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Today's leading minds talk AI with host Byron Reese About this Episode

Episode 63 of Voices in AI features host Byron Reese and Hillery Hunter discuss AI, deep learning, power efficiency, and understanding the complexity of what AI does with the data it is fed. Hillery Hunter is an IBM Fellow and holds an MS and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Visit www.VoicesinAI.com to listen to this one-hour podcast or read the full transcript.

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI brought to you by GigaOm, I’m Byron Reese. Today, our guest is Hillery Hunter. She is an IBM Fellow, and she holds an MS and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Welcome to the show, Hillery.

Thank you it’s such a pleasure to be here today, looking forward to this discussion, Byron.

So, I always like to start off with my Rorschach test question, which is: what is artificial intelligence, and why is it artificial?

You know that’s a great question. My background is in hardware and in systems and in the actual compute substrate for AI. So one of the things I like to...

Over the past couple of months I’ve been collating a report about DevOps, which I hope to be out in August (all being well, with a following wind). I’ve taken briefings, had interviews and conversations, and generally made a nuisance of myself. The goal was, and remains, to go beyond “DevOps, is great, come on board” evangelism, and address the simple, yet profound question: how to scale DevOps from small initiatives, towards making it work across the enterprise?

Despite my background in various areas of dev and ops, and the many reports, articles and research notes I have written on the topic, I confess to have started the process with a soupçon of imposter syndrome: what if I was to find this was a non-question: “Oh, come on, man! We sorted it. You know, these days, it just… works!”

Over the period, I have learned that my fears were unfounded; or rather, the challenges were just as big as I thought they might be (and ever were). I’ve also learned a number of lessons about the nature and reality of DevOps, which I thought I would share:

1. It’s not (just) about DevOps. Don’t get me wrong, breaking down the wall between development and operations is a worthy goal and a laudable achievement; however, it isn’t an end in itself. We’ve ended up with a lot of stakeholders trying to crowbar their own interests into the DevOps title, ending up with clunky terms like DevSecOps, whereas perhaps...

Today's leading minds talk AI with host Byron Reese About this Episode

Episode 62 of Voices in AI features host Byron Reese and Atif Kureishy discussing AI, deep learning, and the practical examples and implications in the business market and beyond. Atif Kureishy is the Global VP of Emerging Practices at Think Big, a Teradata company. He also has a B.S. in physics and math from the University of Maryland as well as an MS in distributive computing from Johns Hopkins University.

Visit www.VoicesinAI.com to listen to this one-hour podcast or read the full transcript.

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI, brought to you by GigaOm, I’m Byron Reese. Today my guest is Atif Kureishy. He is the Global VP of Emerging Practices, which is AI and deep learning at Think Big, a Teradata company. He holds a BS in Physics and Math from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and an MS in distributive computing from the Johns Hopkins University. Welcome to the show Atif.

Atif Kureishy: Welcome, thank you, appreciate it.

So I always like to start off by just asking you to define artificial intelligence.

Yeah, definitely an important definition, one that unfortunately...

Food security is a growing concern for many, as we live longer and as the population grows. It goes without saying that technology can help; more interesting is how agriculture has been a slow adopter of some of the more leading edge (dare I say digital) technologies. I was lucky enough to attend the launch of the Alliston Centre at the UK’s Royal Agricultural University: as well as being host to general regional development as part of the Gloucestershire Growth Hub network, the centre operates as an incubation centre for AgriTech businesses, under the umbrella of the RAU’s Farm491 initiative.

So, will Farm491 deliver the kinds of innovations we need in both farming practices and underlying technologies? I spoke to Ali Hadavizadeh, Programme Manager for Farm491 and startup business mentor, to find out more.

1. What problem is Farm 491 set up to solve?

The challenge of global population increase is becoming more serious. If human numbers are to increase to 10 billion by 2050, this means that globally, we need to produce 60% more food, which needs to be nutritious, high quality and affordable. At the same time, our environmental footprint will increase exponentially, so we need to produce more food with less available production land. 

Historically, we have been complacent in our attitudes to food production. In the UK, waking us up to reality is Brexit. We’ve come to realise that we’ve...

Today's leading minds talk AI with host Byron Reese About this Episode

Episode 61 of Voices in AI features host Byron Reese and Dr. Louis Rosenberg talking about AI and swarm intelligence. Dr. Rosenberg is the CEO of Unanimous AI. He also holds a B.S., M.S., and a PhD in Engineering from Stanford.

