Direct Brain/Computer Integration is (Really) Close

How soon will human brains and computers be one? The technology is advancing fast. Faster than you might think. Interestingly, advanced human/machine integrations seems to have built a lot of momentum by helping people with disabilities overcome their disabilities and even be stronger by augmenting their human capabilities with machine capabilities.

Modified Humans
Rob Spence is blind in one eye and is a filmmaker so naturally, he decided to replace his eyeball with a camera. Now, he’s one of the many humans who are getting modified. Also, a team at Stanford has successfully enabled a paralyzed woman to type by building direct connections with her brain.

What’s Going on at Facebook’s Building 8
Facebook has been leading the charge in the human/machine integration area and the person leading this effort is a former head of the US Department of Defense’s Innovation squad. Her name is Regina Dugan and you can follow her on Facebook. Currently, they’re building systems that enable people to type at 100 wpm by decoding brain activity, decoding it into “virtual speech,” and deploying it as text. They’re also working on a way for humans to *hear through their skin*!

Towards Computer/Human Oneness
Here are some ways to keep up with what’s happening with computer / human integration:

Follow Facebook Building 8’s Regina Dugan
Connect with Dustin Tyler, an engineering professor who is at the front lines of developing physical objects that can feel, on LinkedIn
Follow Rob Spence, the guy with the camera eye who is working actively on this stuff at and check out his work and TED Talks

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How Blockchain will Revolutionize the World’s Data

🎥 Ludell Jones, Eazl’s Marketing Director, has been publishing some awesome vlogs about the day in the life of a modern marketer. Check out her latest installation here 🎥

Big Blockchain Data
We live in a world where owning data is the way that companies compete but as more industries–from finance to insurance to ecommerce–transition to more secure and scalable blockchain-based systems, things in the world of data will change. Some people are calling this “the industrialization of data.” Read more here.

Facebook’s Data Factory
Facebook’s collection of data makes it one of the most influential organizations in the world and Serbian CS professor Vladan Joler has been leading a massive project to map the massive Facebook data collecting machine. See tons of beautiful maps and original articles about his team’s findings here.

AI-proof Jobs
The new mantra in the labor market is that robots and artificial intelligence are going to take over everything. But for those who don’t want to work in artificial intelligence or robotics, there are some “robot-proof” careers, at least for now. According to some experts, they are: creative folks, healthcare practitioners, child care workers, engineers, teachers, human resources executives, and traditionally blue-collar jobs like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. Read about Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg’s take here.

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Are Voice Assistants Bad for Young Children?

Roughly 25 million voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home are expected to sell in the US in 2017 and researchers are noticing that infants who grow up around these devices are having developmental challenges. For example, kids who grow up with voice assistants tend to have less regard for people’s feelings because they’re used to interacting vocally with an object without emotions. They also tend to place less value on developing vocabulary because it’s more efficient for them to retrieve information from Google Home or Alexa with simple commands.

Also in this Brain Boost:
• The First Ever 3D Printed Building was Printed this Week
• San Francisco CTO Captures Some Crazy Job Search Data

Links mentioned in the video:
• Apis Cor’s 3D printed building video
• Jeff Kolesky’s technical job search data analysis

⍾ Build Your Own Artificially-intelligent Twitter Bot in a New Project-based Course from Eazl

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Top Content on Chatbots and AI from Eazl

Chatbots and AI

We’ve been reporting on -and making content for- chatbots and AI for about a year now.  From Brain Boosts and courses to great content we’ve found online, here’s our current list of Top Content on Chatbots and AI.

1. Bots Can Now Power Your Business
How a company serves more than 5 billion downloads and streams with only 3 employees.

2. How to Create a Facebook Messenger Bot
Interested in using a chatbot for customer service and marketing? Facebook Messenger chatbots can help your followers get answers to frequently asked questions and more.

3. Build a Twitter Bot in 90 Minutes
In this course, you’ll create a Twitter bot powered by IBM’s cloud cognition technology that is able to understand which Tweets are relevant to you, filter them from all the Tweets around a topic, and present them to you through Google Sheets.

