The Secret Technology That Is Taking Artificial Intelligence To New and Mysterious Places

The Secret Technology That Is Taking Artificial Intelligence To New and Mysterious Places

Are the robots really taking over?

By robots, I mean artificially intelligent machine-based learning algorithms that mimic the workings of a human brain.

Except… they don’t really.

With all the buzz about Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning now you would think that the human brain and the way we think, act, make decisions, and operate in the world is on the way out.

In fact, the way the current technology operates – using neural networks –  is somewhat incongruent to the workings of the human brain. At least according to the “father” of the growth in AI, Geoffrey Hinton:

“I don’t think it’s how the brain works. We clearly don’t need all the labeled data.”

To understand what I’m talking about, and why it matters, let’s take a step back…

The cornerstone to AI: Neural networks and deep learning

At the core of AI research are these things called neural networks. Neural networks are a framework that enables machine learning algorithms to work together, process complex data, and perform tasks based on the information. They “learn” without human input of tasks or steps required in a process.

“Deep neural networks” are widely used in a process referred to as “deep learning” in fields such as image recognition, natural language processing, analysis of medical images, social network filtering, and other applications.

The problem with neural networks and deep learning

More and more people are recognizing that neural networks and deep learning have limitations. Deep Learning systems, contrary to their designation, don’t learn. They are trained using millions of samples and perform only the action for which they are trained. They are not intelligent. Trained systems can only respond, they can’t learn or adapt.

There are also major concerns with this form of artificial intelligence and machine learning due to the amount of power required to perform actions and the amount of training that is required. For the most part, the grunt work needs to be passed off to remote servers on the cloud which significantly increases the time in which the technology responds.

Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, is an example of cloud processing. The words are sent over the internet as digital data to a remote computer, the answer is processed and relayed back in the same way. The actual speech processing and search is performed on the remote computer. Which is fine for things like Siri, but not for autonomous vehicles and other time-critical situations.

For AI and machine learning to progress to the next level, a faster and more efficient way to process these computations needed to be discovered…

Enter “Edge Processing” and BrainChip

Edge processing is – in contrast to processing in “the cloud” – performed right on the device itself.

The leaders in this space are a company by the name of BrainChip. BrainChip has developed a revolutionary network called Akida that is small enough, fast enough and efficient enough to perform these machine learning and intelligent tasks on the device itself by learning autonomously. This is in comparison to passing on the work to remote servers – which may not be available everywhere. In critical devices, where human life can depend on AI, you don’t want to be dependent on a remote server that may or may not be reachable.

By handling these complex computations on the device itself, it significantly accelerates the process. For example, BrainChip’s object classification technology can process 1400 images per second at 92% accuracy compared to current technologies that only process up to 15 images per second at 82% accuracy! See a representation of this powerful technology in the video below:

The Akida network is the first of its kind that is designed to learn by itself, almost instantly, in the same way that the brain learns. This continuous real-time learning capability makes it possible to use the Akida chip in products where conventional deep learning systems cannot be used.

A key success factor to the implementation of BrainChip’s technology at scale is the fact that it builds on the technology already available – whereby other proposed self-learning networks throw the baby out with the bath water.

Here’s a quote from BrainChip’s founder, Peter van der Made;

“Akida embodies a method of bridging the gap from deep learning to autonomous learning systems that goes beyond the current capabilities of AI. There is no need to throw it all away and start over. Akida can help to preserve a company’s current investment in AI and progress towards autonomous learning intelligent systems from there.”

It’s predicted that future Akida chips will incorporate even more characteristics of the brain, such as episodic memory – that is, remembering and anticipating things that happen in sequence, and predicting which leads to understanding.

It truly is the technology that will take AI to new and mysterious places, with it’s first release expected in the second half of 2019.

“Real world” applications of Akida

Of course, all this talk about robots, artificial intelligence, and human-like learning machines is interesting… but how will this technology be used in the “real world”?

BrainChip designed and tested the first version of its technology in 2015. It contained a relatively small network that was able to learn, without help and within seconds, to drive a simulated car around a track without running into the sides. The simulated car behaved like a mouse in a maze, “feeling” the boundaries of the track to learn to navigate it.