Visit www.VoicesinAI.com to listen to this one-hour podcast or read the full transcript.

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI, brought to you by GigaOm. I’m Byron Reese and today I’m excited that our guest is Louis Rosenberg. He is the CEO at Unanimous A.I. He holds a B.S. in Engineering, an M.S. in Engineering and a PhD in Engineering all from Stanford. Welcome to the show, Louis.

Dr. Louis Rosenberg: Yeah, thanks for having me.

So tell me a little bit about why do you have a company? Why are you CEO of a company called Unanimous A.I.? What is the unanimous aspect of it?

Sure. So, what we do at Unanimous A.I. is we use artificial intelligence to amplify the intelligence of groups rather than using A.I. to replace people. And so instead of replacing human intelligence, we are amplifying human intelligence...

Ever since I was involved in developing a mobile application myself, I have gained an undue fascination of mobile application platforms – also known as, “why bother building all the component pieces, when they should be a solved problem?” The retail space is no exception, as stores feel they need to get onto the mobile bandwagon but can to easily end up reinventing the wheel without feeling the potential benefits.

Solving this is not as simple as it seems – retailers want to be customer focused without becoming creepy; they want to optimise their interactions and grow loyalty without unnecessary intrusion; as they look to become more effective and efficient, they want to learn by doing, but their well-meant efforts can become expensive dead-ends.

Faced with such dilemmas, the availability of a platform of components for ‘smarter’ retail would appear to be a boon. So, what gives? I had an email exchange with Thinaire CEO, Mike Ventimiglia, to find out more.

 

1. In the face of an increasingly diverse pool of “smart” retail solutions, what is the problem Thinaire sets out to solve?

For far too many retailers, a customer that doesn’t have their branded app, and isn’t logged in, is essentially invisible. On top of that, when we ask retailers about the penetration rates of their apps, we generally get numbers well under 10%, which is frighteningly low. That’s often where the conversation with Thinaire starts: our technologies dramatically lowers the effort required by...

In recent years I have ran into a number of misconceptions regarding AI, and sometimes when discussing AI with people from outside the field, I feel like we are talking about two different topics. This article is an attempt at clarifying what AI practitioners mean by AI, and where it is in its current state.

The first misconception has to do with Artificial General Intelligence, or AGI:

  1. Applied AI systems are just limited versions of AGI

Despite what many think,the state of the art in AI is still far behind human intelligence. Artificial General Intelligence, i.e. AGI, has been the motivating fuel for all AI scientists from Turing to today. Somewhat analogous to Alchemy, the eternal quest for AGI that replicates and exceeds human intelligence has resulted in the creation of many techniques and scientific breakthroughs. AGI has helped us understand facets of human and natural intelligence, and as a result, we’ve built  effective algorithms inspired by our understanding and models of them.

However, when it comes to practical applications of AI, AI practitioners do not necessarily restrict themselves to pure models of human decision making, learning, and problem solving. Rather, in the interest of solving the problem and achieving acceptable performance, AI practitioners often do what it takes to build practical systems. At the heart of the algorithmic breakthroughs that resulted in Deep Learning systems, for instance, is a technique called back-propagation. This technique, however, is...

Today's leading minds talk AI with host Byron Reese About this Episode

Episode 60 of Voices in AI features host Byron Reese and Robin Hanson talking about AI and the “Age of Ems,” brain emulations. Robin Hanson is an author, research associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University, the Chief Scientist at Consensus Point, and an associate professor of Economics at George Mason University.

Visit www.VoicesinAI.com to listen to this one-hour podcast or read the full transcript.

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI, brought to you by GigaOm, I’m Byron Reese. Today my guest is Robin Hanson. He is an author, and he is also the Chief Scientist over at Consensus Point. He’s an associate professor of Economics at George Mason University. He holds a BS in Physics, an MS in Physics and he’s got an NA in conceptual foundations of science from the University of Chicago, he’s got a PhD in Social Science from Caltech, and I’m sure there are other ones as well. Welcome to the show Robin.

Robin Hanson: It’s great to be here.

I’m really fascinated by your books. Let’s start there. Tell me about the new...

