Sep
15
2017
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A typical day for researchers on Google’s Brain Team

 What do you and researchers on Google’s Brain Team have most in common? You both probably spend a lot of time triaging email. In a Reddit AMA, 11 Google AI researchers took time to share the activities that consume the greatest chunks of their days. Email was a frequent topic of conversation, in addition to less banal activities like skimming academic papers and brainstorming with… Read More

Sep
14
2017
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Facebook is the latest tech giant to hunt for AI talent in Canada

 Facebook is turning its attention to Canada with a new AI research office in Montreal. Google and Microsoft already have outposts in the city and countless other tech companies, including Uber, have researchers based in Canada. McGill University’s Joelle Pineau will be leading Facebook’s AI efforts in Montreal. Pineau’s research focus tends to lean heavily on robotics and… Read More

Aug
11
2017
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The US Government must work with tech companies if it wants to remain competitive in AI

 U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis is concluding his tech tour of the West Coast today with a visit to Google’s Mountain View campus. Mattis spent time at Amazon and the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, earlier in the week. His key takeaway from all the socializing with tech leaders is that the Department of Defense needs to embrace technology coming out of the private sector… Read More

Jul
04
2017
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Outside of AI, companies are doing less research and more development

 If you’ve been following the headlines in the world of AI, you might be fooled into thinking that corporations are doubling down, rather than withdrawing, from pure research. But on the ground, things are considerably more complicated — tech companies are spending more on the development part of R&D while relying more on cash strapped universities to move the needle on… Read More

Jun
14
2017
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Facebook teaches machines to negotiate with humans

 Though Facebook is rarely mentioned alongside Apple, Microsoft and Amazon in discussions about conversational AI, the company has published a hoard of papers that underscore a deep interest in dialog systems. As has become clear with Siri, Cortana and Alexa, dialog is hard — it requires more than just good speech recognition to deliver a killer experience to users. From the sidelines… Read More

Jul
18
2016
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Arable’s crop and weather sensor, Pulsepod, aims to make farming predictable

The Arable Pulsepod is installed on a farm to gather data about crops from the ground. A Princeton, New Jersey startup called Arable Labs Inc. recently unveiled a professional-grade crop and weather sensor that’s solar powered, rugged and was designed by Fred Bould, the creative talent behind the Nest thermostat, smoke and carbon monoxide detector, as well as Fitbit, GoPro and Roku products. The Pulsepod, which looks something like the head of a small drum or a… Read More

May
20
2016
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The Europas — It’s time for a different kind of tech conference

awards3 (1) Let’s face it. Some tech conferences have lost their way. While TechCrunch Disrupt remains a firmly curated, media-driven, event, with hundreds of journalists attending, a couple of other conferences have really gone for scale. A minimum of 15,000 people, thousands of companies, echoing halls — and a lot of investors (and journalists) turning their badges around so they don’t… Read More

Apr
27
2016
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Genetics startup Twist Bioscience is working with Microsoft to store the world’s data in DNA

DNA lab Twist Bioscience, a startup making and using synthetic DNA to store digital data, just struck a contract with Microsoft and the University of Washington to encode vast amounts of information on synthetic genes. Big data means business and the company able to gather a lot of it is very valuable to investors and stockholders. But that data needs to be stored somewhere and can cost a lot for… Read More

Mar
24
2016
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The top 8 startups from Y Combinator Winter ’16 Demo Day 2

ycombinator-bestof2 Supersonic planes, food harvesting robots and instant HIV diagnosis were some of the ideas that wowed us on Demo Day 2 for Y Combinator’s Winter 2016 batch. We queried investors and TechCrunch’s writers to come up with our top 8 picks from all 59 startups that presented. Check out our coverage of the 60 YC startups from Tuesday, plus our 7 favorites. Additional reporting by Megan… Read More

Mar
23
2016
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Here are the 59 startups that demoed at Y Combinator Winter ’16 Demo Day 2

ycombinator “Food, housing, healthcare, transportation. Life essentials made better and more affordable.” These are the types of startups that partner Paul Buchheit said were demoing today at Y Combinator’s Winter 2016 Demo Day 2. Yesterday, we covered the first 60 startups from the batch, and picked our 7 favorites. Plus, check out our picks for the top 8 startups from these 59.… Read More

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