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Home / SmartTech / Microsoft uses AI to help diagnose cervical cancer in India faster – TechCrunch

Microsoft uses AI to help diagnose cervical cancer in India faster – TechCrunch



More women die of cervical cancer in India than in any other country. This preventable disease kills about 67,000 women every year in India, more than 25% of the world's 260,000 deaths.

Effective early detection and early detection can help reduce the incidence The test to detect the onset of the disease is unbearably time consuming.

This is because the method used by cytopathologists is initially time-consuming, but also because there are very few in the nation. Could AI accelerate this?

At SRL Diagnostics, the largest chain providing diagnostic services in pathology and radiology in India, we get an early glimpse of it. Last year, Microsoft in partnership with SRL Diagnostics, set up an AI network for pathology to reduce the burden on cytopathologists and histopathologists.

SRL Diagnostics receives more than 1

00,000 Pap smear samples every year. About 98% of these samples are usually normal and only the remaining 2% require intervention. "We looked for ways to make sure our cytopathologists could find these 2% abnormal samples faster," Dr. Arnab Roy, Technical Director for New Initiatives and Knowledge Management at SRL Diagnostics.

Cytopathologists at SRL Diagnostics Have Examined Digitally Scanned Samples Versions of Whole Slide Imaging (WSI) slides containing approximately 300-400 cells each were manually created and provided with observations used as training data for the cervical cancer detection API ,

A digitally scanned version of Whole Slide Imaging (WSI slide used to train the AI ​​model)

Then there was the challenge of subjectivity. "Different cytopathologists are uniquely investigating various elements in a smear, though This is the subjectivity element throughout the process, which is often related to the expert's experience, "reveals Dr. Roy.

Manish Gupta, Principal Applied Researcher at Microsoft Azure Global Engineering, worked closely with the team SRL Diagnostics came up with the idea of ​​developing an AI algorithm that could identify all areas of interest and "build consensus across the areas studied."

Cytopathologists have thousands of cervical smears in multiple laboratories and locations They created discordant and matching notes for each example ielbild.

"The images found to be mismatched, that is, viewed differently by three team members, were sent to high-level cytopathologists for final analysis," Microsoft wrote in a blog post.

This week, the two announced that their collaboration has shown initial results. SRL Diagnostics has launched an internal preview to use the cervical cancer detection API. The cervical cancer detection API, running on Microsoft Azure, can quickly validate liquid-based cytology slide images for early-stage detection of cervical cancer, and provide insights to pathologists in laboratories.

The AI ​​Model Can Now be precisely distinguished between normal and abnormal smear slides and currently validated in the laboratory for a period of three to six months. Smear slides can also be classified using the seven subtypes of the cervical cytopathological scale published in a blog post.

During the internal preview, the exercise uses more than half a million anonymous digital tile images. After internal validation, the API will be previewed in external workflows for cervical cancer diagnostics, including hospitals and other diagnostic centers.

Validate the positive cases to increase efficiency and speed up the initial screening process, "Microsoft wrote.

"The API has the potential to increase the productivity of a cytopathic section fourfold. In a future scenario of automated slide preparation using the AI, cytopathologists can complete their work in two hours, which would take about eight hours! "Said Dr. Roy is used in other areas of pathology, such as the diagnosis of kidney disease and oral, pancreatic and liver cancer. The consortium also intends to expand its reach through collaborations with private actors and governments, and to extend the scope of the model even in remote regions where the availability of histopathologists presents a challenge.

The announcement this week is the latest example of Microsoft ongoing research in India. The world's most populous nation has become a test-bed for many American technology companies to develop new products and services that solve local challenges as they search for their next billion users worldwide.

Last week, Microsoft announced that the AI ​​improvement project is contributing to the way Indian driving tests are conducted. The company has introduced a range of tools for the Indian market over the last two years. Microsoft has previously developed tools that farmers in India can use to increase crop yields, and has worked with hospitals to prevent avoidable blindness. Last year, the company worked with Apollo Hospitals to develop an AI-based API specifically designed to predict the risk of heart disease in India.

Last year, the company teamed up with cricket legend Anil Kumble to develop a tracking device that helps teens analyze their punching power. Microsoft has also partnered with insurance company ICICI Lombard to address customers' repair claims and to renew expired contracts with an AI system.

Leaving Facebook

How he felt when he left Facebook, Cox said, " part [19659026] of [19659027] The reason why I was in order was that after 2016 I spent a couple years expanding a group of teams ] felt that most important was to learn the lessons which we learned by some from 2016 and launched to place at site that may help be more responsible [1965902] 6] and are a better communicator regarding some of the key problems . "n

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LIVE: Chris Cox, former Chief Product Officer of Facebook, in conversation with Lauren Goode of WIRED

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LIVE: We live with Chris Cox, former Chief Product Officer of Facebook, from our # WIRED25 summit talking to Lauren Goode, Senior Writer at WIRED.

Posted by WIRED on Friday, November 8, 2019

What made him specifically leave to leave Cox explained, "It was not where I was. I felt like I wanted to spend another 13 years in social media Mark and I saw things a little differently ... I think we still investigate as [19659026] a industry, like they balance protect the privacy vo n Folk Information and continue to . 19659027] saved people to safety, "said Cox.

Regarding the question of whether the switch to encryption is part of it, he said that encryption is "great" and "provides a tremendous amount of protection" in terms of the balance between privacy and security Safety. He added Facebook's efforts to develop methods to catch bad actors, even though they are protected by encryption. These include initiatives to promote digital literacy in Brazil and India before the elections, as well as guidance systems for the transmission of questionable information to experts. "I think there are pros and cons to these systems, and I'm not a hardliner on any of those systems," Cox said, noting that what Facebook is creating "is in line with people's wishes."

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Cox was asked after the big debate whether Facebook should allow political advertising. "We believe that political advertising can be good and helpful. It is often a preference and comes in comparison to the established companies. However, while reviewing the facts, he said, "I'm a big fan," even though Facebook does not apply this to political ads. He noted that "I think should [ and investigated micro-targeting ... If there are hundreds of variants, the of 19659026] Creative are executed, then it is [19459025 tricky Your weapons to turn that what said He also advocated more context in the UI to politically differentiate ads.

