Cervest raises 3.7M for Earth Science AI platform to predict climate effects

Climate risk, including extreme events and the related pressures our environment, are fundamentally affecting the way businesses and governments operate — both tactically and strategically. Increasing climate volatility is causing food supply disruptions and increasing pressure on Enterprises (including financial institutions, insurers and producers) to disclose what’s going on. The trouble is, while there is a lot of data about all this, its complexity, incompleteness and sheer volume is too vast for humans to process with the tools available today. So just as the climate changes, we are faced with “data chaos.” Equally, other parts of the world suffer from data scarcity, making it much harder to provide useful and timely analysis. So the challenge is to address these issues …

Vianai emerges with $50M seed and a mission to simplify machine learning tech

You don’t see a startup get a $50 million seed round all that often, but such was the case with Vianai, an early-stage startup launched by Vishal Sikka, former Infosys managing director and SAP executive. The company launched recently with a big check and a vision to transform machine learning. Just this week, the startup had a coming out party at Oracle Open World, where Sikka delivered one of the keynotes and demoed the product for attendees. Over the last couple of years, since he left Infosys, Sikka has been thinking about the impact of AI and machine learning on society and the way it is being delivered today. He didn’t much like what he saw. It’s worth noting that …

Explorium reveals $19.1M in total funding for machine learning data discovery platform

Explorium, a data discovery platform for machine learning models, received a couple of unannounced funding rounds over the last year — a $3.6 million seed round last September and a $15.5 million Series A round in March. Today, it made both of these rounds public. The seed round was led by Emerge with participation of F2 Capital. The Series A was led by Zeev Ventures with participation from the seed investors. The total raised is $19.1 million. The company founders, who have a data science background, found that it was problematic to find the right data to build a machine learning model. Like most good startup founders confronted with a problem, they decided to solve it themselves by building a …

Teaching ethics in computer science the right way with Georgia Techs Charles Isbell

The new fall semester is upon us, and at elite private colleges and universities, it’s hard to find a trendier major than Computer Science. It’s also becoming more common for such institutions to prioritize integrating ethics into their CS studies, so students don’t just learn about how to build software, but whether or not they should build it in the first place. Of course, this begs questions about how much the ethics lessons such prestigious schools are teaching are actually making a positive impression on students. But at a time when demand for qualified computer scientists is skyrocketing around the world and far exceeds supply, another kind of question might be even more important: Can computer science be transformed from …

Why AI needs more social workers, with Columbia Universitys Desmond Patton

Sometimes it does seem the entire tech industry could use someone to talk to, like a good therapist or social worker. That might sound like an insult, but I mean it mostly earnestly: I am a chaplain who has spent 15 years talking with students, faculty, and other leaders at Harvard (and more recently MIT as well), mostly nonreligious and skeptical people like me, about their struggles to figure out what it means to build a meaningful career and a satisfying life, in a world full of insecurity, instability, and divisiveness of every kind. In related news, I recently took a year-long paid sabbatical from my work at Harvard and MIT, to spend 2019-20 investigating the ethics of technology and …