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MIT Wants To Solve For AI Talent Shortage With $1 Billion New School

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At the Marketing AI Institute, we read dozens of articles on artificial intelligence every week to uncover the most valuable ones for our subscribers and we curate them for you here. We call it 3 Links in 3 Minutes. Enjoy!

MIT Announces $1 Billion AI Initiative

It’s no secret that there is a shortage of AI developers and researchers. In fact, a report from Tencent last year suggested there are only 300,000 AI researchers and practitioners worldwide.

MIT is trying to solve for this. To do so, they just announced a $1 billion initiative to start a new college of computing to train the next generation of machine learning mavens, shares TheVerge.

Interestingly, the college isn’t just about teaching students AI skills. MIT President L. Rafael Reif wants the program to focus on “the bilinguals of the future.” This means students in fields such as biology, chemistry, physics, politics, and history will be educated on how to apply machine learning to their disciplines.

Two-thirds of the $1 billion commitment has already been raised. The college will be named after Stephen A. Schwarzman, CEO of the private equity firm Blackstone, who has committed $350 million.

There will be 50 new faculty positions, only half of which will focus solely on computer science. The school is scheduled to open in September 2019, with the building reaching completion in 2022.

Adobe “Sneaks” New AI Illustration Brush

It’s time again for Adobe’s annual “sneaks” announcements. Every year, the company gives a “sneak peak” into a number of projects they’re working on. Some of these become available with the next product updates and others are just demonstrations.

Popular Science has the full story on this year’s big announcements, one of which, the Project Bounty Brush, is fueled by artificial intelligence.

This new set of digital paintbrushes, eight in total, enable users to automatically paint animation into otherwise-static illustrations in Adobe products. For example, adding realistic-looking raindrops to an illustration requires a lot of manual work and attention to detail. With this new brush, AI automates the process and gives users options for the size and shape of the raindrops, and the frequency with which it falls.

Another example includes using the Hair or Grass brush to create swaths of hair or blades of grass that blow in the wind. Users can control the direction and power of the wind, and AI does the rest.

AI for Workplace Time Tracking

Norwegian startup Memory recently raised $5 million in further funding to bring artificial intelligence to time tracking.

According to TechCrunch, their time-tracking app, Timely, combines AI and digital technology to solve for the “abuses of time” that are common in modern workplaces.

Founder Mathias Mikkelsen’s reason for starting memory: “The problem is that people find it extremely painful to [track time] and thus do it incorrectly. For example, what did you do last Friday? How long did it take? Humans are not built to remember that kind of detail and we shouldn’t be doing it. Harvard Business Review estimates that U.S. companies lose billions of dollars per day because of incorrect time tracking, so we think the potential is massive”.

Powered by machine learning and neural networks, Timely tracks every single thing a user does on the computer from files worked on, websites visited, emails sent, and more. Then, Timely analyzes the data and automatically creates a timesheet for the user. It categorizes items further with automatically-created projects and tags.

According to Memory, Timely is currently used by over 4,000 companies across 160 countries.

Image: Christopher Harting, MIT

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