Tech » FD Tech update featuring Amazon, Oracle and Salesforce

FD Tech update featuring Amazon, Oracle and Salesforce

Financial Director's weekly round-up of the tech innovations driving the business models of the world's leading companies.

Facebook launches robotics framework PyRobot

Global social networking giant, Facebook has announced its open source robotics framework PyRobot which is created in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University researchers. This technology can run deep learning models trained by Facebook’s machine learning framework PyTorch. PyRobot can support Sawyer robots and LoCoBot, a robot used by the university’s autonomy courses. PyRobot provides an API and high-level code for commands to control robotic movement such as path planning, visual SLAM, join position control, joint velocity control and joint torque control. PyRobot works as an interface atop the Robot Operating System (ROS).

Google’s AI picks which mchine learning models will produce the best results

Search engine giant, Google’s researchers have devised AI that has the potential to predict which machine learning models will produce the best results. Off-policy classification (OPC) evaluates the performance of AI-driven agents by treating evaluation as a classification problem. The team uses an approach like reinforcement learning, which employs rewards to drive software policies towards goals-working with image inputs including vision-based robotic grasping.
Off-policy reinforcement learning enables AI model training with a robot, but not evaluation. Agents choose actions based on the projected rewards and their performance is determined on Q-learning, an algorithm that correctly classifies actions as effective vs catastrophic. This classification accuracy acts as an off-policy evaluation score.

 Google Assistant Is better at understanding medications than Alexa, Siri

Google’s voice command assistant (AI) understands around 92% of brand name medicines and 84% of generic medicines as compared to Alexa’s 55 and 46% as well as Siri’s 58 and 51% respectively. With the voice assistant in demand it was initially restricted to smart speakers and has now moved on to smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and even smart TVs.

Google Assistant has an IQ of a six-year old child beating out its AI competition by 10 IQ points. According to a Pindrop study, 78-percent of IT decision makers had Google’s Assistant or Microsoft’s Cortana as their AI of choice in the next year for customer interaction in their businesses. Google AI has just arrived on Google Maps earlier this year in both male and female voice preferences as compared to just female voice in the beginning.

IBM and Cloudera partner for advanced data and AI drive

Multinational information technology company, IBM and Cloudera have joined forces to develop AI and advanced data solutions for enterprises across the Apache Hadoop (AH) ecosystem. This partnership will see IBM resell the Cloudera Enterprise Data Hub and Cloudera DataFlow, while Cloudera will resell the IBM Watson Studio and BigSQL.
Scott Andress, Vice President of Global Channels and Alliances at Cloudera said: “By teaming more strategically with IBM we can accelerate data-driven decision making for our joint enterprise customers who want a hybrid and multi-cloud data management solution with common security and governance.”


Salesforce unveils details on CDP Offering, aims to bring true 360-degree view of customers

CRM and Cloud solutions provider, Salesforce has announced the roll out of its customer 360 offering. This is designed to act as a data layer underneath its marketing sales, service and commerce cloud offerings. Customer 360 will unite disparate customer data throughout their business, then personalize engagement based on holistic customer view. Salesforce 360 will offer current and potential customers with a connected data and unified consent, deeper segmentation, universal personalization and optimization via Einstein insights.

IBM provides Total with world’s most powerful commercial supercomputer

IBM has launched one of the world’s most powerful commercial supercomputers Pangea III, for oil and energy specialist Total. The supercomputer will enable Total to locate fresh resources while evaluating their revenue potentials. Pangea III’s computing power sits at 25 petaflops, which IBM compared to 130,000 laptops. The company also stated that Pangea III is three times more efficient in terms of power consumption as compared to its predecessor.

IBM moves through transformation by using AI to build enterprise data platform IBM is on a journey to build an enterprise data platform which ensures cross-functional complex data coming together to enable models, that’s a first towards transformation. AI will be of utmost importance in building a data platform that has value, part of which the company has named the Cognitive Enterprise. IBM is also drawing on its partnership with Nvidia Corp to leverage high-performance technology.

Oracle IaaS strategy pivots to specialization

Cloud computing service provider, Oracle has now frozen its first-generation IaaS, OCI Classic to focus on its next-gen platform. This new service is formally known as Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and was introduced in 2016. The Cloud Infrastructure is a superior place for high-performance computing and machine learning workloads. Oracle’s specialized approach to IaaS may seem sensible given today’s landscape and competition.

Amazon Connect launches AI powered speech analytics

AI Powered Speech Analytics for Amazon connect is a solution that offers customers insights in real time and helps resolve customer issues and customer experience. The solution includes pre-trained AWS AI services that help customers transcribe (Amazon Transcribe), translate (Amazon Translate) and analyse (Amazon Comprehend) customer interaction as well as present this information in the agent’s preferred language.

Amazon patents AI-powered drones to provide ‘surveillance as a service’

Amazon has been granted a US patent for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones to provide surveillance as a service, the UAV’s will keep an eye on customer’s property between deliveries, while maintaining privacy. Amazon has received an approval to start making drone deliveries only in remote parts of the United States. The drones need to be programmed to trigger automated text or phone alerts if the algorithm spots a hinderance, an alert to the subscriber or the authority. The drones would look for signs of break-ins, such as smashed windows, doors left open and intruders lurking on people’s homes

 NatWest introduces selfie-powered current account opening

Retail and commercial banking company, NatWest’s customers can now open a current account by simply taking a selfie. New customers will have to submit a snap of themselves as well as a photo ID and using AI, a real-time biometric check will compare the two images. The visit to a traditional bank is minimized, online verification takes four minutes. This service uses technology from ID verification outfit HooYu and will soon be rolled out after being tested.

DIT partners with FinTech Alliance

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has announced a partnership with FinTech Alliance, a community-driven platform for companies in the fintech sector. This platform will support the fintech firms in the UK to access funding, attract international investment and talent. The partnership includes signposting companies to relevant Government initiatives, building upon the existing relationships within the industry. By creating a profile on the platform, users will be able to access and share insights and news across the platform.


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