Jeopardy Game Show Winner Now Writing Lexus Commercials

November 26, 2018

Do you have a son or daughter graduating from college next year. Perhaps a future as a game show winner is a good use for the thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours immersed in the college experience?

That’s a career path IBM Watson followed. Since winning the Jeopardy game show (complete with post production), Watson has a real job.

Watson is now writing TV commercials. Well, one commercial for Lexus if the information in “New Lexus ES Commercial Written Entirely by Artificial Intelligence” is accurate.

The idea is that Watson cranked out a script, worked with a human to shoot footage, and craft what the write up calls a “strangely compelling” chunk of Mad Ave art. Check out the non linear messaging for a new Lexus at this link.

Check it out for yourself.

Oh, and about your college graduate who wants to move from the game show to the zippy world of making TV commercials: There’s hope.

The commercial is another attempt by IBM to get some revenue juice into its over hyped Watson technology. Maybe your college grad could skip Jeopardy and just apply for a position at IBM. Help is needed it appears.

Stephen E Arnold, November 26, 2018

IBM Watson: The Smart Sports Maven

November 19, 2018

The US does not follow soccer, ahem, football. The rest of the world, however, does. Whether you call it soccer or football, it is the most popular sport in the world and the World Cup requires a lot of power and technology to cover it. The Medium’s Global Editors Network explores how in the article, “Covering The World Cup Cup 2018 With AI And Automation.”

During the World Cup, fans are ravenous for information on their teams and news networks use automation and artificial intelligence to keep up with the demand. Individual networks each did something new and amazing to cover the World Cup. The UK Times launched a World Cup Alexa Skill, Fox Sports partnered with IBM Watson to make AI-powered highlight videos, and Le Figaro created automated visual summaries.

Fox Sports’s AI video highlight machine was amazing. Watson used its AI to allow users to create on-demand videos using World Cup clips from 1958 to the present.

“According to Engadget, there are 300 archived World Cup matches that Watson’s AI technology is capable of analyzing. More specifically, the IBM Watson Video Enrichment, a programmatic metadata tool, analyses the footage to create metadata that identifies what is happening in a scene at any given moment with an associated timestamp. ‘In essence, Watson Video Enrichment acts as an automatic metadata generator that is trained to use clues, such as facial characteristics, the presence of a red card, crowd noise, what’s being said by announcers and other characteristics, to create metadata that makes the massive amount of soccer video searchable’, wrote Phil Kurz on TVTechnology.”

Le Figaro’s innovation to generate World Cup visual summaries worked faster than any human. Dubbed Mondial Stories, the automated stories provide all the information someone needs to review a game as if they had watched the entire match.

Automation is a great tool, because the summaries do not require extra expenses, have low maintenance, it is an objective tool, and has potential for future sponsorships.

AI and automation cannot fully take over the human component of reporting on games, because they are just machines. However, they can enhance the viewer experience, increase commerce opportunities, and there are other ideas that have yet to be explored.

Whitney Grace, November 19, 2018

IBM Watson: Now Tackling Travel Costs

November 13, 2018

Machine learning and artificial intelligence is really making a dent on corporate waste. Those interested in the bottom line are sitting up and taking notice. We discovered one inventive way to shed a few pounds of corporate flab from a recent IT News Africa story, “TravelPort, IBM Launch AI Travel Platform.”

According to the story:

“Delivered via the IBM Cloud, the platform uses IBM Watson capabilities to intelligently track, manage, predict and analyze travel costs in one place to fundamentally change how companies manage and optimize their travel programs… The new platform features advanced artificial intelligence, and provides cognitive computing, predictive data analytics using “what-if” type scenarios, and integrated travel and expense data.”

While corporate travel might not seem like it will change your life personally, unless you own a globetrotting company, it provides insight into a bigger picture. Take, for example, how oncology is slashing costs with AI with technology that detects cancer more accurately than human eyes. There is seemingly no end to ways in which AI can help pull a company from the red to the black. Even public services, like courtrooms, have begun using this tech to speed up the sentencing process. Watch for this to seep into your world, even if you don’t expect it.

Those surprising IBM Watson folks. Talented.

Patrick Roland, November 13, 2018

Quantum Computing for Your Office?

