The Briefing on Artificial Intelligence
The latest news, trends and data in AI and automation
AI News in Numbers
The amount Germany-based SAP has committed to spending in France on AI-driven research and development over the next five years. The announcement was made by French President Emmanuel Macron at a business summit in January.
The percentage of jobs automation is set to take in parts of the UK, according to a report by the Centre for Cities. 1 in 3 workers are likely to have their jobs automated in the northern English towns of Mansfield, Sunderland and Wakefield, while only 1 in 5 are at risk in areas close to London.
The amount raised by Andrew Ng, former AI leader at Google and Baidu, to invest in AI startups. Among the companies Ng plans to invest in is Landing.ai, which he founded to identify product defects during manufacturing, and which only requires five images for training purposes.
The amount Chinese tech giant Foxconn is planning to invest in a series of research and development projects including AI-driven manufacturing and IoT solutions. The company is planning to bankroll the investment with an initial public offering (IPO) in China.
The amount being raised in a series B funding round by pharmaceutical startup XtalPi. The Boston and Shenzhen-based company, which has attracted investment from the likes of Google, Tencent and Sequoia China, is focused on improving the drug design process using AI.
The number of people expected to sign up for a new online flying car ‘nanodegree’ run by former Stanford professor and Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun. Designed to teach applicants about the technology behind autonomous aerial vehicles, it is intended to meet the needs of an emerging industry in autonomous flying cars.
The Key Moments in Artificial Intelligence This Month
UK Police Urged to Use AI for Evidence
The UK police should consider using artificial intelligence to manage the vast amount of evidence it handles, according to Sara Thornton, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council. The comments were made in response to a string of collapsed rape trails, which were the result of mishandled evidence.
Source: The Guardian
Extremism-Blocking AI Unveiled
The UK government has unveiled a tool that is designed to identify and block extremist online content, which it is considering forcing technology providers to use by law. Developed by ASI Data Science, the tool is said to have an accuracy of 94%, and is designed to make content moderation easier.
Google Picks Paris for AI Hub
Google has selected Paris, France, as the location for a new research lab dedicated to finding applications for the technology within health and the environment. The announcement follows the establishment of an AI lab by Facebook in the city, raising its profile as an AI leader in Europe.
Ford's Self-Driving Car in Collision
A modified self-driving Ford car developed by startup Argo AI has been involved in an accident that hospitalised two people. The car, which is being developed with Ford's backing, was struck by a van running a red light in Pittsburgh, the US. It is not clear if the car was in self-driving mode at the time.
Source: The Guardian
Automation in Action
The latest companies to use AI to streamline their workforce
Pandora Automates 5% of Workforce
Music streaming service and Spotify rival Pandora has announced that it is laying off about 5% of its workforce in a bid to save around $45m a year. Jobs across several departments are being automated, including advertising, marketing and investment, as part of a wider restructuring to the company in a bid to maintain its presence in the streaming market.
Amazon Restructuring Sees Key Tasks Automated
Online retail giant Amazon has cut hundreds of jobs at its Seattle headquarters as the company reorganises to remove older departments and shift a growing number of tasks onto AI-based software. The company, which is enjoying strong growth, is reportedly restructuring to support future ventures, cutting some operating costs in the process.
Driverless Trucks Replace Oil Sands Jobs
Canada-based Suncor Energy has announced the layoff of several hundred workers as the company introduces autonomous haul trucks into its Alberta-based oil sands operations. The layoffs, which have prompted strong reactions from unions, are likely to be only the start, with Suncor planning to build a fleet of over 150 driverless trucks over the next six years.
Source: Global News
India Sees IT Layoffs in Tens of Thousands
Once one of the biggest employment sources in the country, India’s IT industry saw layoffs totalling over 56,000 in 2017, and is expecting to see further job cuts in the coming year. The layoffs have been largely due to digitisation and automation, which have dramatically reduced the number of workers required to maintain current operational levels.
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