In parallel to the BrainChip powered car, another test car using common and currently available machine learning methods went around the track too. This car bumped into the sides and learned the boundary, then returned to the beginning and tried again, bumped again and learned some more. This is similar to the learning method that is used today in deep learning networks, where errors are repeatedly fed back to the network to change its behavior – rather than learning autonomously and changing in real-time as Akida does.

See this race car demonstration in the video below:

BrainChip Race Car Demonstration (Milestone 1) from Aziana Limited on Vimeo.

A real-world application of this technology includes cybersecurity, where an unbelievable 98% of threats can be detected in microseconds with just minutes of training. In contrast, a deep learning network would require many hours or days of training on a machine to detect only 97% of threats.

Akida can also be used for image and video processing to detect objects, hand gestures, and other moving elements. This has already started to revolutionize security camera monitoring, especially in casinos where cheating is a complex and costly problem. This technology can learn, detect, and alert casino staff of problems in real-time video footage.


The Akida technology created by BrainChip is at the forefront of technological change and the future of AI. It is an entirely new way of processing data based on the way the brain works and is suited to both deep learning networks as well as self-learning and autonomous networks – something we haven’t seen in mainstream society yet.

The cybersecurity, object classification and hand-gesture demonstrations developed so far are only scratching the surface of what is possible with this technology. It is the next generation of AI.

The post The Secret Technology That Is Taking Artificial Intelligence To New and Mysterious Places appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Today’s B2B Content Marketing Landscape

Everything—no matter how innocuous or dated—had its use. It was a mantra he lived by. Born in 1946 to an Irish immigrant father and an American mother of French-Canadian descent, his parents’ coming of age was marked by the Great Depression plus decades of war.

Unsurprisingly, this meant that his parents, Pat and Stella, were more than practical when it came to purchases and investments. They were intentional. They were frugal. It was “waste not, want not.” And they never threw anything away—a way of life that he held on to long into adulthood.

But one day, Pat and Stella’s hoarding and his resulting belief that everything was useful, changed my life.

After one of his routine check-ins with Pat and Stella, Dad arrived home with what looked like a small, hardcover suitcase. It was a shiny steel blue. He swung the case onto the kitchen table and called me over. He unlatched the cover and pushed it back to reveal the contents.

My eyes widened. He smiled. We hugged. And I ran my fingers over the black keys of the old typewriter as I pondered which story I would write first …

This is a piece of my story. And everyone has a story to tell; a glimpse to provide—including your B2B brand.

The Intersection of Storytelling & B2B Content Marketing

Storytelling is civilization’s oldest form of communication, helping us teach, entertain, preserve our histories and cultures, and instill our values. We’re programmed for stories. Our brains light up when we hear and see stories unfolding.

This hunger for narrative combined with our desire and ability to guide our own quest for answers, storytelling has naturally become a fundamental staple of B2B content marketing. As Ursula Ringham, Global Head of Influencer Marketing for SAP, says: “In marketing, story is everything.”

But the challenge for many B2B marketers is to weave a story web that is everything to their customers and prospects. It needs to provide that meaningful glimpse. It needs to be familiar. It needs to be authentic. And it needs to resonate.

“Every content creator should consider themselves a storyteller,” Nick Nelson, Senior Content Strategist at TopRank Marketing, declares in his piece on building trust through storytelling. “When we write, we are invariably sharing a story: about our solution, about our customers, about the pains we can help solve.”

He adds: “Tying multiple pieces of information together in a coherent, chronological, and—above all—relatable way makes the message far more affecting. The content suddenly becomes experiential instead of merely educational.”

[bctt tweet=”In #marketing, story is everything. @ursularingham #B2BContenMarketing #Storytelling” username=”toprank”]

The bottom line? It’s no longer enough to inform buyers. Instead, you must provide story-driven content that connects on both intellectual and emotional levels.

