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.


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
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.

Are you debating robots on Twitter?

In this week’s Brain Boost: 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.

They were used by both candidates though Donald Trump was employing around 300,000 bots and Hillary Clinton was using around 100,000. Also, the content of each of the candidates’ bot armies was strikingly different.

Here are some sample tweets from each of the candidates’ bots…

Top anti-Clinton Tweet by a Trump Bot:

“@dreamedofdust: #NeverHillary ! Without A Doubt That FBI Director James Comey Covered Up Hillary Clinton’s Lies, Gave Immunity To …”

Top anti-Trump Tweet by a Clinton Bot

“@natespuewell: #NeverTrump Those fake, nonsense polls are actually real, good polls, Trump’s spokesman insists — Campaign of lies”

Now, what these researchers and data scientists found out is that the human users of the network are not capable of distinguishing between a bot and human. In fact, human users of Twitter retweeted bots at the same rate that they retweeted humans.

Even the researchers themselves were often not able to distinguish between a Tweet that was generated by a human and one that was generated by a bot.

There are some key differences, though, between bots and humans. First of all, these bots produce a huge volume of Tweets. They generated around half a million tweets with the hashtag #election2016 alone and many of these bots have been engineered with artificial intelligence so they can search for, read, and respond to human users in human-like bursts.

So, that Twitter debate that you might have gotten into during the election might not have been with a human. It might have been with a bot.

Now, we’ve grown to think of Twitter as good for providing a discussion forum for the connected citizens of the world, however, social media platforms are starting to pose a major risk to people because they can be manipulated with technologies like bots. Misinformation, rumors, and conspiracy theories can seem legitimate because of the sheer volume of artificially created conversation.

This will leave real people to wonder what is true and what is fiction.

You can check out more about this study here and keep an eye out for the brand new episode of What’s Next as the Eazl team takes you to Washington DC to meet the innovators and entrepreneurship hubs of the city…all politics aside.


Artificial Intelligence is Disrupting the Job Search

artificial intelligence and job search

Shelcy Joseph is recent graduate from the City University of New York and when she describes what she learned from her recent job hunt, she says she found out that it’s hard to get hiring manager’s attention, but that “once they like you, they’ll give you lots of attention.”

Shelcy is right. Recruiters like to zero in on high-potential candidates–that’s not new. What’s new is who–or what–determines which candidate has high potential. Increasingly, it is software built on machine learning and early-stage artificial intelligence technology that determines the desirability of a candidate.

That’s why, for the first time, we’ve shifted the focus of one of the largest career management MOOCs from the relationship-centered job search to the data-optimized job search.

Machine Learning-driven Software will Probably Make Make Your Next Career Match
In early 2016, LinkedIn (now owned by Microsoft) acquired Connectifier, a machine learning platform for recruiters, for around $100m. It’s a watershed moment for artificial intelligence and recruiting.

Connectifier, started by ex-Googlers, takes your email address, pulls data from social networks, blends it with your LinkedIn profile, and then uses the data to help recruiters. For instance, recruiters can now take an outstanding performer from their company and use applications like Connectifier to mine LinkedIn for profiles that have a high probability of personality or cultural match.

This means that, in an instant, a recruiter can define cultural traits, technical skills, interests (expressed on your social media profiles), and more and find a cohort of candidates to target. There are multiple software packages leading this job search disruption: LinkedIn’s native platform for recruiters, LinkedIn’s new AI-powered mobile application for recent graduates, eHarmony’s platform for recruiters, and more.

Where People like Images, Robots Like Data
For a long time, we’ve been teaching professionals to make their LinkedIn profiles as visual as possible. We know, for example, that roughly 65% of people prefer to learn via images and that recruiters see well-designed LinkedIn profiles and professional portfolios as a signal of professional competence. But robots like data.

As LinkedIn integrates the Connectifier acquisition into their offering to recruiters, algorithms will be looking for any trace of usable data on your profile: your skills and endorsements, charitable causes and interests, group affiliations, text, and more. You can be fairly certain that, next time you apply for a job at a company larger than 20-30 employees, your application will include an automated ranking presented to the hiring manager that’s based on data mining and machine learning technology.

Your Resume is Now Your Little Data Hub
In almost all cases, your resume is more than a communication piece that’s (maybe) read by a recruiter. It’s your little data hub before it’s anything else.

When I was working as a consultant, we won a bid for a major project with the World Bank. I asked my superiors what we did to win the job and, essentially, they told me that they basically did SEO on our proposal. Today, keyword matching is fundamental to most in-house recruitment efforts.

Those software packages are looking for keywords in your resume (at minimum). Soon, recruiters at top firms will be leveraging sentiment analysis technology to predict your personality type and much of that analysis is going to be based on what you write in your resume.

The bottom line is this: it’s a new day for people like Shelcy and job applicants in developed economies around the world. As data from your “social media footprint,” the text of your resume, and many other sources are combined and processed to determine your career prospects, new questions emerge for job hunters.

