January 7th — NVIDIA Announces Delivery Target For Self Driving Processor Xavier
At CES 2018, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang announces the company is planning to deliver the first sample of its Xavier processor during this quarter. NVIDIA DRIVER Xavier contains more than nine billion transistors, making it by far the most complex system on a chip. NVIDIA says that Xavier will power Pegasus, the AI computing platform designed to deliver Level 5 autonomous vehicles.
January 8th — Facebook Plans to Shut Down Its Personal Assistant “M” on January 19th
Facebook announces it will shut down its virtual chatbot assistant “M.” The AI chatbot in Messenger was only ever available to 2,000 Californians. Facebook says it learned a lot about how users interact with virtual assistants and plans to use that info to further develop its other AI services. Some M users say they never really had a reason to communicate with the bot.
January 9th — Amazon Alexa Is Integrating With Windows 10
Amazon Alexa is taking a big step forward by merging itself into Windows PCs. Many OEMs at CES — such as Acer, ASUS and HP — announced they would make use of the Alexa App for Windows 10. The app will be limited to specific functions, and cannot call or message. Windows 10 integration does however enable Alexa to jump out of the Amazon ecosystem.
January 9th — A US Media Team Plans to Launch Vital Intelligence Data Live
A team of media executives in the US announces VIDL (Vital Intelligence Data Live) the launch this summer. The proprietary technology combines blockchain and AI to deliver accurate news reports from around the world. The platform will be fully automated and promises a foolproof system for delivering news stories that won’t be affected by human bias or warped into fake news.
January 11th — Mercedes-Benz Releases In-car Assistant MBUX
MBUX is the new Mercedes-Benz infotainment and multimedia system, a smart platform powered by NVIDIA GPU. It enables users to issue natural language voice commands rather than simple control commands, and can function without an internet connection. MBUX will be ready for all new Mercedes A-Class vehicles this year, and in other Mercedes vehicles in the future.
January 13th — Google Assistant Gets Much Attention At CES
Google did not introduce many new products at CES 2018. Instead, it highlighted a bunch of tech partners — including Sony, LG, Lenovo, and Huawei — who promoted Google Assistant in various hardware applications, including TVs, refrigerators and even electric bike wheels. In the virtual assistant race, Google Assistant is closing the gap with Alexa.
January 16th — GM and Waymo Top New Self-Driving Leaderboard
Navigant Research releases an Autonomous Driving Leaderboard which ranks the industry’s top brands. General Motors and Alphabet’s Waymo are in the top two positions. Meanwhile, former leader Ford has dropped to third, while Tesla sits at the bottom of the ranking with Apple.
January 16th — Canada.ai Platform Showcases Canada’s AI Information
NEXT Canada and a group of top Canadian artificial intelligence institutions launch Canada.ai. The web platform showcases Canada’s leadership in the field of artificial intelligence by presenting information such as research results, leading startups and companies in the AI space, and AI-related events happening across the country. Canada is welcoming many international AI researchers, students, institutions and startups.
January 17th — AutoML Can Train Machine Learning Models Without Coding
Google has announced the alpha launch of AutoML Vision, which helps build custom image recognition models. The new services available under the AutoML brand don’t require users to have machine learning expertise. The user provides images along with their tags, and AutoML Vision automatically creates a custom machine learning model based on them. Google is handling the hard work of training and tuning the model.
January 19th — Google Unveils A New Office In Shenzhen, China
Rather than Beijing or Shanghai, Google unveils a new office in Shenzhen. According to Google News, the reason for setting up in Shenzhen is to better cooperate with local partners. Google is gradually collaborating more with Chinese companies on products such as Lenovo’s VR set and self-driving cars. While Shenzhen is now in the spotlight, it remains uncertain whether Google can effectively leverage its new Chinese offices to penetrate the country’s AI market.
Contributing Analyst: Alex Chen | Editor: Michael Sarazen