Israel is emerging as an increasingly vibrant hot bed of technology investment and M&A activity for savvy deal makers.If the current pace holds—40 Israeli companies have been acquired this year—this will be the highest rate of M&A activity since 1994. Since January 2011, acquirers have spent an aggregate $19.4 billion to acquire 107 Israeli companies. Fifty-five of these companies were venture backed and accounted for $12.8 billion in aggregate purchase price. Interestingly, 21 of these companies were acquired by Apple, Cisco, EMC/VMware, Facebook, GE, Google, IBM, Intel / McAfee and Salesforce.com. The future looks robust as well, as venture investment in Israeli companies in the first six months of 2013 alone totaled nearly $1.0 billion.With a current population of less than eight million people (fewer than, for example, New Jersey, North Carolina or Virginia), you might wonder how Israel generates such a track record. The fact is that there are attractive acquisition targets all over the planet. EMC and others are increasingly setting their sights on Israel because the companies we find and the macro environment in which they operate can enable growth and success at global scale.Matt’s article continues on Quartz.
Enhance Your Competitive Advantage: PC Upgrades Can Greatly Increase Productivity, Reduce Costs and Improve Employee Retention
The workplace is evolving more quickly than even the most adept futurists could have imagined, from the way offices are laid out to the flexible hours many of us work. Dell EMC’s Workplace Transformation study found 60 percent of employees work after hours and two-thirds complete some business at home. Interestingly, even with all these changes and the advent of new workplace technology like VR and IoT, the PC remains the backbone of our workday.The challenge is that technology keeps improving by 10x every five years, so the PCs of yesterday often don’t fully support the needs of today’s worker. Relying on this outdated technology to complete day-to-day business tasks can hinder organizations in a number of areas, from productivity to security to employee satisfaction levels.For workers on the go, the design of their laptop has importance beyond surface-level aesthetic appeal. If the laptop is too large and bulky, it can be difficult to work on an airplane tray table or lap. If it’s a small laptop but a few years old, it may not have the battery life to make it through a trip. In addition, the screen may provide too small a viewing area for the worker to effectively perform certain tasks, like comparing multiple spreadsheets.Nearly half (47%) of IT decision makers have already noticed disruptions to overall productivity due to their companies’ outdated devices. There is a measurable difference even in laptops that are only a few years old. Our study found that one-year-old PCs offer 11% productivity gains as compared to a two-year-old PC. This may not seem like much at first, but this tech-induced productivity gain equates to 21 additional full days of work per year for the average worker, incurring $15,000 in savings a year per employee.Outdated technology not only causes productivity issues; these older laptops and tools also may fail to protect workers from the latest security threats. In fact, 46% of IT decision makers say older PCs are more susceptible to security breaches. This is not a risk worth taking, and threats can materialize in a number of ways for mobile workers. For example, if an employee’s laptop is stolen while working from a coffee shop, older technology may not have the robust security features, like multi-factor authentication, needed to keep the laptop’s data safe.Technology can also affect individual employees in unexpected ways. If workers don’t have the proper tools to effectively do their jobs day in and day out, they are likely to become frustrated and unhappy in their role. Eighty-two percent of millennials – the generation that now makes up the largest portion of the workforce – say technology influences the job they take, and another 42% say they would quit a job that didn’t provide the technology they needed to excel at their jobs.When making product development decisions, Dell focuses heavily on mitigating real-life scenarios like these. It’s because of the conversations we have with our business customers that we’ve developed products like the new Latitude 7380 notebook coming available on August 15th on Dell.com. We designed the Latitude 7000 Series to better reflect the needs of today’s mobile workforce. We focused on making it as lightweight and small as possible, but also gave users the option to choose a smaller bezel, giving the screen more real estate in a 13-inch display.We also incorporated a range of advanced security features, including the option to implement multi-factor authentication, such as infrared cameras that enable workers to log in through facial recognition, touch fingerprint reader, contacted FIPS 201 Smart Card Reader, and contactless smart card reader/NFC with Control Vault 2™ FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certification and Dell Client Command Suite.We custom-built this laptop’s accessories with the needs of flexible workstations in mind. While on the go, workers can utilize a hybrid adapter and power bank to stay powered up, a DA200 adapter to connect to a range of inputs including USB, HDMI, and Ethernet, and even a slim backpack for easy transfer. Back at the office, employees can connect the laptop to their office setup with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and multiple monitor docking options including DisplayPort™ over USB Type C and Dell Wireless dock to keep working seamlessly between locations within minutes.As business owners, you know that your competitive edge often relies on the smallest of details. For today’s workers, who are in motion for much of their work week, these small details can drastically affect their productivity and, ultimately, their satisfaction. Don’t let your technology be the reason your company and employees are stuck in the past. Ask yourself whether your technology is providing the firm foundation your company needs for growth. And if the answer is no, consider what you’re sacrificing as a result.
