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Research Scientist (AI & Machine learning) – Full Time

Wrapidity Ltd.

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Wrapidity Ltd.

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Wrapidity Ltd.

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Data Visualization
A Dataviz to Find the Best Airbnb in Europe

Beñat Arregi created this dataviz to show Airbnb users’ perceptions about different areas in major European cities.
Building on data and reviews from Inside Airbnb, the map shows what areas in what cities are considered the most safe, beautiful and convenient by tourists (at least those using Airbnb.) More info here.



We are accustomed to the stunts of erstwhile Google-owned robotics company Boston Dynamics— but it is always a joy to see what it  is up to. In this new video, one of its mean-looking quadrupedal automata demoes  its knack for opening doors. (via Boston Dynamics)

Meet Erica, an hyperrealistic robot-woman created by Japanese inventor Hiroshi Ishiguro. The Osaka-made talking automaton will debut as a TV anchorwoman in April. (Read more)

TechCrunch reporters were in a self-driving car as it crashed (nobody was hurt.) Phantom AI's autonomous vehicle rammed into a Nissan which had to suddenly brake to avoid an obstacle. According to California-based Phantom AI, the car's emergency braking system had been disabled during the demo, so the accident was due to the human driver's failure to brake earlier. (More here)

Amazon has launched its first convenience store in Seattle. Called Amazon Go, it is a checkout-free, almost staff-less shop where you can just step in and grab what you need. Facial recognition will make sure that your Amazon account is charged for what you took. ( via CNN; more here)

Meet Bina48, the first robot to enrol in— and graduate from— college. Designed by Hanson Robotics, AI-powered Bina48 completed a course in philosophy of love at Notre Dame de Namur University, in California, and was even granted a certificate at the end of it. (Read more here)

Researchers at  Nvidia have developed a method harnessing AI to simulate what a sunny landscape or street would look like in case of bad weather, snow, or sudden darkness. That is useful for self-driving cars cruising perennially sunny roads of California, but it could also have different applications. (The technical details here)

In case you missed it: here is Atlas— a 6-ft military robot manufactured by Softbank-owned Boston Dynamics— doing a backflip.

 Microsoft-backed AirSim— a platform for developing driverless vehicles— has just created a new simulation feature and it looks very cool. You can try it out on GitHub

Former Baidu Chief Scientist Andrew Ng lays out a roadmap for the future of machine learning. The full talk, titled "AI is the New Electricity", can be found here

If you still have doubts that driverless cars are about to become mainstream, here's an Intel video starring LeBron James that will convince you otherwise. 

We caught up with Pete Trainor, author of the Hippo book , and founder of AI companies SU and US Ai. Predictably, we ended up chatting mainly about Artificial Intelligence. 

Hanson Robotics' creepy humanoid automaton Sophia spoke at the United Nations, assuring that she is here to help and not to obliterate humankind. 

Did you miss SHACK15's event on self-driving cars' future in the UK? Fear not: here are the best highlights from the panel discussion with Alex Flamant, William Sachiti and Robin North. (And you'll find the whole shebang here.)

The web is inundated with sparse, unstructured data—so, how can we filter out the information we need for running our business? Oxford researcher  Tim Furche has co-founded Wrapidity, a company that uses Artificial Intelligence to tease out the good stuff only. Watch him explain how.

Streamhub founder— and SHACK15's resident— Aki Tsuchiya talks about the importance of data science for video analytics. 
Researchers have taught a machine how to spin nunchucks through a technique that could expand the range of motor tasks robots can learn. The bionic hand learnt how to flip the martial arts weapon thanks to a motion capture glove that allowed the system to analyse the kind of movements necessary to perform the trick. (More here)
TechCrunch interviewed Google's Artificial Intelligence chief John Giannandrea, during its Disrupt event in San Francisco. Check out the interview for some good insights on machine learning, AI, and whether we should worry about it. (More here)
Google released a great video explaining how human biases can influence the way machine learning systems are trained, and how this may result in prejudiced AIs. 

Online payment platform AliPay (a subsidiary of Chinese tech giant Alibaba) has been testing a new facial recognition payment system in KFC stores in Hangzhou. The result is compelling.

Bruno Zamborlin is the founder of Mogees, a company producing a smart microphone able to transform any vibration into music— and any object into a musical instrument. Bruno dropped by SHACK15 to talk about how Mogees is using machine learning to reinvent music, and what this tiny device holds in store for the future of the Internet of Things.  Read more here.
What will happen when Artificial Intelligence grows so powerful that it allows us to create digital copies of our brains, and upload them in the cloud? In this TED talk, Robin Hanson—a research associate at Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute—explains how "brain emulations" (or "Ems") would bring about radical change, including the end of work, potential immortality, and the gradual demise of flesh-and-blood humans. 
The Guardian busted this "fake self-driving car" in Arlington, Virginia. The vehicle, masquerading as driverless, was in fact steered by a person disguised as a car seat. Multiple queries to the the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute revealed that the stunt was actually a scientific experiment about how people would react to autonomous cars roaming across their city. More info here

