud market which is poised for a tenfold growth, as predicted by IDC. AI and cloud are intertwined, where cloud computing has a direct impact on strengthening AI capabilities. It’s not just Microsoft; Facebook also posted about job openings for ASIC and FPGA chip designers in April this year.
2018-06-21 06:16:59+00:00 Read the full story.

A Conceptual Explanation of Bayesian Model-Based Hyperparameter Optimization for Machine Learning – Hyperparameter Optimization

Following are four common methods of hyperparameter optimization for machine learning in order of increasing efficiency: Manual, Grid search,, Random search, Bayesian model-based optimization (There are also other methods such as evolutionary and gradient-based.).
The aim of hyperparameter optimization in machine learning is to find the hyperparameters of a given machine learning algorithm that return the best performance as measured on a validation set. (Hyperparameters, in contrast to model parameters, are set by the machine learning engineer before training.
2018-06-24 13:25:59.216000+00:00 Read the full story.

Hiring the Right Data Scientist – The Needle in a Haystack Problem

One of the most common questions asked these days is what makes a good data scientist. The simple answer – it depends. The long answer – someone who can lead all the phases of a data science project. For an even longer answer, read on.
A Data Science project is not just a hackathon competition where a ready-made dataset is provided and the success metric or the error to optimize is clearly laid out.
So what’s different? Well, there are various phases in a data science project – Getting the context of the problem, understanding the data, deep diving into it, understanding implementations and coding shortcomings, figuring out the right set of algorithms to use, coding those algos, performance of those algorithms from an engineering and a data science perspective and optimization.
As you can imagine, a data science skillset is a mixture of what was traditionally called computer science, and business analytics. Sometimes, given the breadth and depth of the work, you might be unlikely to find a person who knows all these aspects (let alone being good at them). Instead, its better to build a team that has a mix of people who specialize in different areas required for the data science project.
2018-06-21 05:24:05+05:30 Read the full story.

Healthcare bots are only as good as the data and doctors they learn from

The number of tech companies pursuing health care seems to have reached an all-time high: Google, Amazon, Apple, and IBM’s Watson all want to change health care using artificial intelligence. IBM has even rebranded its health offering as “Watson Health — Cognitive Healthcare Solutions.” Although technologies from these giants show great promise, the question of whether effective health care AI already exists or whether it is still a dream remains.”
2018-06-22 00:00:00 Read the full story.

Popular Machine Learning Interview Questions To Assess Candidates

With an increasing popularity for ML, there’s a clear increase in demand for business professionals and new graduates in this field of technology. Coming to the job role, an ML engineer utilises his or her understanding of mathematics coupled with strong programming skills to solve tech-oriented problems. They also have to diligently deal with loads of data which goes into the algorithms as well as their implementations. In other words, ML engineers also work with data science and data engineering tasks.
To kickstart your career in ML, you need to ace the interview along with various other job selection processes. Here we present the top interview questions that are generally asked in companies to assess the candidate’s expertise in machine learning. The first section presents general questions to check basic knowledge around ML. The later sections present job-specific and programming-related questions.
2018-06-21 11:44:32+00:00 Read the full story.

Researchers trick Watson AI into seeing cats as ‘crazy quilts’ and ‘cellophane’

The naked eye can connect a picture of a cat and a psychedelic, tricked-out version of the same picture with relative ease, but that isn’t always true of off-the-shelf computer vision APIs. At the Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in Salt Lake City, Utah this week, researchers from UnifyID demonstrated that stylized photos of felines trip up Watson’s object recognition tool more than 97.5 percent of the time
The researchers used a neural network — in this case Magenta, an open source TensorFlow research project built by the Google Brain team that generates songs, images, and drawings — to transform pictures of cats into cubist, Picasso-esque creations.
2018-06-22 00:00:00 Read the full story.

AI Weekly: The growing importance of clear AI ethics policies

A little over a week after the fervor surrounding Google’s involvement in the Department of Defense’s Project Maven, an autonomous drone program, showed signs of abating, another machine learning controversy returned to the headlines: local law enforcement deploying Amazon’s Rekognition, a computer vision service with facial recognition capabilities.
AI ethics is a nascent field. Consortia and think tanks like the Partnership on AI, Oxford University’s AI Code of Ethics project, Harvard University’s AI Initiative, and AI4All have worked to establish preliminary best practices and guidelines. But Francesca Rossi, IBM’s global leader for AI ethics, believes there’s more to be done.
“Each company should come up with its own principles,” she told VentureBeat in a phone interview. “They should spell out their principles according to the space that they’re in.”
2018-06-22 00:00:00 Read the full story.

