Waabi’s Raquel Urtasun explains why it was the right time to launch an AV technology startup – Dr. Rami Shaheen

'This is a combination of my 20-year career in AI as well as more than 10 years in self-driving' Raquel Urtasun, the former chief scientist at Uber ATG, is the founder and CEO of Waabi, an autonomous vehicle startup that came out of stealth mode last week. The Toronto-based company, which will focus on trucking, raised an impressive $83.5 million in a Series A round led by Khosla Ventures.  Urtasun joined Mobility 2021 to talk about her new venture, the challenges facing the self-driving vehicle industry and how her approach to AI can be used to advance the commercialization of AVs. Why did Urtasun decide to found her own company? Urtasun, who is considered a pioneer in AI, led the R&D efforts as a chief scientist at Uber ATG, which was acquired by Aurora in December. Six months later, we have Waabi. The company’s mission is to take an AI-first approach to solving self-driving technology.  I left Uber a little bit over three months ago to start this new company, Waabi, with the idea of having a different way [...]

2021-06-15T05:52:01+00:00June 15th, 2021|

Nvidia gobbles up mapping startup to help automakers install its self-driving platform – Dr. Rami Shaheen

In brief Nvidia has snapped up computer vision startup DeepMap to help build the company's self-driving platform. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. "The acquisition is an endorsement of DeepMap's unique vision, technology and people," Ali Kani, Nvidia vice president and general manager of Automotive, said in a statement. "DeepMap is expected to extend our mapping products, help us scale worldwide map operations and expand our full self-driving expertise." Self-driving cars typically rely on pre-mapped roads to learn how to navigate different routes, and drive through various weather conditions. Training machine learning models on more accurate maps should lead to better autonomous driving performance. These maps need to be updated frequently so the cars can deal with sudden changes, like roadblocks or lane closures ahead of time. It's risky to rely on self-driving systems to react on the fly; human drivers often have to take the steering wheel. Nvidia Drive helps automakers install self-driving capabilities by providing the AI software and the hardware needed to run the algorithms. The US government's National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Task [...]

2021-06-15T01:50:15+00:00June 15th, 2021|

AI Autonomous Cars Gleaning Lessons From Accelarousal-Prone Human Drivers

The driving systems of AI-based self-driving cars ought to be able to accommodate the driver or passengers who are prone to accelarousal, the need for speed. (Credit: Getty Images)  By Lance Eliot, the - Dr. Rami Shaheen Insider    I feel the need, the need for speed. We all know that famous line.    I feel the need, the need for acceleration. That’s a line that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue.  It is also a somewhat different way to frame or discuss the need or rapt desire for speed. If you are driving a car, there is the notion of a moment-in-time aspect entailing the speed of the vehicle. We are legally supposed to adhere to the stated speed limit. Our speed might be slow when in a school zone and might be relatively high or fast when driving on an open freeway.    Some drivers relish driving fast and at times exceeding the speed limit. Perhaps they are late for work and are in a hurry to get to the office. Maybe the driver is someone that just relishes going fast. The posted speed limit might not [...]

2021-06-14T17:43:11+00:00June 14th, 2021|

Enterprise AI platform Dataiku launches managed service for smaller companies – Dr. Rami Shaheen

Dataiku is going downstream with a new product today called Dataiku Online. As the name suggests, Dataiku Online is a fully managed version of Dataiku. It lets you take advantage of the data science platform without going through a complicated setup process that involves a system administrator and your own infrastructure. If you’re not familiar with Dataiku, the platform lets you turn raw data into advanced analytics, run some data visualization tasks, create data-backed dashboards and train machine learning models. In particular, Dataiku can be used by data scientists, but also business analysts and less technical people. The company has been mostly focused on big enterprise clients. Right now, Dataiku has more than 400 customers, such as Unilever, Schlumberger, GE, BNP Paribas, Cisco, Merck and NXP Semiconductors. There are two ways to use Dataiku. You can install the software solution on your own, own-premise servers. You can also run it on a cloud instance. With Dataiku Online, the startup offers a third option and takes care of setup and infrastructure for you. “Customers using Dataiku Online get all the [...]

2021-06-14T13:41:54+00:00June 14th, 2021|

If combining HPC and AI workloads is a challenge, wait until you try to converge flash and HDD storage – Dr. Rami Shaheen

Webcast We all know HPC and AI datasets are going to be massive. But they’re also very different, the former being focused around large, sequential files, while the former are much more random. The underlying storage architectures are quite different too: HDD and infiniband for the former; Gbe and NVMe flash for the latter. But with workloads increasingly converging, organisations face a big problem. Tailor systems towards flash, and prices will go through the roof. Focus on HDD, and you could be building in a bottle neck that will throttle the arrays of CPUs and GPUs you have crunching through your most pressing problems. It’s a fundamental problem, and perfectly capable of stopping you solving much harder and more important problems. So, whether you’re pondering juicing up your HPC workloads with a little machine learning, or want to work in some modelling to GPU-powered AI work, you should join our Regcast. “Spend Less on HPC/AI Storage” on June 17, at 0800 PT (1100 ET, 1600 BST). Our broadcast expert Tim Phillips will be converging with HPE’s Uli Plechschmidt, who [...]

