Here’s an interesting look at Microsoft’s AI strategy from Computer Weekly, with some great quotes from Scott Guthrie.

For AI, Microsoft appears to be putting a lot of emphasis on the developer community. Its head of Cloud + AI business is Scott Guthrie, who has a developer background and co-invented Microsoft’s original ASP.NET web application technology. Guthrie is the Microsoft executive vice president with responsibility for a large chunk of Microsoft’s business, including Cloud, Windows Server, database, CRM, ERP, and the AI platform.

“Our business model at Microsoft is focused on delivering a B2B [business to business] experience and helping our partners and customers deliver to their customers, and that’s a differentiator that increasingly comes up versus Amazon as well as Google, given that their business model is ultimately about reaching users.”

Here’s another round up post from the recent TensorFlow Summit — this one focusing on the product announcements.

TensorFlow has been unrolled as the open-source app development platform that allows individual developers and development teams to build and train models through Machine Learning and utilise the same in their app development projects. Google for the last two years is already holding developer summit for this platform and in the latest and third annual TensorFlow Developer Summit, the company made a few significant announcements including the release of TensorFlow 2.0. version. Let us briefly take a look at the different releases at the summit.

If 2018 was the year of AI & ML, then 2019 is going to be the year of AI/ML Operationalization. I see this all the time with customers: AI requires a lot of teams to work together that traditionally have not worked together. 

Here’s an interesting article on the five things that all great companies do successfully adopt AI. Listed last, but certainly not least, in the list is having a Data Driven culture. Aside from the fact that it subliminally promotes my podcast, the importance of company culture cannot be overstated.

From the article (emphasis added):

Data-driven Culture Without a strong, data-driven organizational culture, none of the above can ever be successful. Some of the world’s largest companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook have embraced data as part of their organization’s culture. Here are some things they, and the aforementioned customers, do well:

  • Treating data as an enterprise asset.
  • Creating a central data strategy (a Data Hub) to integrate all types of data
  • Strong data governance & data lineage.
  • ML-enabled data cataloging to find data efficiently.
  • Robust Master/Reference data management.
  • Mixing IT-led and self-service data preparation & wrangling capabilities.
  • Implementing self-service exploration capabilities to visually interact with data.

Data is an asset, potentially a very lucrative one and likely one that will either drive your business into the next decade or drive you out of business before the next decade. 

In this video from a recent talk at MIT, Demis Hassabis discusses the capabilities and power of self-learning systems. He illustrates this with reference to some of DeepMind’s recent breakthroughs, and talks about the implications of cutting-edge AI research for scientific and philosophical discovery.

What’s more impressive, is Demis’ biography. From the description:

Speaker Biography: Demis is a former child chess prodigy, who finished his A-levels two years early before coding the multi-million selling simulation game Theme Park aged 17. Following graduation from Cambridge University with a Double First in Computer Science he founded the pioneering video games company Elixir Studios producing award winning games for global publishers such as Vivendi Universal. After a decade of experience leading successful technology startups, Demis returned to academia to complete a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at UCL, followed by postdocs at MIT and Harvard, before founding DeepMind. His research into the neural mechanisms underlying imagination and planning was listed in the top ten scientific breakthroughs of 2007 by the journal Science. Demis is a 5-times World Games Champion, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and the recipient of the Royal Society’s Mullard Award and the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Silver Medal.