Chris Cox speaks at Wired25

Cox's next Projects

Since leaving Facebook, Cox is a member of the advisory board of a group called acronym which expands the campaign and messaging technology stack for progressive candidates. This is an area in which my view is that was the Progressive [19659027] to develop and as team Infrastructure helps you one to have good voter file how to develop news Just Basic Politics in 2019 , "

Lauren Goode of Wired asked if he teamed with Progressives, takes a political stance and if he could do that on Facebook. " Absolutely not," Cox replied. " and why is think if in a very Senior role at a platform, You have a duty to be much more neutral in your politics.

Then came out with a brave statement made possible by his independence. "I think Trump should not be our president, the other thing I really care about right now is climate change and he will not help us there. "

As a result, Cox argued that he was also working to advise San Francisco Startup Planet Labs used satellite images to address climate change The Vision was this small et wa Shoe Box Size to build. satellites with solar panel panel wings and have a fleet of them in [19659027] Space, the in real time the Earth maps . "

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Using these data, Cox explained you can track forest fires, deforestation, coal-fired power plants, methane gas and more. Then you can start with to contribute to a health care system wherein ] they basically constitute Earth represents every hour, and then create 19659243] some public dates [19659199] with tools peg in decision banks 19659243] insurance companies, politicians, investors, journalists, students ... "

Asked about Big Tech's responsibility for tackling climate change, Cox said, " I think the least what it to a obligation to be carbon-n . "

Acronym and Planet Labs' words are intertwined as Cox believes climate data proves the need for a new Oval Office employee. While Cox was not discussing it on stage, Wired listed him as part of the Shasta Group, which is Cox's own vehicle to contribute to these projects. However, he is not yet ready to found a full-fledged business for politics and climate. I am still so young on this field that I have not enough Trust in my own mental model of the world.

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Cox came to the conclusion that through the use of the employees of large companies and the increased attention of climate change by the team leader, "I think that Tech may result [19659028]. " U00a0

n", "protected": false}, "excerpt": {"rendering": "

The motivation speeches by Chris Cox were at the center of Facebook's new employee focus. However, after 14 years on the social network, the chief product officer left the company in March as the management team was restructured and Facebook pursued its new plan to prioritize data protection by encrypting its messaging apps. Details of his next projects were not disclosed. Now […]

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Josh Constine is a technology journalist who specializes in the thorough analysis of social products. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of TechCrunch and is available for talks.

Previously, Constine had been the lead author of Inside Facebook, taking over everything through the social network, through the acquisition by WebMediaBrands.

In 2009, Constine graduated from Stanford University with a masters degree in Cybersociology and studied the impact of technology on social interaction. He examined the impact of privacy policy on child socialization, the popularity of memes, and the impact of clickthrough rates on Twitter links.

Constine also received a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a focus on social psychology and interpersonal processes.

Josh Constine is an experienced speaker and has moderated over 120 interviews on stage in 15 countries with executives like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (via videoconference on stage) and US Senator Cory Booker. He can moderate panels and fireside chats, hold keynote speeches and judge hackathon and pitch competitions.

Constine was quoted by the Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine. Slate and more were shown on television by Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television and Fox News. Constine is ranked on the renowned news aggregator Techmeme as the most cited technology journalist.

[Announcements: Josh Constine temporarily got the social location sharing startup 'Signal'. a college friend who was based in London was San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advisory function has been clarified with the editors of AOL and TechCrunch and is complete. Constine's fiance Andee Gardiner is co-founder of Startup Accelerator Founders Embassy. Constine's cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of Influencer Advertising startup Niche, which was acquired by Twitter. Since then he has left and founded the teen content studio Brat. Constine does not write about Founders Embassy or Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances who come from college housing around 2007, with the founders of Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat and Robinhood, but maintains no close social relations with them and does not affect his writing. Constine sometimes pays lectures at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine has a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not trade on a daily basis, and may advertise his positions directly in articles. Constine advises, invests in angels, or does not trade in public shares beyond his parent's public equity investments, for which he does not care about their administration or advice.]

"," cbAvatar ":" https: / / crunchbase -production -res.cloudinary.com / image / upload / v1415412437 /xje35licfau9iewxnf44.png "," twitter ":" joshconstine "," _ left ": {" self ": [{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/1603003"}]," collection ": [{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"}]}}] "author": [{"id":1603003"name":"JoshConstine""url":"""description":"""link":"https://techcrunchcom/author/josh-Constine/""slug":"josh-Constine""avatar_urls":{"24":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/fd3b857e7f0024396cdbd36c4c102a5ds=24&d=Identicon&r=g""48""https://securegravatarcom/avatar/fd3b857e7f0024396cdbd36c4c102a5d=""96ic""https://securegravatarcom/avatar/fd3b857e7f0024396cdbd36c4c102a5ds=96&d=Identicon&r=g"}"left":{"homepage":"http://wwwJoshConstinecom""facebook":"http://wwwfacebookcom/JoshConstine""twitter":"https://twittercom/joshconstine""linkedin":"https://wwwlinkedincom/in/joshconstine/""crunchbase":"https://wwwcrunchbasecom/person/josh-constine"}"position":"Editor-At-Large""cbDescription":"

Josh Constine ist ein Technologiejournalist, der sich auf die gründliche Analyse sozialer Produkte spezialisiert hat. Derzeit ist er Chefredakteur für TechCrunch und steht für Vortragsgespräche zur Verfügung.

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Zuvor war Constine durch die Übernahme durch WebMediaBrands der Hauptautor von Inside Facebook und deckte alles über das soziale Netzwerk ab .

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Constine schloss 2009 ihr Studium an der Stanford University mit einem Master in Cybersociology ab und untersuchte den Einfluss von Technologie auf die soziale Interaktion. Er untersuchte die Auswirkungen von Datenschutzbestimmungen auf die Sozialisation von Kindern, die Beliebtheit von Memes und den Einfluss der Klickrate von Links auf Twitter.

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Constine erhielt auch einen Bachelor of Arts mit Auszeichnung von der Stanford University im Jahr 2007 mit einem Schwerpunkt auf Sozialpsychologie und zwischenmenschliche Prozesse.

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Josh Constine ist ein erfahrener Redner und hat über 120 Interviews auf der Bühne in 15 Ländern mit Führungskräften wie Facebook moderiert CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Whistleblower Edward Snowden (per Videokonferenz auf der Bühne) und US-Senator Cory Booker. Er kann Panels und Kamingespräche moderieren, Keynotes halten und Hackathon- und Pitch-Wettbewerbe beurteilen.

