Cybergirrl Oh, aka Aliza Sherman, recently put me on the proverbial hot seat with her “Five Questions in Five Minutes” on the Real Biz in SL Internet television show. It’s an SLCN.tv show entirely filmed in Second Life (machinima) that bills itself as part talk show, part tour.Past guests have included Millions of Us, an agency specializing in virtual worlds, Cisco and IBM. Watching the IBM interview, one observer found it quite entertaining to see a television anchor and her guest flying super-hero style throughout the tour. Cybergirrl and I did quite a bit of flying ourselves before teleporting to the SLCN studios for those five tough questions:What kind of investment is your company making in Second Life?What kind of return on your investment are you seeing?What are the metrics you are using to evaluate your Second Life initiative?Is it worth being in Second Life?How much longer do you plan to be in SL?One blogger watched it live and then mused on the variety of new media – “odd sequences from pownce [stet] to Second Life” – that combined to bring him into the audience.You can see the entire replay over in the Real Biz in SL archives, or you can check out the YouTube video below. </p><p>
Entrepreneurs are the engine that drives the economy around the world. More than half of Americans work for or own a small business, and startups and small business account for nearly 70 percent of all the new jobs created!To celebrate and support these small business owners, Dell is hosting a series of Innovation Meetups and launching Technology Labs at WeWork locations across the country during National Small Business Week, May 1 – 7. As part of Dell’s increased investment in and commitment to small businesses we are also offering 35 percent off select business systems with code SAVE35 during the entire month of May! Visit http://www.dell.com/us/p/deals for exclusive savings. We are also deploying a big marketing campaign across key markets in the US so look for us on TV, poly bags of national newspapers, pedi-cabs, bus wraps and more.The Dell Technology Labs will debut at three WeWork locations—New York Penn Station, Chicago Grant Park and Miami Lincoln Road (above) —and will offer members the opportunity to check out the latest and greatest Dell technology, test their apps on Windows devices, borrow equipment for extended periods of time and purchase systems directly. Our best Small Business sales reps and technology experts will be on-site to help support and educate WeWork members on emerging technologies and trends including Windows 10 for business, Virtual Reality development, Cloud transitioning and more.“WeWork is committed to providing our members with the resources and services to do what they love,” said Michael Gross, Vice Chairman, WeWork. “Our partnership with Dell’s tech labs in Miami, New York and Chicago is a novel way for big businesses to test their products and services with the influential WeWork community. Similarly, for our members, this is an opportunity for them to gain access to Dell’s industry-leading products and services. We’re excited for the project and the expanding partnership with Dell.”The Technology Labs will be unveiled during a series of Northside Innovation Small Business Meetups powered by Windows 10 at each of the WeWork locations. If you are in New York, Chicago or Miami please join us! These meetups are part of a series that covers a wide range of tech topics, spanning VC funding to the psychology of marketing to the next wave of branded content. You can also follow the conversation on social at #SmallBizInsider or on @DellInnovators and @Windows and on the Innovation Insider Content Hub.Dell has always been invested in providing end-to-end technology solutions for small businesses, and we want to support them where they are. Coworking spaces have boomed over the past few years—in fact, the number of coworking spaces globally has doubled each year, and according to the Dell and Intel Evolving Workforce Study, 52 percent of people believe that employees working from home are just as productive as or more productive than in the office. As part of Dell’s Legacy of Good plan, we’re aiming to have half of our employees working remotely by 2020 to enable our employees to work when and where they are most productive and help decrease both operating costs and environmental impact.Recently, Dell released a ranking of the 50 most “Future Ready” cities—economies that are most prepared for the growth of tomorrow, have embraced technology, and have the necessary infrastructure and programs in place. Though San Jose and San Francisco snagged the top two spots on the list, New York was 11th, Chicago was 17th, and I’m proud to report that Austin ranked 7th! As the largest employer in the Austin area, Dell is actively engaged in how it can enable people and organizations access to new tools and ideas that deliver better connections, better outcomes—and a better world.Additionally, we are partnering with Microsoft to host “Accelerate Your Business” on May 4th in Denver, which ranks as the 8th “Future Ready” city. The event is designed for business owners, company leaders and decision makers seeking ideas and practical technology solutions to promote greater team communication, collaboration and productivity in today’s highly mobile workplace. I will be joining Jordan J. Chrysafidis, Vice President, US OEM Sales & Marketing at Microsoft, to talk about what tomorrow’s business will look like, and what businesses can do today to position themselves for continued success. If you are in Denver, please join us and register here.During National Small Business Week and throughout the year, we’re proud to continue our tradition of enabling entrepreneurs, and can’t wait to see how our Technology Labs at WeWork help small businesses across the country utilize the latest and greatest technology solutions and help grow and scale their business.