I wouldn’t normally comment on acquisition stories, but in this case, well. Back in the day, CA Inc. (the company formerly known as Computer Associates) was acquisition maestro, first knocking several enterprise management competitors off the board, then building out its portfolio to obfuscate its mainframe-centric business models (and, perhaps, its dodgy business practices).

And now, the company is being bought by Broadcom, the “diversified global semiconductor leader” (a.k.a. chip manufacturer), this hot on the heels of its attempted, and blocked, acquisition of the more eligible and compatible Qualcomm. Many are asking why, and not in a good way: ten billion dollars have been wiped off Broadcom’s stock price, which is over half of the acquisition cost.

Few are seeing this as a good idea, though some are seeing an upside. Given that nobody has a crystal ball, I thought it might be worth summarising some of the reasons why a chip company and an enterprise software company might be the perfect match.

1. There’s got to be something in that portfolio. CA has 1,500 patents across a portfolio of 200 products (alert: CA’s directory is A-Z, when all start with C — and that’s just the ones they are listing). Surely, in there, will be something directly related to Broadcom’s business?

2. CA has lots of smart people. OK, not convinced? The future, as we keep being told, lies in software, not hardware — areas such as machine learning, analytics and so...

Today's leading minds talk AI with host Byron Reese About this Episode

Episode 59 of Voices in AI features host Byron Reese and Tiger Tyagarajan talking about AI, augmented intelligence, and its use in the enterprise. Tiger Tyagarajan is the President and CEO at GenPact. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, and he also holds an MBA.

Visit www.VoicesinAI.com to listen to this one-hour podcast or read the full transcript.

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI, brought to you by GigaOm, I’m Byron Reese. Today I’m so excited my guest is Tiger Tyagarajan, he is the President and CEO at GenPact. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, and he also holds an MBA. Welcome to the show Tiger.

Tiger Tyagarajan: Byron, great to be on the show, thank you.

So let’s start, tell me about GenPact, what your mission is and how it came about.

Our mission continues to be, Byron, to work with global enterprises in a variety of industries, to actually help them become more competitive in the markets they are in. We do that by actually helping them undertake change agendas—transformation agendas to drive value for them—either by helping them...

When Apple introduced the App Store ten years ago, it became apparent to anyone paying attention that it was going to eat the network carriers’ lunch. Up until then, the carriers ruled the mobile ecosystem, providing the pipes, content, and services consumers were looking for. Carriers offered their own stores to download ringtones, themes, apps, and games. But Apple didn’t work with carriers (save for the iPhone exclusivity deal) because it didn’t need to. Its revolutionary iPhone and app ecosystem were clearly the future, and carriers were playing Apple’s game now.

Carriers, then, were relegated to their worst fear: becoming “dumb pipes” that simply delivered content to its customers instead of controlling it all. At first, many didn’t see what a huge paradigm shift the Apple App Store was for the mobile industry. “Apple runs its App Store in a closed environment, not sharing the revenue with AT&T. Since the average monthly phone bill for an iPhone user is $95.34 and the average bill for other users is $59.59, AT&T probably isn’t too worried about this,” wrote James Quintana Pearce for GigaOm in 2009.

Those who underestimated the power of the App Store didn’t understand that not only did users need to go to the App Store to find apps and content, but Apple managed to turn the it into a destination that consumers wanted to visit. iPhone users constantly peruse the App Store to find apps that can unlock more potential for their smartphones....

Today's leading minds talk AI with host Byron Reese About this Episode

Episode 58 of Voices in AI features host Byron Reese and Chris Eliasmith talking about the brain, the mind, and emergence. Dr. Chris Eliasmith is co-CEO of Applied Brain Research, Inc. and director of the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience at the University of Waterloo. Professor Eliasmith uses engineering, mathematics and computer modelling to study brain processes that give rise to behaviour. His lab developed the world’s largest functional brain model, Spaun, whose 2.5 million simulated neurons provide insights into the complexities of thought and action. Professor of Philosophy and Engineering, Dr. Eliasmith holds a Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Neuroscience. He has authored or coauthored two books and over 90 publications in philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, computer science, and engineering. In 2015, he won the prestigious NSERC Polayni Award. He has also co-hosted a Discovery channel television show on emerging technologies.

Visit www.VoicesinAI.com to listen to this one-hour podcast or read the full transcript.

