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VentureBeat’s AI Channel tracks the most important artificial intelligence news and analysis. Each week, we select the top stories for our free weekly newsletter, AI Weekly. We include news stories by VentureBeat staff, guest articles from leading figures in the AI community, and posts from a wide variety of other outlets. You can subscribe to AI Weekly to receive this newsletter every Thursday.

Here’s this week’s newsletter:

Today’s newsletter marks the transition from BotBeat Weekly to AIWeekly. We’ll continue to cover bots and messaging as part of our overall AI coverage, connecting the dots between all three topics while looking for new patterns.

And wowza, just yesterday we saw the making of a new pattern. Google disclosed that its TPU chips (for tensor processing units) were 15 to 30 times faster than contemporary chips for AI computing. As Jordan Novet reports, Google relies on these custom TPU chips when operating artificial neural networks to more efficiently make inferences about new data.


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This is a significant development, one that augments the computational power of existing data centers (typically built on CPUs, or for AI-centric companies, additionally GPUs from the likes of AMD and Nvidia) to meet the future demands for neural networks. In 2013, Google had determined that AI workloads could double the computing demands of its data centers and began an effort to get 10 times better cost-performance in comparison with GPUs. The new chips are a result of this focus and have been in use since 2015.

For AI and bots coverage, send news tips to Khari Johnson and guest post submissions to John Brandon. Please be sure to visit our AI Channel.

Thanks for reading,
Blaise Zerega
Editor in Chief

P.S. Please enjoy this video from DARPA that offers a smart perspective on AI.

From the AI Channel

3 AI-related April Fools’ Day hoaxes you may have missed

Eighty percent of marketing leaders say that artificial intelligence (AI) will revolutionize marketing by 2020. AI has already done a great job infiltrating the minds of consumers and marketers alike. This year, April Fools’ Day hoaxes included a few related to AI. Indeed, technology has caught up with this age-old tradition of making the gullible […]

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Google opens up about its TPU chips for AI

Google today is providing more information about its tensor processing unit (TPU), the server chip that it uses in house to perform artificial intelligence (AI) computing workloads more efficiently. Google has been using TPUs internally since 2015. The company disclosed the existence of the TPU last year but hadn’t said anything more about the technology […]

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Kylie uses AI to help brands automate answers to customer service requests

Messaging services are being highly touted as the next medium for customer service as they offer brands a way to not only deploy human agents, but also implement artificial intelligence to address requests. But what if companies want to use AI in areas besides chatbots or on Twitter? Kylie is a startup that’s making its […]

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Understanding the limits of deep learning

Artificial intelligence has reached peak hype. News outlets report that companies have replaced workers with IBM Watson and that algorithms are beating doctors at diagnoses. New AI startups pop up everyday, claiming to solve all your personal and business problems with machine learning. Ordinary objects like juicers and Wi-Fi routers suddenly advertise themselves as “powered by AI.” Not only […]

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Developers are getting Bixby running on older Samsung phones

That was fast. Bixby, Samsung’s new virtual assistant for the company’s new Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone, is now working on older Samsung phones running Android 7.0 Nougat. But not officially. A person who goes by the handle takerhbk in a forum on the Android website XDA-Developers managed to get Bixby working on top of the […]

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Why AI needs a magic moment

Well-known author Malcolm Gladwell defines the tipping point as “that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” The idea of using AI-powered technology to fuel digital marketing and customer experience has been around for years, yet recently it seems that every leading newspaper and tech […]

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Beyond VB

How P&G and American Express Are Approaching AI

There is a tendency with any new technology to believe that it requires new management approaches, new organizational structures, and entirely new personnel. That impression is widespread with cognitive technologies — which comprises a range of approaches in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and deep learning. Some have argued for the creation of “chief cognitive officer” roles, and certainly many firms are rushing to hire experts with deep learning expertise. “New and different” is the ethos of the day. (via Harvard Business Review)

Read the full story


For Google, the AI Talent Race Leads Straight to Canada

America’s biggest tech companies are remaking the internet through artificial intelligence. And more than ever, these companies are looking north to Canada for the ideas that will advance AI itself. (via Wired)

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23 things artificially intelligent computers can do better/faster/cheaper than you can

The future of AI is probably a lot like the past: it nibbles. Artificial intelligence does a job we weren’t necessarily crazy about doing anyway, it does it quietly, and well, and then we take it for granted. No one complained when their thermostat took over the job of building a fire, opening the grate, opening a window, rebuilding a fire. And no one complained when the computer found 100 flights faster and better than we ever could. (via Seth Godin)

Read the full story


It’s Not Their Pop Idol, but a Bot. Fans Cheer Anyway.

In January, Christina Ausset, a 24-year-old Maroon 5 fan in France, spotted an enticing Twitter post from another of the band’s followers: “I just had a conversation with Maroon 5! Awesome!” (via The New York Times)

Read the full story

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