AI potpourri: Reading, investing, diagnosis, and retail

A.I. Has Arrived in Investing. Humans Are Still Dominating

AI is taking a bigger role in investing. Large fund management companies like Fidelity and Vanguard say they use AI for a range of purposes.

An exchange-traded fund introduced in October uses A.I. algorithms to choose long-term stock holdings.

It is to early to say whether the E.T.F., A.I. Powered Equity, will be a trendsetter or merely a curiosity. Artificial intelligence continues to become more sophisticated and complex, but so do the markets. That leaves technology and investment authorities debating the role of A.I. in managing portfolios. Some say it will only ever be a tool, valuable but subordinate to its flesh-and-blood masters, while others envision it taking control and making decisions for many funds.

AI has an edge over the natural kind because of the inherent emotional and psychological weaknesses that encumber human reasoning.

While some people see huge potential in AI as an investment advisor, there are others who think that it cannot be relied on for heaving cognitive decision-making.  The following  is a quote from a portfolio manager.

“I’m a fan of automating everything possible, but having a human being push the last button is still a good thin. Hopefully, we all get better and better and smarter and smarter, but there’s something comforting about having an informed human being with sound judgment at the end of the process.”

AI models beat humans at reading comprehension, but they’ve still got a ways to go

AI models designed by Alibaba and Microsoft have surpassed humans in reading comprehension, which demonstrates that AI has the potential to understand and process the meaning of words with the same fluidity as humans. But there is still a long way to go.  Specifically, adding meaningless text into the passages, which a human would easily ignore, tended to confuse the AI.

“Technically it’s an accomplishment, but it’s not like we have to begin worshiping our robot overlords,” said Ernest Davis, a New York University professor of computer science and longtime AI researcher.

“When you read a passage, it doesn’t come out of the clear blue sky: It draws on a lot of what you know about the world,” Davis said. “We really need to deal much more deeply with the problem of extracting the meaning of a text in a rich sense. That problem is still not solved.”



5 ways the future of retail is already here

The retail industry is also starting to rely on AI to shape the way people shop. 

  1. Digital-price displays at grocery stores (e.g., Kroger) now allow retailers to make changes to their prices in one go. 
  2. Digital mirrors are used by retailers such as Sephora and Neiman Marcus to allow shoppers to get feedback on makeup and other items.
  3. Robotic shopping carts can now import your shopping list, guide you to each item in the store, help you to check out, follow you to your car for unloading groceries, and find its way back to a docking station.
  4. Technology is being used by companies like Stitch Fix and American Eagle to recommend outfits to their customers. 
  5. Robots are being used in stores to keep shelves well stocked to help shoppers find what they are looking for.  

Microsoft and Adaptive Biotechnologies announce partnership using AI to decode immune system; diagnose, treat disease

AI and the cloud have the power to transform healthcare – improving outcomes, providing better access and lowering costs. The Microsoft Healthcare NExT initiative was launched last year to maximize the ability of artificial intelligence and cloud computing to accelerate innovation in the healthcare industry, advance science through technology and turn the lifesaving potential of next discoveries into reality.

Each T-cell has a corresponding surface protein called a T-cell receptor (TCR), which has a genetic code that targets a specific signal of disease, or an antigens. Mapping TCRs to antigens is a massive challenge, requiring very deep AI technology and machine learning capabilities coupled with emerging research and techniques in computational biology applied to genomics and immunosequencing.

The result would provide a true breakthrough – a Sequencing the immune system can reveal what diseases the body currently is fighting or has ever fought.