Headlines 

Apple, Google CEOs Bring Star Power as China Promotes Censorship

Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai made their first appearances at China’s World Internet Conference, bringing star power to a gathering the Chinese government uses to promote strict online censorship. Apple’s chief executive officer gave a surprise keynote at the opening ceremony on Sunday, calling for future internet and AI technologies to be infused with privacy, security and humanity. The same day, Politburo member Wang Huning called for more aggressive government involvement online to combat terrorism and criminals online, even calling for a global response team to go…

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Odds and Ends 

Teleports neural networks let you try before you hair dye

Meet Teleport: An app thats using a trained neural network to power a selfie-editing feature that lets you change the color of your hair at the touch of a button. Fancy seeing how youd look with red locks or blue? No problemo. Just upload your selfie, wait a few ticks while the AI gets to work figuring out which bits of your face are hair and which are not, and then tap on a shade of your choice to try out a new do. Co-founder Victor Koch says the teams…

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Odds and Ends 

Toyota launches venture capital fund targeting artificial intelligence startups

Toyota is the latest Fortune 500 company to launch an AI focused venture capital fund. The initial early-stage fund will deploy $100 million and operate as a subsidiary of theToyota Research Institute.The automaker has strategically positioned itself as an ROI rather than strategic-focused fund meaning that it aims to profit like any other VC firm. Jim Adler will serve as managing director of the fund. He has been serving as vice president of Toyota Research and comes from a product background. Adler and the rest of the team at Toyota…

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H2O.ais Driverless AI automates machine learning for businesses

Driverless AI is the latest product from H2O.ai aimed at lowering the barrier to making data science work in a corporate context. The tool assists non-technical employees with preparing data, calibrating parameters and determining the optimal algorithms for tackling specific business problems with machine learning. At the research level, machine learning problems are complex and unpredictable combining GANs and reinforcement learning in a never before seen use case takes finesse. But the reality is that a lot of corporates today use machine learning for relatively predictable problems evaluating default rates…

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Odds and Ends 

Regulation could stifle growing China-US venture activity

Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter for Crunchbase News. More posts by this contributor: Advertising giants leave little room for adtech startups, and VCs are noticing How Ethereum became the platform of choice for ICOd digital assets Last week,Reutersreportedthat the U.S. government is considering placing new restrictions on Chinese investment into American companies developing artificial intelligence, machine learning and other technologies with strategic importance to the United States. The report, based off of documents that havent been released publicly, suggests that, in the view ofReuters, the U.S. government is…

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At AI bot startups, cool kids rule

Joanna Glasner is a reporter for Crunchbase. More posts by this contributor: The state of the unicorn CrunchBase Spotlight: Data hints at down rounds, but not wipeout, for marketplace lending You would think at least one AI-powered humanoid bot would have a properly nerdy name. Maybe a Poindexter or Hildegarde to add some natural language processing to your customer chat app? No such luck. Instead, it sounds like the cool kids are in charge at most digital assistant and bot startups. Think short, peppy names that top the popular baby name lists….

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How to create the most value for the next technology wave

Doug Clinton is a managing partner and co-founder at Loup Ventures and previously worked as an analyst at Piper Jaffray. Major technology platforms shift every 10-15 years, with new platforms building on the ones they preceded. The PC was the platform of the early-1980s, then the internet came in the mid-1990s to improve the functionality and connectedness of PCs, then the smartphone emerged in the mid-2000s to put an internet-connected PC in everyones pocket. Were due for the next major technology platform shift, and artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual…

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After beating the worlds elite Go players, Googles AlphaGo AI is retiring

Googles AlphaGo the AI developed to tackle the worlds most demanding strategy game is stepping downfrom competitive matches after defeating the worlds best talent. The latest to succumb isGostop-ranked player,Ke Jie, who lost 3-0 in acquired by Google for around $500 million in 2014,it beatformer Go world champion Lee Sedol, and theChina event took things to the next level with matches against19-year-old Jie, and DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis explained. This weeks series of thrilling games with the worlds best players, in the country where Go originated, has been the highest…

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Rulai launches low-code chatbot development tool and raises $6.5 million

Customer experience chatbot developer Rulai has launched a new low-code chatbot development tool and raised $6.5 million to roll it out. The development team at Rulai, with offices in Beijing and Campbell, Calif., is helmed by the renowned University of California, Santa Cruz, computer science professor Yi Zhang. Professor Zhang, the companys chief technologist, and her team are launching a productthat customer service managers can use to develop chatbots that will perform tasks based on customer conversations, and that can becreated without a single line of code. Its an example…

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Horble gray, Burf pink: This neural networks attempts to name colors are inexplicably hilarious

Theres hardly anything that we havent tried putting machine learning to work at, and usually they take to it like a duck to water. Thats not the case here, with a neural network attempting to learn how to give paint colors those fancy names like spring rain and harbor mist. How would you like to paint your house in a nice dorkwood or stanky bean? This unsuccessful attempt to replace the creatives in the paint-naming space was thank Shane for her valuable work by re-tumblring and blowing up that all-important…

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Tencent to open AI research center in Seattle

Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent will be opening a new AI research center in Seattle, open its first data center in Silicon Valley. Yu Dong, formally of Microsoft Research, is said to be leading the U.S. effort. He recently joined Tencent and has traditionally focused on the nexus of speech recognition and deep learning. Tencenthas a clear interest in developing a personal assistant that could tie its products together and increaseits competitivenessin the market. Tencents investment in machine learning will enable it to deploy the technology across the company. Rather than…

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Accenture, can I ask you a few questions?

Hey Accenture, are you aware that your PR firm is pitching your latest corporate beta for a creepy face and emotion-monitoring algorithm as a party trick? Do you know what a party is? Have you read the definition? Would you call requiring people to download an app before they can get into an event a party-time kind of thing to do? Would you say that demanding that people scan their faces so theycan be recognizedby an algorithm fun times? Doeshaving that same algorithm watch and record every interaction that happens…

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