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Constine wurde vom Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine zitiert. Slate und mehr wurden im Fernsehen von Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television und Fox News gezeigt. Constine wird auf dem renommierten Nachrichtenaggregator Techmeme als der am häufigsten zitierte Technologiejournalist eingestuft.

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[Bekanntmachungen: Josh Constine hat vorübergehend das Social Location Sharing-Startup 'Signal' eines College-Freundes beraten, das in London ansässig war San Francisco vor der Auflösung im Jahr 2015. Diese Beratungsfunktion wurde mit den Redakteuren von AOL und TechCrunch geklärt und ist abgeschlossen. Constines Verlobter Andee Gardiner ist Mitbegründer von Startup Accelerator Founders Embassy. Constines Cousin Darren Lachtman ist der Gründer des Influencer Advertising Startups Niche, das von Twitter übernommen wurde. Seitdem hat er das Teen Content Studio Brat verlassen und gegründet. Constine schreibt nicht über Founders Embassy oder Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances stemming from college housing circa 2007 with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood, but does not maintain close social ties with them nor does that influence his writing. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not day-trade, and discloses his positions directly in articles where appropriate. Constine does not do consulting, angel investing, or public stock trading beyond public stock invesments by his parents' estate that he has no role in managing or advising.]

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Official word has come down from federal authorities on one potential cause of the mystery illness affecting vape users: Vitamin E acetate, a chemical found in some vaping products that has been demonstrated to linger in the lungs long afterwards. The finding has been called a “breakthrough” but is far from the last word on the situation.

n

Sadly, the condition has already claimed the lives of at least 39 people, and more than 2,000 cases have been reported collectively from every state but Alaska. At present the only advice offered has been to stop vaping altogether.

n

In a media teleconference, the heads of the investigation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained the basis for pointing the finger at Vitamin E acetate. The substance was cited as a possible problem early on but only recent testing has established it as a bona fide suspect, the team explained.

n

Samples taken from the lungs of 29 victims of the condition were sent in from 10 different states, and vitamin E acetate was found in all of them. “These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate as the primary site of injury within the lungs,” said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC .

n

Although she agreed that this evidence is a “breakthrough,” she noted that it is at present merely a correlative finding u2014 more research is required to establish causationnamely the mechanism of harm, though other work has been done in that area.

n

“Previous non-CDC research suggests that when vitamin E acetate is inhaled, it may interfere with normal lung function,” she said.

n

“It’s important to note that these findings do not rule out other possible compounds or ingredients that may be causing these lung injuries,” she continued. “There may be more than one cause of the outbreak.”

n

n

Equally important are the statistics involved with the sources of the substances in question. As mentioned earlier in the investigation, a huge proportion of those suffering from this condition were using THC products, and specifically ones acquired through unregulated channels like street dealers.

n

The vitamin E acetate may have been added for the purpose of essentially cutting the product, Schuchat mentioned in response to a question on the call.

n

“That may be done for the illicit purpose, or the profit purpose, of diluting the materials, making it look nice and perhaps not having to use as much THC or other active ingredients,” she said.

n

Other potentially dangerous chemicals have been identified in vape products when heated and aerosolized, including many that even the creators might not have predicted.

n

Knowing a potential culprit doesn’t get at the heart of the problem, which would be that this chemical (perhaps among others) has already built up over months or years in the lungs of frequent vape users. Treatment is a parallel line of research, but knowing at least one substance responsible should be helpful.

n

The CDC’s previous advice still stands, the officials noted: They advise avoiding vaping altogether, as there are very few controls at present over which ingredients are allowed in vape products, and what must be declared on the packaging, or indeed whether those declarations are in any way accurate.

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Official word has come down from federal authorities on one potential cause of the mystery illness affecting vape users: Vitamin E acetate, a chemical found in some vaping products that has been demonstrated to linger in the lungs long afterwards. The finding has been called a “breakthrough” but is far from the last word on […]

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His personal website is coldewey.cc.

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Every startup is a story and every startup’s success depends — on some level — on how well they can either tell that story or get that story told.

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The best stories are the ones that create an instant brand. One that sparks a relationship or a moment of inspiration with customers and consumers alike. Those are the stories that transform industries and re-contextualize how businesses think of themselves and their competition.

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On the Extra Crunch Stage at Disrupt Berlin three of the finest practitioners of the dark arts of branding, public relations, marketing and communications will share their tips and tricks on how to get coverage for a company and how to use that coverage to get at the strategic objectives that companies need to fulfill as they grow.

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These alchemists of allusive include Collette Ballou, the founder of the eponymous Ballou PR; Katy Turner, the managing director of Multiple; and longtime public relations pro, Joanna Kirk.

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Ballou began her career in European public relations in the aftermath of the dot-com collapse in the U.S. in 2001. Both an investor and an entrepreneur, Ballou has worked with startups and investment firms including 83 North, Accel Partners, Box, Criteo, Eventbrite, Facebook, GoEuro (now Omio), Lakestar, Pinterest, Stack Overflow, Stripe, TransferWise, Twilio, Waze, WhatsApp and Zendesk. She also is an investor in venture funds, including Cavalry Ventures and Connect Ventures.

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Before founding Multiple, Turner worked in several different roles across the tech industry in the U.K. and Europe. She began her career at Orange (in a time when it was actually cool to work for a mobile operator, she says). That role led to positions at Eden Ventures, Videoplaza and as the chief marketing officer at Tech City UK. In addition to her work at Multiple, Turner also serves as a mentor for Seedcamp and Techstars and sits on the investment committee for the University of Bristol’s Enterprise Fund.

n

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Every startup is a story and every startup’s success depends — on some level — on how well they can either tell that story or get that story told. The best stories are the ones that create an instant brand. One that sparks a relationship or a moment of inspiration with customers and consumers alike. […]

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Earning more dollars from home easily just by working 0nline j0b from home. Makes every month extra $20k or more from this easy h0me j0b. Last month i have made $22759 from this just in my spare time. Every person can now get this and start earning 0nline from the instructions given to this web page.. visit This Site ———->>> http://www.Buzz-Work.com

n"},"link":"https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/22/learn-how-to-win-customers-and-influence-consumers-at-disrupt-berlin/#comment-677110","type":"comment","author_avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9501dc94fa113cf78b67098bd3622179?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9501dc94fa113cf78b67098bd3622179?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9501dc94fa113cf78b67098bd3622179?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"_links":{"self":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/677110"}],"collection":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments"}],"up":[{"embeddable":true,"post_type":"post","href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1900747"}]}},{"id":677097,"parent":0,"author":0,"author_name":"Rashaverick Overlord","author_url":"","date":"2019-10-22T14:42:22","content":{"rendered":"

Will this be as poorly attended as SF Disrupt and essentiall y a series of agendaed and scripted press conferences?

