This week we have two really insightful articles on national AI strategies focussing on the US and China. We also look at AI adoption in business from different perspectives and have a few lists of interesting AI startups .

National AI strategies

Strategic Competition in an Era of Artificial Intelligence | CNAS.org
Very long and detailed report on the potential consequences of advances in artificial intelligence for the national security community and the future of international competition. Interesting perspective looking at past industrial revolutions and raising the question what the key elements of national power will look like in an era of AI . Very interesting to read the recommendations for the US government as they are by no means limited to the US.

China’s AI Giants Can’t Say No to the Party | ForeignPolicy
Elas B. Kania argue that the open debate about the ethics of AI is a strength, not a weakness, of the U.S. system. These open debates and the freedom to challenge authority, are integral to and inextricable from the creativity and risk-taking that are vital to innovation. Highly recommended.

Alibaba and Tencent have become China’s most formidable investors | The Economist
Very interesting look at the Chinese Startup scene with BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) already invested, directly or indirectly, in half of the 124 startups counted as “unicorns” (those worth $1bn or more).

AI and business

Why AI Will Shift Decision-Making From the C-Suite to the Frontline | HBR
Alessandro Di Fiore argues that in order to get most out of AI based decision making, there there needs to be a democratization of decision-making power. AI technologies can provide managers and employees with accurate data and predictions at their fingertips to support and enable the right decisions in a timely way. But even if an AI system gives an employee super-powered intelligence, it won’t be enough to make a timely decision if the company’s internal bureaucracy requires time-consuming pre-authorization from senior managers before acting on the decision. To extract real value from AI, employees at all levels of the organization need to be empowered to make final decisions aided by AI, and act on them.

‘The Beginning of a Wave’: A.I. Tiptoes Into the Workplace | NYT
Steve Lohr is reporting on the less glamorous but not less important effects of AI in the back office. New solutions are automating mundane office tasks in operations like accounting, billing, payments and customer service. He concludes that often in pilot projects focused on menial tasks, artificial intelligence is freeing workers from drudgery far more often than it is eliminating jobs.

5 findings from O’Reilly’s machine learning adoption survey companies | O’Reilly
Interesting insights how companies are dealing with machine learning as it moves to the mainstream. Including the hot topic of data privacy, the use of internal or external expertise and much more. There is a link to the full findings of the survey , too.

Great Power, Great Responsibility: The 2018 Big Data & AI Landscape | mattureck.com
Great overview of some of the key trends and events of 2018 in AI and Big Data. And of course the landscape with a good selection of companies in the field (although by far not complete – which is almost impossible to achieve).

Artificial Intelligence Continues Its Fundraising Tear In 2018 | Crunchbase
Update on the VC investments in AI in 2018 so far. Good overview of some of the AI companies which received significant investments in the first half year including Avaamo, Alloy.ai, Drishti and SparkCognition

The 10 Coolest Machine-Learning And AI Startups Of 2018 (So Far) | CRN
Another list of mostly North-America based AI Startups with one exception: seldon.io from the UK, an open-source framework for deploying machine-learning models on Kubernetes orchestrated clusters.

Google Glass Is Back—Now with Artificial Intelligence | wired
But this time the focus is on the enterprise as was shown by Plataine, a software company from Israel. Pilot projects have involved Boeing workers using Glass on helicopter production lines, and doctors wearing it in the examining room.