Showing posts with label AI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AI. Show all posts

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cisco to Acquire MindMeld for AI Expertise

Cisco agreed to acquire MindMeld, a start-up based in San Franciso that is developing a conversational platform based on natural language understanding (NLU). The deal was valued at $125 million in cash and assumed equity awards. The acquisition is expected to close in Cisco's fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017.

The MindMeld platform can be used for building intelligent conversational interfaces for companies to interact with their customers across almost any device or application. MindMeld is able to ingest customer data and create a highly accurate and customized natural language model, tailored to each company’s industry and requirements. MindMeld also delivers a dialog manager that enables a computer to respond to user requests through chat and voice applications in a human-like fashion.

MindMeld was founded in 2011 by Tim Tuttle, a former AI researcher from MIT and Bell Labs,

http://www.mindmeld.com

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Telefónica Builds AI Virtual Assistant for Managing Services

At the kickoff to Mobile World Congress 2017, Telefónica’s introduced AURA, a virtual assistant that uses artificial intelligence and cognitive capabilities to allow its consumer customers to know, manage, and control their digital lives with the company.

Telefónica’s Chairman and CEO, José María Álvarez-Pallete said the new platform and voice application, which sounds like Apple's Siri, will transform the interaction between customers and service providers.

For example, customers will be able to ask questions about the products and services they use; create and track a claim; manage and unblock device access to the Wi-Fi router provided by Telefónica; get information about their favourite shows and program their recording; or be alerted when their data consumption is greater than usual. Each user will have a “personal data space”, the memory which will store the digital trace they leave when using Telefónica products and services, and which will allow the customers, if they so desire, to personalize their experience. AURA will also be able to make recommendations about offers of products and services that best adapt to the needs of the user, the contents that adapt to their preferences, the installation of security, or the detection of fraudulent apps.

“Cognitive intelligence will allow us to understand our customers better, so they can then relate to us in a more natural and easy way, and generate a new relationship of trust with them based on transparency and the control of their data”, stated Álvarez-Pallete, during the presentation event. “We are pioneers in this relationship model. Never before have the users of telecommunications services been able to talk with the networks in real time. We’re expanding the relationship with our customers, seeking to increase their satisfaction, and opening new possibilities for them so that they can enrich their digital lives with us”.

Facebook, Microsoft, and UNICEF also participated in the presentation.

http://www.telefonica.com

Sunday, February 5, 2017

IBM Watson Takes on Tax Preparation with H&R Block

IBM is working with H&R Block to apply Watson's analytical intelligence to a consumer-facing tax preparation service.

IBM Watson technology will be used by H&R Block’s tax professionals this tax season to help deliver the best outcome for each unique tax situation, while helping clients better understand how different filing options can impact their tax outcome. As part of the first phase of the collaboration, H&R Block and IBM development teams trained Watson in the language of tax, first applying the technology to the thousands of questions and topics discussed during the return filing process.

IBM said Watson is a good match because the field of tax preparation involves massive volumes of data, including a federal tax code with more than 74,000 pages and thousands of yearly tax law changes, all of which impact a client’s tax outcome.

“IBM has shown how complex, data-rich industries such as healthcare, retail and education are being transformed through the use of Watson. Now with H&R Block, we’re applying the power of cognitive computing in an entirely new way that everyone can relate to and benefit from – the tax prep process,” said David Kenny, senior vice president, IBM Watson and Cloud Platform.

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/51505.wss

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What is AT&T's Indigo?



What is AT&T's Indigo?

Indigo is the convergence of software-defined networking, artificial intelligence, 5G and other new access technologies, says Steve McGaw, Chief Marketing Officer for AT&T Business Solutions.

First unveiled in January 2017 at the AT&T Developer Summit, Indigo is a "Network 3.0" initiative to create a trusted environment where organizations can share data and collaborate on analytics.

See video:  https://youtu.be/vTDKfaqQrL8


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mellanox Supplies Ethernet Switches/Adapters for Baidu's Machine Learning

Baidu, the leading Chinese Internet search engine, has selected Mellanox Technologies' Spectrum Ethernet switches and ConnectX-4 100Gb/s Ethernet adapters of the Baidu Machine Learning platform.  The Spectrum switches and RDMA-enabled ConnectX-4 adapters enable efficient data movement placed for machine learning. Mellanox said its solutions enabled Baidu to demonstrate a 200 percent improvement in machine learning training times, resulting in faster decision making.

