Top 5 stories of the week

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We know you’re busy and may not have time to check out VentureBeat every day – though we think you should – so each week we offer this look at the most popular stories of the week. 

If you’re looking to follow the money, contributor Louis Columbus examines what IT certifications offer the biggest payday for tech pros. Staff writer Sri Krishna reports on Hugging Face’s Inference Endpoints and how the AI-as-a-service offering is designed to take on the biggest enterprise workloads. Krishna also covers how Colossal Biosciences, the company that breathed new life into the wooly mammoth, is spinning off a new company to offer its life platform that bridges the gap between data and discovery to other companies. 

Senior editor Sharon Goldman digs into deep fakes and how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology are spreading misinformation. Goldman also chats with LinkedIn’s VP of engineering and head of data and AI about how she lands top data science talent. 

Here’s more from our top five tech stories of the week:

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  1. 15 top-paying IT certifications for 2022

Of the many certification types and focuses, security certifications are the most lucrative, with an average annual salary of $153,154. For cloud certifications, the average salary is $150,961. AWS certifications — despite having the top paying certification as mentioned above — are just a tad lower on average overall with the annual salary sitting around $149,371.

Tech professionals with one or more certifications continue to see strong demand in the job market. For instance, LinkedIn’s job listings show a combined 117,000 open cybersecurity jobs today seeking candidates who hold at least one of the four security certifications on the top 15 list below. There are also 88,200 open jobs listed on the platform for candidates who hold at least one cloud architect certification

  1. Hugging Face takes step toward democratizing AI and ML

New York-based Hugging Face, which aims to democratize AI and ML via open-source and open science, has launched the Inference Endpoints. The AI-as-a-service offering is designed to be a solution to take on large workloads of enterprises — including in regulated industries that are heavy users of transformer models, like financial services (e.g., air gapped environments), healthcare services (e.g., HIPAA compliance) and consumer tech (e.g., GDPR compliance). 

The company claims that Inference Endpoints will enable more than 100,000 Hugging Face Hub users to go from experimentation to production in just a couple of minutes.


  1. Colossal Biosciences spins off Form Bio software, offers platform for advanced, AI-based applications

Colossal Biosciences, the self-described de-extinction company behind the woolly mammoth and thylacine, just announced that it is spinning off Form Bio, as an independent software company offering a computational life sciences platform that bridges the gap between data and discovery.

Driven by deep learning artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, Form Bio empowers life scientists with a software platform for managing large datasets, executing verified workflows, visualizing results and collaborating with their peers. The platform brings these capabilities together in one cohesive unit with a user experience designed to simplify computational work and bolster life science breakthroughs across companies, labs and universities.


  1. New deepfake threats loom, says Microsoft’s chief science officer

Deepfakes, or high-fidelity, synthetic, fictional depictions of people and events leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), have become a common tool of misinformation over the past five years. But according to Eric Horvitz, Microsoft’s chief science officer, new deepfake threats are lurking on the horizon.

A new research paper from Horvitz says that interactive and compositional deepfakes are two growing classes of threats. In a Twitter thread, MosaicML research scientist Davis Blaloch described interactive deepfakes as “the illusion of talking to a real person. Imagine a scammer calling your grandmom, who looks and sounds exactly like you.” 

Compositional deepfakes, he continued, go further with a bad actor creating many deepfakes to compile a “synthetic history.”


  1. LinkedIn’s Al leader shares 3 traits of top data science talent

In a new interview with VentureBeat, Ya Xu, VP of engineering and head of data and artificial intelligence (AI) at LinkedIn, is more than happy to share her thoughts on everything from her passion for bringing science and engineering together to the top traits she looks for when interviewing data science talent.

Xu said there are three important things that she looks for in candidates. First, is the individual mission-driven and impact-driven? Next, Xu wants to hire people who are — not surprisingly — collaborative. On top of that, she said it is a priority to hire people who are willing to learn, adapt and stay curious.

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