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Jonathan is an editor at TechCrunch. Previously he worked as a senior reporter for Dow Jones & Co., covering venture capital and private equity investment from New York and Shanghai. He can be reached via email at shieber@techcrunch.com.

","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/v1397186400/66d6a050b319ebf66c9f305da0d6bf2b.png","twitter":"jshieber","_links":{"self":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/59254947"}],"collection":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"}]}}],"author":[{"id":59254947"name":"JonathanShieber""url":"""description":"""link":"https://techcrunchcom/author/jonathan-shieber/""slug":"jonathan-shieber""avatar_urls":{"24":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/a81fccb1686f7db1afd1c14a019b5bc1?s=24&d=identicon&r=g""48":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/a81fccb1686f7db1afd1c14a019b5bc1?s=48&d=identicon&r=g""96":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/a81fccb1686f7db1afd1c14a019b5bc1?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"}"links":{"twitter":"https://twittercom/jshieber""linkedin":"https://wwwlinkedincom/pub/jonathan-shieber/0/baa/b27""crunchbase":"https://wwwcrunchbasecom/person/jonathan-shieber"}"position":"Writer""cbDescription":"

Jonathan is an editor at TechCrunch. Previously he worked as a senior reporter for Dow Jones & Co., covering venture capital and private equity investment from New York and Shanghai. He can be reached via email at shieber@techcrunch.com.

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turner kirk ballou disrupt

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019-11-08T16:09:47","slug":"a-look-at-the-top-trends-exciting-nycs-consumer-vcs","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/08/a-look-at-the-top-trends-exciting-nycs-consumer-vcs/","title":{"rendered":"A look at the top trends exciting NYC’s consumer VCs"},"content":{"rendered":"

To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0

n

Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs:

n

    n

  • Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures
  • n

  • David Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroup
  • n

  • Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund
  • n

  • Craig Shapiro, Partner at Collaborative Fund
  • n

  • Jeremy Levine, Partner at Bessemer
  • n

  • Beth Ferreira, Partner at Firstmark Capital
  • n

  • Graham Brown, Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures
  • n

  • Eric Reiner, Partner at Sinai Ventures
  • n

  • Chris Paik, Partner at Pace Capital
  • n

n

Consumer health and banking startups were recurring areas of interest, and there’s a sense that apps and product brands which provide a deeper sense of community are an untapped opportunity.

n

Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures

n

At USV, we are focused on oppor tunities that broaden access by leveraging technology to increase value and decrease cost in big buckets of consumer spend. We look for ways to provide products and services previously available to a selected segment to many others. In particular, we have invested in areas of consumer health where the delivery mechanism not only makes care more convenient, but also affordable and of high quality. Financial services products and platforms that change the traditional underlying model to improve the financial health of a mass customer; and opportunities that create new access to education both for kids and lifelong learners.u00a0

n

Within each of these segments, I’ve been very interested in how new communities are forming inside products–users that come for a specific offering are forming allegiance and increasing engagement by interacting with other users. I think that is a trend we will only see accelerate.

n

David Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroup

n

People are bored on their phones, not of their phones. I am most excited to meet founders working on consumer apps that bring happiness and fun to a mass consumer audience, as I continue to believe we are in the early days of mobile and the app store is not dead.

n

These apps may look like a game, they may be a game, or they may be a new feed, but TikTok, Twitch, HQ, Yolo and other Snap app kit apps, Tinder and others have shown consumers want new apps, the barrier for adoption and retention isu00a0 just very high. All apps and games have a half-life. It's really tough to do something with a very long one, but demand is on the phone, leafing through the feeds and waiting for new fun. We are excited about apps that allow people to interact with others in different ways, in new worlds, using new hardware, or new interfaces.

n

n

Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund

n

With the rise of the sober curious movement, we invested in Kin Euphorics, offering consumers a sexy option to an alcoholic drink, creating a social experience around a non-alcoholic beverage that doesnu2019t exist in the market today. With beer sales decreasing five years in a row, brands like Heineken are offering alcohol-free alternatives catering to this growing audience.

n

With the decline of religion, we have seen the rise of what we call the u201crise of the alternate community.u201d Consumers are looking for ways to connect online and offline based on specific interests. Examples of this in our portfolio include The Wonder, a membership model for familyhood, Peanuta social network for modern motherhood, and Co-Staran astrology app.

","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0 Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs: Rebecca Kaden, Partner at […]

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Eric Peckham is TechCrunch's Media Columnist. He focuses on analysis of interactive media, non-interactive media, content creation platforms, communications tools, and education. Separate from TechCrunch, he writes the popular Monetizing Media newsletter.

","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/mdvjguhwsa5ycxpmnicd","twitter":"epeckham","_links":{"self":[{"href":"https://techcrunchcom/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574219"}],"collection":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"}]}}],"author":[{"id":133574219"name":"EricPeckham""url":"""description":"""link":"https://techcrunchcom/author/eric-peckham/""slug":"eric-peckham""avatar_urls":{"24":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/19ed60d94ee0ead84d080f16c9cf9f71?s=24&d=identicon&r=g""48":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/19ed60d94ee0ead84d080f16c9cf9f71?s=48&d=identicon&r=g""96":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/19ed60d94ee0ead84d080f16c9cf9f71?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"}"links":{"homepage":"http://monetizingmediacom""twitter":"https://twittercom/epeckham""linkedin":"https://linkedincom/in/epeckham""crunchbase":"https://wwwcrunchbasecom/person/eric-peckham"}"position":"MediaColumnist""cbDescription":"

Eric Peckham is TechCrunch's Media Columnist. He focuses on analysis of interactive media, non-interactive media, content creation platforms, communications tools, and education. Separate from TechCrunch, he writes the popular Monetizing Media newsletter.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 19: An aerial view of scenes around Manhattan from a Royal Navy helicopter on October 19, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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nk":"htt ps://techcrunch.com/2019/11/08/andreessen-horowitz-launches-free-crypto-startup-school/","title":{"rendered":"Andreessen Horowitz launches free crypto startup school"},"content":{"rendered":"