I previously talked about the Rise of Deep Learning in the Enterprise and how its use is dramatically augmenting human capabilities. Gartner is predicting that the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Augmentation market will be $2.9 trillion by 2021. Let’s think about that number. Globally, there are only three countries with a GDP larger than $2.9 trillion, which means the AI market will be larger than most countries’ total GDP. Just a hint here: if you struggle to get an IT project green lighted, try incorporating an AI initiative into it. The value of AI is one of the primary reasons why enterprises are fast-tracking AI infrastructure projects. In this new blog series, we’ll focus on specific types of Deep Learning (DL) use cases and their impacts in the enterprise. The first one is Natural Language Processing (NLP).Natural Language Processing is the original end state dream of AI researchers. In fact, a key basis of the Turing Test is determining the ability of a machine to understand human language and respond. It was created by Alan Turing in 1950 to determine whether a computer can think. The basic tenet is to test if a machine can use language to fool a human into thinking it is a human being. Even 70 years later we have yet to convincingly pass the Turing test because, to put it simply, human language is hard.Ever had a text or email lost in context? Chances are it happens every day. Not only do we have different languages that we speak, but we have different dialects within those languages. If we humans have a hard time understanding our language, then machines will struggle too. Now with the use of innovative DL models, machines are beginning to understand human language. In the enterprise, these applications are taking shape in three impactful areas: chatbots, text summarization, and voice interfaces.NLP ChatbotsChatbots are not new, but the technology has really improved in the last few years. Today you may not even be aware when you’re speaking to a machine (the Turing Test aside). Imagine using all your emails as training data to build an NLP DL model for a chatbot. All those with quick easily repeatable responses could be cleared out of your email box without you having to manually reply. For example, a technical support engineer is commonly asked how to reconnect their email in their email client. The simple answer that covers 85% of the cases has been solved hundreds of times in their email box. The email archive can train a model to solve the problem for use with a chatbot. Not all emails or customer responses should be handled by chatbots, but think of this use to efficiently triage common problems and respond to them quickly.NLP Text SummarizationLet’s think back to high school. When school lets out, summer reading lists seem like they’ll be easy to tackle over the coming months, but too many fun things can get in the way. So, time flies, summer ends and those books were never opened before the first day of class. Enter CliffsNotes, the invaluable reference guides summarizing classic books for the student procrastinator or those needing a good review. NLP is helping to bring this functionality to the enterprise with text summarization. Now, hours of re-reading notes from a meeting that took place months ago can be reduced to minutes. Or what about career and professional development?Many people struggle to keep up with the research in their field. Text summarization can help consolidate the high-level points about what’s new and deliver an easily consumable brief. Another use case is reducing the amount of time customer support engineers spend getting up to speed on a critical support issue. Saving minutes or hours for the engineer allows them to more effectively resolve the problem. Thus, NLP text summarization won’t replace reading, but it can help speed up cognition and time to results.NLP Voice interfacesSmart speakers and voice assistants are prolific in the consumer space. For example, my 8-year-old uses her smart speaker to help with homework. NLP is at the heart of these emerging voice interfaces and now it’s being deployed in organizations. Remember my doctor visit story a few months ago? Does he really need to carry around a voice recorder only to have his notes dictated and transcribed later? Not with NLP. Once the doctor leaves the patient room their notes can be automatically transcribed, uploaded and made available to their laptop when they need them. Healthcare will benefit greatly from these developments, but voice interfaces will not stop at smart devices for dictation. Enterprise users will continue to request the use of voice as an interface for such tasks as generating sales reports to voice enabled research assistants. I predict there will be a surge of voice interfaces in the enterprise.Building an Architecture for Natural Language ProcessingThese three emerging NLP use cases, and many others for AI and DL, require an optimal IT infrastructure to deliver expected user experiences and results. For instance, training NLP models to understand different dialects, voices and tones requires massive amounts of data, perhaps ranging from terabytes to petabytes. And the NLP will also generate even more data. Since AI initiatives start with data first, it’s important to consider the storage required for this most valuable asset.It’s equally imperative to contemplate your partners for the journey. Dell Technologies and NVIDIA are focused on helping our customers realize the value of their data with innovative AI solutions. Customers trust our expansive portfolios of best of breed hardware and software offerings to deliver high performance and scalable IT Infrastructure from sandbox proofs of concept to large-scale enterprise production. To this end, we’ve delivered Dell Technologies Ready Solutions for AI as well as reference architectures based on Dell EMC Isilon scale-out NAS with NVIDIA DGX-1™ and NVIDIA DGX-2™. And we’re looking forward to building on these efforts with the release of the new NVIDIA DGX™ A100 system. In the upcoming months, we plan to begin testing, validating and certifying NVIDIA DGX A100 systems with our Emmy Award–winning Dell EMC Isilon scale-out NAS. Stay tuned for new solutions and reference architectures built around these essential elements of a high performance, scalable AI IT Infrastructure from Dell Technologies and NVIDIA.
The Congressional Budget Office expects the U.S. economy will grow at a robust 4.6% annual rate this year, but that employment won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. The 10-year outlook issued Monday said the economic recovery from the coronavirus has been boosted by an unprecedented wave of government spending to combat the outbreak. While the growth estimates suggest a quick snapback in gross domestic product, the CBO shows that hiring will lag as consumer spending returns and employers become more comfortable with adding workers. The CBO projected an average of 521,000 jobs will be added monthly this year, a pace that would fall to 145,000 in 2022.
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department’s former workplace harassment czar has been fired over allegations he posted hateful messages online. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea’s decision on Wednesday to fire Deputy Inspector James Kobel came about three weeks after Kobel submitted retirement paperwork in an attempt to avoid a departmental disciplinary proceeding. At an internal disciplinary trial last month, Kobel was found to have violated multiple department rules and regulations. Kobel did not attend the trial. A message seeking comment was left with Kobel’s union. Kobel was accused of posting attacks on Black and Jewish people, women, and members of the LGBTQ community on an anonymous message board.
LONDON (AP) — Everyone arriving in the U.K. from countries identified as coronavirus hotspots will have to spend 10 days in hotel quarantine starting Feb. 15 in a bid to stop new virus variants reaching the country. Under the plan, British citizens and residents returning from high-risk countries will have to quarantine in approved hotels near airports and sea ports and will be billed for their stay. The U.K. says it has sought advice from Australia and New Zealand, where quarantine hotels have been used to contain COVID-19. But authorities are facing criticism for delays in implementing the policy, which was first announced in late January.