As Intel Loses Its CEO, How Well Can It Compete Against Nvidia?

Change can sometimes be a good thing. The surprise departure of Brian Krzanich as Intel (INTC) CEO came as a shock to investors and analysts, but it could mean a fresh start for the 50-year-old chipmaker.
As Intel struggles with manufacturing delays for its 10nm chips, competition from (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA), and uncertain returns in newer markets like automotive, the departure is untimely to say the least.
2018-06-23 08:00:00-04:00 Read the full story.

Machine learning – Ethics Rights and Conduct

There is nothing new about automated, rule-based decision-making systems – in fact, these systems exist across private (e.g., financial services and matchmaking) and public sectors (e.g., healthcare, education and criminal justice systems). They govern, influence and impact our daily lives. However, significant advances in data volume, data, predicative analytics and technological options have elevated the prominence of ML.
The long and short-term economic, social, commercial, brand and balance sheet implications of getting ML wrong are not trivial, ML requires careful consideration.
2018-06-20 05:23:26 Read the full story.

A $525 billion German banking behemoth wants to use robots to write its research reports

Germany’s second largest bank, Commerzbank, is exploring the use of artificial intelligence to write analyst reports.
Commerzbank has partnered with Retresco, a content-automation company to work on a way of creating research reports using AI.
The bank’s dive into AI-driven analyst reports comes at a time when major lenders are striving to differentiate themselves from their competition in response to the arrival of MiFID II earlier in 2018.
2018-06-25 00:00:00 Read the full story.

Jim Rogers Launches AI-Driven ETF

The Rogers AI Global Macro ETF (BIKR), launching Thursday, is an ETF of ETFs that “seeks to provide investors with an optimally weighted global portfolio,” according to a release. The new fund utilizes a proprietary Artificial Intelligence model, which it combines with Rogers’ own experience. With new ETFs emerging constantly, and the industry generally growing at an impressive pace, BIKR is launching into a field that is crowded with competitors.
Rogers’ ETF will be “the first passive artificial intelligence-backed ETF that uses AI to determine every investment decision,” according to the release. The fund will also be unique in that it will reveal the procedures behind every investment decision that is made. All of that information will be available at the ETF’s website,
2018-06-21 07:53:00-06:00 Read the full story.

Google Accused of Supporting China’s Communist Party More Than US Military

U.S. lawmakers have pleaded with Alphabet Inc.’s Google (GOOGL) to reconsider its partnership with Huawei, claiming that the Chinese technology giant “could pose a serious risk to U.S. national security and American consumers.”
In a letter to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, reported on by Reuters, Republican and Democrat lawmakers warned that Huawei has “extensive ties” with the Chinese communist party. The lawmakers also criticized Google’s refusal to renew Project Maven, an artificial intelligence research partnership with the Department of Defense.
2018-06-21 04:25:00-06:00 Read the full story.

CNBC: China Extends Lead as the Most Prolific Supercomputer Maker

America is now home to the world’s speediest supercomputer. But the new list of the 500 swiftest machines underlines how much faster China is building them.
The list, published Monday, shows the Chinese companies and government pulling away as the most prolific producer of supercomputers, with 206 of the top 500. American corporations and the United States government designed and made 124 of the supercomputers on the list.
For years, the United States dominated the supercomputer market. But two years ago, China pulled even on the Top 500 list. China moved decisively ahead last fall and extended the gap in the latest tally.
2018-06-25 00:00:00 Read the full story.

Weekly Selection — Jun 22, 2018 – Towards Data Science

Weekly Selection — Jun 22, 2018
By Chintan Trivedi — 5 min read
If you are a gamer, you must have heard of the two insanely popular Battle Royale games out right now, Fortnite and PUBG. They are two very similar games in which 100 players duke it out on a small island until there is just one survivor remaining.
2018-06-22 16:58:47.424000+00:00 Read the full story.

This news clip post is produced algorithmically based upon CloudQuant’s list of sites and focus items we find interesting. If you would like to add your blog or website to our search crawler, please email We welcome all contributors.
This news clip and any CloudQuant comment is for information and illustrative purposes only. It is not, and should not be regarded as “investment advice” or as a “recommendation” regarding a course of action. This information is provided with the understanding that CloudQuant is not acting in a fiduciary or advisory capacity under any contract with you, or any applicable law or regulation. You are responsible to make your own independent decision with respect to any course of action based on the content of this post.