This Week In Digital – Week 23, 2019

Everything Apple announced at WWDC 2019, Google makes it easier for Box customers to migrate to G Suite, Microsoft and Oracle to interconnect Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud, How Amazon’s delivery robots will navigate your sidewalk, More Details Emerge on Team Behind Facebook’s Secretive Blockchain, Apple unveils groundbreaking new technologies for app development and many more. Here’s your weekly update of This Week In Digital covering all the latest tech developments around the world.

Apple unveils groundbreaking new technologies for app development – June 03, 2019.

Apple today unveiled several innovative technologies that make it dramatically easier and faster for developers to create powerful new apps. SwiftUI is a revolutionary development framework that makes building powerful user interfaces easier than ever before. ARKit 3, RealityKit and Reality Composer are advanced tools designed to make it even easier for developers to create compelling AR experiences for consumer and business apps. New tools and APIs greatly simplify the process of bringing iPad apps to Mac. And updates to Core ML and Create ML allow for more powerful and streamlined on-device machine learning apps.

How federated learning could shape the future of AI in a privacy-obsessed world – Khari Johnson, June 03, 2019.

You may not have noticed, but two of the world’s most popular machine learning frameworks — TensorFlow and PyTorch — have taken steps in recent months toward privacy with solutions that incorporate federated learning. Instead of gathering data in the cloud from users to train data sets, federated learning trains AI models on mobile devices in large batches, then transfers those learnings back to a global model without the need for data to leave the device.

Google makes it easier for Box customers to migrate to G Suite – Paul Sawers, June 03, 2019.

Google is making it easier for Box cloud customers to transfer their files over to G Suite. Though there are numerous third-party tools that help enterprises migrate between competing services, Google is touting the “first party” credentials of its new offering. Indeed, the Box migration tool constitutes part of a service called G Suite Migrate, a service that launched in beta back in March with support for just a handful of Microsoft services including Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive.  G Suite Migrate is the result of Google’s AppBridge acquisition back in 2017.

Everything Apple announced at WWDC 2019 – Paul Sawers, June 04, 2019.

So the first day of Apple’s annual developer extravaganza came and went, complete with myriad new features, tools, software, and hardware. Here’s a brief recap of everything Apple unveiled at its WWDC 2019 conference. As expected, Apple officially unveiled iOS 13 for iPhone and iPod Touch, with enhancements such as improved Face ID recognition and an all-new Dark Mode. Apple Maps is also getting its own version of Google Street View, called Lookaround.

Intel’s Naveen Rao thinks AI will transform health, solve world hunger, and support space travel – Kyle Wiggers, June 05, 2019.

During a wide-ranging discussion at Amazon’s re:MARS conference in Las Vegas, Naveen Rao, corporate vice president and general manager of AI at Intel, spoke about machine learning’s rapid progress and the fields it might transform, in addition to the steps he believes must be taken to ensure it’s not abused. Rao compared the advent of modern AI approaches with the iPhone. Like the iPhone, he said, machine learning — a technique underlying systems from Amazon’s Alexa to Google Lens — wasn’t the first form of AI, but it was nonetheless “exciting” and “consequential.” He characterizes the coming AI revolution as the single largest transition the human species has ever encountered.

Amazon’s re:MARS opening keynote featured autonomous acrobats and Robert Downey Jr. – Kyle Wiggers, June 05, 2019.

Amazon kicked off its inaugural re:MARS conference with a bang on Tuesday night in front of a packed ballroom at the Aria in Las Vegas. Senior vice president of devices and services Dave Limp headlined the first keynote alongside Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert and Disney Research’s Morgan Pope and Tony Dohl, after which the crowd was treated to autonomous acrobats and an address from Robert Downey Jr.

Microsoft and Oracle to interconnect Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud – June 05, 2019.

Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp. on Wednesday announced a cloud interoperability partnership enabling customers to migrate and run mission-critical enterprise workloads across Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud. Enterprises can now seamlessly connect Azure services, like Analytics and AI, to Oracle Cloud services, like Autonomous Database. By enabling customers to run one part of a workload within Azure and another part of the same workload within the Oracle Cloud, the partnership delivers a highly optimized, best-of-both-clouds experience.

Introducing Alexa Conversations (Preview), a New AI-Driven Approach to Natural Dialogs through the Alexa Skills Kit – June 05, 2019.

Today we’re excited to announce Alexa Conversations, a new deep learning-based approach that developers can use for creating natural voice experiences on Alexa with less effort, fewer lines of code, and less training data than before. This new model helps developers create natural, flexible dialogs within a single skill and in the upcoming releases brings multiple skills into a single conversation. Alexa Conversations is now available in developer preview in the US.

How Amazon’s delivery robots will navigate your sidewalk – Frederic Lardinois, June 06, 2019.

Earlier this year, Amazon announced its Scout sidewalk delivery robot. At the time, details were sparse, except for the fact that the company had started to make deliveries in a neighborhood in Washington State. Today, at Amazon’s re:Mars conference, I sat down with Sean Scott, the VP in charge of Scout, to talk about how his team built the robot, how it finds its way around and what its future looks like. These relatively small blue robots could be roaming a sidewalk near you soon, though as of now, Amazon isn’t quite ready to talk about when and where it will expand its network from its single neighborhood to other areas.

More Details Emerge on Team Behind Facebook’s Secretive Blockchain – Zack Seward, June 06, 2019.

More names are being linked to Facebook’s secretive cryptocurrency project. Following a report Wednesday by The Information claiming the social media giant’s “GlobalCoin” could debut as early as this month, CNBC reported on 10 Facebook executives linked to the effort. Additionally, as first reported by CoinDesk in May, The Information says MIT’s Christian Catalini is the Facebook crypto project’s chief economist. Sunita Parasuraman is the manager of the Switzerland-based foundation leading the token project, according to The Information. Meanwhile, some of the 10 executives working under Facebook blockchain lead David Marcus are based in Israel, CNBC reports.

Jeff Bezos interrupted by protester, says space exploration is necessary to ‘save the Earth’ – Lora Kolodny, June 06, 2019.

At Amazon’s Re:MARS conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, a protester rushed up on stage where CEO Jeff Bezos was engaged in a “fireside chat” interview by Amazon’s Director of Forecasting, Jenny Freshwater. The protester was quickly apprehended by a security team after she shouted to Bezos that she had been inside of Amazon-affiliated chicken farms. She was later identified as Priya Sawhney, an animal rights activist with Direct Action Everywhere, and the organization said Thursday that she had been arrested on a trespassing charge.

Google open-sources soccer reinforcement learning simulator – Khari Johnson, June 07, 2019.

About a dozen members of the Google Brain team today open-sourced Google Research Football Environment, a 3D reinforcement learning simulator for training AI to master soccer. The environment can simulate soccer matches, including particular scenarios like corner and penalty kicks, goals, and offsides. The news comes today at the start of the Women’s World Cup starts in France and a day after Google introduced pricing and games for its Stadia cloud gaming service. “Researchers can directly experience how the game works by playing against each other or by dueling their agents.

Google’s AI generates videos with ‘unprecedented complexity’ – Kyle Wiggers, June 07, 2019.

Generating videos from whole cloth isn’t anything new for neural networks — layers of mathematical functions modeled after biological neurons. In fact, researchers last week described a machine learning system capable of hallucinating clips from start and end frames alone. But because of the inherent randomness, complexity, and information denseness of videos, modeling realistic clips at scale remains something of a grand challenge for AI.








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