Last month, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) general partner Chris Dixon announced at TechCrunch Disrupt that the VC firm would run a free crypto startup school. And the company officially opens its school today. Applications are now open and you have four weeks to apply.

n

With this initiative, a16z wants to democratize cryptocurrencies. Dixon and the a16z team has been involved in the cryptocurrency/blockchain space for seven years, and the firm now wants to share some of its learnings with entrepreneurs.

n

This way, it could give a boost to the crypto community, which could create investment opportunities for a16z down the road u2014 a16z says clearly that participating in the crypto startup school doesn’t mean you’ll receive an investment from a16z. It also positions a16z as a thoughtful investor when it comes to crypto startup investments u2014 not just for participants of the crypto startup school but for the crypto community at large.

n

The a16z Crypto Startup School will be a seven-week program that starts February 21, 2020. The program is free and a16z doesnu2019t take any equity.

n

Lectures will take place in Menlo Park, so you have to be based in Silicon Valley or willing to spend a couple of months there. And because a16z knows that it can be challenging to move to another country just to attend this program, the firm will also be recording all lectures. Anyone will be able to watch videos and download curriculum materials later.

n

Hereu2019s a sneak peek of the course outline:

n

n

    n

  • What are Crypto Networks, and Why Do They Matter?
  • n

  • Blockchain Computing Primitives: Cryptography and Consensus
  • n

  • Overview of Application Development Tools
  • n

  • Applications: Today and 2025
  • n

  • Crypto Business Models
  • n

  • Cryptoeconomics
  • n

  • UX, Product Development and Security
  • n

  • Go-to-Market Strategy and Developer Relations
  • n

  • Community Participation and Governance
  • n

  • Regulatory Landscape and Considerations
  • n

  • Guide to Fundraising
  • n

n

n

As you can, itu2019s a mix of lectures purely focused on cryptocurrencies as well as broader startup 101 lessons (fundraising, go-to-market strategy, etc.).

n

The program is looking for 20 to 25 teams, which should represent approximately 40 participants. You should have prior experience when it comes to building software products, but you donu2019t need to be a crytpo expert. Participants can expect 12 to 15 hours of lectures, workshops, mentorship and networking opportunities per week.

n

At the end of the course, participants will showcase a project idea or a prototype during a demo day.

n

ntt

nttntt

n","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

Last month, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) general partner Chris Dixon announced at TechCrunch Disrupt that the VC firm would run a free crypto startup school. And the company officially opens its school today. Applications are now open and you have four weeks to apply. With this initiative, a16z wants to democratize cryptocurrencies. Dixon and the […]

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nn

Originally from France, Romain attended EMLYON Business School, a leading French business school specialized in entrepreneurship. He covers many things from mobile apps with great design to privacy, security, fintech, Apple, AI and complex tech achievements. He also speaks at major tech conferences. He likes pop culture more than anything in the world.

nn

He now lives in Paris when he's not on the road. He used to live in New York and loved it.

nn

He owns small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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Romain Dillet is a Senior Writer at TechCrunch.

nn

Originally from France, Romain attended EMLYON Business School, a leading French business school specialized in entrepreneurship. He covers many things from mobile apps with great design to privacy, security, fintech, Apple, AI and complex tech achievements. He also speaks at major tech conferences. He likes pop culture more than anything in the world.

nn

He now lives in Paris when he's not on the road. He used to live in New York and loved it.

nn

He owns small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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Chris Dixon DSC02396

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School","slug":"crypto-startup-school","taxonomy":"post_tag","_links":{"self":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags/576712567"}],"collection":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags"}]"about":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/taxonomies/post_tag"}],"wp:post_type":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts?tags=576712567"},{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/battlefield-companies?tags=576712567"},{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc-media-gallery?tags=576712567"},{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_topic?tags=576712567"},{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_video?tags=576712567"}],"curies":[{"name":"wp","href":"https://api.w.org/{rel}","templated":true}]}}],[],[],[]]}}],"ec":[{"id":1906265"date":"2019-11-08T08:09:47""date_gmt":"2019-11-08T16:09:47""guid":{"rendered":"https://techcrunchcom/?p=1906265"}"modified":"2019-11-08T08:09:47""modified_gmt":"2019-11-08T16:09:47""slug":"a-look-at-the-top-trends-exciting-nycs-consumer-vcs""status":"publish""type":"post""link":"https://techcrunchcom/2019/11/08/a-look-at-the-top-trends-exciting-nycs-consumer-vcs/""title":{"rendered":"AlookatthetoptrendsexcitingNYC’sconsumerVCs"}"content":{"rendered":"

To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0

n

Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs:

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    n

  • Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures
  • n

  • David Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroup
  • n

  • Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund
  • n

  • Craig Shapiro, Partner at Collaborative Fund
  • n

  • Jeremy Levine, Partner at Bessemer
  • n

  • Beth Ferreira, Partner at Firstmark Capital
  • n

  • Graham Brown, Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures
  • n

  • Eric Reiner, Partner at Sinai Ventures
  • n

  • Chris Paik, Partner at Pace Capital
  • n

n

Consumer health and banking startups were recurring areas of interest, and there’s a sense that apps and product brands which provide a deeper sense of community are an untapped opportunity.

n

Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures

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At USV, we are focused on oppor tunities that broaden access by leveraging technology to increase value and decrease cost in big buckets of consumer spend. We look for ways to provide products and services previously available to a selected segment to many others. In particular, we have invested in areas of consumer health where the delivery mechanism not only makes care more convenient, but also affordable and of high quality. Financial services products and platforms that change the traditional underlying model to improve the financial health of a mass customer; and opportunities that create new access to education both for kids and lifelong learners.u00a0

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Within each of these segments, I’ve been very interested in how new communities are forming inside products–users that come for a specific offering are forming allegiance and increasing engagement by interacting with other users. I think that is a trend we will only see accelerate.

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David Tisch, Founding Partner at BoxGroup

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People are bored on their phones, not of their phones. I am most excited to meet founders working on consumer apps that bring happiness and fun to a mass consumer audience, as I continue to believe we are in the early days of mobile and the app store is not dead.

n

These apps may look like a game, they may be a game, or they may be a new feed, but TikTok, Twitch, HQ, Yolo and other Snap app kit apps, Tinder and others have shown consumers want new apps, the barrier for adoption and retention isu00a0 just very high. All apps and games have a half-life. It's really tough to do something with a very long one, but demand is on the phone, leafing through the feeds and waiting for new fun. We are excited about apps that allow people to interact with others in different ways, in new worlds, using new hardware, or new interfaces.