4. Chatbots are the Future of Online Marketing
We’ve gathered up all the resources we have for you on bots at the moment and put them all here so you can catch up with what’s happening in the world of bots and maybe even make one yourself!

5. The Top 10 Artificial Intelligence People and Places on the Web
AI is on track to change everything around us. In this Brain Boost: the top 10 artificial intelligence people and places on the web.

6. A New Milestone in Artificial Intelligence
A collaboration is happening between Google’s Deepmind team in the UK and Oxford University. They have been developing an AI platform designed to read lips and, recently, they published their astonishing results.

7. Are You Debating Robots on Twitter?
Researchers and data scientists at the University of Southern California have found that roughly 400,000 bots were tweeting and retweeting during the 2016 United States presidential election, responsible for roughly 20% of all of the election-related content on Twitter.

8. Artificial Intelligence is Disrupting the Job Search
Increasingly, software built on machine learning and early-stage artificial intelligence determines the desirability of a candidate.

9. Monetizing Chatbots
Sponsored recommendations are likely to come in-stream with responses from these AI assistants in the future.

10. Adidas Robots, AI + Humans, and Getting Started with Crowdfunding
Professor Sandy Pentland of MIT, says that artificial intelligence is best used in collaboration with humans. 

11. OpenAI and Shocking AI Salaries
OpenAI’s team of researchers were reportedly mobbed with huge employment offers from some of the tech world’s biggest firms.

12. Jobs and AI
The Financial Times has released an extensive new report on career management in age of robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation.

Build an AI Twitter Bot Powered with IBM Watson (No Coding!)

*Check out the full course here*

Build Cool AI Technology in ~90 Minutes and Learn by Doing (No Coding!)
If you’re reading this, you probably know that, arguably, artificial intelligence is the most significant technological developments of our time. There will be people who are able to use AI to do incredible things and others who watch technology and the world change around them at a blistering pace without understanding fully what’s going on. If you’re someone who stays “in the know,” you need to learn about AI. We think that you can best learn by doing. Plus, it’s fun! And you’ll get some pretty amazing technology that you can use for free forever.

Create a Customizable “Smart” Twitter Bot Powered by IBM Watson Step by Step
You’ll create a Twitter bot powered by IBM’s cloud cognition technology that is able to understand which Tweets are relevant to you, filter them from all the Tweets around a topic, and present them to you through Google Sheets. We’re calling it the Prospector Bot and this bot has practical uses for businesses, personal use, non-profits, government, and more. Through completing the project, you’ll learn:

*How to build apps (no coding required) in IBM Bluemix

*How to train IBM Watson’s Natural Language Classifier, a Watson service built on machine learning, to curate Tweets on your behalf

*How to use Twitter’s Advanced Search functions

*How to use Google Sheets as an automation hub / bot headquarters
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USA Founder Visa, Google’s Tower of Babel, & the Robotic Grocery Store

♔ In an effort to build new ways of collaborating digitally, we’re opening up ALL of our new startup’s files to you. Contracts, research, and more–the open-sourced company. Request access at http://bit.ly/viriaccess.

• Barack Obama Quietly Created a Founder Visa Especially for Entrepreneurs. Read more at http://bit.ly/2jjn6iK.
• Google Translate Software Created a Universal Language… On its Own. Read more at http://bit.ly/2jBH6Oz.
• Ocado’s Robotic Grocery Stores are More Technologically-advanced than Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers. See more at http://bit.ly/2jucn8n.

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Chatbots are the Future of Online Marketing

chatbots

At Eazl, January is the month to #beyourowninspiration. We’re featuring people who are working on interesting and important things AND we’re empowering each member of our community (including you) to believe that they have the ability to achieve the seemingly inevitable.

In the world of business and marketing right now, it’s all about AI and chatbots. In the next 5-10 years, you can expect chatbots to become much more a part of our lives and how we interact with companies.

The thing is…you can make one right now. And you don’t even have to know how to code!

We’ve gathered up all the resources we have for you on bots at the moment and put them all here so you can catch up with what’s happening in the world of bots and maybe even make one yourself!

Chatbots: The Next Frontier
What’s a business bot?