November 13, 2018

I read “Inside IBM’s Zurich Lab, Where Scientists are Banking on Being the First to Crack the Quantum Code.” The write up is okay as descriptions of the next big thing in computers go. Quantum computing will, so the assertion flows, will render existing crypto security methods obsolete.

That is indeed true. The issue is when. One conference organizers told me a coupled of months ago, “I’m all in on quantum computing.” When one considers that this individual offers training to law enforcement and security personnel, it may be a while before the technology becomes available and in a form factor that fits into an office setting.

The most interesting part of the article is that it provides some insight into the physical structure of the IBM quantum computer. Here’s a snap of part of the gizmo from the write up:


Can you see this parked next to the vending machines?

Not shown in the picture are the cooling units which emit constant clamoring, whirring noise.

The hardware required for the IBM Q Experience is formidable.

As pointed out:

It would be tempting to conclude from all this that the basic problems are solved in principle and the path to a future of ubiquitous quantum computing is now just a matter of engineering. But that would be a mistake. The fundamental physics of quantum computing is far from solved and can’t be readily disentangled from its implementation.

It will be a few years before quantum computing finds its way to Harrod’s Creek. But hyperbole travels faster and farther.

Stephen E Arnold, November 13, 2018

Watson: A Barbie?

November 9, 2018

IBM’s Watson is starting to remind me of Barbie. Why is Watson reminding me of the popular doll?

Watson, like Barbie, has had many interests and careers. She embraces fashion styles and, apparently, so does, Watson.

Watson moonlights as a chef, race car driver, medical worker, sports commentator, fan guide, hotel concierge, professor, and many more. Yes, we know that Watson is a sophisticated machine learning AI, while Barbie is a toy.

However, the similarities are uncanny. Biz Journals shares how Watson is now being used as a tennis coach: “IBM’s Watson, AI Now Involved In Coaching Top Players In Tennis.”

Watson has been deployed in many sports to create the ultimate fan experience, but now players are using them to improve their game. The US Tennis Association (USTA) is using Watson’s advanced AI to watch thousands of tennis videos to create customized reports for pro and junior players. AI is very powerful because it can track metadata, form patterns, and objectively analyze it. IBM and the USTA are both happy with Watson:

“ ‘We are treating video really like a rich data source,’ said Elizabeth O’Brien, program director, IBM Sports & Entertainment Partnerships. ‘How can we actually see all the things that are hidden in video and turn that into data.’

Martin Blackman, the USTA’s general manager of player development, said the data has helped create a new statistic that measures acceleration and deceleration of players. ‘We are able with Watson to look at a player’s acceleration, movement and speed over the course of the match and show them how their court position improves when they are moving at an optimal level,’ he said.”

Before Watson, human taggers used to manually watch footage and tag important moves. The entire process took two hours, while Watson can digest the footage in two minutes. The USTA can deliver instant feedback to players.

Watson’s uses appear to be endless and can save hundreds of human work hours. Now that time can be used on something else, such as improving your backhand.

I had a Barbie when I was much younger. That Barbie wore a tennis outfit and had a tiny racket. Racket?

Whitney Grace, November 9, 2018

MIT: IBM a Go To Player in AI School

November 8, 2018

I found this item from AI Dreams quite interesting. I learned:

“As MIT’s partner in shaping the future of AI, IBM is excited by this new initiative,” says Ginni Rometty IBM chairman, president, and CEO. “The establishment of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing is an unprecedented investment in the promise of this technology. It will build powerfully on the pioneering research taking place through the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. Together, we will continue to unlock the massive potential of AI and explore its ethical and economic impacts on society.”

MIT = Big Blue?

Stephen E Arnold, November 8, 2018

IBM Watson Perfume: The Odor of Burned Cash?

November 7, 2018

Some scents are elusive. For example, what’s the odor of burned hundred dollar bills? A team locker room after a devastating loss? A failed start up’s empty cube?

The problem of elusive odors may have been solved. I learned in “Is AI the Future of Perfume? IBM Is Betting on It” that:

IBM has developed a scent algorithm, and it’s coming for the fragrance aisle.

Enticing? You bet. The write up explains:

IBM developed an algorithm that studies existing fragrance formulas and then compares the ingredients to other data sets, like geography and customer age. This algorithm, which was created in IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center and which the company has named Philyra, can now develop new perfumes that will target very specific market segments.

