13 acquisitions highlight Big Tech’s AI talent grab in 2020

It’s no secret that Big Tech has for years nabbed top technology talent through product acquisitions and acqui-hires. In fact, this is something the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is currently looking into through ongoing antitrust investigations. So it should come as little surprise that Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet (FAAMG) have also engaged in an AI talent arms race that involves dangling millions of dollars in front of some of best technical minds.

Read More

Amazon launches new AI services for DevOps and business intelligence applications

Amazon today launched SageMaker Data Wrangler, a new AWS service designed to speed up data prep for machine learning and AI applications. Alongside it, the company took the wraps off of SageMaker Feature Store, a purpose-built product for naming, organizing, finding, and sharing features, or the individual independent variables that act as inputs in a machine learning system. Beyond this, Amazon unveiled SageMaker Pipelines, which CEO Andy Jassy described as a CI/CD service for AI.

Read More

AI research finds a ‘compute divide’ concentrates power and accelerates inequality in the era of deep learning

AI researchers from Virginia Tech and Western University have concluded that an unequal distribution of compute power in academia is furthering inequality in the era of deep learning. They also point to the impact on academia of people leaving prestigious universities for high-paying industry jobs.

Read More

Amazon’s new Alexa feature uses AI to infer what users really want

Amazon today announced a new Alexa feature for U.S.-based English-language users that enables devices powered by the assistant to infer latent goals, or goals implicit in requests but not directly expressed. For instance, if a user says “How long does it take to steep tea?,” Alexa might follow up with “Five minutes is a good place to start” and the question “Would you like me to set a timer for five minutes?”

Read More

Amazon: Deploying reinforcement learning in production using Ray and Amazon SageMaker

Reinforcement learning (RL) is used to automate decision-making in a variety of domains, including games, autoscaling, finance, robotics, recommendations, and supply chain. Launched at AWS re:Invent 2018, Amazon SageMaker RL helps you quickly build, train, and deploy policies learned by RL.

Read More

NVIDIA chucks its MLPerf-leading A100 GPU into Amazon’s cloud

NVIDIA’s A100 set a new record in the MLPerf benchmark last month and now it’s accessible through Amazon’s cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS) first launched a GPU instance 10 years ago with the NVIDIA M2050. It’s rather poetic that, a decade on, NVIDIA is now providing AWS with the hardware to power the next generation…

Read More

Amazon reports $96.1 billion in Q3 2020 revenue: AWS up 29%, subscriptions up 33%, and ‘other’ up 51%

Amazon today reported earnings for its third fiscal quarter of 2020, including revenue up 37% to $96.1 billion, net income of $6.3 billion, and earnings per share of $12.37 (compared to revenue of $70.0 billion, net income of $2.1 billion, and earnings per share of $4.23 in Q3 2019).

Read More

Access Now resigns from Partnership on AI due to lack of change among tech companies

International digital and human rights organization Access Now has resigned in protest from the Partnership on AI (PAI), citing a lack of meaningful change on the part of businesses associated with the group and their failure to incoporate positions held by civil society organizations.

Read More

What’s at stake in Apple’s potentially apocalyptic IDFA changes

The Identifier for Advertisers, also known as IDFA, seems like an unlikely candidate for causing an apocalypse in mobile games, advertising, and the iPhone ecosystem. But the obscure tracking technology, which anonymously profiles a user, seems like Death riding in on a pale horse.

Read More

U.S. Congress calls for antitrust reforms to limit powers of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google

Members of Congress investigating the activity of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google say antitrust law reform is needed to safeguard democracy and “ensure that our economy remains vibrant and open in the digital age.”

Read More

Amazon went wide with Alexa; now it’s going deep

Amazon’s naked ambition to become part of everyone’s daily lives was on full display this week at its annual hardware event. It announced a slew of new Alexa-powered devices, including a home surveillance drone, a suite of Ring-branded car alarm systems, and miscellany like an adorable little kids’ Echo device. But it’s clear Amazon’s strategy has shifted, even if only for a product cycle, from going wide to going deep.

Read More

Facebook and Dolby join Amazon’s Voice Interoperability Initiative

Last September, Amazon unveiled the Voice Interoperability Initiative. Today, the company announced the addition of 38 new members including Dolby, Facebook, Garmin, and Xiaomi to the initiative, bringing the total number of member companies to 77. (Google remains conspicuously absent from the list.)

Read More

Voice Assistants & Artificial Intelligence - A futuristic approach

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning have changed the way we perceived the future of technology to be. With more devices adapting to this technology, it comes to no surprise as to how well we humans have altered the consumer trends and our lifestyle as per the new technological evolutions. The addition of voice assistants and smart speakers to it is just another name on the list.

Read More

Storelift launches autonomous convenience stores using AI and computer vision

As physical retail struggles amid the global pandemic, storeowners are rapidly trying to adapt to new realities. A French startup called Storelift believes it can create a new convenience store concept that leans on many of the same AI and computer vision tools used in Amazon Go stores to reinvent the shopping and checkout experience.

Read More

Antitrust experts weigh in on breaking up Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google

Gary Reback is perhaps best known as the lawyer who helped convince the U.S. Department of Justice to bring an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in the 1990s.

Read More

Antitrust hearing: Amazon, Facebook, and Google were questioned 2x more than Apple

At the “Online Platforms and Market Power” virtual antitrust hearing today, the House Judiciary Committee questioned Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google over Webex.

Read More

Amazon launches Alexa Conversations in beta, lets developers deep-link skills to mobile apps

Alexa conversation

The company rolled out deep neural networks aimed at making Alexa natural language understanding more accurate for custom apps, as well as an API that allows the use of web technologies to build gaming apps for select Alexa devices.

Read More
1 2