Image 18 February 2019
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Finance

Bank Taps AI for Approving Corporate Loans

US banking giant Citigroup has begun tapping artificial intelligence to analyze companies’ financial statements in the approval process for corporate loans. The technology enables computers to scan and read hard copies of clients’ financial statements and automatically calculate indicators such as current ratio and leverage ratio. Bankers will use the results to decide whether and how much to lend to a company. The trial began last month in the bank’s credit analysis department in Hong Kong, and has shortened the usual 10 to 15 days needed to approve a corporate loan by at least two days. Citi has tested the technology on less than 10% of all cases and achieved 94% accuracy rate with the calculations. The bank will improve the accuracy and expand the use of the technology to all cases over the next six to eight months. AI will free up time for bank staff to focus on whether to give the green light to corporate loans Read More

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Infrastructure

AI to Improve Sustainability in Operations

The Swig Company, owner and operator of real estate assets, recently announced that it is using AI to lower energy use and costs and streamline sustainable building operations. It has partnered with Gridium, a tech company specializing in smart data analysis. According to Gridium, building operators using its technology will not have to waste time scrolling through plots of building management systems data to spot inefficient building drift. Machine learning algorithms automatically update based on the latest building meter and weather data, enabling Gridium software to perform load decompositions and to alert the operator if the lights or the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment were left running overnight. Because the AI autonomously identifies and communicates anomalous changes in energy use patterns, building operators can address issues proactively. The expected outcomes of the partnership include satisfying workspace environments for tenants, accurate measurement and verification analyses, and validation of successful energy efficiency projects. Read More

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Healthcare

AI System Spots Childhood Disease Like A Doctor

An AI programme developed in China that combs through test results, health records and even handwritten notes, diagnosed childhood diseases as accurately as doctors. The new technology is the first in which AI absorbs unstructured data and “natural language” to imitate the process by which a physician figures out what's wrong with a patient. The system can be easily transferred to other languages and settings. By comparing hundreds of bits of information about a single patient with a vast store of acquired knowledge, the technology unearths links that previous statistical methods - and sometimes flesh-and-blood doctors - overlook. To train the system, the scientists injected more than 100 million data points from 1.3 million pediatrics patient visits at a major referral centre in Guangzhou, China. From the flu and asthma to life-threatening pneumonia and meningitis, the system consistently matched or out-performed primary care pediatricians. The AI-based technology learns and improves in a way similar to humans but has virtually unlimited capacity for data processing and storage. Read More

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Law and Security

AI to Help Fight Child Trafficking

Often, child sex traffickers reach out to would-be clients with photos of their victims in the hotel rooms in which they’re being held. Thus, engineers from Washington University developed an AI system that can recognise features of a hotel room from a photo and identify where it may have been taken — potentially giving investigators new leads to fight child trafficking. The idea is to flood the AI algorithm with hotel room photos so that it could recognise the background of a trafficking victim’s photo. Some features are easy to learn, as hotel chains may standardise their furniture. Since 2016, the engineers’ system has collected some 50,000 crowdsourced photos. So far, the app has stayed out of public hands and is used exclusively by law enforcement or groups like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), so that sensitive information like the photos of trafficking victims don’t spread across the internet. Read More

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Aquafarming

An AI Touch to Aquaculture

A Hyderabad-based startup, Aqualitik is planning to help farmers manage the pond and crop health. The company plans to use AI technology to provide real-time alerts and actionable insights to farmers on the health of their produce and also look at how it can help them increase their yield and what kind of seed to use for a healthier produce and a host of other things. The startup plans to help farmers in monitoring, analysing, intelligent controlling of pond equipment, predict the water and health condition and act accordingly. Although the almost 3-month old startup, founded by four young entrepreneurs, is still in the research and data collection stage, they see great scope for its technology. The technology is likely to be launched by the end of this year. Read More

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Surveillance

Novel AI-Based System to Counter Online Dating Frauds

Researchers have developed an AI-based system to restrict fake profiles designed to con people on dating apps and websites. The computing algorithms have been designed specifically to understand what fake dating profiles look like and then to apply this knowledge to scan profiles submitted to online dating services. The algorithms, part of a wide-ranging research, have the capability to 'think' like humans to pinpoint fake profiles. The algorithms automatically look out for suspicious signs inadvertently included by fraudsters in the demographic information, the images and the self-descriptions that make up profiles and reach an overall conclusion about the probability of each individual profile being fake. According to the researchers, the aim is now to further enhance the technique and enable it to start being taken up by dating services within the next couple of years, helping them to prevent profiles being posted by scammers. Read More

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Miscellaneous

AI Cat Shelter for Strays

Chinese internet powerhouse, Baidu has built an AI cat shelter to care for strays. The project was instigated by Baidu employee, Wan Xi, after he discovered a small cat sheltering under his car last winter. After taking the cat to a vet, he resolved to use his technological know-how to help improve the situation for other strays. The shelter, which comes complete with toys, regular dispatches of food and water, and warm spaces to sleep, features feline facial recognition to grant access. It can also check its guests for various diseases and assess whether or not they’ve been neutered. If it identifies a sick cat, a message is sent to a nearby volunteer organisation that looks after stray animals to come and administer the required help. Baidu’s development is an especially impactful one for the cat population in Northern China, which experiences sub-zero temperatures. It is estimated that just 4 in 10 stray cats make it through the winter in these regions. Read More

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Miscellaneous

AI to Help Prevent Bullying in Schools

A city in Shiga Prefecture plans to use AI to predict the potential consequences of suspected cases of bullying at schools, in what would be the first such analysis by a municipality in the country. AI will be used to analyse 9,000 suspected bullying cases reported by elementary and junior high schools in the city over the six years through fiscal 2018. It will examine the school grade and gender of the suspected victims and perpetrators as well as when and where the incidents occurred. Statistical analysis of the data is expected to help local authorities and teachers identify forms of bullying that tend to escalate in seriousness and which therefore require extra attention. The AI analysis will also look at other factors, such as school absenteeism and academic achievement, and the findings will be compiled into a report for use by teachers and in training seminars. Read More

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