This Week In Digital – Week 29, 2019

AI warns motorcycle riders before they turn too abruptly, This AI Algorithm Can Solve Rubik’s Cube in Less Than a Second, AI magically removes moving objects from videos, How open source and AI can take us to the Moon, Mars, & beyond and many more. Here’s your weekly update of This Week In Digital covering all the latest tech developments around the world.

Google’s new ‘data echoing’ technique speeds up AI training – Kyle Wiggers, July 15, 2019.

AI accelerator hardware like Google’s Tensor Processing Units and Intel’s Nervana Neural Network Processor promise to speed up AI model training, but because of the way the chips are architected, earlier stages of the training pipeline (like data preprocessing) don’t benefit from the boosts. That’s why scientists at Google Brain, Google’s AI research division, propose in a paper a technique called “data echoing,” which they say reduces the computation used by earlier pipeline stages by reusing intermediate outputs from these stages.

AI warns motorcycle riders before they turn too abruptly – Kyle Wiggers, July 15, 2019.

Turns taken too quickly or sharply are responsible for nearly a fifth of all motorcycle accidents, according to estimates, which also suggest misjudged curves are to blame for 15% of rider fatalities. Fortunately, researchers at ETH Zurich and KU Leuven have recently proposed a solution in a paper on the preprint server (“Learning a Curve Guardian for Motorcycles“). Their road curvature warning system leverages computer vision and mapping data to predict lane position and motorcycle roll angle, in addition to the road geometry of future paths.

Google wants Indian farmers to use AI to find bugs in cotton crop, improve annual yield – Shweta Ganjoo, July 15, 2019.

India is the largest producer and the second largest exporter of cotton in the world. Yet, for the farmers raising cotton crop the year 2017 was horrendous. Reason? Nearly 50 per cent of their yield was destroyed following an attack by the pink bollworm. This happened despite cotton farmers using nearly 55 per cent pesticides in India for their crop. The problem is not availability of pesticides. It’s the early detection of pests. A large portion of the cotton crop in 2017 could have been saved if farmers were able to identify pests at an early stage of infestation.

This AI Algorithm Can Solve Rubik’s Cube in Less Than a Second – July 17, 2019.

Researchers have developed an AI algorithm that can solve a Rubiks Cube in a fraction of a second, faster than most humans. The work is a step toward making AI systems that can think, reason, plan and make decisions. The study, published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, shows DeepCubeA – a deep reinforcement learning algorithm programmed by University of California computer scientists and mathematicians – can solve the Rubik’s Cube in a fraction of a second, without any specific domain knowledge or in-game coaching from humans.

How AI companies can avoid ethics washing – Khari Johnson, July 17, 2019.

One of the essential phrases necessary to understand AI in 2019 has to be “ethics washing.” Put simply, ethics washing — also called “ethics theater” — is the practice of fabricating or exaggerating a company’s interest in equitable AI systems that work for everyone. A textbook example for tech giants is when a company promotes “AI for good” initiatives with one hand while selling surveillance capitalism tech to governments and corporate customers with the other.

This AI magically removes moving objects from videos – July 17, 2019.

We’ve previously seen developers harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to turn pitch black pics into bright colorful photos, flat images into complex 3D scenes, and selfies into moving avatars. Now, there’s an AI-powered software that effortlessly removes moving objects from videos. All you need to do to wipe an object from footage is draw a box around it, and the software takes care of the rest for you.

How open source and AI can take us to the Moon, Mars, and beyond – Yan Fisher, July 20, 2019.

Today people all around the world will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of humanity’s greatest technological achievements: landing on the Moon. Technology has undergone immense change since 1969. The computer systems and software that took Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to our nearest celestial neighbor pale in comparison to the smartphones we carry around in our pockets today.

KPMG to Work with Microsoft, Tomia and R3 on Blockchain Telecom Solutions – July 20, 2019.

Business advisory firm KPGM has partnered with tech companies Tomia, Microsoft and R3 to create a blockchain based settlements solution for the telecom industry in anticipation of 5G network services. KPMG announced the partnership and product plans in an official blog post on July 16. As per the report, the planned blockchain solution intends to make use of smart contracts in order to reduce disputes between carriers and mobile operators. Such smart contracts would reportedly include critical information for this purpose, by providing details such as correct rates, destination and bilateral deal information.

Microsoft joins the XR Association, which promotes responsible AR/VR development – Ian Hamilton, July 20, 2019.

The XR Association, or XRA, now counts Microsoft among its membership, joining founding members Google, Facebook, Sony, HTC Vive, and Samsung. The trade association represents the shared interests of key companies enabling augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies. Microsoft’s Heidi Holman, assistant general counsel, will represent the company on the group’s board.


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