The focus this week is (again) on China and its fast moving AI startups. We also look at success factors for AI Strategies in business and AI pioneers selected by the World Economic Forum this year.


China

Inside the creepy and impressive startup funded by the Chinese government that is developing AI that can recognize anyone, anywhere | businessinsider
Two Chinese startups, SenseTime and Megvii, are becoming the world leaders in real-world deployment of facial recognition software, drawing eye-popping valuations in the billions of dollars. Harrison Jacobs has visited Megvii Headquarters and has interesting insights.

The Rise Of Chinese Voice Assistants And The Race To Commoditize Smart Speakers | CBInsights
Beside facial recognition China is also moving fast in voice recognition. As China’s smart home market heats up, incumbents like Google and Amazon are facing new competition.

Wild About Tech, China Even Loves Robot Waiters That Can’t Serve | The New York Times
Great read by Paul Mozur about China’a love with new technologies and robots in particular. Chinese are much more willing to try something new just because it looks cool.

The Amazing Ways Chinese Tech Giant Alibaba Uses Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning| Forbes
Alibaba is running the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace with $248 billion in transactions. It has 7 (!) research labs that will focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, network security, natural language processing and more. And it is the largest single investor in SenseTime (for now).

SoftBank Fund Is Said to Seek Investment in Chinese AI Giant | Bloomberg
SoftBank Vision Fund is seeking to invest almost $1 billion in China’s SenseTime Group Ltd. as it seeks a stake in the world’s most valuable artificial intelligence startup.


AI Business Strategy

How to Make an AI Project More Likely to Succeed | HBR
Greg Satell has for suggestions how to make your AI project more likely to succeed. First, you need to make your purpose clear.Second, choose the tasks you automate wisely. Third, choose your data wisely. Finally, shift humans to higher-value social tasks.

14 Incredible Artificial Intelligence Pioneers Everyone Should Know About | Forbes
Bernhard Marr is looking at the World Economic Forum report on technology pioneers from around the world. As you might expect, this year, many companies use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning at the core of their business to deliver innovative products and service offerings. Anyone interested in AI should know about these 14 pioneering businesses

Constellation Research 2018 Artificial Intelligence Study | Constellation Research
This report examines the state of artificial intelligence (AI) investment, development and deployment as well as sources of resistance, potential effects on management and privacy among the first movers, early adopters and fast followers.


Data

Data collection and data markets in the age of privacy and machine learning | O’Reilly
Ben Lorica on the importance of data. Much of the focus of recent press coverage has been on algorithms and models, specifically the expanding utility of deep learning. Because large deep learning architectures are quite data hungry, the importance of data has grown even more. Really interesting read.