For example, what’s your resume SEO strategy? Does your “social footprint” align with your career aspirations? Are you taking advantage of platforms that use machine learning and early-stage artificial intelligence to recommend potential employers?

For job hunters, it’s a changed world out there.

Monetizing Chatbots, AI Breaks the Sound Barrier, & Björk’s VR

In this week’s Brain Boost: monetizing chatbots, AI breaks the sound barrier, and Björk’s VR. 

Monetizing chatbots
Artificially intelligent assistants are all the rage. Facebook has an AI messenger bot that makes recommendations with you via chat. Amazon has Alexa, which can handle simple conversations and enables you to make purchases– all without turning on any device. And, of course, Apple’s Siri performs a huge range of functions and will reportedly be a big part of next generation Macintoshes.

However, this week we got some insight into how these developers are going to use these technologies to make money. Sponsored recommendations are likely tocome in-stream with responses from these AI assistance in the future. So, in the future, when you ask your Yelp assistant where you should go to get cheap asian food nearby, a savvy entrepreneur will likely be paying to be included in that list of recommendations.

AI breaks the sound barrier
AI researchers at MIT have developed the ability for software to connect video footage to sound. Essentially, the software is able to view footage and predict what sound will result with great accuracy. This will likely help the robots of the future use sound as a complementary artificial sense as they try to understand the context around them.

So, for example, they’re going to be able to recognize the sound of cars driving on cement and then the software will be able to introduce new parameters for the robot’s behavior.You can see how this works here.

Björk’s VR
This week, Bjork premiered Bjork digital, a multidisciplinary art experience that mixes virtual reality music and 3d design. For example, in some rooms, participants at the show put on VR headsets and were able to interact with virtual objects in the room in a way that combines Bjork’s vision with the ideas of her 3d design team.

Increasingly, being technologically courageous is paying off. Creating things like this yourself is easier than you might think so i encourage you to go for it and experiment with a new technology.

Check out Björk’s 360 music video here.

What are some of your favorite ways that companies are using VR? Let us know in the comments below!


Adidas Robots, AI + Humans, and Getting Started with Crowdfunding

In this week’s Brain Boost: Adidas’ robots,  AI and humans, and getting started with crowdfunding.

Adidas’ Robots
Robotic manufacturing is going beyond cars for the first time. Adidas, the German sportswear company,
announced that the first ever robotic reproduced shoe line will be available to customers in 2017 and, though Adidas is not aiming for full robotic automation, it is looking to learn more about the possibilities of robotic manufacturing, starting with this for a series of shoes.


AI + Humans
However, on the other side of the Atlantic, the 2016 Exponential Manufacturing Conference wrapped up and one of the world’s foremost data scientists, Professor Sandy Pentland of MIT, says that artificial intelligence is best used in collaboration with humans. Professor Pentland says that one of the most common challenges to large organizations is delivering the right information to the right people at the
right time and he’s proposing that software developers use artificial intelligence programs to predict who needs what data when and where and then use the internal computing systems to deliver key figures, best practices, etc. at the right time to the right people.

If you’re interested in how artificial intelligence and humans can collaborate, you might want to check out Singularity University’s channel.

Getting started with crowdfunding
Pebble, which is the original SmartWatch, returned to Kickstarter this week and launched three new products. They were able to raise over six million dollars within 24 hours of launching and I think this is a great example of how smart digital and physical products companies are engaging their existing audiences.

Now might be the right time to start introducing your community to the idea of crowdfunding even if it’s just for a micro raise. Why not start with just a couple hundred dollars?

If you’re interested in crowdfunding, you might be interested in our free class


OpenAI and Shocking AI Salaries, Bill Gates’ $2b Clean Energy Fund, and Fiscal Ship

OpenAI and Shocking AI Salaries
This week, Elon Musk and Sam Altman, head of the famed incubator Y Combinator, announced the launch of the OpenAI project, which is a company that’s building AI products and services and giving away their tech for free.

Just after the announcement, OpenAI’s team of researchers were reportedly mobbed with huge employment offers from some of the tech world’s biggest firms. Microsoft’s Vice President of Research said that the cost of a top artificial intelligence researcher has eclipsed the cost of a top quarterback prospect in the National Football League.

CLICK TO TWEET THIS: The cost of a top artificial intelligence researcher has eclipsed the cost of a top quarterback prospect in the National Football League.

You can check out the OpenAI’s free AI gym here.

Bill Gates’ $2b Clean Energy Fund
Recently, the MIT Technology Review sat down for a Q&A session with Bill Gates and they discussed the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. This is the foundation that Gates founded with Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, and other entrepreneurs. Gates has vowed to invest more than two billion dollars into startups that help bring more clean energy to communities worldwide. 

breakthrough energy coaliton

If you’re thinking about starting a startup, maybe clean energy is a good place to be. You can read more about Gates’ climate equation and the realities of entrepreneurship focused on clean energy here

Playing POTUS with Fiscal Ship
There’s a new web-based game that’s been published by the Brookings Institution and, in the game, you can simulate being in control of fiscal policy in the United States. The game starts by allowing you to choose your values, pick your tax and spending policies, and then you can see if you can meet your goals without getting the nation further into debt. 