2021-06-14T09:40:09+00:00June 14th, 2021|

AI Seen Gaining in Post-Pandemic Era 

Post-pandemic research is showing higher expectations for AI to help businesses make gains, based on positive results seen in 2020.  (Credit: Getty Images)  By - Dr. Rami Shaheen Staff  AI is getting good reports from recent post-pandemic research, with expectations now that AI will make processes more efficient and help to create new products, services and business models.   The AI in a Post-COVID-19 World report by GBSN Research found that three-quarters of business leaders have a positive outlook on AI. Another report from management solutions provider OneStream found that the use of AI tools such as machine learning has jumped from 20% of enterprises in 2020 to nearly 60% in 2021, according to an account in VentureBeat.  Supply chains across all industry sectors are becoming increasingly diverse and digitally driven, with AI-based management solutions helping to provide end-to-end visibility that enables organizations to exploit opportunities. For example, Alaska Airlines is using an AI-driven flight management system that can compile and analyze datasets much more quickly than human operators can. The airline is using this information to shorten flight times, minimize delays and reduce costs. [...]

2021-06-14T01:36:02+00:00June 14th, 2021|

Voice AIs are raising competition concerns, EU finds – Dr. Rami Shaheen

The European Union has been digging into the competition implications of AI-powered voice assistants and other Internet of Things (IoT) connected technologies for almost a year. Today it’s put out a first report discussing potential concerns that EU lawmakers say will help inform their wider digital policymaking in the coming years. A major piece of EU legislation introduced at the back of last year is already set to apply ex ante regulations to so-called “gatekeeper” platforms operating in the region, with a list of business practice “dos and don’ts” for powerful, intermediating platforms being baked into the forthcoming pan-EU Digital Services Act. But of course applications of technology don’t stand still. The bloc’s competition chief, Margrethe Vestager, has also had her eye on voice assistant AI technologies for a while — raising concerns about the challenges being posed for user choice as far back as 2019, when she said her department was “trying to figure out how access to data will change the marketplace”. The Commission took a concrete step last July when it announced a sectoral inquiry to [...]

2021-06-13T21:35:01+00:00June 13th, 2021|

Microsoft Unveils its First Commercial Product Using GPT-3  

The GPT-3 large language model has been exclusively licensed by Microsoft, which recently announced the first commercial product that taps its capability. (Credit: Getty Images)  By - Dr. Rami Shaheen Staff   At its Build conference for developers held recently, Microsoft unveiled the first features in a commercial product powered by GPT-3, the natural language model developed by OpenAI, the AI research lab backed by Microsoft.   The beta version of GPT-3, released in June 2020, has a capacity of 175 billion machine learning parameters, making it the largest language model that uses deep learning. The largest language model available before GPT-3 was Microsoft’s Turing NLG, with a capacity of 17 billion parameters.   Microsoft reached an agreement with OpenAI in September 2020 to license GPT-3 for its own products and services. In July 2019, Microsoft and OpenAI had announced a partnership that included a $1 billion investment from Microsoft for work that included building a supercomputer on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, according to an account from InfoQ.   Originally formed as a non-profit, OpenAI moved to a hybrid model in March 2019, with the intent to raise investment capital. Microsoft has [...]

2021-06-13T09:28:13+00:00June 13th, 2021|

Decades-old ASCII adventure NetHack may hint at the future of AI – Dr. Rami Shaheen

Machine learning models have already mastered Chess, Go, Atari games and more, but in order for it to ascend to the next level, researchers at Facebook intend for AI to take on a different kind of game: the notoriously difficult and infinitely complex NetHack. “We wanted to construct what we think is the most accessible ‘grand challenge’ with this game. It won’t solve AI, but it will unlock pathways towards better AI,” said Facebook AI Research’s Edward Grefenstette. “Games are a good domain to find our assumptions about what makes machines intelligent and break them.” You may not be familiar with NetHack, but it’s one of the most influential games of all time. You’re an adventurer in a fantasy world, delving through the increasingly dangerous depths of a dungeon that’s different every time. You must battle monsters, navigate traps and other hazards, and meanwhile stay on good terms with your god. It’s the first “roguelike” (after Rogue, its immediate and much simpler predecessor) and arguably still the best — almost certainly the hardest. (It’s free, by the way, and you [...]

2021-06-13T05:24:07+00:00June 13th, 2021|

McDonald’s drive-thru AI bot may have broken privacy law

McDonald’s announced earlier this month that it was deploying an AI chatbot to handle its drive-thru orders, but it turns out it might break privacy law. The chatbot is the product of a voice recognition company McDonald’s snapped up in 2019 called Apprente which is now known as McD Tech Labs. McDonald’s deployed the chatbots to ten of its restaurants in Chicago, Illinois. And there lies the issue. The state of Illinois has some of the strictest data privacy laws in the country. For example, the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) states: “No private entity may collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or otherwise obtain a person’s or a customer’s biometric identifier or biometric information.” One resident, Shannon Carpenter, has sued McDonald’s on behalf of himself and other Illinois residents—claiming the fast food biz has broken BIPA by not receiving explicit written consent from its customers to process their voice data. “Plaintiff, like the other class members, to this day does not know the whereabouts of his voiceprint biometrics which defendant obtained,” the lawsuit states. The software is [...]

2021-06-12T17:16:50+00:00June 12th, 2021|