“We are pleased to continue working with Mellanox to enable the most efficient platforms for our applications,” said Mr. Liu Ning, system department deputy director at Baidu. “Mellanox Ethernet solutions with RDMA allow us to fully leverage our Machine Learning platform and work with various machine models while saving valuable CPU cycles and associated computing costs.”

“Machine Learning has become a critical predictive and computational tool for many businesses worldwide,” said Amir Prescher, senior vice president business development, Mellanox Technologies. “Working with Baidu, the premiere internet search provider in China, has enabled Mellanox to showcase the advantages and cost effectiveness of our Spectrum switches and ConnectX-4 100Gb/s adapters solutions to enable the most efficient machine learning platforms.”

http://www.mellanox.com/page/press_release_item?id=1837

driver support for ConnectX-4 Ethernet and RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet) on the VMware vSphere virtualization platform.

The new vSphere software for ConnectX-4 delivers three critical new capabilities; increased Ethernet network speeds at 25/50 and 100 Gb/s, virtualized application communication over RoCE, and advanced network virtualization and SDN (Software Defined Networking) acceleration 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

IEEE Focuses on Ethics for AI and Autonomous Systems

IEEE announced the publication of the first version of Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Wellbeing with Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems.

The document that encourages technologists to prioritize ethical considerations in the creation of autonomous and intelligent technologies. A key tenet is that AI systems must be aligned to human values and ethical principals.

Contributors to the document include over one hundred global thought leaders and experts in artificial intelligence, ethics, and related issues.

“As we move towards a more fully autonomous world, the first version of Ethically Aligned Design represents a milestone for creating consensus around and developing the methodologies that will ensure humanity utilizes technology that inherently supports and prioritizes our wellbeing and values,” says Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director for IEEE Standard Association. “By providing technologists with peer-driven, practical recommendations for creating ethically aligned autonomous and intelligent products, services, and systems, we can move beyond the fears associated with these technologies and bring valued benefits to humanity today and for the future.”

Version One of Ethically Aligned Design is being released under the Attribution-NonCommercial version of the Creative Commons license for any organization to adopt or utilize, thereby helping expedite ethical considerations in the creation of autonomous and intelligent technologies.

http://standards.ieee.org/develop/indconn/ec/autonomous_systems.html

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Baidu Opens Chinese language APIs for Key Speech Technologies

Baidu, , China's leading search engine, is making available Chinese language APIs for its four key speech technologies: Long Utterance Speech Recognition, Far-Field Speech Recognition, Expressive Speech Synthesis and Wake Word.

Baidu said its intent is to provide developers with access to its AI-based technologies. Baidu has also released API for facial recognition, optical character recognition, natural language processing and others. In September, the company also open sourced its deep learning framework PaddlePaddle, an easy-to-use platform allowing developers to apply deep learning to their products and services.

"We are at the dawn of the AI era. By opening our AI technologies, we will make it easier for everyone to create AI-enabled applications," says Andrew Ng, chief scientist of Baidu.

In just three years, the daily requests for speech recognition grew from 5 million in 2013 to 140 million this year, and the number of daily requests for speech synthesis stands today at 200 million. In the meantime, the number of developers using Baidu's speech system has also grown from 10,000 in 2014 to 140,000 this year.

http://www.baidu.com/

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Samsung to Acquire Viv for AI Platform

Samsung Electronics Co. agreed to acquire Viv Labs, a start-up developing an artificial intelligence platform designed to be "the intelligent interface to everything." Financial terms were not disclosed.

Viv's AI platform will give third-party developers the power to use and build conversational assistants and integrate a natural language-based interface into renowned applications and services. The company said its strengths include a sophisticated natural language understanding, machine learning capabilities and strategic partnerships.

Viv was founded by AI visionaries Dag Kittlaus, Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham. As part of the acquisition, the founding team will work closely with Samsung’s Mobile Communications business, but continue to operate independently under its existing leadership.

“Unlike other existing AI-based services, Viv has a sophisticated natural language understanding, machine learning capabilities and strategic partnerships that will enrich a broader service ecosystem,” said Injong Rhee, CTO of the Mobile Communications business at Samsung Electronics. “Viv was built with both consumers and developers in mind. This dual focus is also what attracted us to Viv as an ideal candidate to integrate with Samsung home appliances, wearables and more, as the paradigm of how we interact with technology shifts to intelligent interfaces and voice control.”

http://www.samsunggic.com
http://www.viv.ai

Monday, September 19, 2016

Salesforce Embeds AI in its CRM Platform

Salesforce unveiled "Einstein" -- its artificial intelligence initiative for delivering more predictive and personalized customer experiences across its CRM platform.

