Driving Change (Through Tech): Empowering Women To Innovate Without Restrictions

According to UNESCO, women account for more than half of the engineering student population in some Arab states, and between 34% and 57% of recent STEM graduates in the region are women. That’s a much higher rate than in universities globally, and a testament to the change underway in the Middle East region. The challenge, however, is ensuring that the talent emerging from universities find their way into the workplace. IBM’s global study Women, Leadership and the Priority Paradox highlights one of the challenges impacting women in the Middle East and around the world: 79% of organizations globally say advancing women into leadership roles is not a formal business priority.

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Amazon is helping brands build custom text-to-speech voices for their Alexa skills 

Amazon announced today that it will now work with brands to help them make custom text-to-speech voices for their Alexa skills. Imagine, for example, that you’re ordering KFC using KFC’s Alexa skill, but instead of the default Alexa voice replying to you, it’s Colonel Sanders himself. That’s what Amazon’s going for here, and it’s something that Amazon and KFC actually developed.

The brand voices are offered through Amazon Polly, an AWS service that previously supplied neural network-based text-to-speech services for companies to use to add realistic voices to their applications. Now, though, Amazon is offering its neutral network-based TTS technology to create custom voices for a specific brand based on recordings of voices of an actor or actress picked by the brand in partnership with Amazon.

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Machine Learning Is No Place To “Move Fast And Break Things”

The hacking culture has been the lifeblood of software engineering long before the move fast and break things mantra became ubiquitous of tech startups. Computer industry leaders from Chris Lattner to Bill Gates recount breaking and reassembling radios and other gadgets in their youth, ultimately being drawn to computers for their hackability. Silicon Valley itself may have never become the world’s innovation hotbed if it were not for the hacker dojo started by Gordon French and Fred Moore, The Homebrew Club.

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Nvidia shares surge on signs of a machine learning boom

Shares of Nvidia rose 6% on Friday after the chipmaker stunned analysts with strong quarterly results and joined rivals Intel and Advanced Micro Devices in predicting strong demand for chips used in the latest generation of data centers and A.I.

At least 11 brokerages hiked price targets on the company’s stock. Brokerage Cowen & Co. was the most bullish, raising its target by $85 to $325, higher than Wall Street’s median price target of $285.15 and Friday’s pre-market price of around $287.

Analysts at Susquehanna said while they had expected the company to beat market consensus expectations thanks to the data center demand, they had never expected this kind of upside.

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Machine Learning for Recruitment and Hiring

The digitalization is working not only for a scientific purpose aligned with the corporate culture, but over the years, various technological developments have increased its role in the growth of organized businesses. With the introduction of machine learning (ML) in human resource management, digitalization has simplified many HR functions such as the hiring of employees, training, and development, employee engagement, retention, performance appraisal, conflict management, and above all, helping an organization in meeting both short-run and long-run objectives. Utilizing ML in recruitment and hiring process has helped HR in speedily searching the relevant information from a large database. With the correct implementation of ML, the corporate sector is enjoying tremendous benefits in solving various recruitment problems and predicting the behavior of potential candidates. 

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What Does “Artificial Intelligence” Really Mean?

Years ago, Marvin Minsky coined the phrase “suitcase words” to refer to terms that have a multitude of different meanings packed into them. He gave as examples words like consciousness, morality and creativity.

“Artificial intelligence” is a suitcase word. Commentators today use the phrase to mean many different things in many different contexts. As AI becomes more important technologically, economically and geopolitically, the phrase’s use—and misuse—will only grow.

Like all suitcase words, artificial intelligence is notoriously elusive to define precisely. To make headway here, it is helpful to start by trimming one word and considering how to define the term “intelligence”.

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