Week in AI

Written by, Dominic Weeks, Head of Technology

Augmentation trumps autonomy

Veteran IT journalist Mark Samuels had a lengthy feature in ZDNet which explored how businesses large and small are implementing machine learning. A clear takeaway from a number of the IT chiefs interviewed was a focus on machine learning applications that can make existing team members’ work easier or better. Gideon Kay, CIO of advertising behemoth Dentsu Aegis, shared that a lot of the technology they and others are developing is about “augmentation, rather than replacement of human capability.” Phew, that’s a relief.

Forrester analyst Michele Goetz, also interviewed for the article, suggested that smart digital leaders are investing in building in-house AI development talent. With qualified researchers in this area commanding huge salaries, that could be a stretch even for well-resourced enterprise IT teams however.

Think tank advocates for DCMS land grab over AI

Amidst a wide-ranging set of recommendations designed to simplify government’s approach to digital, think tank the Policy Exchange advocated for DCMS to take control over shared initiatives with BEIS, including the AI sector deal, as reported by David Bicknell for Government Computing.

The wisdom or likelihood of putting distance between artificial intelligence development and the department responsible for industrial strategy remains to be seen.

Telegraph bets big on tech coverage, leans in on AI

Things escalated quickly this week over by Victoria station, when the Daily Telegraph announced its full line-up of additions to the Technology Intelligence team it launched a couple of months ago. Times deputy business editor Robin Pagnamenta, as well as poached talent from MailOnline, The Sun and The Lawyer. Based on the descriptors, two areas of planned coverage may well have a strong artificial intelligence lean – development and the effects of technology. They’ve started somewhat introspectively, with Joseph Archer today covering the world’s first robot newsroom, which is able to weed out fake news… and seemingly journalists as well. Other articles this week displayed AI as a strong area of focus, including James Cook’s look at Chinese facial recognition AI startup SenseTime’s recent behemoth funding rounds, and Archer’s piece on Google’s efforts to placate employees over its Project Maven.

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