Microsoft Targets Enterprise Productivity with Spreadsheet AI

Microsoft is working on a new productivity tool that helps artificial intelligence better understand spreadsheets. Still in the experimental phase, SpreadsheetLLM addresses challenges that are unique to applying AI to spreadsheets, “with their extensive two-dimensional grids, various layouts, and diverse formatting options,” the company explains. Hailed as a significant development in the enterprise space, where spreadsheets are used for everything from data entry to financial modeling and are shared among departments, Microsoft points out that as a research area spreadsheet-optimized AI has generally been overlooked in favor of flashier use-cases. Continue reading Microsoft Targets Enterprise Productivity with Spreadsheet AI

Slack AI Brings Generative Features to Channels and Threads

Slack AI is a new paid add-on for enterprise clients that want to boost productivity using artificial intelligence. Generative capabilities in the initial release include personalized responses to questions, channel recaps and thread summaries that promise to “catch you up on long conversations in one click.” Slack says pilot data indicated customers including Uber and Anthropic “could save an average of 97 minutes per user each week using Slack AI to find answers, distill knowledge and spark ideas.” Slack AI is backward compatible, generating information based on the history built over time on the platform. Continue reading Slack AI Brings Generative Features to Channels and Threads

Dell Partnering with Nvidia and Starburst for GenAI Solutions

Dell Technologies is expanding its Generative AI Solutions portfolio to help enterprise customers add GenAI to their workflow. The expansion includes support for advanced infrastructure and collaborative data solutions that optimize and help secure intelligence gathering and utilization. Dell takes a “validated design” approach to optimization and acceleration, testing different hardware configurations designed to fit the needs of various use cases. Dell has partnered with Nvidia for validated GenAI design for model customization, and with Starburst on data lakehouse solutions that tap multi-cloud data for AI end-use. Continue reading Dell Partnering with Nvidia and Starburst for GenAI Solutions

OneDrive 3.0 Aspires to Become Main Windows File Manager

Microsoft would like to make OneDrive “the center of your files experience in Microsoft 365.” Sixteen years after the cloud-based storage platform was launched, it “hosts trillions of files, with nearly 2 billion more files added every day,” the company says. The result is OneDrive source files sprawling across the entire Windows ecosystem — extending to SharePoint libraries, traveling as attachments and exchanged through Teams chats. Now Microsoft is adding AI Copilot integration and AI and, overall, making it easier to find things in what it calls the next generation of OneDrive. Continue reading OneDrive 3.0 Aspires to Become Main Windows File Manager

Cisco to Acquire Cybersecurity Firm Splunk in $28 Billion Deal

Cisco is poised to make its biggest acquisition ever, with an agreement in place to buy cybersecurity firm Splunk for $28 billion. Cisco, which turns 30 next year, is a global leader in the manufacture of computer networking equipment. Splunk is a 20-year-old company with more than 1,100 patents and a business built around keeping systems and data safe, resolving technical issues and minimizing the risk of hacks, most recently introducing new AI-based services. The companies expect the deal to close in late 2024. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins says the deal will be financed with a combination of cash and debt. Continue reading Cisco to Acquire Cybersecurity Firm Splunk in $28 Billion Deal

Gable.ai Aims to Reinvent How Data Engineers and AI Interact

Gable.ai is emerging out of stealth mode this week with $7 million in seed funding and a plan to bridge the gap between data gathering and the artificial intelligence applications that rely on that data to function. The startup’s approach is based on the premise that “data modeling is often an afterthought” at the AI stage, where software developers are stuck working with whatever the data crew has handed them. Gable.ai aims to create a more structured workflow between the two, where end-uses are taken into account at the front end resulting in clean data optimized for AI use. Continue reading Gable.ai Aims to Reinvent How Data Engineers and AI Interact

Companies Turn to Cyber Insurance as Global Threats Surge

The cost of a data breach can run as high as $4.54 million today, up from $3.86 million in 2020, according to an IBM study that says the fastest-growing — and costliest — type of cyberattack is ransomware. That’s why more companies are turning to cyber insurance to hedge their bets. Last year, the global market for such policies was estimated to be in the $13.33 billion range, and projected to reach $84.62 billion by 2030. Because the increased frequency of attacks has resulted in increased payouts, insurance providers now often require proof of adequate security measures. Continue reading Companies Turn to Cyber Insurance as Global Threats Surge

