tech-news-digestWill Diesel Scandals Help Silicon Valley Dominate the Future of Transportation? 

This is really interesting: The diesel emission scandals might actually wind up helping Silicon Valley achieve dominance over the automotive industry. How will that happen? Essentially, the scandals are undoing the goodwill built up by the automakers over the past five years, and causing tech investors to rethink the value of placing bets on traditional OEMs.

The truth is that most tech investors are already more comfortable betting on West Coast tech startups than on startups that are closely aligned with established automakers in the United States, Germany, Japan or South Korea.

“In the long run, the diesel fallout could reach further, helping set up carmakers as the next industry to be upended by Silicon Valley,” writes Jack Ewing in Wired. “These scandals make the carmakers look like polluting dinosaurs of the past, not purveyors of exciting new technology.”

I’m hoping the automakers will clean up their act and come to grips with the new rules of the road. If they don’t, Elon Musk won’t be the only tech-savvy competitor they’ll have to worry about. 

AI is Rapidly Becoming a Standard Feature in New Technology Releases

The sure sign that AI has arrived in full force is that tech investors no longer consider it particularly unusual. In fact, investors soon expect to see AI capabilities baked into most new technologies.

“Investors will assume the startup is using the best available AI techniques to solve the problem they are solving,” writes Frank Chen, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. “In a small handful of years, software without AI will be unthinkable.”

As Chen notes, the rise of AI mirrors the rise of other technologies. At first, the new technologies seem special and exotic. Then after a few years, the thrill wears off and they become part of the landscape. In the near future, nobody will think twice about AI – it will be baked into all the technology we use.

Microsoft Making it Easier for Box Users to Leverage Machine Learning Capabilities

If you doubt that AI and machine learning are fast becoming commodities, here’s another data point: Box and Microsoft are teaming up to make it easier for Box users to leverage Microsoft’s advanced learning technologies.

“Azure's AI and machine learning capabilities are coming to Box, giving Microsoft cloud shops an advantage over organizations that use Box with other providers,” writes Ramin Edmond in TechTarget. “Box users will be able to conduct more specific searches for information within multimedia content. When users upload a file to Box, Azure machine learning automatically assigns detailed metadata that Box can access during user searches.”