Recogni raises $48.9 million for AI-powered perception chips

Prism Chip

Recogni, a startup designing an AI-powered vision recognition module for autonomous vehicles, today announced it raised $48.9 million. The company says the funds will help it bring its perception product to market while expanding the size of its engineering and go-to-market teams.

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Thought-detection: AI has infiltrated our last bastion of privacy

Thought detection

Our thoughts are private – or at least they were. New breakthroughs in neuroscience and artificial intelligence are changing that assumption, while at the same time inviting new questions around ethics, privacy, and the horizons of brain/ computer interaction. Research published last week from Queen Mary University in London describes an application of a deep neural network that can determine a person’s emotional state by analyzing wireless signals that are used like radar. In this research…

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Researchers propose platform for evaluating disease-forecasting AI methods

Disease cell

Since the start of the pandemic, there’s been an influx of papers on epidemic forecasting. Indeed, as of February, a search for “COVID forecasting” on Google Scholar yields over 14,000 results. But while many researchers compare their approaches against traditional modeling strategies, forecasts are highly sensitive to the implementation, which requires a well-defined benchmark.

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Immunai raises $60 million to analyze the immune system with AI

Lung Xray

Immunai, a startup developing an AI platform to analyze the human immune system, today announced that it raised $60 million. The company says it will use the funds to broaden its functional genomics capabilities and help its partners prioritize, discover, and develop new therapies and drug combinations.

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Kite launches Team Server to extend its code-completion ML assistant to enterprises

The ML-based code completion tool Kite launched its Team Server today, complementing its existing offerings for individual developers with an enterprise-grade version for entire teams of them.
Kite’s Team Server builds on its original coding assistant through deploying GPUs within enterprises’ internal networks, enabling them to create custom-trained models from their proprietary code to meet internal standards, and providing security features like its SSH tunnel proxy for encryption.

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Physna raises $20 million for AI that analyzes and digitizes 3D objects

Jet engine wireframe

Physna, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based startup developing an AI-powered 3D modeling platform for industrial engineering, today announced that it raised $20 million. The company says the funds will be used to grow its team and increase development as new customers sign on.

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Researchers create new model to evaluate AI-generated navigation instructions

A burgeoning subfield of AI focuses on leveraging models to improve the performance of robots that follow instructions given by people. These models generate directions (e.g., “Walk up the stairs and enter the first room on the left”) that ostensibly improve robots’ navigation performance in simulated and real-world environments. But a study coauthored by Google researchers finds that the models perform only slightly better than template-based techniques that don’t rely on AI.

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3 tech trends that COVID-19 will accelerate in 2021

Spending 2020 under the shadow of a pandemic has affected what we need and expect from technology. For many, COVID-19 accelerated the rate of digital transformation: as employees worked from home, companies needed AI systems that facilitated remote work and the computing power to support them. The question is, how should companies focus their resources in 2021 to prepare for this changed reality and the new technologies on the horizon? Here are three trends that I predict will see massive attention in 2021 and beyond.

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Incoming White House science and technology leader on AI, diversity, and society

Technologies like artificial intelligence and human genome editing “reveal and reflect even more about the complex and sometimes dangerous social architecture that lies beneath the scientific progress that we pursue,” said Dr. Alondra Nelson today as part of the introduction of the Biden administration science team. On Friday, the Biden transition team appointed Nelson to the position of OSTP deputy director for science and society. Biden will be sworn in Wednesday to officially become the 46th president of the United States.

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Intel launches RealSense ID for on-device facial recognition

Intel today launched the newest addition to RealSense, its product range of depth and tracking technologies designed to give machines depth perception capabilities. Called RealSense ID, it’s an on-device solution that combines an active depth sensor with a machine learning model to perform facial authentication.

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Oxbotica raises $47 million to bring autonomy to vehicles in challenging environments

Oxbotica, a U.K.-based developer of autonomous vehicle software, today announced it has raised $47 million in a series B round led by BP Ventures. The startup says the funding will be used to accelerate commercial deployment of its software platform across key industries and markets.

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Amazon: We don’t need another AI tool or APl, we need an open AI platform for cloud and edge

After Amazon’s three-week re:Invent conference, companies building AI applications may have the impression that AWS is the only game in town. Amazon announced improvements to SageMaker, its machine learning (ML) workflow service, and to Edge Manager — improving AWS’ ML capabilities on the edge at a time when serving the edge is considered increasingly critical for enterprises.

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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.

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Facebook’s news summarization tool reeks of bad intentions

This week, BuzzFeed News, citing sources familiar with the matter, wrote that Facebook is developing an AI tool that summarizes news articles so that users don’t have to read them. The tool — codenamed “TLDR” in reference to the acronym “too long, didn’t read” — reportedly reduces articles to bullet points and provides narration, as well as a virtual assistant to answer questions.

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Has AI adoption plateaued, or is it just catching its breath?

It has been a wild year in every quarter, and AI development is no exception. On the whole, the year has been mixed for AI, as there have been both notable advances and new revelations about abusive applications of the technology. And the market for AI technologies appears to have plateaued, with a recent global survey finding no increase in AI adoption in the enterprise.

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Google’s Tree Canopy Lab taps AI to help cities plan tree-planting projects

Google today announced the launch of Tree Canopy Lab for Los Angeles, a tool that combines AI and aerial imagery to help cities see their current tree canopy coverage and plan future tree-planting projects. Google says that Tree Canopy Lab, which is a part of the company’s Environmental Insights Explorer platform, could make it easier for cities to measure, plan, and reduce carbon emissions and pollution.

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Facebook’s open source M2M-100 model can translate between 100 different languages

Facebook today open-sourced M2M-100, an algorithm it claims is the first capable of translating between any pair of 100 languages without relying on English data. The machine learning model, which was trained on 2,200 language pairs, ostensibly outperforms English-centric systems on a metric commonly used to evaluate machine translation performance.

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