They’re text-based services that let users perform tasks like scheduling a meetings, ordering a product, booking a flight, or getting recommendations–all via chat. Chat apps also integrate beautifully with what’s happening in AI and machine learning.

Three big players are already getting into the game: Microsoft, Kik, and Facebook are all likely to announce chatbot marketplaces soon. Chatbots would serve many businesses much better than having a full-fledged app.

The Scoop on Using Bots for Social Media Marketing
Often times, using bots for social media marketing violates the policies of platforms like Twitter and Instagram. There are some kinds of bots invited to participate in the network, but generally, any bot that “pushes” interaction onto users is outside of platform policy, and therefore can result in warnings or account bans. In practice, the platforms don’t always police bots effectively.

The easiest bots to deploy are those like Roboliker (robolike.com). These bots basically follow a search query that you design and “like” content related to that search from your account. The result is that, often, you attract followers who legitimately share interest in topics related to your search query.

We’ve tested Roboliker here at Eazl and it was pretty effective. Note that this kind of bot is officially OUTSIDE of platform policy.

For more sophisticated bots, one way to approach bots is to blend something like Google Sheets with a social media platform’s API. By developing in the backend of your Google Sheet (you’ll be developing in Javascript), you can automate recurring actions that pull data from the platform, “massage” it in some way, and then take actions on the result. More on this to come!

From Diversity in the Ocean to Twitter Bots
Twitter has been on a downward trend recently (lower users, etc.) but they’ve released some great new tech. Now, it’s pretty easy to build your own Twitter bot.

If you visit Amit’s tutorial (below), you’ll be able to do it in less than 10 minutes.

Building with IBM’s Cloud Brain
IBM Watson is spawning an exploding world of AI-powered technologies and this tech isn’t that complicated. YOU can build the skills it takes to use Watson… it’s not that hard!

 

Attend Eazl’s Twitter / IBM Watson bot building webinar with Davis Jones and Tanmay Bakshi on January 19th. Early bird registration is free here.

If you want to learn some more advanced information about bots, you can follow the conversations on this bots Facebook group. We are affiliated in any way…we just think it’s a good group that enables further learning on this topic.

Build Your Own Twitter / IBM Watson Bot (No Coding!) with Eazl

ibm watson

Join Davis Jones from Eazl and Tanmay Bakshi, IBM’s 12 year old programming wizard, and go from zero to intermediate in your ability to use IBM Watson, your “artificial intelligence brain in the cloud.” During the event, you’ll get access to a brand new Twitter Bot interface designed by Davis and Tanmay. After the live event, the replay will be only avilable for a paid replay. Click on the video below to learn more about what Watson is and how it works:

During this event with Davis and Tanmay, you’ll learn how to:

  • Set up an IBM Bluemix account
  • Launch a Watson service (we’ll be working with the Natural Language Classifier)
  • Copy and then integrate the Google Sheets/Watson interface we’ve built
  • Use Twitter’s advanced search functions
  • Train Watson to automatically find Tweets that are meaningful to you
  • Automate the tool to “listen” to Twitter for you all the time

 

 

We can’t wait to unveil this new Twitter / Watson Bot and we hope you’ll join us! To find out more about Eazl, visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/eazlco.

The Top 10 Artificial Intelligence People and Places on the Web

AI is on track to change everything around us. In this week’s Brain Boost: the top 10 artificial intelligence people and places on the web.

#10- TED talks
One way to get your mind blown about where AI is and where it’s heading is TED’s Artificial Intelligence playlist. It features talks by Google’s futurist and residents and people who are building the future of AI today.

#9- The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence on Twitter
Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen founded the nonprofit Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to study all things artificial intelligence for the benefit of mankind. They have a really active Twitter handle. From studies to job openings to events, it’s a great way to get your AI news on Twitter.

#8 XPRIZE
XPRIZE

Let XPRIZE challenge you on Facebook and Instagram. It is an organization that runs design competitions that challenge technologists to use advanced technologies for the benefit of mankind. It’s run by people like James Cameron, Larry Page, Arianna Huffington and Ratan Tata. They’re constantly mashing up AI with the world’s biggest challenges and they’re very active on both Facebook and Instagram.