Read: Creating Content Connections: 10 Lessons in Resonance from Content Marketing Pros

How to Create B2B Content Connections Through Storytelling

Whether you’re building a large-scale brand narrative or pulling at story threads, here are a few things to keep in mind as you commit to storytelling in your B2B content marketing initiatives.

#1 – Commit to storytelling by doubling-down on what’s already familiar.

Contently co-founder and recognized journalist Shane Snow is widely known in marketing circles for his knack for storytelling and his dedication to helping other marketers harness their storytelling skillset.

A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of seeing Shane speak on this very topic at MarketingProfs B2B Forum. At that time, he laid out a three-step framework for telling better stories and it resonated with me.

  1. Create timely, seasonal, and evergreen content that tells a story at every stage of the funnel.
  2. Connect your audience with your stories by determining the right distribution channels and content types—based on your audience’s preferences and your objectives.
  3. Optimize and refine your stories to ensure your creating content that undoubtedly connects.

The concepts outlined in his framework should feel really familiar—they’re meant to, from my perspective. (Familiarity is a hallmark of good storytelling.) The switch is defining how you show and tell stories your buyers will care about, rather than simply creating more content.

For a more in-depth look, check out Shane’s storytelling course that outlines the science of great stories, the elements of effective storytelling, and much more.

#2 – Introduce your audience to new characters.

Content is absolutely everywhere. And trust in marketing—among consumers and your C-suite—is low. As a result, buyers are looking to those they know or those they think they know for insights, answers, and recommendations. And this means there’s never been a bigger opportunity to partner with other “storytellers” to add new dynamics to your content.

“In order to tell a compelling story, you have to be immersed,” Ursula Ringham states. “Bring empathy and understanding, bring purpose, and bring insight—the latter of which influencers can certainly help with.

When you co-create content with influencers, you not only provide influential experts with a medium to share valuable insights, but you can also provide your audience with a mix of perspectives—significantly upping your storytelling capabilities and credibility.

“Partnering with an influencer allows you to highlight your brand’s own existing narrative in a new way, so that you can reinforce the proof points you really want your customers to know,” Whitney Magnuson, Global Head of Social Media and Influencer Programs for IBM, told us not long ago.

[bctt tweet=”Partnering with an #influencer allows you to highlight your brand’s own existing narrative in a new way, so that you can reinforce the proof points you really want your customers to know. @whitneymagnuson @IBMSystems” username=”toprank”]

#3 – Steer clear of fantasy or fiction.

With trust in marketing low, authenticity and transparency are increasingly critical. As my colleague Nick Nelson so eloquently said:

“Storytelling backfires when it strikes people as false or disingenuous. Share real anecdotes and back them with third-party evidence or quotes. Telling hard truths, even if it means acknowledging a shortcoming in your business, can be tremendously beneficial in the long run. Even more than being true to the facts, you must be true to yourself, and your brand.”


[bctt tweet=”Storytelling backfires when it strikes people as false or disingenuous. Even more than being true to the facts, you must be true to yourself, and your brand. @NickNelson #B2BContentMarketing #Storytelling” username=”toprank”]

Read: Be Honest Like Abe: How Content Marketers Can Build Trust Through Storytelling

It’s Storytime

The nostalgic tale I opened with is more than a fond memory. It’s a glimpse into who I am, where I came from, and how I got here. It’s my truth. It’s my context. It’s a piece of my story.

Every brand has the opportunity to find, show, and tell their own stories. Stories about who they are, what they stand for, and how they solve problems. Stories that bring truth and add context. Stories that resonate and inspire.

So, dust off your brand’s old hand-me-down typewriter and get to work. It’s storytime.

Senior Director of Digital Strategy Ashley Zeckman and Content Strategist Annie Leuman are on the ground at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego from March 20-22, 2019. And as always, you can count on us to deliver you first-hand learnings and stories from the conference floor. Follow @azeckman, @annieleuman, and @toprank on Twitter to get live updates.

The post Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Today’s B2B Content Marketing Landscape appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Content may be king, but context is queen

We have reached a content peak and the context of how we learn about, access and make choices is now nearly as important as the quality of the content.

The post Content may be king, but context is queen appeared first on Marketing Land.

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