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Inside AI (Oct 30th, 2018)

1. Google is launching the AI Global Impact Challenge. The contest is an open call to organizations to submit ideas about how to use AI for social good. The organizations selected will be eligible for $25 million in grant funding, credit and consulting resources from Google Cloud, and other types of support. The challenge is a part of Google's AI for Social Good initiative. Applications to the program are being accepted now and the grantees will be announced at next year's Google I/O developer conference. — CNET

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2. Swiss researchers have written a machine learning program that can predict how atoms will respond to an applied magnetic field. The program can be used with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to determine the exact location of atoms in complex organic compounds, which can help pharmaceutical companies understand how active ingredients will behave inside the human body. The researchers are from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), a research institute in Switzerland, and they say the SwiftML program works nearly 10,000 times faster than traditional computational methods. The research is published in the journal Nature. — XINHUA NET

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It’s Hacktoberfest! Join DigitalOcean, GitHub and Twilio in celebrating open source and earn limited-edition swag. Learn more.

3. Conversica raised $31 million in a Series C funding round for its AI sales chatbot platform. The Silicon Valley-based company has raised $87 million over the past five years and its value is estimated at $300 million. Conversica's enterprise customers include AT&T, CenturyLink, and Oracle. The funding round was led by existing investors Providence Strategic Growth Capital Partners L.L.C., Toba Capital, and Kennet Partners, and included new investors CIBC and Savano Capital. — TECHCRUNCH

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4. The Breeders' Cup thoroughbred horse race this weekend at Churchill Downs in Kentucky is using AI and VR to improve the event's broadcast. The AI has object recognition to identify the horses and give viewers real-time information about the jockey, race statistics and odds, and career highlights. Interviews and social media feeds will also play in the background. The system, which was developed by digital media firm Greenfish Labs, uses Google's Tensorflow, Keras, and Yolo architecture for object detection algorithms. — ZDNET

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5. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is asking the National Science Foundation to adopt a set of guidelines for AI. The set of 12 universal guidelines was presented at a meeting in Brussels last week, and they include a right to understand the logic and factors that contribute to an outcome, an obligation to remove discrimination in decision-making, and a provision for cybersecurity. EPIC wrote a letter to the NSF saying that the guidelines fit with the seven strategies set by the U.S. government. More than 200 experts and 50 organizations have endorsed the guidelines. — TECHCRUNCH

6. The European Union is consulting with the Japanese government on regulating AI. Japan and the EU have already agreed to an economic partnership, but they are continuing a dialogue about industry and trade in which AI is one of the "top priorities," according to European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen. Katainen has set up a team to regulate the technology and says that he wants to take into account the opinions of Japanese companies and government. — NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW

7. Podcast host and author Rob Reid writes that it is dangerous to dismiss the possibility of a super AI harming humans. Reid says that even if the probability of AI taking over is very low, if experts including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates believe there is a threat from the technology then we should take steps to protect against it. — MEDIUM

8. The German startup omni:us closed a Series A funding round that has brought its total funding to $22.5 million. The company has an AI platform that processes digital documents, even those with handwritten text, by classifying them and extracting data. The platform is used by more than half of the top ten insurance providers in the German-speaking regions of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The funding round was led by Target Global and included support from MMC Ventures, Talis Capital, and existing investors Unbound and Anthemis. — TECHCRUNCH

9. The AI suite of storytelling tools RivetAI has co-written a short science fiction film called Progress Bar. The tools include script highlighting, scene mapping, and movie budgeting, but they can also generate dialogue. RivetAI was used to create the lines for the AI character LEXI in the six-minute film made by Peter McCoubrey. — ZDNET

10. MIT students Ziv Epstein and Michael Groh developed AI Spirits, a machine learning system that adds spooky, ghostlike figures to images of empty landscapes. AI Spirits builds off a previous project, Deep Angel, that deleted people from 5,000 scenes; the data was used to train the new system on where people (or figures) would most likely stand in an empty scene. — FAST COMPANY

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Written and curated by Deb Dion Kees, a writer, editor, and publisher based in Telluride, Colorado. Kees is a lover of science, technology, skiing, and adventure, and does her best work using a mobile hotspot to write from her Ford camper van office.

Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (Breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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