The company plans to embed Einstein AI capabilities will be embedded across every Salesforce Cloud. The ideal is to leverage all the data in Salesforce—customer data; activity data from Chatter, email, calendar and ecommerce; social data streams such as tweets and images; and even IoT signals—to train predictive models.

The AI is powered by advanced machine learning, deep learning, predictive analytics, natural language processing and smart data discovery.  Salesforce said its AI allow models to be automatically customized for every single customer, with Einstein automatically discovering relevant insights, predicting future behavior, proactively recommending best next actions and even automating tasks.

One outcome is Predictive Lead Scoring, which aims to help sales reps focus on closing the best leads.

“With Salesforce Einstein, we are delivering the world's smartest CRM," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce. "Einstein is now every customer’s data scientist, making it easy for everyone to take advantage of best-in-class AI capabilities in the context of their business.”

http://sforce.co/2d0LYd7

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

NVIDIA Advances its Pascal-based GPUs for AI

NVIDIA is expanding its Pascal™ architecture-based deep learning platform with the introduction of new Tesla P4 and P40 GPU accelerators and new software. The solution is aimed at accelerating inferencing production workloads for artificial intelligence services, such as voice-activated assistance, email spam filters, and movie and product recommendation engines.

NVIDIA said its GPU are better at these tasks than current CPU-based technology, which isn't capable of delivering real-time responsiveness. The Tesla P4 and P40 are specifically designed for inferencing, which uses trained deep neural networks to recognize speech, images or text in response to queries from users and devices.

Based on the Pascal architecture, these GPUs feature specialized inference instructions based on 8-bit (INT8) operations, delivering 45x faster response than CPUs and a 4x improvement over GPU solutions launched less than a year ago.

With 47 tera-operations per second (TOPS) of inference performance with INT8 instructions, a server with eight Tesla P40 accelerators can replace the performance of more than 140 CPU servers.5 At approximately $5,000 per CPU server, this results in savings of more than $650,000 in server acquisition cost.

"With the Tesla P100 and now Tesla P4 and P40, NVIDIA offers the only end-to-end deep learning platform for the data center, unlocking the enormous power of AI for a broad range of industries," said Ian Buck, general manager of accelerated computing at NVIDIA. "They slash training time from days to hours. They enable insight to be extracted instantly. And they produce real-time responses for consumers from AI-powered services."

http://nvidianews.nvidia.com

Sunday, August 28, 2016

IBM Cloud Data Center Inaugurated in Korea

IBM opened a new Cloud Data Center in Korea in collaboration with SK Holdings C&C.

The new facility, which is located outside of Seoul in Pangyo, is IBM’s ninth Cloud Data Center in the Asia-Pacific region, and part of the company’s growing global network of 47 Cloud Data Centers.

“A key part of our cloud strategy is to fuel new ecosystems to spur innovation and collaborate with companies who understand the local market.” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president, IBM Cloud.  “That’s why we chose to partner with SK Holdings C&C in Korea. Together, we are able to bring the local expertise, platform and data services that gives Korean customers the ability to compete on a global scale.”

“Companies all over the world are seeking for new business and profit opportunity throughout digital transformation,” said Jung-ho Park, CEO of SK Holdings C&C. “The new Cloud Data Center provides one-stop cloud converting service of existing IT system and infrastructure, and become the base camp to support digital innovation for customers’ businesses by converging digital technologies such as IoT, Big data and AI.”
Growing the Cloud Ecosystem in Korea

The companies said the new data center will further accelerate their commitment to cognitive and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, as they plan to support local startups and IT developers to create cognitive apps and industry-specific services that leverage Watson. Developers in Korea will also have access to Bluemix, IBM’s Cloud platform, and more than 150 APIs and services spanning key areas such as cognitive, blockchain, Internet of Things and big data.

https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/50401.wss

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Intel to Acquire Nervana for AI

Intel agreed to acquire Nervana Systems, a start-up based in San Diego, California, for their work in machine learning. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nervana, which was founded in 2014, developed a software and hardware stack for deep learning.

