JD.com’s AI Accelerator enables new startups to push boundaries of real-world AI technology

With the launch of AI Accelerator in August, JD.com is enabling new AI startups to push the bounds of real-world applications of AI technology.

The firm’s first demo day, the company announced earlier this week, gave the accelerator’s inaugural group of startups an opportunity to showcase their projects. These include FaGouGou, a provider of AI-powered legal consultancy services. JD.com says the company is “now playing a critical role in fulfilling the needs arising from a...

SAS makes $1 billion investment in AI to focus on R&D innovation

Software giant SAS is making an investment of $1 billion in artificial intelligence (AI) in the coming three years through software innovation, education, and expert services.

The latest investment builds on SAS’ already solid focus in AI which includes advanced analytics, deep learning, machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision.

The move will focus on three main areas: research and development innovation, where SAS is building on the success...

Ben Dias, Royal Mail: On building out data science teams and ensuring deep mathematical understanding

For Ben Dias, head of advanced analytics and data science at Royal Mail, there are three non-negotiables when it comes to looking for prospective data scientists. Candidates need to want to learn, and be able to pick things up quickly, be able to program, and have a deep understanding of mathematics.

The latter is not overly surprising given Dias (left) describes himself as a ‘computational mathematician’ and that his undergraduate studies were in mathematics and...

Comcast acquires AI-powered cybersecurity technology developer BluVector

Comcast has announced the acquisition of BluVector, a company making use of advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide cybersecurity protection to companies and government agencies.

With the help of a proprietary machine-learning engine, BluVector detects, analyses, and contains a wide range of sophisticated cyber-threats including “fileless malware,” zero-day malware and ransomware. Both companies will work together to grow BluVector’s existing...

Callum Staff, Marks & Spencer: On the need to fail fast, machine learning models and universal data quality challenges

“Amazon and Ocado have given the rest of the retail sector a real kick up the ass when it comes to applying innovative tech,” explains Callum Staff, lead data scientist at Marks & Spencer (M&S). “Retail businesses are having to be transformational in at least parts of their business models to survive, and I think data science is increasingly forming a big part of that.”

Staff (left), who has been at M&S for just under 12 months having previously been in the...

How to be a data scientist: Get ‘deeply involved’ in big data and cloud to build high quality AI products

If you want to become a data scientist, then there are various skills you need in your arsenal. Having good knowledge of programming, statistics and data visualisation – not to mention the importance of machine learning – are obvious. But sometimes, the most important aspect is finding a company which fits your needs. “Someone had to say it,” wrote Jonny Brooks-Bartlett, data scientist at Deliveroo in a Medium post in March on the difficulties those in the industry faced. Admitting he...

Ian Foley, Xenon Ventures: On combining AI and blockchain and getting the use cases right

For Ian Foley, venture partner at Xenon Ventures, it is a straightforward proposition which drives his personal and professional passions. “I spend a lot of time trying to understand the future of technology so I can better construct a roadmap for the present,” he explains. Of course, it is a constant challenge to successfully predict the evolution of technology. Roy Amara, the previous President of The Institute for the Future, famously remarked “we tend to overestimate the effect...

Bay Labs and Northwestern Medicine team up for AI-based ultrasound technique

US-based medical technology firm, Bay Labs, and quality healthcare and service provider, Northwestern Medicine, has enrolled their first patient in a collaborative ‘first-of-its-kind’ study, named “SHAPE: Seeing the Heart with AI Powered Echo” to evaluate AI-guided ultrasound acquisition by certified medical assistants (CMAs). This non-randomised study will enrol approximately 1,200 patients at Northwestern Medicine sites, including Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and...

New funding for AI startups in devices, energy and healthcare unveiled

Plenty of funding is currently swirling around in the field of artificial intelligence across various sectors; take the £84 million announced earlier this month by the UK government around AI, robotics research and smart energy innovation, as well as $2 billion committed by DARPA. Three of the latest funding round announcements showcase a wide range of solutions, from energy to healthcare. US-based AI semiconductor manufacturer Syntiant raised $25 million (£19.5m) in its latest series B...

Kimberly Nevala, SAS: Bolstering BI with AI – and how every executive needs to be part chief analytics officer

The promise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in an enterprise context is a tantalising one. In some ways, the combination of artificial intelligence and big data is helping transform legacy business intelligence systems – and potentially the executives who ran them. But what best practices can be transferred between the two, and what happens from here? Kimberly Nevala (left) is director of business strategies at analytics, business intelligence and data management...