Snorkel AI Debuts Products for Model Training, Development

Snorkel AI is offering new capabilities to help companies curate and prep data for generative artificial intelligence. Formed in 2015, Snorkel AI has been developing software for data-centric AI. Its best known product is Snorkel Flow, which helps enterprise clients build and deploy AI applications efficiently using programmatic labeling to automate the process of creating training data for AI models. Now Snorkel AI’s Foundation Model Data Platform is going beyond programmatic labeling with two new core solutions: Snorkel GenFlow for building generative AI applications and Snorkel Foundry for developing custom LLMs with proprietary data. Continue reading Snorkel AI Debuts Products for Model Training, Development

IBM Bows Watsonx Suite of Enterprise AI Products, Services

With artificial intelligence development dating back to the 1950s, IBM was clearly ahead of its time. The company has quietly built a commercial portfolio, with more than 100 million customers across 20 industries using its Watson suite, the company says. At its annual Think conference, the company unboxed IBM Watsonx, a next-generation platform that leverages the scale and scope of foundation models to provide custom solutions for data-driven clients. Described as an “enterprise studio for AI builders,” Watsonx is an end-to-end framework that combines the tools, infrastructure and consulting expertise corporations can use to onboard AI. Continue reading IBM Bows Watsonx Suite of Enterprise AI Products, Services

EA Announces New AI-Powered, Cloud-Native Gaming Tech

Electronic Arts unveiled Project Atlas, its “cloud-native gaming” technology, via a Medium blog post by chief technology officer Ken Moss. Although he did not say when it would be fully deployed and functional, Moss described Project Atlas as designed to “harness the massive power of cloud computing and artificial intelligence and putting it into the hands of game makers in a powerful, easy to use, one-stop experience.” The game engine combines rendering, game logic, physics, animation, audio, and more. Continue reading EA Announces New AI-Powered, Cloud-Native Gaming Tech

Nielsen Expands Marketing Cloud With Gracenote’s TV Data

Nielsen is introducing “smart TV viewership data from Gracenote,” reports TechCrunch, so that “advertisers using the Nielsen Marketing Cloud will be able to take advantage of detailed, real-time information about who was watching what.” Nielsen exec Kelly Abcarian said the goal is to deliver “person-level television data” to digital marketing and “bring the scale to a whole new level.” This will enable advertisers to target consumers who watched a TV spot by following up with a direct response mobile ad. Nielsen has expanded its ad targeting and digital ad business efforts with the purchase of eXelate in 2015 and Gracenote earlier this year. Gracenote’s Video Automatic Content Recognition tech can be found in 27 million smart TVs today. Continue reading Nielsen Expands Marketing Cloud With Gracenote’s TV Data

Apple to Open New Data Center in China With Local Partner

Apple will open its first data center in southwest China, in response to a new Chinese law that requires companies to store data within its borders. The data center, which will be operated in partnership with a local data management company, is part of a $1 billion investment Apple will make in the Guizhou province. Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft have built data centers in Germany, France and the Netherlands among other countries for technical reasons and in response to security concerns of governments and customers. Continue reading Apple to Open New Data Center in China With Local Partner

NAB 2017: Assimilate, Z CAM Tackle VR Production Workflow

At NAB 2017, China-based Z CAM, which offers an interchangeable lens mount 4K VR camera, inked a partnership with Assimilate, which offers an interactive, creative platform. The Z CAM S1 VR camera is a four-sensor system with high-speed Ethernet port, providing 4K at 60fps or 6K at 30fps (post-stitching output) and Z CAM’s WonderStitch. That is paired with Assimilate’s real-time Scratch VR Z bundle, which includes the features of Scratch and Scratch Web plus 360-degree tools and features, stitching and ambisonic audio. Continue reading NAB 2017: Assimilate, Z CAM Tackle VR Production Workflow

CES: Pivothead Offers Live Streaming Solution in Eyeglasses

Xentris Wireless designs, manufactures and distributes an array of wireless accessories. The company is in South Hall at CES this week showing a number of products; of particular interest is a nearly-normal looking eyeglass device from Pivothead that streams 1080p, 60 fps video. The Pivothead glasses will stream via Wi-Fi or a cellular connection to Pivothead.TV. When unlocked, the glasses can stream to a location of your choice, or the video can be recorded on a microSD chip. The simplicity of the user interface and data management make it ideal for news gathering in the field. Continue reading CES: Pivothead Offers Live Streaming Solution in Eyeglasses