Five Key Stories
From the Digital Worlds
Genomics is finally poised to go mainstream, with help from deep learning and accelerated-computing technologies from NVIDIA. Since the first human genome was sequenced in 2003, the cost of whole genome sequencing has steadily shrunk, far faster than suggested by Moore’s law. From sequencing the genomes of newborn babies to conducting national population genomics programs, the field is gaining momentum and getting more personal by the day. Advances in sequencing technology have led to an explosion of genomic data. The total amount of sequence data is doubling every seven months. This breakneck pace could see genomics in 2025 surpass by 10x the amount of data generated by other big data sources such as astronomy, Twitter and YouTube — hitting the double-digit exabyte range.
Around the holidays you can expect Christmas trees, twinkle lights, cocoa, and, now, robots? They’re part of the Christmas lineup at Bloomingdale’s flagship 59th street store. The department store is mainly incorporating robots into window displays and decor, but serving coffee they show how robots will “enhance the future retail experience,” according to Bloomingdale’s. They also decorate a Christmas tree in another window display. Four robots pass ornaments back and forth and hang them on the tree, before taking the decorations down and starting the 30-minute process again. Other retailers have also tried to incorporate robots into their physical stores. Pepper, the humanoid robot created by Japanese company SoftBank, is possibly the most recognizable.
Throughout the 2010s we saw our world transform. We can now rent other people’s homes instead of booking a hotel (Airbnb), have food delivered from any restaurant we choose instead of just those that offer delivery (Deliveroo), and play console-quality games when we’re on-the-go (PUBG Mobile). Mobile apps and games have had a very big decade, and App Annie has some data that tells us what we’ve been obsessed with for the past 10 years. Netflix is the No. 1 app of the decade in consumer spending, while Clash of Clans took the No. 1 spot for consumer spending on games, according to mobile market data and analytics firm App Annie. When it comes to downloads, Facebook was the No. 1 app of the decade, and Subway Surfers was the No. 1 game of the decade.
Incorporating AI and machine learning technologies into everyday workflows isn’t as easy as the testimonials would have you believe. That’s the top-level finding from a survey of 750 business decision makers conducted by Algorithmia, which found that while machine learning maturity in the enterprise is generally increasing, the majority of companies (50%) spend between 8 and 90 days deploying a single machine learning model (with 18% taking longer than 90 days). Most peg the blame on failure to scale (33%), followed by model reproducibility challenges (32%) and lack of executive buy-in (26%). Perhaps unsurprisingly given the barriers to adoption, machine learning expertise remains in high demand.
It’s not just Fortnite champs who are making conventional sports players seem underpaid. OG has won Valve’s The International Dota 2 tournament for the second year in a row (the first time any team has won back-to-back), pulling in a record-setting $15,603,133 out of an even larger $34,292,599 prize pool. That’s not just the largest top prize in esports history — it could also be a windfall for each of the five team members.
A doctor in India has performed a series of five percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures on patients who were 20 miles away from him. The feat was pulled off using a precision vascular robot developed by Corindus. The results of the surgeries, which were successful, have just been published in EClinicalMedicine, a spin-off of medical journal The Lancet.
As AI continues to interact with other exponential technologies, its use with sensors is creating exciting opportunities. Research shows that the sensor market is expected to hit close to $280B by 2025. With a low-cost glove packed with over 500 sensors, an AI system has been developed to recognize objects through touch alone.
Although this doesn’t come as a surprise, one of the more interesting insights I would add is around the subset of smartphone penetration.
This past week, the Artificial Intelligence Venture Builder was announced. Artificial Intelligence (AI) visualization company GraphPath, with its “knowledge-graph-as-a-service” platform, is this venture builder’s first company. Below, I’m sharing key stories and insight around AI to further build on this critical theme.