1 – Google’s AI Beats a Professional Go Player, an Industry First

An article published this week in the journal Nature elaborates upon Google’s big AI win against a top-ranked human player in the ancient game of Go. AI system AlphaGo beat French champion Fan Hui in a five-game match at Google DeepMind’s London office in October. An encore match is scheduled to take place in March between AlphaGo and the world’s top human Go competitor, Lee Sedol, in Seoul, South Korea. Though Go is said to be a simpler game than Chess, there are many more possible moves that can be made in any play, which poses a significant challenge for human and machine alike. The win is a breakthrough in Google’s continued investment in deep learning, a branch of artificial intelligence that involves artificial neural networks in analyzing data.

(Read the full article at VentureBeat)

2 – Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Marvin Minsky Dies

MIT’s Marvin Minsky, dubbed by many as “The Father of Artificial Intelligence”, died this week at the age of 88. Minsky cofounded the current Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT (originally named the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) in 1959, after joining the university’s engineering and computer science department. Minsky’s ultimate goal was to replicate the workings of a human brain in digital form, in order to better understand the brain’s functions. His book, The Society of Mind, was published in 1985 and was considered a seminal work in the field. Pinsky was also involved in founding the MIT Media Lab in 1985, which continues to serve as a hub for studying a wide range of neuroscience and AI-related topics.

(Read the full article at InformationWeek)

3 – Artificial Intelligence Sees Kuroda’s BOJ on Hold This Week

AI algorithms are predicting that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) will be on hold as far as adding monetary stimulus to the market. While the forecast is taken as one indicator amongst many, more banks have turned to AI for assistance in forecasting. Both Credit Suisse Group AG and Nomura Securities Co. implemented computer algorithms at the end of 2015 to help analyze information output by the central bank and guide policy decisions. The algorithms were used to assess BOJ’s publications in order to correlate between key words for prices and those that indicate concern.

“The changes are thus mixed overall, which is consistent with our index showing no significant change in the BOJ’s direction,”

said Credit Suisse to clients this week. Despite successful long-term predictions in the past, Credit Suisse states that the use of algorithms is still somewhat unpredictable, and historically they have been better used in predicting short-term changes (one to two months ahead) in the market.

(Read the full article at BloombergBusiness)

4 – Vestorly Raises its Game with Artificial Intelligence

In a recent fundraising effort, content marketing company Vestorly raised $4.1 million to invest in implementing AI technology. The funds included an investment from Sigma Prime Ventures, a Boston-based technology venture capital firm. The company will continue using AI algorithms to help collect and narrow down content that may interest clients, saving advisers up to six hours a week in work. AI technology is behind the tool Vestorly Suggestions, an automated email that uses algorithms to cross-reference an adviser’s intended message with search engine results and client’s stated interests. This type of technology is still cautiously accepted by professionals in the financial sector field. CEO of Vestorly Justin Wisz believes that outside of the robo-adviser arena, which has gained some traction in recent years, not enough attention has been given to AI use in the industry – which may mean plenty of opportunity in years ahead.

(Read the full article on InvestmentNews)

5 – Microsoft Releases CNTK, its Open Source Deep Learning Toolkit, on GitHub

Early this week, Microsoft released its internally-produced Computational Network Toolkit (CNTK) known as GitHub, a tool used by its own AI research team in advancing the technology behind its products and services. Currently, Microsoft’s creative teams are using this set of algorithms on advanced computers that use graphics processing units (GPUs), which researchers have found are also useful for advancing computer vision and natural language capabilities. Motivation behind the release is linked to the company’s interest in allowing other researchers in the field to help advance the field of deep learning.

(Read the full article on Microsoft)

Image credit: MIT Museum