IBM’s Watson agrees with doctors on the best way to treat cancer – concordance rates reach 96.4%

iCrowdNewswire – Jun 4, 2017

In Data presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, IBM Watson Health gave a snapshot of how it’s playing out so far.


We’re starting to get a better picture of how artificial intelligence could help doctors better treat cancer.

And in data presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, IBM Watson Health gave a snapshot of how it’s playing out so far.

The studies looked at concordance rates, or how often Watson for Oncology reached the same course of treatment as the cancer doctors at different cancer centers around the world. At Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Center in India, for 112 cases of lung cancer, there was 96.4% concordance between Watson and the doctors. For 126 cases of colon cancer it was 81% of the time, and for 124 cases of rectal cancer cases were 92.7%.

The concordance was in line with what IBM expected in those cases: If Watson and the docs agreed all the time, there wouldn’t be much value for adding AI to the picture.

But it was a bit off when it came to Watson evaluating 185 cases of gastric cancer in South Korea. There, the concordance was 49%. Norden said that relates to the guidelines for gastric cancer being different in South Korea than at Memorial Sloan Kettering, the hospital where Watson for Oncology was trained.

The data presented at ASCO are among the first that IBM Watson Health has presented at a medical conference. And while it sets the stage for what artificial intelligence can do to help doctors treat patients with cancer, many still have lingering questions.

The biggest yet-to-be-answered question: Can using AI to determine cancer treatment actually extend patients’ lives compared to oncologists alone determining their treatments?

Andrew Norden, the deputy chief health officer at IBM Watson Health told Business Insider that the concordance data isn’t “the ultimate endpoint we’re interested in,” though it was the first they could get to relatively quickly.

To get to studies that evaluate overall survival (that is, finding out whether using AI-powered treatment plans can increase patients’ lives compared to traditional treatment plans) will take more time.


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“The core of Artificial Intelligence development lies in the massive amounts of data,” – China’s AI Business Ready to Lead the World

Over the past week, the Internet has yet again been buzzing about the future of artificial intelligence (AI).

And once again, the heat was generated by AlphaGo, Google’s AI program, which completed a 3-0 clean sweep Friday over Ke Jie, the current world No.1 Go player.

In contrast to the generally negative reactions to AlphaGo’s 4-1 victory over South Korean master Lee Se-dol in March last year, people are now more optimistic towards the future of AI.

“AlphaGo was not designed just to play Go,” said Qian Jianlun, a Go teacher in east China’s Zhejiang Province. “As an AI project, it will change a lot of aspects of our lives.”

Full speed ahead

Qian’s words echoed the overall positivity shown by the status quo of China’s AI industry.

According to data from iiMedia Research, a major research institution, China’s AI industry increased by 43.3 percent in 2016, surpassing 10 billion yuan (1.47 billion U.S. dollars), and is expected to reach 15.21 billion and 34.43 billion yuan in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

The numbers were driven by a boom in the amount of research taking place in the industry. China has applied for 15,745 AI patents, ranking second worldwide, according to Liu Lihua, vice minister of industry and information technology.

Favorable policies came as a consequence. Over 40 robotics industry parks have now been or are currently being set up around the country, and for the first time ever, AI was included in the government work report Premier Li Keqiang presented to the Fifth Session of the 12th National People’s Congress in March.

“We will accelerate research and development, and commercialization of new materials, artificial intelligence […] and develop industrial clusters in these fields,” the report read.

“AI has become a key driving force behind Chinese companies,” said Zhang Yaqin, president of Baidu, China’s Internet giant.

“In the AI era, China can innovate not only in products, but also in technologies,” he added.

Data set the base

For insiders, the further development of China’s AI industry will continue to count largely on data.

“The core of AI development lies in the massive amounts of data,” said Li Kaifu, chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, a venture capital company aiming to create successful Chinese start-ups.

“In China, we have a huge database, and it has proved to be quite valuable for us,” he continued.

Bai Chunli, president of Chinese Academy of Sciences, agreed. “By 2020, China will hold 20 percent of the global data, which is expected to reach 44 trillion gigabytes,” he stated at an expo on big data Monday.

AI has been playing a bigger role in people’s everyday lives. For example, an AI system monitoring vehicles to intelligently control traffic was applied in east China’s Hangzhou, and increased vehicle passing speeds by up to 11 percent during its trial last year.

“China is already leading the world in fields such as computer vision and automatic speech recognition,” Liu Lihua added.

“We believe that AI presents the most favorable opportunity for us to lead the world,” Li resonated.

