Rob High: The future of AI-powered chatbots

 

Rob High IBM Watson CTO

Rob High, Chief Technology Officer at IBM Watson

Since their first appearance decades ago, chatbots have come a long way thanks to leaps in natural language processing and generation (NLP/NLG), the branches of artificial intelligence that enable us to interact with computers in a conversational manner. Today AI-powered chatbots have established a prominent role in various fields, including customer service, healthcare, banking and more.

Meanwhile, the technologies that power chatbot assistants are growing smarter and more efficient. I had a chance to talk with Rob High, Chief Technology Officer at IBM Watson, on the evolution of chatbots and where the trend is leading to. He shared some very interesting insights on the prospects and challenges that lie ahead. Continue reading

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Why is edge AI important?

This article is part of Demystifying AI, a series of posts that (try to) disambiguate the jargon and myths surrounding AI.

Imagine having to run to your local library and flip through the pages of an encyclopedia every time you saw a dog or cat in the street and wanted to know what its species is. That is pretty much how artificial applications function currently.

Artificial intelligence can predict stocks, diagnose patients, hire job applicants, play the games of chess and go, and do many more tasks on par or better than humans. Humans still have an advantage however: They have intelligence at the edge. Continue reading

The irrevocable failures of centralized business models

Last year, when the FBI ordered Apple to help it break into an iPhone that belonged to a terrorist, the company denied to comply and challenged the federal government in court to avoid setting a precedent that would undermine the privacy of all its users.

18 months later, when the Chinese government ordered Apple to remove major Virtual Private Network (VPN) apps from its version of the App Store that is available in the country, it caved in without a fight.

This is not a move you’d expect from a company that professes to be dedicated to protecting customer privacy and information. VPN apps are extremely important to evade surveillance and circumvent censorship, especially in countries like China where the internet traffic strictly controlled and limited. Continue reading

What is the future of artificial intelligence?

This article is part of Demystifying AI, a series of posts that (try to) disambiguate the jargon and myths surrounding AI.

Where will humans fit in a world where robots outsmart them? This is the focus of a heated debate between thought leaders and tech billionaires.

Some believe we’re steadily meandering toward an AI apocalypse, where humans are either obliterated or enslaved by robots, and we must act quickly to prevent it. Others will tell you that artificial intelligence will always be the subservient best friend of mankind, even when it outwits its creators, and we should move ahead with developing AI at full speed. Continue reading

How artificial intelligence will find its way into brick-and-mortar retail

It’s fair to say that artificial intelligence has helped online shopping take huge leaps and leave brick-and-mortar retail behind in terms of innovation and efficiency. There are no in-store equivalents for the personalized features that you find in e-commerce platforms.

The main hurdle to putting AI to use in retail is data, the new gold, and the reason companies such as Google and Facebook are offering you their services for free. Online shopping platforms provide a direct interface to the customer. This is useful to gather tons of information about every user, including the products they view, their search queries, items they add to or remove from their shopping carts, points where they abandon a purchase, and even the items they pause or hovered on. Continue reading

Kuperman: home and IoT security will lead the way in the next generation of cybersecurity advances

Unfortunately, it is fair to say that the vulnerabilities of Internet of Things (IoT) are preceding its innovations and utilities. From the hacking of the Ukraine power grid, to last year’s DDoS attack against the Dyn DNS provider, IoT devices are behind security incidents of all sizes.

The IoT industry is exposing how putting connectivity into anything and everything opens up a Pandora’s box of vulnerabilities, and give cybercriminals limitless ways to hurt their victims. One area of concern are smart homes, where a slew of not-so-secure devices are finding their way and exposing their owners to unprecedented threats.

In this month’s interview, Leon Kuperman, CTO of smart firewall manufacturer CUJO, discussed IoT security threats and new approaches to securing the homes of the future. Continue reading

What is net neutrality?

Should it make a difference for your Internet Service Provider whether you’re browsing your timeline on Facebook, reading your emails in Gmail, or reading the latest post on TechTalks? According to net neutrality, it shouldn’t.

Net neutrality is the principle that rules ISPs should treat all internet traffic equally and avoid playing favorites, throttling, blocking or providing paid prioritizations. What does that all mean? We’ll get there in a minute.

In the past years, as the internet has transformed from being a luxury to a vital commodity, net neutrality, which is also referred to as “open internet” and “internet freedom,” has become a thorny issue in the U.S. The debate has pitted several broadband and telecom giants such as AT&T and Comcast against huge content corporations such as Google and Facebook.

While the battle is currently being played out in the U.S., the outcome can set a precedent that will propagate to other countries and regions. Here’s what you need to know and why you should care. Continue reading