You can play the game for yourself and learn a little bit more about policy and macroeconomics and fiscal issues here.

Eazl’s Partnership with The Economist
Finally, Team Eazl is really excited to announce that we have agreed to a content partnership with The Economist’s innovation unit. There’s more to come on that soon.

What are your top stories of the week? Leave us a comment below.


Jobs and AI, the NFL on Twitter, & 365 Markets

In this week’s Brain Boost, Jobs and AI, sports on Twitter, and Whole Food’s new affordable markets.

Jobs and AI
The Financial Times has released an extensive new report on career management in age of robotics, artificial intelligence, and automation. Based on the research from this report, career success –especially for non-developers– will increasingly rely on one’s ability to be creative and to develop personal relationships skills (like managing people).

jobs and si

Then, one must have the ability to translate those capabilities and apply emerging technologies to business and human needs. For example, how to integrate AI systems for business and personal use. You can read the research at this link.

NFL on Twitter
Twitter has successfully won the right to be the first social network to stream full NFL games. You might remember a couple of weeks ago that we reported that Facebook was vying to stream Thursday night football. Instead, Twitter has won this auction.

They will stream 10 Thursday night football games in full via the app with no extra payment or registration required everywhere in the world.

One thing you can take away from this is that sports is an undeniably powerful marketing vehicle.

365 Markets
Whole Foods is launching its first 365 market next month. In these new marketplaces, there will be fewer choices and the stores will be smaller. It’s also going to be much less expensive than the full-scale Whole Foods Markets.

whole foods

They’re trying to compete as more chains dedicate space to organic food and, when I’ve spoken with investors in the San Francisco Bay Area, health food businesses are growing very quickly. So, this is a great time to look for job openings or to launch a healthy food business.

8 Step Business Launch
Finally, we’re very proud of our newest masterclass series. It’s called the 8 Step Business Launch Formula. It’s our best course yet and it’s a step-by-step practical formula for launching a business.

If you want to check it out and be notified when it launches, you can visit this link.

The Debut Jobs App, DeepMind’s AI Labyrinth, and Facebook Payments

The Debut Jobs App
L’oreal, Ernst and Young, Microsoft, and Deutsche Bank have all signed up to support a smartphone app called Debut, which promises to let young people fast-track the recruitment process and land roles in big companies just by playing mobile games.

debut jobs app

Users download the game, they play, and they win(or are recognized) based on characteristics that employers are looking for, which will then connect them to fast-track interviews or international internships. You can visit the game here.

DeepMind’s AI Labyrinth
Google’s AI company, DeepMind, which was founded by Demis Hassabis, created a virtual world called Labyrinth. It’s part of its Apollo program and it’s designed to put software into a generalized world to see what it can learn while it’s there.

DeepMind AI Labyrinth

Currently, the software programs they’re developing are working on navigating mazes. This is the same team that built AlphaGo, which beat the world champion Go player in a five-game series recently.

You can watch the software try to navigate the maze here.

Facebook Payments
There are reports that the new code in the iPhone version of Facebook Messenger supports multiple payment features. For example, the ability to pay somebody in person through the app and also to pay based on the user’s location like when a customer would pick up an item at a retail outlet.

Look out for Facebook rolling out multiple mobile payments features in the future.

What are your favorite stories from the last week? Share your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.


Tay the AI Chatbot, Algorithmic Social Media, Pinterest Video Ads, and a new AMA

Tay the AI Chatbot
Tay is an artificially intelligent chatbot developed by the teams at Microsoft and Bing. It has a Twitter profile and two other social media profiles.

Tay the AI chatbot twitter account

The way this works is that it uses machine learning to learn from its conversations with humans, however, within 24 hours of launching on Twitter, people had figured out how to make it racist and hateful so Tay the AI chatbot had to be put to “sleep” for while engineers worked on improveTwitter profile.

it is at or

Algorithmic Social Media
Twitter and Instagram are both moving towards algorithmic feeds. This is more like the Facebook news feed. They’re moving away from chronologically ordered posts.

What’s happened here is that they’ve both developed algorithms that are similar to Facebook’s news feed and what it does is prioritize items that the algorithms believe are most important to you based on data about your relationships and your interests.

The concern with regular users is that celebrities and large brands will get prioritized on the network because they’ll get more engagement instead of, for example, their friends.

Pinterest Video Ads
Pinterest has rolled out video ads so now, when users are scrolling on Pinterest, they can see scroll activated video ads.

These are proving especially useful for big retail brands and also e-commerce shops. Companies like L’oreal and Hershey’s have been reporting big wins with this new advertising format.

Social Media AMA
On April 5th, Ludell Jones, who is Eazl’s Marketing Director, hosted a free AMA –or Ask Me Anything. During the event, she fielded questions about social media management, virtual HR and outsourcing, and social media advertising.

You can check out the archive here and stay updated on any future events by subscribing here.


What are your top stories on innovation in business this week? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.