Tag Archive | "General"

All 50 states’ attorneys general join in antitrust investigation of Google

Facebook is also being investigated in another multistate action lead by New York.



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AWS Announces General Availability of Amazon Neptune

Amazon Web Services (AWS)  rolled out its graph database service in a number of egions including US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and EU (Ireland) on Wednesday. Called “Amazon Neptune,” it is one of several offerings introduced during the company’s annual developer event last November.

Database technology may be a debatable segment of enterprise tech, but for Amazon, it is essential in managing increasingly large data groups across various industries. Graph databases like AWS’s Neptune are designed to analyze and create relationships rapidly between different sets of data. Rather than building several queries to obtain information, a graph database simplifies the operation by using structures like nodes and edges to store related data.

Raju Gulabani, AWS vice president for Databases, Analytics, and Machine Learning, highlighted Neptune’s ease of use and functionality. “We are delighted to give customers a high-performance graph database service that enables developers to query billions of relationships in milliseconds using standard APIs, making it easy to build and run applications that work with highly connected data sets,” he said.

Built to recover from database failures in less than 30 seconds, Neptune is also touted for its flexibility. It has support for graph application programming interface (API) like TinkerPop Gremlin and SPARQL, making the fully managed service compatible with numerous applications. Graph databases are useful in social networking, fraud detection, life sciences, knowledge graphs, and network security, among others tasks. To date, Neptune has many high-profile users, namely, Intuit, Pearson, Blackfynn, and Amazon’s own Alexa team.

Amazon Alexa director David Hardcastle pointed out that they use Amazon Neptune to expand the virtual assistant’s knowledge graph of its customers and create associations with data sets. With a well-built knowledge graph, users can discover related information based on their previous and current interests. In turn, this gives a better shopping experience for the customers.

Despite its general availability status, Neptune will only be available online and in other regions in the coming months.

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Microsoft CEO: We Are Not Anywhere Close To Achieving Artificial General Intelligence

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, recently was interviewed by Ludwig Siegele of The Economist about the future of AI (artificial intelligence) at the DLD in Munich, Germany where he spoke about the need to democratize the technology so that it is part of every company and every product. Here’s an excerpt transcribed from the video interview:

What is AI?

The way I have defined AI in simple terms is we are trying to teach machines to learn so that they can do things that humans do, but in turn help humans. It’s augmenting what we have. We’re still in the mainframe era of it.

There has definitely been an amazing renaissance of AI and machine learning. In the last five years there’s one particular type of AI called deep neural net that has really helped us, especially with perception, our ability to hear or see. That’s all phenomenal, but if you ask are we anywhere close to what people reference, artificial general intelligence… No. The ability to do a lot of interesting things with AI, absolutely.

The next phase to me is how can we democratize this access? Instead of worshiping the 4, 5 or 6 companies that have a lot of AI, to actually saying that AI is everywhere in all the companies we work with, every interface, every human interaction is AI powered.

What is the current state of AI?

If you’re modeling the world, or actually simulating the world, that’s the current state of machine learning and AI. But if you can simulate the brain and the judgements it can make and transfer learning it can exhibit… If you can go from topic to topic, from domain to domain and learn, then you will get to AGI, or artificial general intelligence. You could say we are on our march toward that.

The fact that we are in those early stages where we are at least being able to recognize and free text, things like keeping track of things, by modeling essentially what it knows about me and my world and my work is the stage we are at.

Explain democratization of AI?

Sure, 100 years from now, 50 years from now, we’ll look back at this era and say there’s been some new moral philosopher who really set the stage as to how we should make those decisions. In lieu of that though one thing that we’re doing is to say that we are creating AI in our products, we are making a set of design decisions and just like with the user interface, let’s establish a set of guidelines for tasteful AI.

The first one is, let’s build AI that augments human capability. Let us create AI that helps create more trust in technology because of security and privacy considerations. Let us create transparency in this black box. It’s a very hard technical problem, but let’s strive toward saying how do I open up the black box for inspection?

How do we create algorithm accountability? That’s another very hard problem because I can say I created an algorithm that learns on its own so how can I be held accountable? In reality we are. How do we make sure that no unconscious bias that the designer has is somehow making it in? Those are hard challenges that we are going to go tackle along with AI creation.

Just like quality, in the past we’ve thought about security, quality and software engineering. I think one of the things we find is that for all of our progress with AI the quality of the software stack, to be able to ensure the things we have historically ensured in software are actually pretty weak. We have to go work on that.

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Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest Body May Be Dug Up, Statue Sold

In South Carolina, they are pulling Confederate flags down from state buildings. Memphis, Tennessee is doing you one better. They’re planning to dig up the body of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. The Memphis City Council voted unanimously last week to dig up the body of Nathan Bedford Forrest and move it to another location. They have also said they …

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General Consumer Awareness of SEM & SEO

Consumer Search Insights.

