For a more dangerous age, a delicious skewering of current AI

    • “NYU professor and entrepreneur Gary Marcus has been a relentless critic of modern deep learning forms of AI. He talked with ZDNet about what he hopes to accomplish with the book, Rebooting AI, and with his startup company,
    • ‘The net effect of a tendency of many in the media to overreport technology results is that the public has come to believe that AI is much closer to being solved than it really is,’
    • Systems such as OpenAI’s massive natural language program, “GPT-2,” introduced this past February, are ‘pretty impressive but totally incoherent,’ he points out. 
    • ‘We are very optimistic about what AI could do, and we are depressed about how little has been accomplished,’
    • As a scholar and critic, and now an entrepreneur, Marcus is engaged in a debate that sometimes breaks out on Twitter with the luminaries who defend current AI. They include Facebook’s AI research director, Yann LeCun, and the University of Toronto professor Geoffrey Hinton who also works at Google’s Google Brain unit.”

    Google teams up with Mayo Clinic on AI-powered medical research

    “Data-driven medical innovation is growing exponentially, and our partnership with Google will help us lead the digital transformation in health care,” Mayo’s president and CEO, Gianrico Farrugia, said in a statement. “It will empower us to solve some of the most complex medical problems; better anticipate the needs of people we serve; and meet them when, where and how they need us.”

    This Company Just Passed Google As No. 2 in Smart Speakers

    • “Chinese tech giant Baidu has unseated Google for No. 2 in the smart speaker market worldwide, according to research firm Canalys. Baidu, which makes speakers that it sells only in China, had a 17.3% market share of shipments in the second quarter, ahead of Google, which had a 16.7% share.
    • Overall, smart speaker shipments grew 55% in the second quarter compared with the same quarter a year earlier. Manufacturers shipped over 26 million of them during that time versus 16.8 million in the year-ago quarter.”

    Google and Amazon fight it out for retail ad spend

    • The report says retail advertisers in the US alone will spend $13.12bn on search in 2019, a 22.5% increase from last year – and this will reach $15.65bn in 2020.
    • The report attributes 54% share of product searches to Amazon vs 46% to Google – a complete reverse of the shares it published in 2015.
  • Monetising voice search. The key findings:
    • 1 in 5 consumers have bought via search
      31.72% of those have bought something new (not a repeat purchase)
      Household items and clothing are the most common purchases
      Consumers like the hands-free experience
      Security concerns and a lack of screen are barriers to adoption


    • “Amazon announced a breakthrough from its AI experts Monday: Their algorithms can now read fear on your face, at a cost of $0.001 per image—or less if you process more than 1 million images.
    • Google does not offer facial recognition, a decision it says resulted from an internal ethical review raising concerns that the technology could be used to infringe privacy.”