Tech » Tech update including Amazon, IBM and Oracle

Tech update including Amazon, IBM and Oracle

Financial Director's weekly round-up of the tech innovations at some of the world's leading companies.

Facebook seeks to placate lawmakers over Libra but Mnuchin raises “serious concerns”
Facebook has made known that it won’t launch its digital currency Libra until it receives regulatory approval especially after US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin expresses very serious concerns that Libra could be misused by terrorists. Apart from being supervised by the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority it will also register in the US with FinCEN. Libra does not intend to compete with any sovereign currencies or intruding the monetary policy arena. It is designed to act like cash only to create economic empowerment.

Google’s new ‘data echoing’ technique speeds up AI training
Search engine giant, Google’s researchers think that the best-performing data echoing algorithms can match the baseline’s predictive performance using less upstream processing. The approach used by these researchers in data echoing inserts a stage in the pipeline that repeats the output data of the previous stage, recovering idle compute capacity. Data echoing is an alternative to optimizing the training pipeline or adding additional workers to perform upstream data processing which may not be possible.

Salesforce named a leader in data management platforms by independent research firm
CRM solutions provider, Salesforce has been recognised a leader by Forrester Research in its report namely ‘The Forrester Wave: Data Management Platforms,’ Q2 2019. Salesforce’s Data Management Platform (DMP), Audience Studio enables marketers to know, personalise and engage their customers across all verticals. It also provides a platform to capture customer data, segment audiences with Einstein AI for engagement. Salesforce Marketing Cloud helps marketers customise marketing with Einstein and analyse the impact to improve their campaign performance.

Synthio introduces Contact Data Maintenance for Salesforce
Synthio has revealed immediate availability of its Contact Data Management for Salesforce (CDM-SF) platform. This platform compares a customer’s Salesforce database against more than 160 million data records and automatically updates it with complete and correct information. Companies implementing CDM-SF are certain about the data they receive being correct and complete in order to build Account Based Marketing and demand generation programs, customer billing, and partner management.

IBM builds AI ladder with partnerships
Multinational information technology company, IBM has joined forces with data preparation technology provider Trifacta to improve the data preparation technology it provides in its data and artificial intelligence stack. This partnership has resulted in InfoSphere Advanced Data Preparation to enable organisations in formatting, structuring and enriching datasets while working with their existing environments including data lakes. Trifacta’s clients include GSK, the Centers for Disease Control, Google, and Pepsico.

IBM announces AutoAI For Watson Studio
IBM has announced AutoAI, a new set of capabilities for Watson Studio to automate complicated tasks associated with designing, optimising and governing AI in the enterprise. Watson Studio’s AI capabilities work efficiently with Watson Machine Learning (ML) to solve the challenges by automating and speeding steps in the AI lifecycle. The AutoAI capabilities are available on the IBM Cloud and they automate data prep and pre-processing including model development and feature engineering. They also contain a suite of powerful model types for enterprise data science and aim to scale ML deployment quickly.

IBM offers employees ‘master’s programs’ in AI and data science
IBM is now offering its employees the opportunities to take courses in data science and artificial intelligence with Simplilearn. The courses will be web-based including live virtual classrooms access to teaching assistants, self-paced video instruction courses and assessments. Upon completion, employees will be granted certificates from Simplilearn and IBM.

Oracle bets big on ‘autonomous offering’ for security as cyber criminals embrace AI, ML
Cloud services provider, Oracle aims to automate its database by creating a tool, Web Application Firewall, that eliminates manual errors in database tuning, security, backups, and updates. The cloud service provider believes that security should be embedded by default. This tool makes use of AI and ML to secure itself and has features that can identify good bots from bad bots by furthering whitelisting good bots letting more traffic in and blacklisting bad bots.

Amazon partners with the NHS to help UK patients access health advice
Amazon has partnered with UK’s NHS to help elderly people access their health advice online through Amazon’s AI-powered voice assistant Alexa. The Department of Health is looking forward to this partnership to empower patients take control of their health. The UK government has set up a new unit called NHSX to boost the use of digital technologies in the UK health service. Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, said: “We want to empower every patient to take better control of their healthcare and technology like this is a great example of how people can access reliable, world-leading NHS advice from the comfort of their home, reducing the pressure on our hardworking GPs and pharmacists.”

FCA to explore the ‘explainability’ of AI in consumer finance
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is joining forces with the Alan Turing Institute to test the transparency and explainability of AI in the financial sector. The watchdog wants a practical understanding of machine learning and its functions in comparison to just debates. Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA said: “AI and its application in financial services is causing us to ask big questions – and the answers we arrive at have the potential to fundamentally alter society and the established order.”

Samsung Pay integrates loan and credit card applications in India
Samsung Pay has tapped Paisabazaar to let people apply for things such as credit cards and loans through Samsung Pay. This service calls Paisabazaar’s ‘Chance of Approval’ feature that makes use of predictive algorithms to connect consumers with suitable lenders with a possibility of approving a loan. Sanjay Razdan, senior director, services, management, Samsung India, says: “Our partnership with has helped us create a holistic platform that gives them the comfort of opting for various financial products besides using it as a payment platform.”

Lloyds partners with Blue Motor Finance to develop instant payments API
Lloyds Bank has partnered with Blue Motor Finance to provide motor dealerships with realtime loan payments through a commercial direct debit API collaboration. Co-developed by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking API Lab, the programme taps the Faster Payment rails and aims to deliver instant loans to motor trader clients of Blue. Steve Everett, MD, payments and cash Management, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said: “We’re excited to partner with Blue Motor Finance to bring this innovative instant payment service to its motor trader customers and create real value for businesses in the car financing industry through new API-enabled solutions.”

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