The Briefing on Artificial Intelligence

The latest news, trends and data in AI and automation

In Data:

AI News in Numbers


The amount automation could add to the global economy in the next 10 – 15 years, according to JPMorgan Asset Management. Strategists for the firm argue that a combination of higher productivity per worker and the creation of new industries will boost earnings worldwide. 

800 million

The number of jobs that will be claimed by robotic automation by 2030, according to a study by McKinsey Global Institute. The study, which was conducted across 46 countries and 800 occupations found that up to a fifth of the global workforce will be affected, with a third of workers in richer nations needing to retrain to retain work. 


The year-over-year growth reported by technology giant NVIDIA this quarter, after the company saw soaring revenue off the back of its range of chipsets used for artificial intelligence. NVIDIA has become a major player in the field due its provision of cloud server hardware. 


The number of times the total number of active US startups developing AI systems has grown since 2000, according to the AI Index study. 



The value of a new fund aimed at helping AI startups to enter China, which has been launched by accelerator firm COMB+. The country has quickly become a leader in artificial intelligence, but non-Chinese companies often find it difficult to gain access to the market, a problem this fund intends to address. 


The year General Motors (GM) plans to have its driverless cars deployed on a large scale in US cities. The company is the latest to announce such a plan, following companies including Ford and Waymo, but GM's target is the most ambitious, at two years earlier than most of its rivals. 

Top Stories

The Key Moments in Artificial Intelligence This Month

Amazon Unveils AI Business Tools

Amazon has unveiled a collection of off-the-shelf AI tools for businesses, including services for transcription and translation, a new machine learning algorithm and an AI-powered video camera for developers known as DeepLens. The announcement positions Amazon as a rival to Google in the emerging business AI market, which is set to see major growth in the next few years. 

Source: CNBC

US Falling Behind China in AI

Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt has warned that the US is falling behind China in the arms race that is artificial intelligence. China, he said, is undertaking aggressive research for both commercial and military applications, threatening US dominance on multiple fronts. He warned that part of the problem was immigration restrictions that prevented top AI experts from working in the US.

Source: The Verge

AI Risks GM-Style Backlash

Artificial intelligence is at risk of a backlash akin to the public rejection of genetically modified (GM) food, according to researchers looking into the impact of AI. GM food saw widespread rejection in the 90s, severely impacting its growth as an industry. There are concerns that a lack of consideration for social concerns could prompt similar reactions to AI. 

Source: The Guardian

Adobe Unveils AI Editing Tools

Adobe has unveiled a selection of sophisticated AI tools that it plans to add to its frontline products within the next few years. Including tools such as the ability to quickly remove moving objects from video, instantly colourise images and effortlessly replace objects in photos, the tools will cut editing work dramatically when released. 

Source: DigitalArts

Automation in Action

The latest companies to use AI to streamline their workforce

Chatbots Drive Job Cuts at Wells Fargo Call Centres

American bank Wells Fargo has laid off 460 jobs with the closure of its Bethlehem, PA, call centre, in the latest round of job cuts in the sector. The company has adopted a host of automated customer service solutions, most notably chatbots, which have significantly reduced call traffic to human-run call centres and resulted in fewer being needed.

Source: ABC

National Australia Bank to Shed 12% of Workforce

National Australia Bank has announced that it has taken on an extensive automation project that will see 4,000 jobs, or 12% of the company’s workforce, cut by 2020. A shift towards digital banking and the automation of financial processes have been blamed for the cuts, which have become commonplace across the financial sector.

Source: Bloomberg

Autodesk Plans to Eliminate 1,150 Positions

Software company Autodesk has announced a restructuring that will see it shift business focus and make greater use of automation and cloud computing, resulting in 13% of its workforce being cut. The company, which makes design software for architecture, is moving away from its traditional model in favour of subscription services. 

Source: Co.Design

Staffless Retailer BingoBox to Expand Beyond China

Chinese startup BingoBox, which has already opened 200 staffless retail outlets across China is planning to expand across Asia, with South Korea and Malaysia first on the list. The company, which operates entirely staff-free stores where customers self-scan products and pay using mobile wallets, plans to open around 5,000 outlets within the next year. 

Source: Petro-Plaza

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