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI brought to you by GigaOm. I’m Byron Reese. Today our guest is Chris Eliasmith. He’s the Canadian Research Chair in Theoretical Neuroscience....

Today's leading minds talk AI with host Byron Reese About this Episode

Episode 57 of Voices in AI features host Byron Reese and Akshay Sabhikhi talking about how AI augments and informs human intelligence. Akshay Sabhikhi is the CEO and Co-founder of CognitiveScale. He’s got more than 18 years of entrepreneurial leadership, product development and management experience with growth stage venture backed companies and high growth software divisions within Fortune 50 companies. He was a global leader for Smarter Care at IBM, and he successfully led and managed the acquisition of Cúram Software to establish IBM’s leadership at the intersection of social programs and healthcare. He has a BS and MS in electrical and computer engineering from UT at Austin and an MBA from the Acton School of Entrepreneurship.

Visit www.VoicesinAI.com to listen to this one-hour podcast or read the full transcript.

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI brought to you by GigaOm, I’m Byron Reese. Today my guest is Akshay Sabhikhi. He is the CEO and Co-founder of CognitiveScale. He’s got more than 18 years of entrepreneurial leadership, product development and management experience with growth stage venture backed companies and high growth...

My travels around the landscape of DevOps brought me to Mike Burrows, and the work he was doing around what he terms AgendaShift, an outcome-based approach to continuous transformation. While these words could be off-putting, I was more intrigued by the fact that Mike had set up a Slack site to articulate, test and improve his experience-based models – as he says, there’s 500 people on the site now, and as I have experienced, it’s very participative. So, what’s it all about – is there life beyond prescriptive lean and agile approaches? I sat down with Mike (in the virtual sense) to find out the background of, and hopes and dreams for, AgendaShift.

1. What led you to write a book about lean/agile/Kanban — what was being missed?

Good question! I’m one of those people that laments the rise of prescription Lean-Agile space, and though I found it easy to find people who were in sympathy with my view, I didn’t find a lot of constructive alternatives. I myself had developed a consistent approach, but calling it “non-prescriptive” only told people what it wasn’t, not what it was! Eventually, I (or perhaps I should say “we”, because I had collaborators and a growing community by this time) landed on “outcome-oriented”, and suddenly everything became a lot clearer.

2. How would you explain AgendaShift in terms a layperson might understand?

The central idea is principle #2 (of 5 – see agendashift.com/principles): Agree on outcomes. It seems kinda obvious that change will be...

Today's leading minds talk AI with host Byron Reese About this Episode

Episode 56 of Voices in AI features host Byron Reese and Babak Hodjat talking about genetic algorithms, cyber agriculture, and sentience. Babak Hodjat is the founder and CEO of Sentient Technologies. He holds a PhD in the study of machine intelligence.

Visit www.VoicesinAI.com to listen to this one-hour podcast or read the full transcript.

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI brought to you by GigaOm, I’m Byron Reese. Today my guest is Babak Hodjat, he is the founder and CEO of Sentient Technologies. He holds a PhD in the study of machine intelligence. Welcome to the show, Babak. Rerecorded the intro

Babak Hodjat: Great to be here, thank you.

Let’s start off with my normal intro question, which is, what is artificial intelligence?

Yes, what a question. Well we know what artificial is, I think mainly the crux of this question is, “What is intelligence?”

Well actually no, there are two different senses in which it’s artificial. One is that it’s not really intelligence, it’s like artificial turf isn’t really grass, that it just looks like intelligence, but it’s not really. And the other...

Today's leading minds talk AI with host Byron Reese About this Episode

Episode 55 of Voices in AI features host Byron Reese and Rob High talking about IBM Watson and the history and future of AI. Rob High is an IBM fellow, VP and Chief Technical Officer at IBM Watson.

Visit www.VoicesinAI.com to listen to this one-hour podcast or read the full transcript.

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI, brought to you by GigaOm. I’m Byron Reese. August 12th, 1981. That was the day IBM released the IBM PC and who could have imagined what that would lead to? Who would’ve ever thought, from that vantage point, of our world today? Who could’ve imagined that eventually you would have one on every desktop and then they would all be connected? Who would have guessed that through those connections, trillions of dollars of wealth would be created? All the companies, you know, that you see in the news every day from eBay to Amazon to Google to Baidu to Alibaba, all of them have, in one way or the other, as the seed of their genesis, that moment on August 12th, 1981.