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Anu Duggal, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund

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With the rise of the sober curious movement, we invested in Kin Euphorics, offering consumers a sexy option to an alcoholic drink, creating a social experience around a non-alcoholic beverage that doesnu2019t exist in the market today. With beer sales decreasing five years in a row, brands like Heineken are offering alcohol-free alternatives catering to this growing audience.

n

With the decline of religion, we have seen the rise of what we call the u201crise of the alternate community.u201d Consumers are looking for ways to connect online and offline based on specific interests. Examples of this in our portfolio include The Wonder, a membership model for familyhood, Peanuta social network for modern motherhood, and Co-Staran astrology app.

","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

To learn more about the next wave of consumer startup investment outside Silicon Valley, Iu2019m speaking to leading B2C-focused investors in various hubs about the trends they’re excited about right now.u00a0 Recently, I shared the responses from several London-based investors; today, we spoke to eight of New Yorku2019s top consumer VCs: Rebecca Kaden, Partner at […]

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Recently reelected, Indonesian President Joko Widodou00a0announced a desire to move the nation’s capital from Jakarta to the East Kalimantan region, citing environmental concerns, the most exigent of these being the fact that Jakarta is literally sinking due to the uncontrolled extraction of groundwater. Widodo said he wished to separate Indonesiau2019s government from its business and economic hub in Jakarta.

n

However, what would a move from Jakarta do to Indonesiau2019s burgeoning startup economy?

n

Shifting administrative governmental hubs

n

According to Widodo, studies have determined that the best site for the proposed new capital is between North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kertanegara, both located in East Kalimantan. The basis of this selection is due to studies highlighting the regionu2019s relative protection from natural disasters, especially when compared to other regions. This would in any case be an advantage for the Government Center of Indonesia and would ensure continuous administrative functions in a disaster-prone region. Other governments have separated administrative centers from their economic hubs with varying degrees of success, with some examples being Brazilu2019s creation of Brasu00edlia, as well as Koreau2019s projected move from Seoul to Sejong.

n

What is most interesting to note from prior examples is that these newer branched-out cities are non-surprisingly, heavily government-centric. In Brasu00edlia, roles tied to the government make up nearly 40% of all jobs, while in Sejong, a lack of facilities like public transit and commercial mall space cause many to commute into Sejong for government work, instead of permanently settling in the area. Given the semi-undeveloped nature of East Kalimantan, these anecdotes are quite troubling if the government is actually moving to North Penajam Paser or Kutai Kertanegara.

n

These facts raise the question of economic impacts of such governmental moves. In fact, one could even think that, while these steps would allow for state growth, they could ultimately cause economic damage to the country as both the government and the economic centers diverged. In this specific instance, it is most important to analyze the impact of such a move on Indonesiau2019s startup economy, as the nation is one the worldu2019s leaders in startup growth.

n

Indonesiau2019s startup economy

n

Indonesia has emerged as a startup hub within Southeast Asia in recent years, with its population of over 260 million marking it as the worldu2019s fourth-most populous country. Additionally, Indonesiau2019s mobile-first population has enabled the full embrace of the internet era, with 95% of all internet users in Indonesia connected to the web via a mobile device.

n

Similarly, startup growth has boomed in the island archipelago, with several Indonesian-based unicorns disrupting local, regional, and global economies. Softbank-backed ecommerce giant Tokopedia is currently in talksu00a0for a pre-IPO funding round, while emerging super-app Gojek controls significant portions of the ride-sharing industry in Asia, simultaneously expanding intou00a0separate industriesu00a0to include digital payments, food delivery, and evenu00a0video-streaming. Additionally, online travel portal Traveloka (in which Expedia has a minority stake) has recentlyu00a0entered the financial services space, furthering its impact within Asia. These specific examples of high-growth startups demonstrate a population hungry for innovation, further driving the developing startup economy.

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A move to East Kalimantan would allow for further development in the startup industry, with a focus on ecommerce and sustainability-focused enterprises.

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:"h ttps://techcrunch.com/2019/11/08/kenzie-academy-is-scaling-up-a-coding-program-for-the-heartland/","title":{"rendered":"Kenzie Academy is scaling up a coding program for ‘the heartland’"},"content":{"rendered":"

The crowded landscape of programs teaching non-technical people to become software developers has been a proving ground for a new model of education financing: income share agreements (ISAs). With an ISA, students avoid paying tuition upfront or taking out private loans, instead paying a percentage of their income for a time after graduation after they’re earning a minimum income.

n

The model aligns education providers with students’ career outcomes, and one startup is staking a claim to be the leader in the space; Kenzie Academy, a year-long program with a physical campus in Indianapolis u2014 and a student body that’s 66 percent online u2014 announced a partnership with Community Investment Management (CIM) earlier this week that provides $100 million in debt to cover the operating costs associated with students who defer payment through ISAs.

n

Kenzie co-founder and CEO Chok Ooi says that core to Kenzie’s mission is the goal that its graduates “can stay in the heartland and attract more jobs so that someone coming out of the Midwest no longer has to move to Silicon Valley or New York to have a successful career in tech.” This $100 million is one of the largest commitments yet to financing ISAs and Kenzie is using it to recruit a more diverse population of students who may not be able to afford tuition or qualify for student loans otherwise.

n

I interviewed Ooi to understand how Kenzie differentiates itself from competitors, h o w it has iterated its model to improve retention and job placement and how he expects the ISA market to evolve over the next couple years. Here’s the transcript of our conversation, edited for length and clarity:

n

Eric Peckham: The landscape of software developer training programs is crowded. Where did you see an opportunity to do something different, and how do you position Kenzie relative to others in the market?

n

Chok Ooi: My co-founder came from Galvanize, so we observed firsthand the proliferation of tech and coding boot camps. Dies sind in der Regel Kurzzeitprogramme mit drei bis fünf Monaten und sie eignen sich in der Regel gut für Menschen mit Hochschulabschlüssen. Ich würde sagen, dass sie den Programmraum der Master stören. Wir sahen eine große Lücke in Programmen, die einer viel größeren Bevölkerungsgruppe von Menschen dienen, die sich viel früher in ihrer Entwicklung befinden. Menschen, die nie ein College besucht oder ein bisschen studiert haben und das Studium abgebrochen haben oder einfach nie eine Berufserfahrung hatten. A three-month training is insufficient to get them to a point where they could land a technical job and be successful.

