If you want to see where a small or mid-cap tech company is headed to, take a look at their “Jobs” page. Most often than not, it offers a lot of clues on the kind of projects they’re working on, and the technologies that they prefer.

As an investor, one such company that I always keep tabs on is ZenDesk, but with increasing despair.

To me, ZenDesk is one of the few companies that the AI revolution should immediately affect, yet they don’t seem to be moving a needle on that front, at least from the surface. I don’t see a single post that mentions Caffe, TensorFlow, Torch or neural networks. read more

Facebook may not be the favorite company of the open web community, for some good reasons. But when it comes to open source, most developers take advantage of their tools, libraries, and frameworks in one way or another. In particular, Javascript (Node.js) and PHP have advanced by leaps and bounds largely thanks to Facebook’s contributions. Although, one such technology that’s often overlooked is GraphQL, which, for many, has real potential to replace the infrastructure of the connected web, the REST APIs. read more

Back in 2007, in our good old ReadWriteWeb days, I wrote an article on Amazon’s then-nascent cloud initiative entitled Why Amazon’s HaaS (Hardware as a Service) Strategy is a Winner. I was comparing Amazon’s then potential success to Google’s advertising business. In a nutshell, the point was that if Google had gained so much value by monetizing the revenue side of the internet, then Amazon had an equally significant chance at success by monetizing the costs side (represented by the graphic below). read more

Many of us are conformists, and we don’t take action unless a) that action solves one of our big pain points, or b) it triggers dopamine. Turning your site IndieWeb, or forgoing the nice UI of a well-funded bigtech social media site for clunky open source alternatives, provides presumably neither of these two. Yet, I believe you should still care about the open web for three core reasons.

1. Open Web = Opportunities

Open web is equal to open data. And data fosters innovation and creates new opportunities.

Word2Vec, which is an algorithm that computes the semantic relationship between textual entities without any human intervention or seed information, was a breakthrough for the artificial intelligence community. It strengthened empiricists’ hands such as David Hume in the centuries-old epistemological discussions around whether we are born with innate knowledge of the world (as suggested by Plato and Descartes) by mathematically proving that knowledge can be acquired solely by experience. read more

There’s been a lot of talk about ICOs (initial coin offerings, named after IPO) in recent weeks, fueled by a number of companies you’ve never heard of raising ridiculous amounts of money. Status, reported to have raised $64MM; Bancor, another $153MM -a record in ICO history-; and a company, at least I’ve heard once or twice before, Kik‘s announcement of an upcoming ICO at the Techcrunch event — all in one week.

According to the ICO aggregator Smith-Crown, more than $290MM has been spent in such token sale transactions over the past two years. Which cumulatively raise suggestions as to ICO may be the new VC. read more

New York Times published an opinion article yesterday that suggests ethereum may take over bitcoin as the gold standard of cryptocurrencies. I disagree. And the proof is in the technical details.

Ethereum is a currency that’s vulnerable to hacks. Any cryptocurrency is, but with ethereum, it is more so. In fact, ethereum was hacked once in its less than three years long history. $80MM worth of ethers were stolen, and the Ethereum Foundation decided to change the source code so that the thieves would not be able to use the money. The idea was, this way, the heist would be contained. But, to some, this was no different than governments seizing individuals’ properties, hence against the decentralized spirit of blockchains. As a result, the ethereum-classic hard-fork was born. read more

It was a bit of surprise to me when I heard Chamath Palihapatiya a month ago on CNBC, roast IBM as a joke on the topic of AI.

There’s no doubt that IBM is not the sexiest company in tech right now and it’s an easy target for bullying. But anyone who has spent some time on cloud-based AI platforms will admit IBM has one of the best offerings in the market right now. IBM’s acquisitions of SoftLayer, AlchemyAPI, Cloudant put them in a strong position in terms of cloud and AI, but especially the intersection of the two. read more

You may have never heard of CUDA or OpenCL, and that’s no surprise. Only a very limited number of AI, VR researchers, and programmers use them. However, the AMD graphic cards of your Mac, your XBox games, Google searches, and Facebook newsfeed rely on these technologies, and you’re inadvertently reaping the benefits.

CUDA and OpenCL are gateways to your computers’ GPU. Once used for gaming mainly, GPUs are today the main components of AI servers, VR machines and blockchain miners. With Moore’s Law’s demise, they’re increasingly replacing CPU in the ranking of importance in computer architecture. read more

Cryptocurrency investing is in full swing. BitCoin, Ethereum, LiteCoin valuation spikes are seeing new records unstoppably. In light of Bitcoin’s latest surge, people started questioning whether it’s at its peak and whether it makes sense to dump it and switch to altcoins. I have developed a framework that might help you decide.

When it comes to cryptocurrency trading, there are four traits one should be looking at:

1) Liquidity: The ability for holders to cash out via exchanges and marketplaces.
2) Transactability: A factor of cryptocurrency’s default block mining time. The higher it takes time for a new block to appear, more difficult it is to use in everyday transactions, e.g. shopping for coffee, buying t-shirts, domain names, etc.
3) Anonymity: Whether public eyes can see what’s going on in the ledger, who is buying what, who is selling, etc. In contrast to popular opinion, most cryptocurrencies are not anonymous.
4) Programmability: The ability to develop trustless contracts on top of the public ledger. This is a state-of-the-art advanced concept introduced by Ethereum, which you can skip. read more

AI is hot, and it’s real. There’s no doubt. And when it comes to openness in AI, we are lucky. Thanks to Berkeley University, Google, and Facebook, we have great libraries one can use to form convolutional neural networks that will solve the world’s biggest problems; like “hot dog or not” 😃

Joke aside, this article is intended to give you a quick introduction to the hottest convolutional neural network frameworks available. For those of you who don’t know, convolutional neural networks are brain replicas in software form, literally. They were invented by Yann LeCun at NY University -now Director of AI Research at Facebook- by examining the biological structure of cat brains and replicating them in software. read more