After Google had their developer conference two weeks ago, it is Apple’s turn this week.  Most of Apple’s announcements this week are largely incremental as smartphone and computer hardware innovation is already hitting plateau.  Apple finally announced a much needed upgrade to the Mac line to keep the faithful from deflecting to the Microsoft Surface and other devices.  Many were puzzled why the company waited so long for the upgrade as many Apple frenetics are super loyal Mac users. The Verge put together a nice summary of the…Continue Reading “A.I. news roundup – week of 6/5/17”

In the last couple years, I have read several books written by physicians. When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon, is the latest one.   My wife recommended the book to me last year and it also made its way to Bill Gates’ heavily-followed reading list recently.   The book may not be as grand as works by other doctors. It is a relatively short read but it packs lots of power and wisdom as Kalanithi took us on the journey of self-discovery, the grueling…Continue Reading “When Breath Becomes Air”

Google dominated much of the news this week.  A few days ago, the company just finished its big developer lovefest, the annual I/O conference.  It is no big surprise that Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, declared the company will use an AI-first approach in all its products.  Google Assistant is now available on iOS.  The company is building its own AI chip, the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), to run neural network.  Since they do not want to rely 100% on outside vendors, it makes sense to integrate…Continue Reading “A.I. News – Week of May 22nd”

I am resuming my blog after a long hiatus. EdX had a great profile on Sonal, a 55-year-old PhD. physics graduate, who becomes a regular user of MOOC in the last few years.  She has taken many courses outside her field such as Mandarin and Science of Happiness and is an advocate for democratizing education to provide a level playing field for everyone.  Before the advance of online learning, it is rather uncommon for a 55-year-old Ph.D in physics to be an active learning participant.  Time has changed as…Continue Reading “Weekly News Round Up”

AI appears to be gaining steam in destroying jobs.  Blackrock recently laid off some of their stock pickers in favor of robots. Over the last century, the study of investment has become a sought-after and lucrative intellectual discipline. Portfolio managers are often measured by their alpha, or the return compared to a relevant investment benchmark.  Hot fund managers can charge high fees while underperforming ones may need to provide a refund even if they are big shots in the industry.  It is a cut-throat business…Continue Reading “Relentless Alpha Seekers”

Cali group, a California based fast-food restaurant, announced that it will be using the Flippy, the burger flipping robot, in the kitchens soon. Flippy is the latest product by the Pasadena company, Miso Robotics. Perhaps this may be another example of robots taking over our jobs, albeit a minimum wage position.  You can see the burger flipping video yourself. Ron DePinho, President of the beleaguered oncology center, MD Anderson, resigned this week amid faculty turmoil and the failed implementation of IBM’s Watson in the institution….Continue Reading “AI News of the Week”

Edsurge has an excellent article on a new coding school called 42.  Coding schools or coding bootcamps such as General Assembly are gaining acceptance in the last few years as the demand for technology workers are increasing rapidly, coupled with escalating college tuition costs.  Unlike college degree programs, coding bootcamps typically take less than a year to complete and they are 100% career oriented.  Although they cost much less than a four-year degree, they are generally not free as most bootcamps are for-profit organizations.  Founded…Continue Reading “Coding School 42”

Today’s WSJ has a great recap of the WSJ CIO conference last week.  There was an interesting session by Andrew Ng at Baidu and Neil Jacobstein at Singularity University on AI’s opportunities. Ng and Jacobstein talked about the amazing progress of Artificial Intelligence in medicine, speech recognition, retail, etc. They also touched on darker themes such as job losses caused by automation. Jacobstein asked a thought provoking question: “What is the ratio of jobs destroyed to new jobs?” Jacobstein’s point of view is that the…Continue Reading “Will AI Change Everything?”

I was told that one defines his or her purpose by thinking what you want to be written in your own obituary.   As such, reading other people’s obituaries can also be beneficial to gain perspectives. I generally find reading obituaries to be too depressing.  Instead, I like reading (or listening to) commencement speeches. I cannot remember when I developed the habit but I think it is before TED talks became popular.  Ironically, I did not remember anything about the speaker at my undergraduate commencement as…Continue Reading “Commencement Speeches”