Business yet to unite

However, for some, what has been transpiring in the industry is not enough for it to successfully achieve sustainable development.

Despite predicting that China’s AI market will enjoy a 50-percent annual increase, way above the global rate of 20 percent, McKinsey and Company, a worldwide management consulting firm, also noted that less than 25 percent of the AI industry insiders in China have over ten years of experience in the business, while in the United States that number is 50 percent.

Also, the country’s AI companies are yet to join forces.

“There’s been a lack of technical collaboration in our AI industry,” said Wen Xiaojun from CCID Wise, a major Chinese think tank. “The inter-connectibility of products is poor, and there is no efficient coordination between upstream and downstream producers.”

He believes an industry service platform needs to be set up to boost functions including research and development, application and product examining.

“We need such an incubation center for AI to prosper,” he added. (Xinhua)

With Facebook, Microsoft and Google emphasizing Artificial Intelligence will Apple be next

iCrowdNewswire – Jun 2, 2017With iPhone sales slowing and the last new Apple product released two years ago, expectations are building for what the company will reveal next week at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Some Apple watchers are counting on artificial intelligence.

With Facebook, Microsoft and Google emphasizing AI in their conferences over the past two months, market analysts believe it is Apple’s turn. As the race for artificial intelligence heats up in Silicon Valley, some worry that Apple is already behind the game.

“If Apple skips AI, I would consider that a significant miss on their opportunity,” said John Jackson, a Boston-based analyst for IDC. “Apple is late to this game. There is no other trick up their sleeve around this.”

Apple, long known for its secrecy, declined to discuss specifics of the event but emailed a statement that its global developer community has earned more than $70 billion since the App Store launched in 2008.

Rumors and early reports indicate the Cupertino tech giant may release a new iPad pro, and according to Bloomberg, a Siri-controlled home speaker to challenge Amazon Echo and Google Home.


Gene Munster, a venture capitalist at Loup Ventures and a longtime Apple watcher, said a home speaker would be a step in the right direction for Apple.

“Artificial intelligence is fundamental to every company now,” Munster said. “We knew Apple was going to improve on Siri, and (the speaker) seems to line up. It makes logical sense.”

In addition to the Siri speaker, rumors of a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2, an updated MacBook Pro and a new iOS 11 have circulated on the Internet


In preparation for next week's Apple Developers Conference, the McEnery Convention Center facade gets a decorative re-skinning Friday, June 2, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
In preparation for next week’s Apple Developers Conference, the McEnery Convention Center facade gets a decorative re-skinning Friday, June 2, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group) 

The five-day conference to be attended by more than 5000 developers — who each paid $1599 after winning a lottery — is moving from San Francisco to San Jose, where it will be held for the first time since 2002. Apple CEO Tim Cook will give the keynote speech in McEnery Convention Center at 10 a.m. on Monday. His speech will be streamed live on Apple’s website, or through the WWDC iOS app.

Some experts pushed back on the notion that Apple is behind in the AI race, saying Siri is not the only AI-driven technology built by Apple. But they acknowledged that companies like Amazon and Google have made smart AI-driven devices marketable — Google identifies itself as an AI first company — as Apple has mostly worked behind closed curtains.

“For the average Joe on the street, AI for Amazon is Echo and Alexa,” said Carolina Milanesi, analyst at Creative Strategies. “Apple just chose not to label everything AI. Apple chose to let our experience with its devices speak for itself. But I think we are at a point where AI does matter in the advertising spiel.”

In recent years, Apple has seen a decline in the sales of its main products, most noticeably the iPhone. Apple reported 50.8 million iPhones sold worldwide in the second quarter of 2017, down from 51.2 million a year earlier. Expectations are that Apple will unveil a new iPhone in the fall for the device’s 10th anniversary.

Apple Watch, its latest product from 2015, saw its 2016 sales number double from the year before, according to Cook in the last earnings call. Apple does not release Apple Watch sales numbers, but some analysts have estimated about 12 million of the devices were sold last year.

If reports of a Siri home speaker are correct, Apple will be entering a growing smart home market with a closing window of opportunity. Both Amazon Echo and Google Home proved to be commercial successes. At its I/O conference in May, Google announced more features to its Home speaker, including the ability to place free calls, connect with Bluetooth and control more apps like HBO Now and Hulu.

Apple’s Siri speaker reportedly comes with a virtual surround sound technology that give it an edge in sound quality over its competitors, according to Bloomberg.

But the biggest draw may be its compatibility with other Apple devices and services. The speaker will likely be connected to the iPhone and Apple TV and services like Apple Music and the HomeKit home automation system.

