Two people shaking hands

After walking away from a networking event with several business cards in hand, there’s a chance (if not a high likelihood) you’ll lose some of them—and the connection opportunities that come with them. Fortunately, Microsoft’s camera app Pix uses computer vision to scrape your contact’s information from a business card he or she hands you and create an iPhone Contact for you. Thanks for making one more pesky task that much easier, Microsoft.

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Google search page

Auto Ads is Google’s new push to help time-strapped web publishers add advertising to their pages. It uses machine learning to analyze a webpage and decide what types of ads are best to place on it, figure out where on that page it should place certain ads, and identify how many ads should run on it. All the publisher has to do is include one line of code. Another interesting element of this new offering is that over time, the system will learn how to better place ads as it observes visitors’ behavior on the page and with the advertising.

What are the implications? This offering saves web publishers time because they let the advertising algorithm make decisions for them. People who are on the fence about putting ads on their webpages will have less of a barrier to put them up.

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Slack symbol

If you search for a certain topic in Slack, there’s now a feature that’ll help you identify which one of your accessible coworkers seems to know the most about a topic. This can be really helpful for larger organizations where employees may be spread across the globe.

Slack’ll also soon be rolling out some other features that are accessible upon request, like identifying what employees are talking about, and it can even narrow it down by region.

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woman holding smartphone with touch screen

This AI application in Google Sheets, which now helps you more easily build pivot tables, is all the more interesting in light of the backlash to this Wall Street Journal article: “Stop Using Excel, Finance Chiefs Tell Staffs.” The journalist who wrote that article then published this article in response: “Finance Pros Say You’ll Have to Pry Excel out of Their Cold, Dead Hands.”

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Some doctors are asking their patients to fill out an Alzheimer’s survey before coming in for care. This helps the doctor come to a faster diagnosis, when merited, and spend more time explaining what those conclusions mean. This group of students is using machine-learning to fine-tune the survey by finding which questions lead to more accurate diagnoses.

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Enterprise companies may want to use AI advances in their business solutions, but government regulations may not let them, and for good cause. Sometimes AI developers have no idea how their creation came up with its conclusion, and so they can’t answer regulators questions of “why.” This AI, however, is working to reverse engineer the black box to understand what it’s doing.

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