Singularity Pulse  
     
  Finance

Machine-Learning to Help Corporate Bond Issuance

Companies wishing to issue bonds seek bankers’ help and pay a hefty fee for assistance in calibrating the size, structure and timing of a bond issue, as well as connections to lots of buyers. And once a bank has agreed to underwrite an issue, it bears the risk of failing to get a good price for the bonds. Investment bankers responsible for bond issuance still operate largely by feel, calling up asset managers to get a sense of demand, rather than by crunching numbers. Overbond, a financial-technology startup in Toronto, is offering a set of machine-learning algorithms powered by neural networks, a type of artificial intelligence, that predict the timing and pricing of new bond issues. The algorithms crunch through credit ratings and real-time data on secondary trading for a firm and its peers, among other things. Recent predictions for the yield on new bond issues have been, on average, off by less than 0.02 percentage points. A subscription buys tailored estimates of demand for new bonds, including the interest rate the market is willing to bear. This helps corporate treasurers gauge market conditions and decide when to issue bonds and in what maturity.

 
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AI Tool to Help Visualize Structures Inside a Cell

Using artificial intelligence, scientists have created a tool that lets anyone visualize what the structures inside a cell look like — even when you only have images of the outside. The Allen Integrated Cell creates 3D visualizations that could help researchers better understand disease. This cell tool focuses on human stem cells, or cells that haven’t yet turned into, say, muscle cells or heart cells. “If we better understand the inner workings of a healthy cell, then we can better understand what goes wrong when it turns into something like a cancer cell”, says Greg Johnson, a scientist at the Allen Institute. First, the scientists genetically engineered cells so that their internal structures (like the mitochondria) glowed. Then, they took thousands of photos of these glowing cells and fed them to machine learning algorithms. The algorithms learned to predict the shape and location of structures in any cell, not just the ones it had already seen or the ones that had various other structures labeled. The tool will let researchers study cells more effectively and cheaply.

Research  
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  Finance

Artificial Intelligence to Reinvent Investment Advising

The article discusses how AI will reinvent investment advising. AI is aiding in generating insights to predict retail investor behaviour, stock movements based on trading pattern and company sentiment using mentions on social media. In addition, the three key areas where AI will make a difference are customer service, compliance and investment research. Chat bots rely on AI technology to mimic the services provided by a support desk. Compliance is another area affected by AI in particular within the scope of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC). Investment recommendation is a third area where recommending a product which is aligned with both the client’s risk profile and portfolio objectives.

 
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AI Device for Detecting Diabetic Retinopathy Earns Swift FDA Approval

Iowa-based biotech firm IDx, LLC has gained regulatory approval for the first artificial intelligence (AI) device capable of screening for diabetic retinopathy (DR). Images of the patient’s retina are captured by a Topcon NW400 camera and uploaded to a cloud server, where the IDx-DR software resides. The software autonomously interprets the images and returns one of two possible results: ‘More than mild diabetic retinopathy detected: refer to an eye care professional’ or ‘negative for more than mild diabetic retinopathy; rescreen in 12 months.’. A multi-center trial of the device in more than 900 adults with diabetes revealed a sensitivity and specificity of 87.3% and 89.5%, respectively.

Healthcare  
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  General

Google's I/O Developer Conference Showcases Benefits of AI

The annual Google I/O developer conference last week, highlighted the benefits of artificial intelligence technologies. Google has increasingly focused R&D on computer vision, natural language processing, and neural networks. Some of the key highlights were the “continued conversation” update to Google Assistant that now makes talking to the Assistant feel more natural. In addition, the new version of Google Photos app will suggest quick fixes and tweaks like rotations, brightness corrections or adding pops of color. Google also unveiled the latest version of custom AI computer chips (TPUs). The company unveiled ML Kit, a new software development kit for app developers on iOS and Android that allows them to integrate pre-built, Google-provided machine learning models into apps. Smart features to Google maps and Youtube were also showcased.

 
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AI Analytics Platform to Help Identify Rare Diseases

Pfizer Inc.’s recently-built analytics platform is helping employees from different divisions within the company collaborate in an effort to identify patients with rare diseases that might previously have gone undiagnosed. With the help of machine-learning algorithms, the analytics platform is now yielding new insights that were previously difficult to identify in a short amount of time because there too many disparate datasets to sift through. More than one million different data sources were used to discover potentially useful information.

Health care  
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  Digital Imaging

Deep Learning to Brighten Images Taken in The Dark

When shooting a photo in low light, a low-ISO long-exposure photo requires a stable camera and blurs movement in the frame while a high-ISO short-exposure photo can be plagued with noise and poor quality. Now AI is bridging the cap, opening the door to low-ISO image quality while shooting at faster shutter speeds. A group of researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Intel have published a new paper which explains how they trained an AI to do low-light image processing and produce results that are much cleaner and more usable than traditional high-ISO photos. RAW photos processed with the trained AI were able to produce photos that had much less noise and much better color reproduction than photos boosted to high ISOs with the “traditional image processing pipeline.”

 
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AI Can Help Addicts Stay Sober

Companion is an app funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It continuously and passively monitors psychological health and well-being using built-in mobile sensors and survey questions. The app looks for changes in the user’s voice—in pitch, inflection, and other factors. It also keeps track of how much a user talks and how often. Put together, these details can indicate mental health conditions and identify those who are at-risk. The app offers social-media tools to connect people with resources and other people.

Miscellaneous  
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  General

AI Program Learns Human Navigation Skills

Google’s artificial intelligence group, DeepMind, has trounced experts at a maze game after it learned to find its way around like a human. Scientists noticed that when they trained the AI to move through a landscape, it spontaneously developed electrical activity akin to that seen in the specialised brain cells that underpin human navigational skills. The latest breakthrough reveals the potential for human brain-like activity to emerge from scratch in AI systems.

 
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