Tech » Tech update featuring Experian, IBM and Twitter

Facebook already faces ‘the first real competitor’ to crypto Libra
Blockchain based payments and rewards wallet for digital assets MetalPay has created its own cryptocurrency MTL Coin which is proving to be a stiff competitor for Facebocryptocurrency Libra. MetalPay received fresh money and a formal commencement on Monday. The main difference between MetalPay and Libra, which boasts of a number of financial services partners including Mastercard, PayPal and others, is that MetalPay currently works on a decentralized blockchain, or a digitally distributed-ledger system. This means anyone can verify the transactions that are carried out on the open network and get rewarded via Metal Coin. For Libra, only a few selected validators, or nodes, can verify transactions.

Google brings AI to studying with Socratic
Search engine giant Google has recently launched a revamped version of a mobile learning app called Socratic, that the giant acquired last year. The app has been updated with machine learning-powered features just like other Google for Education initiatives. Socratic looks to help high school as well as university students in their studies apart from their classrooms.
The app enables the students to record a question with their voice or take a picture of the question and the app further looks for the solution to their query on the internet. In complex situations, the app also makes use of algorithms to clarify the doubt. The app that is now available on iOS and soon to be made available for Android in the fall, also provides around 1000 subject guides covering high school and university level subjects.

Google and VMware establish partnership, enabling VMware migrations to Google Cloud Platform
Google has announced support for running VMware vSphere-based workloads in Google Cloud Platform (GCP). This was possible due to a partner solution by CloudSimple and optimize VMWare’s software-defined data center (SDCC). The approach can help link their GCP cloud computing investments with their existing VMWare investments and optimally use Google’s data analytics, AI and machine learning cloud services. Organisations that make use of CloudSimple solution will have full access to the VMware stack including vCenter, vSAN and NSX-T. Google will also provide front-line support for the solution while working with CloudSimple to ensure an enterprise-grade SLA is maintained.

Twitter tests a new feature to help users stay updated with desired topics
Twitter will roll out a new feature hoping that it would enhance the platform for its users. The ability to follow their interest just like they follow accounts. For over a year, Twitter was in speculation about this feature that now reveals users can have new topic-based tweets on their main timeline rather than searching for it in the explore tab of the app. Twitter will pull the relevant tweets of the specified topics and will feature them on the feed of the user even if the user does not follow those accounts. Users can mute those topics and opt out. AI will help gather tweets related to the topic easing the user’s effort of manually searching for the topic. Topics can change as per a user’s mood or interest. The feature is currently in its testing phase and is expected to be rolled out soon.

IBM has patented a browser based on blockchain
Multinational information technology company IBM has filed a patent application for a browser that can work using a decentralized network. This patent is for a browser backed by a peer-to-peer network. The IBM browser will control which user data is transmitted to third parties and who analyses them. The user will be able to store the site visit history in a safe place. Other features of the browser are not yet disclosed, and it is not yet known if the organisation intends to use the browser.

Oracle is using ‘intelligent automation’ to do far more than automate repetitive tasks
Oracle aims to combine the usage of RPA with augmented analytics to drive intelligent automation for a better outcome. The company recently launched Oracle Analytics Cloud that comprises 18 of its analytics brands into one to serve all customers using the applications. Oracle’s product management strategy director Arnulf emphasised that RPA should do more than just automate repetitive tasks, it should work with intelligent automation to save management of cost and gain more insight from data and accelerating growth. This is how Oracle aims to move toward automation

Experian adds new configurations to Ascend Analytical Sandbox
Consumer credit reporting company Experian has added new configurations to its Ascend Analytical Sandbox in order to offer enhanced business insights to financial institutions of all sizes. IT can now be leveraged for model development, benchmarking, forecasting to refine decision making process and it is also equipped with analytics tools to assess depersonalised credit and alternative data and gain insights.
It enables users to combine their data sets with Experian’s and allows testing across various stages of the lending cycle. It lets user explore new product opportunities. The Sandbox is developed on the Experian Ascend Technology Platform and this platform is used by financial institutions across UK, South Africa, Brazil and Asia Pacific.

AWS and Autogrid collaborate for industry digitalisation
Flexibility management software provider AutoGrid has joined forces with AWS to bring artificial intelligence-powered distributed energy management to its customers. By doing so, clients such as CLP Holdings will be able to deploy new services in demand-response for their end customers. AutoGrid will leverage the suit of AWS IoT services in its AutoGrid Flex platform to detect and run data analytics. Customer will also be able to use Amazon Sage Maker, that allows data scientists to build, train and deploy machine learning models effectively.
Austin R. Bryan, senior director of innovation at CLP said: “As an AWS Partner Network (APN) member, AutoGrid will help us leverage artificial intelligence-based flexible energy applications to benefit our customers across our region, including in Hong Kong, South East Asia, Greater China, India and Australia. This ultimately allows us to focus our efforts on delivering key business outcomes for customers knowing we have a robust, reliable and secure technology platform for running our data-driven applications.”

Amazon India launches automated messaging assistant that speaks Hindi
Amazon India has launched an automated messaging assistant on its app-based platform that will interact with the users in Hindi. This assistant is a chatbot powered by the company’s AI platform, it also uses machine learning and natural language processing technologies for resolving queries in Hindi with the need for human intervention. The assistant first predicts the issue following which the customers can contact the assistant in Hindi. This new chat assistant in Hindi highlights Amazon’s commitment to reach out to 100 million Indians to discover and shop with Amazon. Currently, the assistant is available on Amazon India’s android app and it is not yet known if the company has plans to introduce it on iOS.

Alegion raises $12m to help make sense of data for machine learning
Enterprise data labeling specialist Alegion has raised $12 million in a Series A-2 funding round led by RHS Investments. With the capital, the specialist aims to add active learning and other technologies to its labelling platform. Nathaniel Gates, CEO and founder of Alegion said: “Just as assembly lines incorporate power tools and robotics to enable scale, ML model development will require machines training machines to achieve the highest levels of model confidence. Our customers can first leverage human judgement to train their model and then watch as newly trained machines are incorporated that allow unprecedented scaling.”