“The world's first trillionaires,” Mark Cuban told a SXSW crowd in March, “are going to come from somebody who masters AI and all its derivatives and applies it in ways we never thought of.”
The famously brash billionaire and Shark Tank star may or may not be right about that, but he’s hardly alone in addressing the artificial intelligence renaissance going on right now (according to IDC, the AI market will grow from $8 billion in 2016 to $47 billion in 2020), and the flood of news and information about it all.
How can you even begin to keep up? Our suggestion: Rely on the natural intelligence of the editors, writers, and AI experts whose newsletters we’re spotlighting here. They’ll help you cut through all the noise — the repetitive headlines and hype-laden press releases that the average Google alert or news app spits out ad nauseam — to focus on what is real, what is cool, and what matters.
1. AI Weekly
The AI Weekly email newsletter bills itself as a “collection of the best news and resources on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.” It’s curated by Plume Labs founder David Lissmyr and features most of the big news in the AI sector every week. A recent summary of a Bloomberg report, for instance, read “Baidu spent $2.9M on AI over 2 years, has 1,300 AI researchers.” The same newsletter linked to an MIT Technology Review story titled “Apple’s AI Director: Here’s how to supercharge Deep Learning.”
Who it’s for: Readers keen on keeping track of how the major tech players are deploying AI.
2. The Visionary
Putting the ART and the INTEL in Artificial Intelligence, The Visionary newsletter skips the overly insider and straightforward takes of many a tech site to focus on a curated mix of the novel and the newsworthy, with a particular emphasis on the computer vision side of AI — you know, the cool stuff like self-driving cars, robots, and augmented reality — and a small dose of pop culture. Expect pithy takes on everything from self-driving race cars and movies made with AI to exclusive features on image recognition and original infographics explaining the connections between videogames and the GPUs that power deep learning.
Who it’s for: Anyone scared off by all the ones and zeroes and math that inevitably come into any discussions of AI, as well as the those interested in the more visual aspects of AI (computer vision, augmented reality) and how they connect to our daily life.
3. Inside AI
Formerly known as Technically Sentient, a cool name we hope sees the light of day in another form down the road, this weekly newsletter is published by Inside, a newsletter publisher known for its eclectic range of deep dives (e.g., Inside Automotive, Inside Streaming). Per its curator Rob May, CEO of Talla, a company that applies AI to chatbots in workplace messaging platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams. “We cover interesting AI links around the web, the latest research, the startups that matter, and we mix it in with original commentary on these topics and interviews with industry experts.” May also offers useful “In Plain English” explainers (“Sometimes you will hear neural network engineers discuss ‘Hyperparameters.’ What are they?”), exclusive interviews with AI experts and business leaders, as well as the occasional invites to exclusive events on rising hot AI topics such as neuromorphic chips.
Who it’s for: Readers who want to know where the heat in AI is from the point of view of an industry insider. As May wrote recently, “I've made 23 angel investments now, 17 of which are in the AI space, and much of my deal flow comes from this newsletter.”
4. Machine Learnings
Machine Learnings has its own mascot — a cute little line drawing of a smiley robot typing at a keyboard — and an overall friendly, accessible vibe, thanks to the sensibility of its writer-curator Sam DeBrule. The San Francisco newsletter-preneur puts a refreshingly accessible, conversational spin on the news he serves up, sticking, for instance, labels like “#Awesome” and “#Not Awesome” on news picks as well as curating more evergreen collections of links to help readers get up to speed on A.I. and machine learning in general. Another nice touch: He serves up “Links from the community” — posts written by members of the 11,000-plus Machine Learnings subscriber base — and in April he started inviting guest experts (e.g., Dennis Mortensen, x.ai CEO) to “share his/her thoughts on how AI will shape the way we work and live.”
Who it’s for: Newbies, experts, and everyone in between.
Curated by computer science engineer Denny Britz, WildML, also known as The Wild Week in AI, kicks off with a “TLDR” (too long didn’t read) summary of its contents. Befitting his position as a Google Brain resident, Britz has a take that’s headier than that of the other newsletters on our list, given its “Code, Project & Data” and “Highlighted Research Papers” sections. That said, if you want to find out what AI developments a Google insider is paying very close attention to — from “DeepMind open sources Sonnet library for Tensorflow” (from the DeepMind blog) to “Mythic raises $8.8 million to put AI on a chip” (via VentureBeat) — WildML is for you.
Who it’s for: Techies, engineers, and academics.
This post is sponsored by GumGum.