Now the...

Today's leading minds talk AI with host Byron Reese About this Episode

Episode 54 of Voices in AI features host Byron Reese and Ahmad Abdulkader talking about the brain, learning, and education as well as privacy and AI policy. Ahmad Abdulkader is the CTO of Voicera. Before that he was the technical lead of Facebook’s DeepText, an AI text understanding engine. Prior to that he developed OCR engines, machine learning systems, and computer vision systems at Google.

Visit www.VoicesinAI.com to listen to this one-hour podcast or read the full transcript.

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI brought to you by GigaOm. I am Byron Reese. Today our guest is Ahmad Abdulkader. He is the CTO of Voicera. Before that he was the lead architect for Facebook supplied AI efforts producing Deep Texts, which is a text understanding engine. Prior to that he worked at Google building OCR engines, machine learning systems, and computer vision systems. He holds a Bachelor of Science and Electrical Engineering degree from Cairo University and a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Washington. Welcome to the show.

Ahmad Abdulkader: Thank you, thanks Byron, thanks for having me.

I always...

Today's leading minds talk AI with host Byron Reese About this Episode

Episode 53 of Voices in AI features host Byron Reese and Nova Spivack talking about neurons, the Gaia hypothesis, intelligence, and quantum physics. Nova Spivack is a leading technology futurist, serial entrepreneur and angel investor.

Visit www.VoicesinAI.com to listen to this one-hour podcast or read the full transcript.

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI brought to you by GigaOm. I’m Byron Reese. Today, I’m excited we have Nova Spivack as our guest. Nova is an entrepreneur, a venture capitalist, an author; he’s a great many other things. He’s referred to by a wide variety of sources as a polymath, and he’s recently started a science and tech studio called Magical in which he serves as CEO.

He’s had his fingers in all sorts of pies and things that you’re probably familiar with. He was the first investor in Klout. He was in early on something that eventually became Siri. He was the co-founder of EarthWeb, Radar Network, The Daily Dot, Live Matrix. It sounds like he does more before breakfast than I manage to get done in a week. Welcome...

As I am working on a DevOps report at the moment, I’m speaking to a lot (and I mean a lot) of companies involved in and around the space. Each, in my experience so far, is looking to address some of the key IT delivery challenges of our time – namely, how to deliver services and applications at a pace that keeps up with the rate of technology change?

One such organisation is Electric Cloud. I spoke to Sam Fell, VP of Marketing, to understand how the company sees its customers’ main challenges, and what it is doing to address them – not least, the complexity of working at enterprise scale.

 

  1. Where did Electric Cloud come from, what need did it set out to deal with?

Electric Cloud has been automating and accelerating software delivery since 2002, from code check-in to production release. Our founders looked to solve a huge bottleneck, to address how development teams’ agile pace of software delivery and new technology adoption has outstripped the ability of operations teams to keep up. This cadence and skills mismatch limits the business, can jeopardize transformation efforts, putting teams in a constant state of what we call “release anxiety.”

The main challenges we see are:

  • The ability to predictably deploy any application to any environment at any scale they want.
  • The ability to manage release pipelines and dependencies across multiple teams, point tools, and infrastructures.
  • A comprehensive, but simple way to plan, schedule, and track releases across its lifecycle

In consequence, we developed an Adaptive Release...

Today's leading minds talk AI with host Byron Reese About this Episode

Sponsored by Dell and Intel, Episode 52 of Voices in AI, features host Byron Reese and Rao Kambhampati discussing creativity, military AI, jobs and more. Subbarao Kambhampati is a professor at ASU with teaching and research interests in Artificial Intelligence. Serving as the president of AAAI, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

Visit www.VoicesinAI.com to listen to this one-hour podcast or read the full transcript.

Transcript Excerpt

Byron Reese: This is Voices in AI, brought to you by GigaOm. I’m Byron Reese. Today my guest is Rao Kambhampati. He has spent the last quarter-century at Arizona State University, where he researches AI. In fact, he’s been involved in artificial intelligence research for thirty years. He’s also the President of the AAAI, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. He holds a Ph.D.in computer science from the University of Maryland, College Park. Welcome to the show, Rao.

Rao Kambhampati: Thank you, thank you for having me.

I always like to start with the same basic question, which is, what is artificial intelligence? And so far, no two people have given me the same answer....