#7 Eazl’s weekly Brain Boost on YouTube
This is a little bit of quick but legit self-promotion here. We’re often reporting on advances in AI that the mainstream media ignores. You can subscribe to the Eazl YouTube channel and get weekly tech updates that often feature what’s happening in AI.

#6 MIT’s AI OpenCourseWare playlist
If you’re interested in learning about the tech behind AI, MIT has an amazing playlist with tons of free lectures on beginner, intermediate, and advanced AI development topics.

#5- Bring DeepLearn007 into your Twitter feed
@DeepLearn007
I don’t know who manages this account but DeepLearn007 is one of the best people to follow on Twitter for everything AI and futurist technologies. If you’re on Twitter, this is a great way to bring a human curated future tech news feed into your Twitter experience.

#4- Fei Fei Li
Fei Fei is the director of the Stanford AI Lab and she’s just taken a leave of absence at Stanford to head Google’s new AI cloud development team. She’s seen by many people, including Wired Magazine, as the most important in person in Artificial Intelligence, especially in the areas of helping software and robots see.

#3- Google’s Deepmind team
This is one of Google’s oldest AI teams and they’re often building AI applications via really interesting partnerships. They’ve got a great and frequently updated blog that you can add to your RSS feeds or visit from time to time.

#2- CB Insights
CB Insights
CB Insights is a research firm that specializes in venture capital and startup research and they’ve got a whole category on their public blog dedicated to what’s happening in AI, particularly about who is investing in what. It’s a great way to follow the money in Artificial Intelligence.

#1- LinkedIn
Get everything AI on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has a page dedicated to everything related to artificial intelligence that’s on the LinkedIn network, from job posts to people to groups like the popular Bay Area Artificial Intelligence Group. You can use this page to keep up with AI on the largest professional social network on the planet.

If you hate networking events but you love meeting smart people, check out our newest episode of What’s Next, where we take you to meet some of the innovators in Washington DC like Jonathan Ortmans, who is the head of Barack Obama’s Global Startup Initiative.

I’ll see you next Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific Time for another Brain Boost. If you haven’t yet, subscribe to the Eazl channel on YouTube.

A New Milestone in Artificial Intelligence

In this week’s Brain Boost: a new milestone in artificial intelligence.

A collaboration is happening between Google’s Deepmind team in the UK and Oxford University. They have been developing an AI platform designed to read lips and, recently, they published their astonishing results.

The AI team put their software up against a professional lip reader for a string of two hundred clips from television broadcasts and the AI platform won big time. The professional –the human– got about 12% of the words spoken by people on TV without any error but the AI platform got nearly 47% percent of the words correctly. Almost four times better than human and many of the mistakes made by the software were just missing little things like an “s” at the end of the word.

What’s happening is a total reorientation of cloud computing towards AI.

One person to follow in this space is Oren Etzioni, who is the CEO of the Seattle-based nonprofit Allen Institute for artificial intelligence. Mr. Etzioni and others are observing that the major tech giants — pretty much all of them: Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft– they’re all totally reorienting their cloud services businesses to AI driven services, much like IBM’s Watson.

Each of these tech giants has plans for an AI as a service platform where companies or individuals –maybe people like you– will send things like images and videos through the AI platforms of these tech firms so that their AI cloud services can do things with that data for you.

But there is a talent problem. Deep neural networking is a really different way of building computer services. So, rather than programming the software to behave in a particular way, engineers need to do more coaxing of results from tons and tons of data.

What people on the inside are saying is that AI developers need to think of themselves more as data coaches than a programmer. Google, for example, in their internal class on Deep Learning for Googlers, titled this class The Art of Deep Learning.

In a short, AI developers are in high demand and short supply but, lucky for us, Google recently released its three-month AI course for free on Udacity because you gotta love Google.

Next week, in Part 2 of this update, we’re going to meet two of the most powerful people in Artificial Intelligence and they happen to be women.

I’ll see you next Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific Time for another Brain Boost and, if you haven’t yet, subscribe to the Eazl channel on YouTube.