Billionaire couple donates $100M to UofT for AI research and new complex

“Geoffrey Hinton, an artificial intelligence pioneer and a retired professor from the university, said the donation will be a boon for the burgeoning field.

‘It will help consolidate Toronto’s leading position in the AI world,’ Hinton said in a statement. ‘It will also bring together scholars from an array of disciplines to study the implications of AI in today’s world.'”

Y Combinator’s W19 Demo Day 2

“Today was the second half of Y Combinator’s two-day Demo Day for its Winter 2019 class. Over 85 startups pitched on stage yesterday, and another huge batch launched today.

Previously held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, this YC Demo Day instead took over a massive warehouse in San Francisco.”

“Askdata: Non-technical employees rarely use company data because it’s difficult to find and understand. Askdata offers a natural language search engine for internal data that translates words into SQL queries. Making data conveniently accessible could help businesses make better decisions.”

“Superb AI: To build artificial intelligence, you need accurately labeled training data, but services like Mechanical Turk can be slow and inaccurate. Superb AI has built an AI that assists in the labeling process to speed it up 10X, and creates its own in-house AI algorithms. Superb AI has already done $1 million in revenue in the past 7 months. For most businesses to keep up with the AIs from Google, Facebook, and the other tech giants, they’ll need help generating training data that Superb can provide.”

Most U.S. consumers would purchase on Amazon before other e-commerce sites, Feedvisor study finds

“Feedvisor, the “AI-first” optimization and intelligence platform for large sellers and brands on Amazon, today released an in-depth analysis on consumer habits and sentiments in a retail ecosystem dominated by Amazon.

  • Two-thirds of consumers (66 percent) typically start their search for new products on Amazon
  • When consumers are ready to buy a specific product, nearly three-fourths (74 percent) go to Amazon to do so.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of shoppers who purchase on Amazon daily are likely to get a voice-assistant device (VAD) in the future.”

The Updated List of Facebook Messenger Chatbot Tools for 2019

“Facebook Messenger chatbot tools have exploded onto the tech scene in the past two years, but as with many cutting-edge startups, some have fallen and others have risen to take their place.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the best chatbot tools which are dominating the industry in 2019, and can help you create more effective, functional chat experiences for your business.

1. MobileMonkey

2. BotKit

3. BotMock

4. Botsify

5. Botsociety

6. ChatterOn

7. Conversable


9. Dialogflow

10. Engati

11. Flow XO

12. ItsAlive

13. Octane AI

14. Pandorabots

15. Pypestream


17. Sequel

18. WP-Chatbot”

Also, here’s a related post.

I haven’t written much about thus far, but it’s an exciting and interesting area. For starters, we should begin by answering the question, “What is a chatbot?” To assist, I’ll share this article on by Emily Ferron titled, “Mobile 101: Whatare bots, chatbots and virtual assistants?” It does a nice job of laying the foundation and describing bots and chatbots.

Three great product search experiences powered by machine learning

“1) Improved product search for misspelt words

  • On average, 25% of all ecommerce search queries are misspelt, and the modern shoppers won’t take the blame for typing the wrong command
  • Zalando decided to tackle this problem using deep learning. With the help of machine learning, Zalando can now parse 300,000 products in two seconds and deliver on-point product suggestions despite inaccuracies.

2) Voice shopping experience guided by AI

  • Customers in the UK and US can also call Asos’ Enki Chatbot using the Google Assistant app or Google Home Speaker to browse the 85,000 products on the website and cherry-pick personalised suggestions.

3) Camera-powered visual search

  • Boohoo, an apparel brand targeting image-oriented Millennial and Gen Z consumers, clearly took note. The company recently partnered with Syte – a startup offering image recognition technology for retailers – to add visual search functionality to their mobile website. The Camera Button added to the search bar, allows users to upload their pictures and discover the most visually similar products in stock. Shoppers are then presented with a selection of relevant products, additionally populated with even more similar styles and “Shop the Look” curated picks.
  • BooHoo also reported a 135% increase in pages viewed per session and a 12% increase in average order value”

Pinterest hires Walmart CTO Jeremy King as head of engineering

  • “Just a few days after VentureBeat reported that Pinterest chief technology officer (CTO) Vanja Josifovski was jumping ship for Airbnb, the game of musical chairs is continuing with news that Pinterest has hired Walmart CTO Jeremy King as its new head of engineering.
  • The announcement comes less than 24 hours after an internal memo revealed that King was leaving Walmart after nearly eight years at the company. Most recently, King served as EVP and CTO for Walmart U.S., where he spearheaded the company’s ecommerce technology efforts.
  • Pinterest is, of course, an entirely different kind of business from Walmart — but there are enough similarities to make King a good fit for the role. The San Francisco-based company has evolved a great deal over the past decade, transitioning from being an online social pinboard of sorts to become more of a “visual discovery engine” that leans heavily on computer vision and artificial intelligence. A big part of its current business is making it easier for people to buy things that they see online and in the real world.”

These Entrepreneurs Are Navigating the ‘Wild West’ of AI With Real-World Results

“Among the thought leaders sharing their intelligence were:

  • Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek, CMO of IBM Watson,
  • Ricky Ray Butler, CEO of BEN (Branded Entertainment Network)
  • Phil Schraeder, president and COO of ad exchange GumGum.
  • We caught up with all three business leaders after their presentations to talk about today’s real-world applications of AI.”
  • The Amazing Ways Carnival Cruises Is Using IoT and AI To Create Smart Cities At Sea

    • “Using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, connected devices and artificial intelligence (AI), the company is on a quest to turn cruise ships into “smart cities at sea.”
    • The Ocean Medallion—“the most extensive experiential Internet of Things that’s ever been done,” according to Padgett—relies on 7,000 sensors placed throughout the multiple-decked ship. There are hundreds of miles of cables on the ship that support the technology. Every stateroom door and staff mobile device is also a sensor to enable the Internet of Things experience. Each passenger’s name is carved into a Medallion that’s connected to them, tracks their movements throughout the ship and works in conjunction with Ocean Compass, the app and service that displays personalized recommendations for every passenger on 4,000 digital interaction points from 55-inch high-res screens distributed throughout every area of the ship.”