n

We saw an opportunity to bring high-quality tech education to the American heartland that is 12 months in length. For about two-thirds of our students, this is their first post-secondary credential training.

n

We are giving them not just the technical skills, but elements from a traditional four-year college as well, like critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills.

n

Compared to those other bootcamps or training programs, is Kenzie targeting different job outcomes for its graduates?

n

We did a survey of our students that asked them to name the top five tech companies they desired to work for. Keines der Silicon Valley-Unternehmen stand auf der Liste außer Salesforce. Indianapolis ist das zweitgrößte Salesforce-Büro außerhalb von San Francisco. Die übrigen Unternehmen, die unsere Studenten nannten, waren Unternehmen wie DMI und Zylo, von denen die Leute im Silicon Valley nichts hören, die sich aber im Mittleren Westen gut behaupten. Ihre Freunde arbeiten dort. Sie sind ein Stoff der Gemeinschaft. If we really want to create job opportunities for the rest of America, we cannot adopt the Silicon Valley mindset.

n

Kenzie Academy co-Founder and CEO Chok Ooi.

Kenzie Academy co-founder and CEO Chok Ooi.

n

So how do you evaluate technical aptitude and critical thinking in the admissions process? Wie sieht dieser Prozess aus und wie hat er sich in den letzten Jahren entwickelt? What have you learned in order to make that more effective?

n

Prior to founding Kenzie, I started a company nine years ago called AglityIO. Das Modell für AgilityIO ähnelte Unternehmen wie Andela. Wir versuchten, die Talentkrise in der Bay Area zu lösen, indem wir Leute mit dem rohen Talent in Vietnam rekrutierten und ausbildeten. Heute arbeitet das Unternehmen mit Google, Uber, NerdWallet, Meetup.com und 150 anderen Technologieunternehmen zusammen. So Iu2019ve experience in developing processes to identify raw talent in this context.

n

As people are doing the online assessments, we collect data points of how long it takes for them to solve the problem, what their different decision points are and things like that. Wenn sie sich bei Kenzie einschreiben, erfassen wir weiterhin Anwesenheitsdaten, Noten und Platzierungsdaten und verwenden diese, um Erfolgs- und Misserfolgsfälle zu untersuchen. We constantly refine our assessment.

n

Are you seeing any particular pattern or cluster in the applications youu2019re receiving or the candidates youu2019re accepting in terms of prior field of employment or aspect of their background?

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The crowded landscape of programs teaching non-technical people to become software developers has been a proving ground for a new model of education financing: income share agreements (ISAs). With an ISA, students avoid paying tuition upfront or taking out private loans, instead paying a percentage of their income for a time after graduation after they’re […]

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Photos: Kenzie Academy

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Microsoft Research is a globally distributed playground for people interested in solving fundamental science problems.

n

These projects often focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence, and since Microsoft is on a mission to infuse all of its products with more AI smarts, it’s no surprise that it’s also s eeking ways to in tegrate Microsoft Research’s innovations into the rest of the company.

n

Across the board, the company is trying to find ways to become more innovative, especially around its work in AI, and it’s putting processes in place to do so. Microsoft is unusually open about this process, too, and actually made it somewhat of a focus this week at Ignitea yearly conference that typically focuses more on technical IT management topics.

n

At Ignite,u00a0Microsoft will for the first time present these projects externally at a dedicated keynote. That feels similar to what Google used to do with its ATAP group at its I/O events and is obviously meant to showcase the cutting-edge innovation that happens inside of Microsoft (outside of making Excel smarter).

n

To manage its AI innovation efforts, Microsoft created the Microsoft AI group led by VP Mitra Azizirad, who’s tasked with establishing thought leadership in this space internally and externally, and helping the company itself innovate faster (Microsoft’s AI for Good projects also fall under this group’s purview). I sat down with Azizirad to get a better idea of what her team is doing and how she approaches getting companies to innovate around AI and bring research projects out of the lab.

n

“We began to put together a narrative for the company of what it really means to be in an AI-driven world and what we look at from a differentiated perspective,” Azizirad said. "Was wir in diesem Bereich getan haben, ist gut aufgenommen und gelandet. And now we’re including AI, but we’re expanding beyond it to other paradigm shifts like human-machine interaction, future of computing and digital responsibility, as more than just a set of principles and practices but an area of innovation in and of itself.”

n

Currently, Microsoft is doing a very good job at talking and thinking about horizon one opportunities, as well as horizon three projects that are still years out, she said. “Horizon two, we need to get better at, and that’s what we’re doing.”

n

It’s worth stressing that Microsoft AI, which launched about two years ago, marks the first time there’s a business, marketing and product management team associated with Microsoft Research, so the team does get a lot of insights into upcoming technologies. Just in the last couple of years, Microsoft has published more t han 6,000 research papers on AI, some of which clearly have a future in the company’s products.

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Microsoft Research is a globally distributed playground for people interested in solving fundamental science problems. These projects often focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence, and since Microsoft is on a mission to infuse all of its products with more AI smarts, it’s no surprise that it’s also seeking ways to integrate Microsoft Research’s innovations […]

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Before he joined TechCrunch in 2012, he founded SiliconFilter and wrote for ReadWriteWeb (now ReadWrite). Frederic covers enterprise, cloud, developer tools, Google, Microsoft, gadgets, transportation and anything else he finds interesting. He owns just over a 50th of a bitcoin.

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Microsoft logo at Ignite 2019

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Securing a green card can feel overwhelming for people in Silicon Valley who were born in India and China. But with the right help and guidance from a skilled immigration attorney, the process can be simpler, smoother and more successful.

n

Limits written into existing immigration laws on both the number of green cards issued each year, as well as the number of green cards available based on country of origin, leave some waiting half a century or more for a green card, with people from India and China facing the longest wait times for employment-based green cards.

n

In this fiscal year, which ended on October 31, 226,000 family-sponsored green cards and 141,918 employment-based green cards were available. And the per-country cap, which is the maximum number of green cards available to individuals born in a particular country, was 25,754.u00a0

n

Although these U.S. laws pose an extra challenge for people born in countries with the highest demand for green cards, if you were born in India or China, there are some things you can do to mitigate this wait.