I previously talked about the Rise of Deep Learning in the Enterprise and how its use is dramatically augmenting human capabilities. Gartner is predicting that the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Augmentation market will be $2.9 trillion by 2021. Let’s think about that number. Globally, there are only three countries with a GDP larger than $2.9 trillion, which means the AI market will be larger than most countries’ total GDP. Just a hint here: if you struggle to get an IT project green lighted, try incorporating an AI initiative into it. The value of AI is one of the primary reasons why enterprises are fast-tracking AI infrastructure projects. In this new blog series, we’ll focus on specific types of Deep Learning (DL) use cases and their impacts in the enterprise. The first one is Natural Language Processing (NLP).Natural Language Processing is the original end state dream of AI researchers. In fact, a key basis of the Turing Test is determining the ability of a machine to understand human language and respond. It was created by Alan Turing in 1950 to determine whether a computer can think. The basic tenet is to test if a machine can use language to fool a human into thinking it is a human being. Even 70 years later we have yet to convincingly pass the Turing test because, to put it simply, human language is hard.Ever had a text or email lost in context? Chances are it happens every day. Not only do we have different languages that we speak, but we have different dialects within those languages. If we humans have a hard time understanding our language, then machines will struggle too. Now with the use of innovative DL models, machines are beginning to understand human language. In the enterprise, these applications are taking shape in three impactful areas: chatbots, text summarization, and voice interfaces.NLP ChatbotsChatbots are not new, but the technology has really improved in the last few years. Today you may not even be aware when you’re speaking to a machine (the Turing Test aside). Imagine using all your emails as training data to build an NLP DL model for a chatbot. All those with quick easily repeatable responses could be cleared out of your email box without you having to manually reply. For example, a technical support engineer is commonly asked how to reconnect their email in their email client. The simple answer that covers 85% of the cases has been solved hundreds of times in their email box. The email archive can train a model to solve the problem for use with a chatbot. Not all emails or customer responses should be handled by chatbots, but think of this use to efficiently triage common problems and respond to them quickly.NLP Text SummarizationLet’s think back to high school. When school lets out, summer reading lists seem like they’ll be easy to tackle over the coming months, but too many fun things can get in the way. So, time flies, summer ends and those books were never opened before the first day of class. Enter CliffsNotes, the invaluable reference guides summarizing classic books for the student procrastinator or those needing a good review. NLP is helping to bring this functionality to the enterprise with text summarization. Now, hours of re-reading notes from a meeting that took place months ago can be reduced to minutes. Or what about career and professional development?Many people struggle to keep up with the research in their field. Text summarization can help consolidate the high-level points about what’s new and deliver an easily consumable brief. Another use case is reducing the amount of time customer support engineers spend getting up to speed on a critical support issue. Saving minutes or hours for the engineer allows them to more effectively resolve the problem. Thus, NLP text summarization won’t replace reading, but it can help speed up cognition and time to results.NLP Voice interfacesSmart speakers and voice assistants are prolific in the consumer space. For example, my 8-year-old uses her smart speaker to help with homework. NLP is at the heart of these emerging voice interfaces and now it’s being deployed in organizations. Remember my doctor visit story a few months ago? Does he really need to carry around a voice recorder only to have his notes dictated and transcribed later? Not with NLP. Once the doctor leaves the patient room their notes can be automatically transcribed, uploaded and made available to their laptop when they need them. Healthcare will benefit greatly from these developments, but voice interfaces will not stop at smart devices for dictation. Enterprise users will continue to request the use of voice as an interface for such tasks as generating sales reports to voice enabled research assistants. I predict there will be a surge of voice interfaces in the enterprise.Building an Architecture for Natural Language ProcessingThese three emerging NLP use cases, and many others for AI and DL, require an optimal IT infrastructure to deliver expected user experiences and results. For instance, training NLP models to understand different dialects, voices and tones requires massive amounts of data, perhaps ranging from terabytes to petabytes. And the NLP will also generate even more data. Since AI initiatives start with data first, it’s important to consider the storage required for this most valuable asset.It’s equally imperative to contemplate your partners for the journey. Dell Technologies and NVIDIA are focused on helping our customers realize the value of their data with innovative AI solutions. Customers trust our expansive portfolios of best of breed hardware and software offerings to deliver high performance and scalable IT Infrastructure from sandbox proofs of concept to large-scale enterprise production. To this end, we’ve delivered Dell Technologies Ready Solutions for AI as well as reference architectures based on Dell EMC Isilon scale-out NAS with NVIDIA DGX-1™ and NVIDIA DGX-2™. And we’re looking forward to building on these efforts with the release of the new NVIDIA DGX™ A100 system. In the upcoming months, we plan to begin testing, validating and certifying NVIDIA DGX A100 systems with our Emmy Award–winning Dell EMC Isilon scale-out NAS. Stay tuned for new solutions and reference architectures built around these essential elements of a high performance, scalable AI IT Infrastructure from Dell Technologies and NVIDIA.
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe buried three top officials in a single ceremony at a shrine reserved almost exclusively for the ruling elite as a virulent wave of the coronavirus takes a devastating toll on the country. Pallbearers in full COVID-19 protective gear wheeled the coffins of the two Cabinet ministers and a former head of Zimbabwe’s prisons on a red carpet for burial with military honors. A few mourners, keeping a distance from each other and wearing face masks, attended the burial in line with regulations that limit the number of people at funerals.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas sheriff’s deputy caught on dashcam video running over a Black man who was fleeing shirtless across a field says in a court filing that he accidently struck the man with his patrol truck. Responding to a federal civil rights lawsuit, Kiowa County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Rodriguez denied Thursday that he intentionally swerved his truck to run over Lionel Womack on Aug. 15. Womack says he sustained serious injuries when Rodriguez intentionally drove over him. The video is at the crux of the case alleging the deputy used excessive force. Rodriguez denies the allegations and says he’s entitled to qualified immunity.
GAINESVILLE, Ga, (AP) — A liquid nitrogen leak at a northeast Georgia poultry plant has killed six people and sent 11 others to the hospital. At least three of those injured at the Foundation Foods Group plant in Gainesville were reported in critical condition Thursday. Poultry plants rely on refrigeration systems that can include liquid nitrogen. Authorities are investigating the cause of the leak. Northeast Georgia Health System spokesman Sean Couch says eleven other injured patients were treated for respiratory symptoms at the hospital. At least four firefighters were injured. Gainesville is the center of Georgia’s huge poultry industry and has thousands of employees working in multiple processing plants.