Featured: AI News’ list of innovative companies to watch in 2021

Companies around the world have ramped up their AI deployments over the past year. As with any emerging technology, AI has brought significant opportunities but also its fair share of challenges.

In this feature, AI News takes a look at some of the most innovative companies leading the way in maximising the opportunities while minimising the challenges of artificial intelligence deployments. In alphabetical order:


Affectiva is an MIT Media Lab spin-off...

From fantasy to reality: Misunderstanding the impact of AI

The prominence of artificial intelligence (AI) has significantly grown in pop culture and science fiction over the years. It has speculated on how AI can change people’s lives, the places we live and our day-to-day activities. However, despite the increase of AI in popular films such as I, Robot, Star Trek and WALL-E, it’s continued depiction and futuristic tendencies throughout the years have altered individual perceptions about the true meaning of AI and how it is already playing a...

How can AI-powered humanitarian engineering tackle the biggest threats facing our planet?

Humanitarian engineering programs bring together engineers, policy makers, non-profit organisations, and local communities to leverage technology for the greater good of humanity.

The intersection of technology, community, and sustainability offers a plethora of opportunities to innovate. We still live in an era where millions of people are under extreme poverty, lacking access to clean water, basic sanitation, electricity, internet, quality education, and...

Microsoft: The UK must increase its AI skills, or risk falling behind

A report from Microsoft warns that the UK faces an AI skills gap which may harm its global competitiveness.

The research, titled AI Skills in the UK, shines a spotlight on some concerning issues.

For its UK report, Microsoft used data from a global AI skills study featuring more than 12,000 people in 20 countries to see how the UK is doing in comparison to the rest of the world.

Most notably, compared to the rest of the world, the UK is seeing a higher failure...

Microsoft releases two Python video courses which help aspiring AI developers

Microsoft has released two Python video courses to help AI developers get started in what could be a very lucrative career.

The new video courses assume the developer already has a basic standard of Python skills. If you don't, I'm afraid you'll need to brush up on those first. Fortunately, Microsoft released a 44-part "Python for Beginners" series last autumn (or "fall" for our American friends.)

For those with the Python skills, or if you've just consumed all 44-parts...

MIT software shows how NLP systems are snookered by simple synonyms

Here’s an example of how artificial intelligence can still seriously lack behind some human attributes: tests have shown how natural language processing (NLP) systems can be tricked into misunderstanding text by merely swapping one word for a synonym.

A research team at MIT developed software, called TextFooler, which looked for words which were most crucial to an NLP classifier and replaced them. The team offered an example:

“The characters, cast in impossibly...

AI: Seeking emotional loving human for long-term relationship

Newton's third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Given the limitless possibilities, very few would have known precisely what this would have been when artificial intelligence (AI) started to become common. Though several years down the line, we’re starting to have an idea.

As AI has become more sophisticated, and its ability to perform human tasks accelerates exponentially, we are seeing a moral wrangling of what this means for humanity...

How Squirrel AI is looking to provide ‘adaptive learning’ to revolutionise education through AI and big data

Of all the areas where artificial intelligence (AI) technologies could make the most impact, education could well be the furthest reaching – as well as the most egalitarian.

Many examples of this, as with many industries disrupted by AI, have explored how artificial intelligence will augment teachers’ current skills, rather than entirely eradicating it. Speaking to McKinsey this time last year, Jennifer Rexford, computer science chair at Princeton University, noted that if you...

Brain Drain: Universities are losing their best AI scientists

As if the AI skill shortage wasn’t bad enough, universities are losing teachers and students to companies offering unmatchable benefits. Last week, our sister publication Developer reported AI skills are in such high demand that companies are willing to offer six figure salaries. Universities are unable to match these benefits and it’s creating a brain drain preventing the current lack of AI talent problem from being addressed. The Guardian reports of a case from Imperial College...