Which of the following have you heard of?

More people have heard of paid search / AdWords than have SEO / link building. One of the big issues with this question is that since it had numerous check boxes it had a lower response rate (roughly 10% vs an average of closer to 16% to 18%) & took longer for the answers to come in. In the future I can see Google adding quality score styled factors to quizes where pricing is in part based on response rate & they charge premiums for quicker responses. Anyhow, on to the results…

Vote All (1501) 
Pay Per Click 45.8% (+2.5 / -2.5)
AdWords 32.7% (+2.4 / -2.3)
SEO 21.3% (+2.1 / -2.0)
Link Building 15.9% (+1.9 / -1.8)
Ad Retargeting 14.9% (+1.9 / -1.7)

Men tend to have slightly greater awareness of SEO than women. That sort of makes sense given that most SEO conferences are heavily dominated by male attendees.

Vote Men (755)  Women (543)  Gender unknown (203) 
Pay Per Click 45.2% (+3.6 / -3.5) 45.7% (+4.2 / -4.1) 48.3% (+6.8 / -6.8)
AdWords 33.4% (+3.4 / -3.3) 32.2% (+4.0 / -3.8) 31.5% (+6.7 / -6.0)
SEO 24.8% (+3.2 / -2.9) 18.6% (+3.5 / -3.0) 15.3% (+5.6 / -4.3)
Link Building 18.9% (+2.9 / -2.6) 12.2% (+3.0 / -2.5) 14.3% (+5.5 / -4.2)
Ad Retargeting 16.4% (+2.8 / -2.5) 13.1% (+3.1 / -2.6) 13.8% (+5.4 / -4.1)

People in the 25 to 34 age range tend to be more aware of these terms than other age groups.

Vote 18-24 year-olds (229)  25-34 year-olds (316)  35-44 year-olds (162)  45-54 year-olds (227)  55-64 year-olds (182)  65+ year-olds (99) 
Pay Per Click 30.1% (+6.2 / -5.6) 50.3% (+5.5 / -5.5) 48.8% (+7.6 / -7.6) 44.9% (+6.5 / -6.3) 51.1% (+7.2 / -7.2) 51.5% (+9.6 / -9.7)
AdWords 37.1% (+6.4 / -6.0) 40.5% (+5.5 / -5.3) 32.7% (+7.6 / -6.8) 33.0% (+6.4 / -5.8) 22.0% (+6.6 / -5.4) 20.2% (+9.0 / -6.7)
SEO 21.4% (+5.8 / -4.8) 32.6% (+5.4 / -4.9) 29.6% (+7.4 / -6.5) 14.1% (+5.1 / -3.9) 13.2% (+5.7 / -4.2) 18.2% (+8.7 / -6.4)
Link Building 17.0% (+5.4 / -4.3) 17.4% (+4.6 / -3.8) 16.0% (+6.4 / -4.9) 15.9% (+5.3 / -4.2) 15.4% (+6.0 / -4.5) 12.1% (+7.9 / -5.0)
Ad Retargeting 12.2% (+4.9 / -3.6) 16.1% (+4.5 / -3.6) 17.3% (+6.6 / -5.0) 18.9% (+5.6 / -4.6) 11.0% (+5.4 / -3.8) 16.2% (+8.5 / -6.0)

The map is sort of all over the map…there are no easily definable regional patterns.

Vote The US Midwest (320)  The US Northeast (415)  The US South (432)  The US West (316) 
Pay Per Click 43.8% (+5.5 / -5.3) 47.5% (+4.8 / -4.8) 43.1% (+4.7 / -4.6) 48.7% (+5.5 / -5.5)
AdWords 33.1% (+5.3 / -4.9) 30.6% (+4.6 / -4.2) 33.1% (+4.6 / -4.3) 34.5% (+5.4 / -5.0)
SEO 18.1% (+4.6 / -3.8) 24.3% (+4.4 / -3.9) 19.2% (+4.0 / -3.4) 22.2% (+4.9 / -4.2)
Link Building 15.3% (+4.4 / -3.5) 13.5% (+3.6 / -3.0) 18.5% (+3.9 / -3.4) 16.1% (+4.5 / -3.6)
Ad Retargeting 13.8% (+4.2 / -3.3) 14.2% (+3.7 / -3.0) 17.1% (+3.8 / -3.3) 13.6% (+4.2 / -3.3)

People in urban areas tend to be more aware of SEM terms than rural people are. This is not particularly surprising since in smaller towns word of mouth and word around the town goes a long way (I used to live in a town of 1200 people) and in cities there is a lot more options than any one person can try & there is far greater noise/competition in the marketplace, both from a consumer and business perspective.

