February 5th – NLP Could Help With Health Information
Non-profit organization Atrius Health applies NLP technology to identify clinical data and extract information. The NLP technology is provided by the Linguamatics 12E platform, which can enhance clinical documentation for chronic disorders and improve the medicare ACO quality report. Atrius Health plans to apply the platform in additional areas to support and service behavioral healthcare.
February 7th – YC Backed ClearBrain Builds AI for Marketers
ClearBrain helps users aggregate their data and deploys artificial intelligence to help subscription-based businesses target users most likely to sign up. The company is among American seed accelerator Y Combinator’s startups and has raised US$1.2 million in funding from YC and other Venture Capital funds. ClearBrain clients include InVision and The Skimm.
February 7th – Ottawa Invests in AI to Fight Child Pornography
Canada’s Liberal government announces new funding of CDN$4.1 million over five years for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. The funding will support the development and implementation of AI technology that crawls websites to detect child pornography.
February 9th – Waymo Accepts US$245 Million to End Legal Battle With Uber
Alphabet’s Waymo believes a former employee brought thousands of confidential documents to Uber. Soon after the lawsuit was filed, Uber fired its head of autonomous driving. The surprise settlement sees Uber paying US$245 million in shares to Waymo, and also affirms a new partnership between the two on autonomous car development, despite their direct competition.
February 12th – Google Opens Its TPU Chips to the Public
Google opens access to its tensor processing units (TPUs) through its cloud-computing services at the rate of US$6.5 per cloud TPU per hour. Google’s TPUs are dedicated to tasks related to machine learning and have allowed Google to be less dependent on chip suppliers like Nvidia. Now they will also generate rental revenue. Ride-sharing company Lyft was one of the early adopters of Google TPUs, which have significantly sped up its development of autonomous vehicles.
February 13th – Google Uses AI to Reply to Messages Across Major Chat Apps
A Google team is working to bring its smart reply feature to major chat applications such as Hangouts, Allo, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter DMs, and Slack. This new feature will enable context-aware responses in messages. For example, by accessing your current location, the feature can automatically answer a question like “When will you arrive?”
February 14th – Apple in Talks with Chinese Chipmaker
Apple is said to be talking with Yangtze Memory Technologies regarding a storage chips purchase. This would be the first Apple chip purchase from a Chinese supplier. The chips will be used in the new iPhone and other products for the Chinese market. Neither Apple nor Yangtze Memory responded to requests for comment.
February 15th – Waymo Launches Ride-Hailing Service in Arizona with Autonomous Fleet
Alphabet’s autonomous driving company Waymo launches a ride-hailing service in Arizona. Beyond the autonomous driving technology, Waymo is also building a ride-hailing platform. Waymo’s moves in this space are seen as a threat to Uber.
February 15th – Amazon Updates Its Alexa Skills Developer Console
Amazon completes the biggest ever redesign of its Alexa Skills Kit Developer Console. The makeover focuses on improved developer workflows and provides a more user-friendly visual interface, and comes at a time when some third-party companies had stepped in to provide solutions the Amazon toolset had been lacking.
February 17th – Intel Launches Vaunt Smartglasses
Intel’s new Vaunt smartglasses look just like normal glasses. They can project images or words on a holographic reflector which transmits the content directly to the eyes. Learning from the failed Google Glass, Intel has avoided the tap function and made their glasses less conspicuous to use in public.
Contributing Analyst: Alex Chen | Editor: Meghan Han、Michael Sarazen