Is the AI hype-and-scare machine going too far? Are people really going to be pushed out of jobs by smart algorithms? Aston University mathematician Max Little thinks that, for decades, we'll have nothing to fear. 
London-based AI lab DeepMind has created an artificial intelligence with "imagination", that is, a system that can speculate on the consequences of its actions before they happen. This video shows how DeepMind tested its "imaginative" agents using puzzle game Sokoban and a spaceship shooter game, which need a more forward-thinking approach to be played effectively. More information here
University of Washington's scholars have used Artificial Intelligence (a recurrent neural network) to fabricate a lip-sync of former US President Barack Obama. Starting from an audio clip  they synthesised a high quality video of him speaking with accurate lip movements in a totally different scenario.
Japanese carmaker Nissan teased its new Leaf's ProPilot Assist, a smart system that provides semi-autonomous acceleration, braking and steering in single-lane roads or highways. That might be another step towards Nissan's goal of full autonomy. 
An AI designed by Microsoft Research has managed to pull the perfect Ms. Pac-Man game, achieving the maximum possible score, and officially trouncing each human being who has ever tried their hand at the arcade classic. Full details here
Berkeley's Professor Stuart Russell was at the AI for Good summit in Geneva. In this interview, he lays out the challenges and risks of endowing Artificial Intelligence with human values. 
Cemvita Technologies' Dr Tara Karimi on how Artificial Intelligence programmers can and should take a leaf out of biological systems. 
Wired UK captured an astonishing glimpse of the innards of Ocado's warehouse in Dordon, north-east of Birmingham. The grocery shipping facility is almost completely automated, and managed by AI. (Here the full story.)
Canadian neural networks pioneer Yoshua Bengio explains how to create human-level AI.
Jia Jia, a Chinese talking robot, has been temporarily hired by China's Xinhua News Agency, and it carried out a surreal interview with Kevin Kelly, founder of WIRED magazine. (via)
Last year, film director Oscar Sharp and AI researcher Ross Goodwin teamed up to create Sunspring— a short film entirely written by an AI algorithm dubbed Benjamin. Now they are back with It's No Game, a sci-fi movie on the future of screenwriting, featuring actor and recordman David Hasselhoff . All of Hasselhoff's  lines have again been written by Benjamin, to surreal effects. (via Ars Technica)
 AFP has published this rather fun animated primer to Artificial Intelligence. While most of the things it expounds are pretty basic, it is useful if you need to explain AI to your grandpa—or any other layperson— in under three minutes. 
The European Space Agency (ESA) has created a hypnotic dataviz showing Earth's magnetic field in high resolution. The underlying dataset was built over three years, combining data from ESA's Swarm satellites with historical information from Germany's CHAMP satellite. A full run-down on the endeavour can be found here.
Is this the start of the automation wave that will wreak havoc on jobs in the fast-food industry? Hard to tell, but Miso Robotics' kitchen assistant Flippy certainly is a wonder to behold. 
 Alphabet-owned (but rumours have it that it'll be sold soon) company Boston Dynamics reveals footage of its latest 2-metre-tall, 120-cm-jumping, bad-ass robot, Handle.
US Military's advanced research lab DARPA weighs in on the present and future of Artificial Intelligence , and this video is well worth a watch (even if it is 16-minute-long). 
Developer Onnowhere has created Albert AI, a self-learning chatbot born and bred in the virtual world of videogame Minecraft. Open-world games such as Minecraft are increasingly used as platforms to train AI agents— even tech giant Microsoft launched a Minecraft-based initiative last year. If you want to play around with Albert, you can download it here
IBM's Shivkumar Kalyanaraman on Cognitive IoT and magic mirrors.
Artificial Intelligence and its economic impact was a major topic at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos. Google co-founder Sergey Brin also weighed in on AI,  in a 30-minute interview ripe with insights on where Alphabet is going.
Tesla Motor and SpaceX founder Elon Musk suggests that human merge their brains with Artificial Intelligence, in this interview with Y Combinator. The full Q&A can be watched here
Movement of people is a hotly debated issue today. To put things in perspective, data visualisation company Metrocosm created a video showing  the estimated net immigration by origin and destination country between 2010 and 2015, as per UN data. You can also check the complete, interactive map here
Watch researchers from the Alan Turing Institute explain what data science is. (Spoiler: they absolutely nail it.)
Researchers in Finland have combined EEG sensors with machine learning  to monitor the brain signals of people reading Wikipedia articles. In this way, they managed to  identify which concepts readers found particularly interesting.

 A day in the life of a data artist. Data journalist and visualisation expert David McCandless shows how to transform huge datasets into fascinating stories. 
New research submitted to Cornell University shows how deep neural networks can create detailed 3D models of  someone's face by simply analysing a headshot picture of the person. 
How do you spot a great scientific mind? It is usually thought that talented scientists emerge at a young age. But this video from Nature explains—with data—how that is not always true. 
Computer scientists at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) have developed a machine learning algorithm able to generate videos starting from a single still frame. Watch how it was possible. Read More
City University lecturer Tillman Weyde explains how Big Data is changing music
Google DeepMind created a "differentiable neural computer" able to navigate the London Underground and interpret family trees thanks to a combination of deep learning and a computerised short-term memory.
Researchers at SONY CSL Research Laboratory have created  FlowMachines : an AI able to write songs in the style of famous musicians. This song, called "Daddy's Car", was composed in the manner of the Beatles, and it will be included in a AI-composed album to be released in 2017.
Watch Kaggle's CEO Anthony Goldbloom explain why some of us will lose their jobs to machines, while some other jobs are likely to remain "for humans only."
Watch how data visualisation artist Marcin Ignac transformed his Dropbox folder into a video-game-like journey. Marcin represented his files as  blocks of different colours and dimensions, depending on  type and size.
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