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Inside AI (Jul 1st, 2019)

1. The Irish startup Nuritas says it could discover four new healthcare ingredients using machine learning within the next 18 months. The company's success rate in the drug discovery process is much higher than others in the pharmaceutical industry. In collaboration with German chemical company BASF, Nuritas discovered an ingredient that helps treat inflammation, which is expected to be released in sports nutrition products by the end of this year. “We believe not only that we have launched the only healthcare ingredient found through AI, but we will in fact launch the second, third, fourth, and fifth within a 12–18 month period as well,” CEO Emmet Browne said. The company has raised $65 million so far from investors including Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and U2’s Bono and the Edge. - YAHOO FINANCE UK

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2. IBM and the Wimbledon Championship will be teaming up to track and analyze AI and big data from the players on its cloud platform. Even though IBM and Wimbledon have been working together for 30 years, with the technology company having collected 62.8 million data points since 1990, this year's championship will see IBM Watson's AI software tracking players facial expressions and body language. After each match, the data from Watson will provide a personal analysis of each player's performance. For more stories like this, check out Inside Cloud, our newsletter about cloud computing, enterprise storage, big data, and more. - IT PRO

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3. A new machine learning method can predict a person's emotions based on how they walk. In early experiments, the method reached 80.07 percent percent accuracy, according to researchers at the University of Chapel Hill and the University of Maryland. The scientists chose the emotions of happy, sad, angry, and neutral (which tend to show through when someone walks) and then identified affective features and extracted poses. They used a long short-term memory model to obtain features from poses and combined it with a random forest classifier. - VENTURE BEAT

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4. Uniphore Software Systems, a conversational AI startup, raised nearly $38 million in a Series C round led by California-based March Capital Partners. Other participants included Sistema Asia Fund, National Grid Partners, Patni Wealth Advisors, IntuitiveVC, The CXO Fund, and Chiratae Ventures. Cennai, India-based Uniphore sells software for conversational analytics, conversational assistant. and conversational security. In 2016, its CEO  Umesh Sachdev was chosen by Time magazine as one of the "10 Millennials Changing the World." - THE HINDU BUSINESSLINE

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5. Researchers at MIT and the Qatar Computing Research Institute developed an AI system that can determine how and what ingredients should be layered on a pizza. While the GAN-based system can't actually cook a pizza, it can look at photos of the food and figure out which ingredients go on which layer. The system is more complex than simply identifying photos of food because some of the pizza toppings are partially hidden and the system has to break down the parts and reassemble them. - CNN

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7. Google and Myntra Designs researchers use machine learning to predict the probability that someone will return an item they bought on the e-commerce platform. Researchers trained the model on a data set based on shoppers’ preferences, body shapes, product views, and other characteristics. Their findings were outlined in a paper published on the preprint server Arxiv.org. - VENTURE BEAT

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8. Tara.ai raised $10 million in a Series A funding round that will help the company build its AI-powered engineering platform. The round was led by Aspect Ventures with participation from Slack via the Slack Fund. Previous investors Moment Ventures and Y Combinator also participated in the round. Tara.ai, which was founded out of Y Combinator, is working on a machine learning platform that can identify engineering projects, source talent, and monitor projects, among other actions. - TECHCRUNCH

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9. Researchers used AI techniques to "supercharge" a seasonal flu vaccine, which is headed to the U.S. for clinical trials. The AI helped create a second sugar compound for the flu vaccine developed by South Australian company Vaxine Pty Ltd., which increased the vaccine’s effectiveness. - THE LEAD

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10. Amazon engineer Ben Hamm used his understanding of AI to stop his “sweet, murderous cat” Metric from bringing home dead and half-dead prey in the middle of the night. He gave a presentation on the device he created — the cat flap in his door hooked up to an AI-enabled camera (Amazon’s DeepLens) and an Arduino-powered locking system — at Ignite Seattle. The camera was loaded with machine vision algorithms trained by Hamm himself. For more stories like this, check out Inside Amazon, our newsletter covering all the ins and outs of Jeff Bezos' company. - THE VERGE

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Written and curated by Beth Duckett in Orange County. Beth is a former reporter for The Arizona Republic who has written for USA Today, Get Out magazine and other publications. Follow her tweets about breaking news and other topics in southern California here.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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