Stability AI Raises $1 Billion and the Ire of Competitors

Principal Analyst, Advanced Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• The ability to generate an image by typing several textual instructions brings home the potential of AI and seems indistinguishable from magic.

• Stability AI was released in August 2022. Stability AI differentiates itself from competitors by not censoring the user’s creation.

Stability AI (SAI) was co-founded in 2020 by Emad Mostaque, who earned a master’s degree at Oxford University in mathematics and computer science. After a stint as an analyst at several different hedge funds, Mostaque decided to switch gears and pursue his interest in AI. Mostaque provided the initial funding but soon found the company awash in venture funding, giving SAI a valuation of approximately $1 billion. With SAI, artificial intelligence moves beyond analytics and becomes a creator. In order to create an image with SAI, a creator simply types descriptive text into the DreamStudio, and an image slowly appears.

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Vertex Brings Simplicity to Computer Vision, but Computer Vision Still Needs Additional Technology

Principal Analyst, Advanced Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• Machine vision is critical to future-facing products such as self-driving vehicles and delivery robots. Developing a vision-enabled machine is difficult and expensive.

• Google’s Vertex AI Vision will allow companies to build machine vision applications that can be customized to perform a specialized task.

In the summer of 1966, summer students at MIT were tasked with creating a visual system. The story was certainly true, but time distorted the event. The “summer vision project” became an urban legend often told by computer vision scientists to demonstrate how the project participants, who thought they could come up with a prototype by the end of summer, underestimated the project’s complexity.

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Artificial Intelligence Has Its Day(s) in Court

Principal Analyst, Advanced Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• In 1950, mathematician Alan Turing published “Computing Machinery and Intelligence.” The document outlines the possibility of intelligent machines that could think and eventually attain consciousness.

• Turing’s paper has generated a debate that is ongoing and is at the heart of current litigation that will likely be decided by the US Supreme Court.

In July 2019, Stephen Thaler, CEO of Imagination Engines Incorporated (IEI), filed two patent applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), listing an artificial intelligence (AI) program as the inventor on both applications. The IEI’s AI system is known as the Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience (DABUS). According to IEI’s patent applications, DABUS invented a flickering light that mimics neural activity and a fractal drink container that allows robots to improve its grip. Not surprisingly, IEI’s website states that the company is “ushering in the dawn of conscious computing” and lists several high-profile companies such as General Electric, Boeing, and Raytheon as well as branches of the US Defense Depart.

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Optelos Brings AI and Digital Twinning to the Sky

Principal Analyst, Advanced Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• Businesses depend on infrastructure to deliver energy, communications, and related services. Regular inspections of infrastructure are critical to maintaining a consistent supply.

• Optelos software utilizes the drone camera, providing actionable insights for the inspection of infrastructure such as damaged insulators in the electrical grid.

Asset inspections represent a significant cost for companies involved in industrial processes. According to GE Capital, on a worldwide basis, companies and governments spend $40 billion per year on asset inspections. Historically, inspecting and auditing infrastructure involves placing employees in dangerous places such as chemical refineries or underground ventilation shafts. Utilizing drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) removes the injury risk to employees who no longer need to be exposed to site-specific dangers. This reduces the likelihood of serious injury to workers still using traditional inspection methods that require the inspection team to be physically present.

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Novo Nordisk and Microsoft Partner to Bring AI to Drug Discovery

Principal Analyst, Advanced Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• The challenge for Microsoft and Novo Nordisk will be to integrate AI and pharma into a process that will bring cheaper medicines faster with less risk.

• Besides Novo Nordisk, Microsoft entered into a similar partnership with UCB in 2021 as part of the COVID Moon Shot project.

Developing a new drug can take over 12 years and cost $2.6 billion or more. The process is as risky as a trip to Las Vegas as nine out of ten potential new therapies fail to become market-ready products. The cost of a failure is paid for by the company, but ramifications go beyond the bottom line and include loss of life and increased costs to healthcare systems. Even with several high-profile failures, the promise of AI represents a substantial opportunity to transform drug development.
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UltraSight Brings AI Technology to Improve Detection of Cardiovascular Diseases

Principal Analyst, Advanced Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• Applying artificial intelligence (AI) to healthcare has been the goal of some incumbent technology startup companies. Despite some progress, breakthroughs have proved elusive.

• Despite the difficulties encountered, UltraSight has brought to market an ultrasound software that utilizes AI to produce diagnostic quality images and provides real-time operational instructions.