The “unknown” density category only had 32 total responses, so that is just noise.

Vote Urban areas (793)  Rural areas (113)  Suburban areas (563)  Urban Density unknown (32) 
Pay Per Click 45.4% (+3.5 / -3.4) 38.9% (+9.2 / -8.5) 47.8% (+4.1 / -4.1) 43.8% (+16.9 / -15.6)
AdWords 35.6% (+3.4 / -3.3) 27.4% (+8.9 / -7.4) 29.3% (+3.9 / -3.6) 40.6% (+17.1 / -15.1)
SEO 24.7% (+3.1 / -2.9) 15.9% (+7.8 / -5.6) 16.9% (+3.3 / -2.9) 31.2% (+17.3 / -13.3)
Link Building 15.5% (+2.7 / -2.4) 17.7% (+8.1 / -5.9) 16.2% (+3.3 / -2.8) 12.5% (+15.6 / -7.5)
Ad Retargeting 14.6% (+2.6 / -2.3) 19.5% (+8.3 / -6.2) 13.3% (+3.1 / -2.6) 31.2% (+17.3 / -13.3)

There are not many clear patterns among income (that surprises me as I would have thought there was a strong correlation). However, once again, the data is skewed to exclude most people with higher incomes, as there was only 1 response at > $ 150,000 / year.

Here is the opening chart, followed by the same chart

Vote People earning $ 0-24K (178)  People earning $ 25-49K (828)  People earning $ 50-74K (371)  People earning $ 75-99K (88)  People earning $ 100-149K (24)  People earning $ 150K+ (1)  Income unknown (11) 
Pay Per Click 43.3% (+7.3 / -7.1) 44.2% (+3.4 / -3.3) 48.8% (+5.1 / -5.0) 52.3% (+10.1 / -10.3) 50.0% (+18.6 / -18.6) 0.0% (+79.3 / -0.0) 45.5% (+26.5 / -24.2)
AdWords 34.3% (+7.2 / -6.6) 31.9% (+3.3 / -3.1) 35.0% (+5.0 / -4.7) 28.4% (+10.2 / -8.4) 20.8% (+19.6 / -11.6) 100.0% (+0.0 / -79.3) 45.5% (+26.5 / -24.2)
SEO 21.9% (+6.6 / -5.4) 20.4% (+2.9 / -2.6) 23.7% (+4.6 / -4.0) 13.6% (+8.7 / -5.7) 29.2% (+20.0 / -14.3) 0.0% (+79.3 / -0.0) 36.4% (+28.3 / -21.2)
Link Building 19.1% (+6.4 / -5.1) 16.3% (+2.7 / -2.4) 14.6% (+4.0 / -3.2) 12.5% (+8.5 / -5.4) 12.5% (+18.5 / -8.2) 0.0% (+79.3 / -0.0) 9.1% (+28.6 / -7.5)
Ad Retargeting 13.5% (+5.8 / -4.3) 14.1% (+2.5 / -2.2) 17.0% (+4.2 / -3.5) 12.5% (+8.5 / -5.4) 20.8% (+19.6 / -11.6) 0.0% (+79.3 / -0.0) 27.3% (+29.3 / -17.5)

Here is the chart again with those last 2 columns lopped off

Vote People earning $ 0-24K (178)  People earning $ 25-49K (828)  People earning $ 50-74K (371)  People earning $ 75-99K (88)  People earning $ 100-149K (24) 
Pay Per Click 43.3% (+7.3 / -7.1) 44.2% (+3.4 / -3.3) 48.8% (+5.1 / -5.0) 52.3% (+10.1 / -10.3) 50.0% (+18.6 / -18.6)
AdWords 34.3% (+7.2 / -6.6) 31.9% (+3.3 / -3.1) 35.0% (+5.0 / -4.7) 28.4% (+10.2 / -8.4) 20.8% (+19.6 / -11.6)
SEO 21.9% (+6.6 / -5.4) 20.4% (+2.9 / -2.6) 23.7% (+4.6 / -4.0) 13.6% (+8.7 / -5.7) 29.2% (+20.0 / -14.3)
Link Building 19.1% (+6.4 / -5.1) 16.3% (+2.7 / -2.4) 14.6% (+4.0 / -3.2) 12.5% (+8.5 / -5.4) 12.5% (+18.5 / -8.2)
Ad Retargeting 13.5% (+5.8 / -4.3) 14.1% (+2.5 / -2.2) 17.0% (+4.2 / -3.5) 12.5% (+8.5 / -5.4) 20.8% (+19.6 / -11.6)
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