Intel said the Nervana technology would help optimize the Intel Math Kernel Library and its integration into industry standard frameworks, advancing the deep learning performance and TCO of the Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processors.

http://www.intel.com

Nervana is headed by Naveen Rao.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Google Acquire Moodstocks for Machine Vision

Google has acquire Moodstocks, a start-up based in Paris, that specializes in image recognition and machine vision technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Moodstocks said its new mission "will be to build great image recognition tools within Google." The team included Denis Brule and Cedric Deltheil.

http://www.moodstocks.com

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Video: Christie Pitts on Turning Start-ups into Strategic Assets at Verizon Ventures

Christie Pitts, Venture Development Manager at Verizon Ventures, highlights some of hot tech areas with adjacencies to Verizon's core businesses.

Think drones, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and 5G. Verizon Ventures also runs a #BuiltByGirls fund to encourage female entrepreneurs.

See video: https://youtu.be/CDKM643TmW0





Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Google Builds a Custom ASIC for Machine Learning

Google has developed a custom ASIC for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) is tailored for TensorFlow, which is an open source software library for machine learning that was developed at Google.

In a blog posting,  Norm Jouppi, Distinguished Hardware Engineer at Google, discloses that the TPUs have already been in deployment in Google data centers for over a year, where they "deliver an order of magnitude better-optimized performance per watt for machine learning." The stealthy project to develop in-house silicon has been underway for several years.

A number of Google applications are already running on the Tensor Processing Units, including RankBrain, Street View, and the AlphaGo application that recently defeated the Go world champion, Lee Sedol.

Google plans to deliver machine learning as a service on its Google Cloud Platform by providing APIs for computer vision, speech, human language translation, etc.

https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/2016/05/Google-supercharges-machine-learning-tasks-with-custom-chip.html


  • TensorFlow was originally developed by the Google Brain team and released under the Apache 2.0 open source license in November 2015. At the time, Google said TensorFlow can run on multiple CPUs and GPUs.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Start-up Aims for AI-based Real-time Video Identification

Valossa, a start-up based in Oulu, Finland, is working with Orange Silicon Valley and EchoStreams to demonstrate its AI-based real-time video identification technology.

Valossa’s Val.ai is based on years of research at the world-renowned computer vision and AI labs of the University of Oulu. The company says its technology analyzes streaming videos in real-time to identify thousands of concepts (e.g., places, objects and unique topics).

A system powered by EchoStreams FlacheSAN1N NVMe storage technology and GS420ND4 Exascale platform runs Valossa's software for identifying objects and people in real-time across more than 25 simultaneous HD video streams. The optimized-for-video supercomputer uses 16 state-of-the-art NVIDIA GPUs, exceeding 48,000 CUDA cores in a single 4U server.

“We are excited to collaborate with Valossa and OSV to bring High Performance Server and Storage platforms, which normally are only available in Supercomputing Data Centers, to the Media and Entertainment industry,” said Andy Lee, EchoStreams Director of Product Marketing. “By harnessing HPC computing power and Valossa AI, this demonstration is truly a breakthrough implementation of the Artificial Intelligence concept in real-world applications such as the Media and Broadcasting industry.”

http://www.valossa.com

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Baidu's Silicon Valley R&D Team Demos Deep Speech

Baidu Research demonstrated its Deep Speech technology integrated into Peel's AI-based platform for home control to create next-generation voice-enabled smart home products.

Peel Smart Remote is universal remote app that puts content discovery and device control onto a smartphone. The app has more than 150 million users in 200 countries and 10 billion monthly remote commands.

Deep Speech is a state-of-the-art speech recognition system developed using "end-to-end deep learning" by Baidu Research's Silicon Valley AI Lab (SVAIL).

The Peel demo uses speech recognition to access live TV, DVR and streaming content seamlessly across devices. For example, using voice commands, a user can switch between House of Cards on Roku and Game of Thrones on cable TV, or ask to see a line-up of comedy shows or programs about the US presidential election.

Baidu's Adam Coates, who leads the SVAIL team, said: "Speech recognition is at an inflection point. In the future, it will be as easy to talk to your devices as it is to talk to the person next to you. We are excited about the potential of the collaboration with Peel to bring that experience to users."

Peel Co-founder and Chief Product Officer Bala Krishnan added: "This collaboration is opening up new exciting possibilities for our users. Voice command and artificial intelligence are the foundation for the next generation of Peel universal home control."

http://research.baidu.com/
https://www.peel.com/

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

NVIDIA Unveils GPU Accelerators for Deep Learning AI

NVIDIA unveiled its most advanced accelerator to date -- the Tesla P100 -- based on Pascal architecture and composed of an array of Graphics Processing Clusters (GPCs), Streaming Multiprocessors (SMs), and memory controllers. The Tesla P100, which is implemented in 16nm FinFET on a massive 610mm2die, enables a new class of servers that can deliver the performance of hundreds of CPU server nodes.

NVIDIA said its accelerator brings five breakthroughs:

  • NVIDIA Pascal architecture for exponential performance leap -- a Pascal-based Tesla P100 solution delivers over a 12x increase in neural network training performance compared with a previous-generation NVIDIA Maxwell-based solution.
  • NVIDIA NVLink for maximum application scalability -- The NVIDIA NVLink high-speed GPU interconnect scales applications across multiple GPUs, delivering a 5x acceleration in bandwidth compared to today's best-in-class solution. Up to eight Tesla P100 GPUs can be interconnected with NVLink to maximize application performance in a single node, and IBM has implemented NVLink on its POWER8 CPUs for fast CPU-to-GPU communication.
  • 16nm FinFET for unprecedented energy efficiency -- with 15.3 billion transistors built on 16 nanometer FinFET fabrication technology, the Pascal GPU is the world's largest FinFET chip ever built.
  • CoWoS with HBM2 for big data workloads -- the Pascal architecture unifies processor and data into a single package to deliver unprecedented compute efficiency. An innovative approach to memory design, Chip on Wafer on Substrate (CoWoS) with HBM2, provides a 3x boost in memory bandwidth performance, or 720GB/sec, compared to the Maxwell architecture.
  • New AI algorithms for peak performance -- new half-precision instructions deliver more than 21 teraflops of peak performance for deep learning.

At its GPU Technology conference in San Jose, Nvidia also unveiled its DGX-1 Deep Learning supercomputer. It is a turnkey system that integrates eight Tesla P100 GPU accelerators, delivering the equivalent throughput of 250 x86 servers.

"Artificial intelligence is the most far-reaching technological advancement in our lifetime," said Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO and co-founder of NVIDIA. "It changes every industry, every company, everything. It will open up markets to benefit everyone. Data scientists and AI researchers today spend far too much time on home-brewed high performance computing solutions. The DGX-1 is easy to deploy and was created for one purpose: to unlock the powers of superhuman capabilities and apply them to problems that were once unsolvable."

"NVIDIA GPU is accelerating progress in AI. As neural nets become larger and larger, we not only need faster GPUs with larger and faster memory, but also much faster GPU-to-GPU communication, as well as hardware that can take advantage of reduced-precision arithmetic. This is precisely what Pascal delivers," said Yann LeCun, director of AI Research at Facebook.

http://nvidianews.nvidia.com

Friday, December 11, 2015

OpenAI Sets Out to Guide Artificial Intelligence Development

OpenAI, a new non-profit artificial intelligence research company, has set a course to guide the development of artificial intelligence technology "to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return."

In a blog posting, the OpenAI team said it is "hard to fathom how much human-level AI could benefit society, and it's equally hard to imagine how much it could damage society if built or used incorrectly."

The endeavor is backed by $1 billion in funding commitments from prominent Silicon Valley figures, including Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, Jessica Livingston, Peter Thiel, amongst other. Corporate backers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Infosys, and YC Research.

OpenAI's research will be led by Ilya Sutskever, previously a leading researcher at Google and one of the world experts in machine learning. The technology team includes Greg Brockman, formerly the CTO of Stripe.

https://openai.com/blog/introducing-openai/

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Facebook Shows GPU-based System for AI

Facebook will open source its design for a GPU-based system optimized for machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).

The hardware system, code-named "Big Sur", was developed by Facebook's engineering team to run its software capable of answering questions based on ingested stories and articles. Big Sur is Open Rack-compatible and incorporates eight high-performance GPUs of up to 300 watts each, with the flexibility to configure between multiple PCI-e topologies. It uses NVIDIA's Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform.

Facebook said its plan to open-source Big Sur and will submit the design materials to the Open Compute Project (OCP).

https://code.facebook.com/posts/1687861518126048?

See also