In March, Matt Bratlien saw something odd in the spacious suburb of Silver Firs, north of Seattle. A six-wheeled robot with the Amazon Prime logo on its sky-blue carapace was driving up and down the sidewalks and curbs, watched by a company representative. “I was surprised, excited, and very curious,” says Bratlien, a partner at Net-Tech, an IT services company in nearby Bellevue. Bratlien had encountered Scout, a delivery robot Amazon is testing in the area, including by ferrying real orders to customers. Here’s what he didn’t see: Countless digital clones crawling through a virtual copy of the neighborhood that Amazon created with scans of the area collected by lasers, cameras, and aircraft. Amazon knows a lot about the world thanks to data from its vast retail business and cloud computing platform. It knows a 2-square-kilometer zone of Snohomish County in unusual detail—down to the position of weeds sprouting through the drainage grates. The … [Read more...] about How Amazon Cloned a Neighborhood to Test Its Delivery Robots
A berkeley view of cloud computing
By The Washington Post | PUBLISHED: May 23, 2019 at 12:51 pm | UPDATED: May 24, 2019 at 9:57 am By Drew Harwell | Washington Post Distorted videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, altered to make her sound as if she’s drunkenly slurring her words, are spreading rapidly across social media, highlighting how political disinformation that clouds public understanding can now spread at the speed of the web. The video of Pelosi’s onstage speech Wednesday at a Center for American Progress event, in which she said President Donald Trump’s refusal to cooperate with congressional investigations was tantamount to a “coverup,” was subtly edited to make her voice sound garbled and warped. It was then circulated widely across Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. One version, posted by the conservative Facebook page Politics WatchDog, has been viewed more than 1.4 million times, been shared more than 32,000 times, and garnered 16,000 comments with users … [Read more...] about Altered videos of Speaker Pelosi spread on social media
Along America’s west coast, the world’s most valuable companies are racing to make artificial intelligence smarter. Google and Facebook have boasted of experiments using billions of photos and thousands of high-powered processors. Late last year, a project in eastern Tennessee quietly exceeded the scale of any corporate AI lab. It was run by the US government. The record-setting project involved the world’s most powerful supercomputer, Summit, at Oak Ridge National Lab. The machine captured that crown in June last year, reclaiming the title for the US after five years of China topping the list. As part of a climate research project, the giant computer booted up a machine learning experiment that ran faster than any before. Summit, which occupies an area equivalent to two tennis courts, used more than 27,000 powerful graphics processors in the project. It tapped their power to train deep learning algorithms, the technology driving AI’s frontier, chewing through … [Read more...] about The World’s Fastest Supercomputer Breaks an AI Record
No single technology in human history has succeeded in becoming ubiquitous without first capturing the public's heart. For greater than a century, even when there were no working prototypes of a "thinking thing," the idea of a mechanical intelligence has grabbed a variable degree of hold on the public's imagination. Fifty years ago, Douglas C. Engelbart produced the first live demonstration of a working computer whose database was operated by a mouse pointer. It did not excite the imagination or capture the heart for one reason only: Very few in the general public were allowed to see the demo, or even know of its existence until surprisingly recently. Also: AWS re:Invent 2018 Postmortem: Surprise! Hybrid enters the agenda At its most recent re:Invent conference in November, Amazon AWS CEO Andy Jassy introduced attendees to DeepRacer, an Intel Atom-based autonomous processor mounted on the chassis of a 1/18-scale, formerly radio-controlled monster truck, with Wi-Fi connectivity … [Read more...] about DeepRacer: Will Amazon’s own programmable toy car interest you in AI?
Sometime around 1 am on a warm night last June, Fei-Fei Li was sitting in her pajamas in a Washington, DC, hotel room, practicing a speech she would give in a few hours. Before going to bed, Li cut a full paragraph from her notes to be sure she could reach her most important points in the short time allotted. When she woke up, the 5'3" expert in artificial intelligence put on boots and a black and navy knit dress, a departure from her frequent uniform of a T-shirt and jeans. Then she took an Uber to the Rayburn House Office Building, just south of the US Capitol. Before entering the chambers of the US House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, she lifted her phone to snap a photo of the oversize wooden doors. (“As a scientist, I feel special about the committee,” she said.) Then she stepped inside the cavernous room and walked to the witness table. The hearing that morning, titled “Artificial Intelligence—With Great Power Comes Great … [Read more...] about Fei-Fei Li’s Quest to Make AI Better for Humanity