On August 25, UltraSight received permission to use the conformité européenne (CE) mark on its UltraSight cardiac imaging software for use on ultrasound devices. The CE mark is required for select items sold in the European Union. The mark indicates that the manufacturer or importer of that product affirms that it is in compliance with the relevant EU legislation and the product may be sold anywhere in the European Economic Area. The permission to use the CE mark on a product is an essential milestone in product development, and the UltraSight software will improve the detection of cardiac irregularities, especially in emergencies.

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[MS Word] Twins: Siemens and Nvidia Partner to Expand Industrial Twinning

Principal Analyst, Advanced Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• Much of the focus and hype regarding the digital world has been limited to providing immersive consumer entertainment.

• While the world awaits the metaverse, companies such as Siemens and Nvidia are building the software and hardware that helps businesses take advantage of digital technology.

The naming game that accompanies the introduction of new technologies can confuse end-users and perhaps impede adoption. The words virtual reality, augmented reality, and metaverse all describe a concept first introduced by Yale Computer Science Professor David Gelernter. In his 1992 book, Mirror Worlds, Gelernter describes a virtual, immersive world where many aspects of public life exist online as an extension and mirror or twin to the physical world. Although Professor Gelernter defined the notion of digital twinning, the roots of twinning go back to the Apollo space program as NASA built a physical twin for each spacecraft headed to the moon for troubleshooting purposes. The existence of this physical twin proved invaluable in returning the damaged Apollo 13 safely to earth. Continue reading “[MS Word] Twins: Siemens and Nvidia Partner to Expand Industrial Twinning”

Managing AI with Speed and Scale: Tibco Launches a ModelOps Platform

Will Stofega – Principal Analyst, Advanced Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• Tibco’s ModelOps will help businesses ensure that the value of ‘the AI Model’ can be retained and improved throughout the model’s lifecycle.

• The complexity of AI can slow the deployment of models. Tibco’s ModelOps allows even non-programmers to move a model from development to deployment.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has quickly become a must-have tool for businesses. While AI has enabled businesses to gain new insights into their performance, its management and operational aspects have lagged behind, creating bottlenecks in deployment. In addition, companies are carrying a large amount of under-deployed and unrefreshed models that drain budgets and add to what is often referred to as ‘model debt.’ Some of these AI models are not utilizing the most recent data or have drifted away from their original business purpose. AI models and data sets continue to grow in size and complexity, requiring larger teams of software engineers to transform a model into an application.

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Speechmatics Cracks Number Transcription with New Entity Formatting

W. Stofega

Summary Bullets:

  • Accurately interpreting speech has posed challenges due to the variation in meaning and context that occurs during ordinary conversation.
  • Entity formatting or number interpretation is notoriously difficult to achieve. People might say ’oh’ instead of ’zero,’ or use ‘triple three’ instead of ‘3-3-3.’

Speechmatics was founded by Dr. Tony Robinson in 2006 and is based in Cambridge, England (UK). Robinson was a pioneer in applying recurrent neural and deep neural networks to automatic speech recognition (ASR). Speechmatics employs approximately 250 workers and is privately held. In 2012, the company began offering its ASR software to enterprise businesses on a usage-based revenue model.

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No More Moonshots: IBM Emphasizes Practical AI at Think 2022

W. Stofega

Summary Bullets:

  • CEO Arvind Krishna outlined an AI development strategy that helps businesses become more efficient by eliminating manual processes.
  • IBM’s strategy looks to bring technology to customers to help them accomplish a complete and integrated digital transformation.

Although Think 2022 did not produce headline-grabbing announcements, it did provide customers, the financial community, and the tech press with guidance regarding IBM’s future product strategy. The company’s CEO, Arvind Krishna, expressed intentions to focus on product development related to more practical use cases for artificial intelligence (AI), rather than ‘moonshots.’ To be clear, IBM is not abandoning its heritage of developing new technology; however, Krishna believes that AI projects must bring practical values to the customer and that more ambitious, aspirational initiatives belong in a research lab. One example of IBM’s more pragmatic approach, and the strategy it plans to expand, is how it’s working with McDonald’s. IBM is looking to help the fast-food company use AI to help lower costs and boost efficiency by automating customer orders. An example of a practical solution that will appeal to a broad audience is Watson AIOps, which looks to apply AI to information technology to increase productivity by being predictive, rather than reactive.

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