Although skeptical that current Amazon Echo owners will switch over to the Apple speaker, analysts believe Apple may be able to bridge the gap.

“Apple has done a great job sewing up households as Apple households,” said Jackson. “A lot of us own iPhones and MacBooks. But it hasn’t been central to their messaging. Creating this type of innovation is darn hard, so they’re late.”

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Artificial Intelligence helps Google Sheets add plain-English commands – Number-crunching is getting easier as machine-learning technology spreads to a new corner of computing

If you’re a spreadsheet guru, you probably are perfectly happy writing a command like =AVERAGE(Sheet1!C2:C933). For the rest of us, an infusion of artificial intelligence in Google Sheets means you’ll just be able to ask “What are the average sales for Sunday?”

An AI update Google announced Thursday means the spreadsheet app takes its best shot at understanding commands in plain language. Other examples: “What is the distribution of products sold?”, “Histogram of 2017 customer ratings,” and “bar chart for ice cream sales.”

Accountants, scientists, financial analysts and other professionals use spreadsheets to process numeric data, but they can be a daunting tool for others who don’t spend a lot of time in calculations. But the history of computing over and over shows how making technology more accessible to ordinary folks has transformed industries and our lives. AI is a top tool today in making computers act like humans so humans don’t have to act like computers.

Google has aggressively adopted machine learning technology, which trains a brain-like “neural network” of computers to recognize patterns. The technology is as widely adaptable as human intelligence: Google uses it for everything from translating languages and taking good photos to catching dangerous phishing attacks in your email and vanquishing the top players of the ancient game of Go.

Other new improvements also are coming to Google Sheets, a cornerstone tool in the G Suite of productivity apps along with Google Docs for word processing and Google Slides for presentations. Among the changes:

  • A new interface for creating charts out of spreadsheet data. There are new chart types, too, including 3D options.
  • The ability to easily synchronize data from Google Sheets that’s copied and pasted into Google Docs or Google Slides documents.
  • Customizable keyboard shortcuts, handy if you want to get Google Sheets to behave more like Microsoft Excel.
  • More control over printing options like margins and zoom scale.


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LexisNexis Announces First Five Legal Tech Accelerator Participants

LexisNexis today announced the first five participants in its new Silicon Valley legal tech accelerator program, which was created to give startups a leg up in the rapidly expanding legal tech industry. In line with LexisNexis’ broader vision to transform the way law is practiced, each of the accelerator participants is uniquely innovating in distinct areas of the law. After a thorough evalution process, the five finalists – Visabot, TagDox,, Ping, and JuriLytics – were selected from a list of 40+ promising startups for the interesting nature of their businesses and their innovative use of technology.
Based in the Menlo Park, CA offices of Lex Machina™, the program will leverage the vast content resources, deep expertise in legal, technology, and startup domains, and industry-leading market positions of LexisNexis and Lex Machina to guide and mentor program participants. The program will be led by Lex Machina CEO Josh Becker with support from LexisNexis’ Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Reihl, Chief Product Officer, Jamie Buckley, Vice President of US Product Management, Jeff Pfeifer, and Lex Machina Chief Evangelist, Owen Byrd.
“We’re very excited to kick off our tech accelerator with five incredible and promising startups – Visabot, TagDox,, Ping, and Jurilytics – and look forward to providing them with the practical guidance and industry expertise they need to advance their businesses,” said Jeff Pfeifer. “The goal of our tech accelerator program is to identify some of the best and brightest legal tech startups, contribute to their early success, and then watch as their innovative technologies and vision transform the business and practice of law.”
The five charter members of the LexisNexis legal tech accelerator program are:

  • Visabot: An “immigration robot” powered by artificial intelligence that helps customers complete U.S. visa applications, including locating relevant open data about an applicant, guiding applicants in the process of gathering supporting documents, ensuring forms are filled out accurately, and drafting appropriate language to tell the applicant’s story.
  • TagDox: A legal document analysis tool that creates tags, allowing users to identify and structure information in a variety of document types, improving both the speed and the quality of the document review process; “tag results” can transform documents into easily readable summaries, checklists, database feeds or approval overviews.
  • us: A web-based application that automates legal document preparation for divorces and provides access to relevant professionals at affordable fixed rates, deploying a business model that targets both B2B and B2C customers.
  • Ping: An automated timekeeping application that collects all of a lawyer’s billable hours, capturing missed time and money (an estimated 20% across the industry), and operating entirely in the background in concert with standard legal billing software.
  • JuriLytics: An expert witness peer review service that attorneys can use to challenge their opponent’s experts with previously unobtainable credibility and bullet-proof their own expert’s work through vetting from the world’s top researchers (in any field of expertise).
  • Throughout the rigorous, 12-week curriculum, tech accelerator participants will gain knowledge and expertise in a variety of topics including technology and product development; running an agile product development organization; building a strong company culture; selling to legal departments and law firms; leveraging legal data; and best practices in customer success, marketing and fundraising. In addition, they will have access to a vast collection of enriched legal data and cutting-edge tools and technologies from LexisNexis, and will be able to leverage the company’s established relationships with Stanford University and other leading Bay Area schools, businesses, VCs and influencers to grow their companies.
    “The LexisNexis legal tech accelerator is a promising initiative,” said Miriam Rivera, Managing Partner at Ulu Ventures and an advisor at the Venture Capital Director’s College, a part of The Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University. “As a legal tech investor and former Deputy GC of Google responsible for expanding the use of legal technology throughout the department, I am convinced the LexisNexis tech accelerator will not only foster innovation but also encourage new companies to thrive with sound business practices.”
    For more information, or to apply to the tech accelerator program, please email Alex Oh ([email protected]).
    About LexisNexis® Legal & Professional
    LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of content and technology solutions that enable professionals in legal, corporate, tax, government, academic and non-profit organizations to make informed decisions and achieve better business outcomes. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. Today, LexisNexis Legal & Professional harnesses leading edge technology and world class content to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organizations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 175 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group plc, a world leading global provider of information and analytics solutions for professional and business customers across industries.
    About Lex Machina
    Lex Machina’s award-winning Legal Analytics® platform is a new category of legal technology that fundamentally changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. Delivered as Software-as a-Service, Lex Machina provides strategic insights on judges, lawyers, parties, and more, mined from millions of pages of legal information. This allows law firms and companies to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.
    Lex Machina was named “Best Legal Analytics” by readers of The Recorder in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and received the “Best New Product of the Year” award in 2015 from the American Association of Law Libraries.
    Based in Silicon Valley, Lex Machina is part of LexisNexis, a leading information provider and a pioneer in delivering trusted legal content and insights through innovative research and productivity solutions, supporting the needs of legal professionals at every step of their workflow. By harnessing the power of Big Data, LexisNexis provides legal professionals with essential information and insights derived from an unmatched collection of legal and news content—fueling productivity, confidence, and better outcomes. For more information, please visit
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    HSBC partners with Artificial Intelligence startup to combat money laundering

    HSBC Holdings Plc has partnered with Silicon Valley-based artificial intelligence startup Ayasdi Inc to automate some of its compliance processes in a bid to become more efficient.
    The banking group is implementing the company’s AI technology to automate anti money-laundering investigations that have traditionally been conducted by thousands of humans, the bank’s Chief Operating Officer Andy Maguire said in an interview last week.
    The vast majority of anti money-laundering investigations at banks do not find suspicious activity, resulting in a waste of resources, according to the startup.
    In a pilot of Ayasdi’s technology, HSBC saw the number of investigations drop by 20 percent without reducing the number of cases referred for more scrutiny, according to the startup.
    “It’s a win-win,” Maguire said. “We reduce risks and it costs less money.”
    Banks have been ramping up their use of AI and automation over the past year to save money and time on cumbersome and manual processes ranging from compliance checks to customer service
    At the same time they have been working more closely with young financial technology companies and reducing the amount of technology that gets built in-house.
    One of the financial technology areas that has seen significant collaboration has been so-called “regtech”, or technology that can help financial institutions stay compliant with regulations and avoid hefty fines in areas such as money laundering or market manipulation.
    In 2012 HSBC agreed to pay a $1.92 billion in fines to U.S. authorities for allowing itself to be used to launder drug money out of Mexico and other compliance lapses.
    To cope with increased regulatory scrutiny and a swathe of new rules, banks went on a compliance hiring spree in the years following the financial crisis.
    Anti-money laundering checks “is a thing that the whole industry has thrown a lot of bodies at it because that was the way it was being done,” Maguire said.
    Banks have recently started cutting back on compliance hiring as they start deploying new technology that can help automate some of the tasks.
    Maguire said AI technology can help with compliance because it has the ability “to do things human beings are not typically good at like high frequency high volume data problems” or augment human capabilities.
    Ayasdi’s Executive Chairman and co-founder Gurjeet Singh was in January appointed to HSBC’s new technology advisory board, which provides advice and guidance to the bank on digital strategy.
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    (Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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