Whether the IBM systems works or not, the idea may be that algorithms provide a way to emulate a scent and point to the math, not a human “nose” able to duplicate a competitor’s fragrance. I noted this statement:

Applying machine learning to the fragrance industry, for instance, could help companies dupe highly coveted scents without violating trade secrets by using an algorithm to simply tweak the formula slightly.

What’s the fragrance generated by RedHat employees who find that IBM is different from the pre acquisition RedHat?

Spicy, I would wager.

Stephen E Arnold, November 7, 2018

Human ResourcesGoes Better with IBM Watson

October 30, 2018

HR at Uber. Great. HR at Google. Even greater. Wonderful field for the Sherms of the professional world.

While it might seem like every industry has been touch in some way by AI and big data, not all are completely onboard. Even an industry like human resources—a world that thrives on data. However, that is rapidly evolving, as we discovered in a recent Tech Republic story, “How IBM’s Watson is Revolutionizing 10 Industries.”

Here’s what the write up said about HR:

“Reviewing hundreds of resumes a day is a herculean task for anyone—crucial facts can be missed due to the amount of information that needs to be processed for each resume. But with IBM Watson Recruitment, current hiring processes may become more streamlined.

We learned:

“Not only does the Watson Recruitment tool analyze resumes and create a score for candidates, it also factors in the company’s top-performing employees.”

How, exactly, does this work? Take this study that found that recruiting software that utilizes AI reduced the time it took to find a suitable candidate from an average of 34 days to only 9. That saves money on the front end and the back. And that’s just the tip of the HR iceberg. Expect more innovative developments as this becomes more of a routine part of business.

Well, here’s a question. “Watson, what’s up with those age discrimination legal allegations?” Right, HR. Even better.

Patrick Roland, October 30, 2018

IBM. We Bought a Big Time Player.

October 29, 2018

I read “IBM to Acquire Cloud Computing Firm Red Hat for $34 Billion.” Note that CNN Web page plays truly annoying and unrelated media when one  attempts to figure out the article.

I noted

The companies called the deal, which still needs approval from shareholders and regulators, the “most significant tech acquisition of 2018.” The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2019.

Three observations:

  1. Watson is obviously not doing much for IBM other than roviding marketers with a flow of funds to create spectacular ads.
  2. IBM appears to know that it is going to be breating Amazon and Microsoft exhaust fumes in the cloud sector unless it does something that sort of makes sense.
  3. The management decision comes too late for some major procurement wins.

Remarkable. Watson, what’s up? Oh, right.

Stephen E Arnold, October 29, 2018

IBM Inventor A Minority, Female, And An Anomaly

October 27, 2018

Women and minorities in the technology industry are underrepresented and often white whales, purple giraffes, pink elephants, and even black swans. The Dallas News reports on one of these colorful creatures in the article, “Star IBM Inventor Fears Emails Can Be Brutal, So She Built A Tool To Fix It.”

Romelia Flores is Latina, female, and one of IBM’s top worldwide technologists. She holds 38 patents, including several “high-value patents” that have impacted IBM’s revenue stream, and she has 30 more pending. Flores works with clients to help design products and solutions to their problems in imaginative and innovative ways.

IBM has named Flores an IBM master inventor and she is extremely proud of that title. One of her favorite inventions is an email tone checker. Flores said that email is often impersonal and brutal, so her tone analyzer. She designed it after she was criticized for being too blunt in her communications.

The tone analyzer is apparently very smart:

“‘So before I hit send on my email, it flags to me, ‘Hey, Romelia, you didn’t put any courtesy verbiage at the front,’ or ‘Gee, Romelia, you were pretty direct at giving orders, so you might want to add a please here.’ “It even factors in the personality traits of the IBM recipient. ‘It’ll say, ‘Hey, she doesn’t respond well to directness, so maybe you should be a little nicer and lighten up your email.’ It’ll even propose verbiage for me. Is that cool or what?’”

The rest of the article is an empowering puff piece about an extremely intelligent female and minority engineer at IBM. It makes you wonder if this piece was written to demonstrate how progressive IBM is. Is Flores an anomaly at IBM? Let’s ask Watson? Well, Watson seems to be a male. Is that an issue?

Whitney Grace, October 27, 2018

Next Page »

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta