Alexa meets Cortana, Sherpa's £1.79M seed, How to make evil AI
This week, AI startup Sherpa raised £1.79 million in Seed, researchers explained how to make an evil AI, and a London-based drone firm secured £3.1 million from Japan.
Also, Amazon and Microsoft raised some eyebrows by announcing a partnership between their virtual assistants, Alexa and Cortana. By the end of the year, Amazon users will be able to access some of Microsoft Cortana’s functions from their Alexa-powered devices—such as smart speaker Echo—and vice versa.

According to The New York Times, at least initially, the team-up will require users to say “Alexa, open Cortana” (or “Cortana open Alexa”) before being able to use the other platform’s functions.

The Amazon-Microsoft deal is a doozy in that technology giants very rarely work together. Still, the move is largely seen as an effective way to hassle Amazon’s and Microsoft’s mutual enemy Google— which is behind another major player in the virtual assistant arena, Google Home.

It will be interesting to watch how the alliance will evolve once Microsoft launches its own, Cortana-powered smart speaker— on which it has been long rumoured to be working.
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Startup Sherpa raises £1.8M in seed
Sherpa, a UK-based startup that uses Artificial Intelligence to provide price comparison for insurance products, has raised £1.79 million in Seed from InsurTech.VC. The company leverages AI to build tailored risk profiles for each user, and keep them updated regarding changes in risk and insurance prices.
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Tampering with training data can create evil AI
Rogue Artificial Intelligences can be concocted by fiddling with training data, scientists have found. A group of researchers from the New York University have discovered that manipulating the datasets used to train neural networks may result in the creation of malicious AI systems able to cause real-world accidents.
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London-based drone startup Sky-Futures secures £3.1M investment
London-based drone technology company Sky-Futures has secured a £3.1 million investment from Japanese firm Mitsui & Co. The investment is part of a wider deal, according to which Sky-Futures will now provide Mitsu with drone inspection capabilities in the marine, energy and infrastructure sectors.
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Trying to look cool at cocktails?

1. Uber’s new CEO (via Reuters)

An AI is writing Game of Thrones (via Motherboard)

Bumble’s Challenge to LinkedIn (via WIRED UK)

The latest on the DeepMind-NHS saga (via TechCrunch)

Founder interview: Bruno Zamborlin, Founder of Mogees

Bruno Zamborlin is the founder of Mogees, a company producing a smart microphone able to transform any vibration into music— and any object into a musical instrument. Bruno dropped by SHACK15 to talk about how Mogees is using machine learning to reinvent music, and what this tiny device holds in store for the future of the Internet of Things.
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