April 17th – Google Introduces “AIY” Kits for Artificial Intelligence
Google introduces starter kits designed to help people learn and experiment with AI solutions. The AIY kits (a pun on DIY/do-it-yourself) and are aimed at students, who can use for example the Voice Kit to develop a voice-controlled speaker, or the Vision Kit for tasks like object detection, facial detection etc. Each kit comes with a Raspberry Pi Zero WH board.
April 18th – Microsoft Translator Goes Offline
Microsoft users can now run translations without an Internet connection, thanks to a new app offering modified neural network translations. The offline translation quality is high, although not as good as online translation backed by AI on the cloud. Offline translation is available for Arabic, Chinese-Simplified, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai. More will languages will be added later.
April 19th – Dubai Uses AI to Turn Waste Into Energy
As part of its “Vision of the Future City, Today” initiative, Dubai Municipality launches its AI-empowered Wasteniser project, which sorts solid waste by type using AI tech, and incinerates materials at optimal temperatures to produce good ash that can be used in the production of green concrete. The energy generated goes to the local electrical grid.
April 19th – Amazon’s ‘Alexa Blueprints’ Builds Customized Alexa Skills
With Amazon’s new Alexa Blueprints, users can create their own Alexa skills without any coding knowledge. Alexa Blueprints comes with 20+ templates, including Fun & Games, At Home, Storyteller, and Learning & Knowledge. Although these user-created skills will not be available on the Alexa Skills Store, they will appear on a “Skills You’ve Made” page on the Blueprint website. Alexa Blueprints gives Amazon an edge over Apple’s HomePod and Google Home, which do not offer such custom skill creation opportunities. The service is currently only available in the US.
April 20th – Google Combines AR and AI to Identify Cancer Cells
Google publishes research showing quick detection of cancer cells using a new Augmented Reality Microscope technology. Google believes the AI-backed ARM will “accelerate and democratize the adoption of deep learning tools for pathologists around the world.” The ARM is compatible with most current devices and can be easily retrofitted.
April 23rd – NVIDIA and DEEPCORE Team Up to Boost AI Startups in Japan
NVIDIA announces a partnership with SoftBank-owned startup incubator DEEPCORE, which will use NVIDIA’s AI computing platform to expand its support for startups and promote AI research in Japan. NVIDIA will provide technical training and industry advice for DEEPCORE customers and incubator members via its Deep Learning Institute.
April 23rd – Improving Japanese Sake Brewing With AI
Asahi Shuzo is applying Fujitsu AI technology in a trial project to help visualize and optimize their sake brewing process. The Fujitsu Human Centric AI Zinrai system aims to “systematize the experience and know-how of each employee” to widen and improve real-time monitoring of the sake production process. Fujitsu built the predictive AI model based on the sake brewing company’s historical data.
April 24th – Daimler, Audi and Volvo Add Alibaba Smart Assistant
Alibaba announces collaborations with automakers Daimler, Audi, and Volvo to use its voice assistant Tmall Genie in their cars to monitor battery level, mileage, engine status, etc., and allow remote management via voice command of car status including doors, windows and air conditioning etc. “Cars are an environment, alongside the home and the office, where individuals spend a significant amount of time, and which through connectivity can become an important part of life,” said Lijuan Chen, head of Alibaba AI Labs, which created the Genie.
April 26th – Salesforce Leads US$24 Million Investment in IFTTT
Web service company IFTTT announces US$24 million in funding from Salesforce, IBM, and others. The investment will be used to hire talents, develop enterprise business and IoT services, and address problems in the market. “Every business is undergoing a dramatic transformation into a digital service,” says IFTTT CEO Linden Tibbets. “We could not be more excited to partner with our new investors, our passionate users, and every business working hard to become a service.”
April 26th – Jim Keller Joins Intel to Lead Silicon Engineering
Tesla’s ex-autopilot head Jim Keller leaves the autonomous driving company to lead Intel’s silicon engineering team, where his research will focus on SoC development and integration. “Jim is one of the most respected microarchitecture design visionaries in the industry, and the latest example of top technical talent to join Intel,” said Dr. Murthy Renduchintala, Intel’s chief engineering officer and group president of the Technology, Systems Architecture & Client Group (TSCG).
Analyst: Synced Analyst Global Team | Editor: Michael Sarazen
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