Weekend update: AI love notes, genomic data and Amazon finally gives up the New York dream

A thorough look at this week in tech with the most engaging tech and business features and news coming straight from the Innovation Enterprise team


While it's been yet another incredibly busy week for the Editorial team at Innovation Enterprise, we are resting easy that we are not part of the team at Amazon responsible for setting up its second headquarters in Queens, New York. This week, the company was plagued with rumors that it was reconsidering its decision to set up a new campus in the city in the wake of an enormous backlash, only to confirm that it was killing off the New York HQ altogether. A number of locals and politicians alike openly denounced the company's decision, with one senator stating: "This is a bad deal, and the state and the city should both be embarrassed to stand behind this deal" – ouch.

Meanwhile, in keeping with the Valentine's Day mood in the office this week, we "heart" IBM Watson Health's decision to invest $50m in academic collaborations to advance AI science and Google's plan to invest $13bn in a number of data centers across the US. Unfortunately, Apple was another tech giant that this week received less-than-romantic news when it was revealed that the iPhone's popularity in China was plummeting, as Huawei continues to dominate the country's tech market.

Below, we highlight some of our other favorite stories, interviews and analysis from across our Channels.

Chinese startup promises 97% accuracy in AI pediatric diagnosis

The up-and-coming Chinese AI startup YITU Healthcare this week announced it has developed a system that uses natural language processing (NLP) to achieve an accuracy of up to 97% when diagnosing pediatric diseases. This makes the AI system "as good as trained doctors" at reading electronic health records and forming a diagnosis.

"Pediatric diseases can be tricky for doctors. An AI assistant will profoundly improve the diagnosis process and increase efficiency," Ni Hao, President of YITU Healthcare, explained.

The company also recently set up an R&D center in Singapore to make use of the city state's growing AI ecosystem to continue to innovate within the AI healthcare sector, so watch this space.

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DATAx presents: Empowering women to tackle tech's gender disparity

Girls in Tech, a global non-profit organization with the aim of putting an end to gender inequality in high-tech industries and startups, is helping to change cultural and workplace attitudes within the historically male-dominated tech field.

Ahead of her participation in the Women Leadership Panel – Becoming a Female Data Leader at DATAx Singapore this March we spoke with Lynette Pathy, advisory board member for the Singapore chapter of Girls in Tech about the organization's work making the sector more of an even playing field.

""Imposter syndrome" is definitely another struggle women face more than men and they often lack the support of mentors or role models to help nurture them," says Pathy. "Personally, I've felt that having mentors, both male and female, is crucial to success."

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Deploying AI algorithms in the fight against human-caused extinctions

Last year, the WWF released one of the most shocking statistics of all-time: Humanity has wiped out 60% of the world's mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970.

"We are sleepwalking toward the edge of a cliff," said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF.

DATAx spoke with S. Anand, co-founder and CEO of Gramener, a data science company whose work with a number of environmental agencies led it to win the CNBC–Microsoft award for "Empowering Societal Progress with AI", about tackling extinction using AI algorithms for data analysis.

"All of [our] solutions are related to recognizing patterns that an expert is able to do but a non-expert is not," Anand tells us. "And there's a widespread need for this sort of approach."

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DATAx insights: We can't let the data breach chorus become background noise

2018 saw millions of people affected by data breaches, so it is perhaps no surprise that we also saw increased reports of a newly coined condition afflicting people far and wide: Data breach fatigue.

"Let's be clear here: Yes, it matters. Data breaches matter. Organizational efforts to curb data breaches matter. And data breach fatigue matters," writes Marty Greenlow, CEO of Ensighten. "One of the reasons data breach fatigue matters is that this condition can strike anyone."

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Five foolproof SEO strategies to supercharge your webpage

The team are now gearing up for our Digital Marketing Innovation Summit in New York at the end of March, so our minds have turned to all things SEO.

Content, age and authority are the three pillars of trust that equate to Google's elusive relevancy ranking. Apart from these so-called pillars of trust, Google's search index also houses more than 200 ranking algorithms that also play critical roles in search engine optimization. Such factors also run an extensive spectrum, starting from recognizable up to vague.

To stay visible and relevant, take your cue from these strategies to work your way towards ruling the search engine results pages this year.

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Using genomic data to empower patients

Corporations are making billions of dollars off our health data without our consent. This week, DATAx met with Dennis Grishin, co-founder of Nebula Genomics, a company committed to returning power to the masses using their genomic data.

"Increasing popularity of personal genomics that has resulted in growing genomic databases which have attracted the interest of researchers and law enforcement," Grishin told us. "Unfortunately, these datasets are being accessed and monetized without the consent of the people who the data actually belongs."

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AI that writes candy hearts developed in time for Valentine's Day

Even if you were one of the people finding it hard to get into the Valentine's mood this week, rest assured that robots were feeling more amorous in time for the holiday. Well, at least one was after US research scientist, Janelle Shane, managed to program a machine-learning algorithm to write its own messages for candy love hearts.

The neural network created some interesting sentiments that could almost pass for the real thing, such as "MY BEAR", "LOVE BUN" and "YOU A LOVE". However, the majority of the messages were downright bizarre, like the romantic "ALL HOVER", or the mushy "LOVE 2000 HOGS YEA", or the Innovation Enterprise Editorial Team's all-time favorite pick-up line: "BOG LOVE."

Valentine's Day might be over, but this touching tale proves once more that our love story with AI is only just beginning...

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