n

Differentiate yourself

n

The EB-1 green card is considered the u201cfirst preferenceu201d for those who’ll receive offers for employment-based green cards. It offers three unique and accelerated sub-paths:u00a0

n

    n

  • EB-1A green card for individuals of extraordinary abilityu00a0
  • n

  • EB-1B green card for outstanding researchers and professors
  • n

  • EB-1C green card for multinational managers and executives
  • n

n

The EB-1A green card for extraordinary ability does not require an employer sponsor or even a job offer, which means itu2019s one of the few self-petition green cards. To demonstrate eligibility,u00a0you must be able to show you have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics and that you and your work have received national or international acclaim.u00a0

n

Individuals who apply for the EB-1A do not need to obtain labor certification (as required of employers). That means the process is simpler and can be much faster than typical employment-based green cards. Also, an individual applicant may have more flexibility to change jobs than if an employer applied on their behalf.

n

The EB-1B green card for outstanding researchers and professors requires an employer to sponsor you. Candidates for the EB-1B green card must demonstrate great achievements in their academic field.u00a0

n

And finally, the EB-1C green card for multinational managers and executives enables an employer to bring an executive or manager who has been working abroad over to the U.S. to live and work. The EB-1C candidate must have worked outside the U.S. for the employer for at least one year.

n

This Cato Institute analysis estimates individuals born in China and India face waiting eight and nine years, respectively, for an EB-1 green card.u00a0Despite the small and growing backlog for EB-1 green cards for individuals born in China and India, it still remains one of the quicker options.
n

n

Invest in a project that creates jobs

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Securing a green card can feel overwhelming for people in Silicon Valley who were born in India and China. But with the right help and guidance from a skilled immigration attorney, the process can be simpler, smoother and more successful.

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More women in India die from cervical cancer than in any other country. This preventable disease kills around 67,000 women in India every year, more than 25% of the 260,000 deaths worldwide.

n

Effective screening and early detection can help reduce its incidence, but part of the challenge — and there are several parts — today is that the testing process to detect the onset of the disease is unbearably time-consuming.

n

This is because the existing methodology that cytopathologists use is time consuming to begin with, but also because there are very few of them in the nation. Could AI speed this up?

n

At SRL Diagnostics, the largest chain to offer diagnostic services in pathology and radiology in India, we are getting an early look of this. Last year, Microsoft partnered with SRL Diagnostics to co-create an AI Network for Pathology to ease the burden of cytopathologists and histopathologists.

n

SRL Diagnostics receives more than 100,000 Pap smear samples every year. About 98% of these samples are typically normal and only the remaining 2% samples require intervention. u201cWe were looking for ways to ensure our cytopathologists were able to find those 2% abnormal samples faster,u201d explained Dr. Arnab Roy, Technical Lead for New Initiatives & Knowledge Management at SRL Diagnostics.

n

Cytopathologists at SRL Diagnostics studied digitally scanned versions of Whole Slide Imaging (WSI) slides, each comprising about 300-400 cells, manually and marked their observations, which were used as training data for Cervical Cancer Image Detection API.

n

A digitally scanned version of a Whole Slide Imaging (WSI) slide, which is used to train the AI model

n

Then there was the challenge of subjectivity. u201cDifferent cytopathologists examine different elements in a smear slide in a unique manner even if the overall diagnosis is the same. This is the subjectivity element in the whole process, which many a time is linked to the experience of the expert,u201d reveals Dr. Roy.

n

Manish Gupta, Principal Applied Researcher at Microsoft Azure Global Engineering, who worked closely with the team at SRL Diagnostics, said the idea was to create an AI algorithm that could identify areas that everybody was looking at and u201ccreate a consensus on the areas assessed.u201d

n

Cytopathologists across multiple labs and locations annotated thousands of tile images of cervical smear. They created discordant and concordant notes on each sample image.

n

u201cThe images for which annotations were found to be discordant — that is if they were viewed differently by three team members — were sent to senior cytopathologists for final analysis,u201d Microsoft wrote in a blog post.

n

This week, the two revealed that their collaboration has started to show results. SRL Diagnostics has started an internal preview to use Cervical Cancer Image Detection API. The Cervical Cancer Image Detection API, which runs on Microsoftu2019s Azure, can quickly screen liquid-based cytology slide images for detection of cervical cancer in the early stages and return insights to pathologists in labs, the two said.

n

The AI model can now differentiate between normal and abnormal smear slides with accuracy and is currently under validation in labs for a period of three to six months. It can also classify smear slides based on the seven-subtypes of cervical cytopathological scale, the two wrote in a blog post.

n

During the internal preview period, the exercise will use more than half-a-million anonymized digital tile images. Following internal validation, the API will be previewed in external cervical cancer diagnostic workflows, including hospitals and other diagnostic centers.

n

u201cCytopathologists now have to review fewer areas, 20 as of now, on a whole slide liquid-based cytology image and validate the positive cases thus bringing in greater efficiency and speeding up the initial screening process,u201d Microsoft wrote.

n

u201cThe API has the potential of increasing the productivity of a cytopathology section by about four times. In a future scenario of automated slide preparation with assistance from AI, cytopathologists can do a job in two hours what would earlier take about eight hours!u201d Dr. Roy said.

n

SRL Diagnostics-Microsoft consortium said they are hopeful their APIs could find application in other fields of pathology such as diagnosis of kidney pathologies and in oral, pancreatic and liver cancers. The consortium also aims to expand its reach with tie-ups with private players and governments and expand the reach of the model even in remote geographies where the availability of histopathologists is a challenge.

n

The announcement this week is the latest example of Microsoftu2019s ongoing research work in India. The worldu2019s second most populous nation has become a test bed for many American technology companies to build new products and services that solve local challenges as they look for their next billion users worldwide.

n

Last week, Microsoft announced its AI project was helping improve the way driving tests are conducted in India. The company has unveiled a score of tools for the Indian market in the last two years. Microsoft has previously developed tools to help farmers in India increase their crop yields and worked with hospitals to prevent avoidable blindness. Last year, the company partnered with Apollo Hospitals to create an AI-powered API customized to predict risk of heart diseases in India.

n

Also last year, the company also worked with cricket legend Anil Kumble to develop a tracking device that helps youngsters analyze their batting performance. Microsoft has also tied up with insurance firm ICICI Lombard to help it process customersu2019 repair claims and renew lapsed policies using an AI system.

n","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

More women in India die from cervical cancer than in any other country. This preventable disease kills around 67,000 women in India every year, more than 25% of the 260,000 deaths worldwide. Effective screening and early detection can help reduce its incidence, but part of the challenge — and there are several parts — today […]

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