If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Citi Ventures, Salesforce, Tencent Holdings, and NVIDIA GPU Ventures were frequently spotted in the deals we investigated, while VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and private equity firm Warburg Pincus were common co-investors. The unicorn startup (valued at $1.2B) welcomed Roche Venture Fund -- the CVC arm of the healthcare company Roche -- into its ownership in its $175M Series C, which is the company's largest raise to date. At the heart of the platform is "Neuralytics" -- the company's big data, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence engine -- which leverages sales interaction data from across the company's global network to make predictive and prescriptive recommendations (with the aim of shortening sales cycles and improving internal sales processes). In the startup's $100M Series C in Q3'15, IT firm Rackspace Hosting participated alongside CVC capitalG (formerly Google Capital) and follow-on investors Accel Partners and Warburg Pincus.
AI helped triple NVIDIA's data center revenue in the most recent quarter, with the company's CFO, Colette Kress, saying: "AI has quickly emerged as the single most powerful force in technology. If you have an Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Echo speaker in your home, have ever used Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Assistant, or talked to Apple's Siri, then you've interacted with artificial intelligence on some level already. Amazon's most lucrative business, its Amazon Web Services (AWS), now offers machine-learning services (part of the broader AI market) to improve natural-language processing, image analysis, and speech generation across apps and services that use AWS. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Nvidia.
Increasingly affordable AI maintenance and the increased speed of calculations thanks to GPU are significant factors in the unbridled growth of AI. The astonishing results that were achieved on training a neural network on GPU cards made Nvidia a key player, with 70 percent of the market share that Intel failed to gain. Compared with the results from the analog algorithms, and thanks to the combination of machine learning and big data, previously "unsolvable" problems are now being solved. Machine learning algorithms can directly analyze thousands of previous cases of different types of diseases and make their own conclusions as to what constitutes a sick individual versus a healthy individual, and consequently help diagnose dangerous conditions including cancer.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas has become the best place to learn about what's coming to cars. This year, however, the wild new capabilities rolling through CES, and into the auto industry, went from an open secret to headline grabbing news. As a result, it was an incredible week for us. Since we unveiled our AI computing platform for autonomous vehicles at CES last year, DRIVE PX 2 has become the core of the AI revolution sweeping the auto industry. That became clear with the show's opening keynote Wednesday from NVIDIA Co-Founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, who announced our new AI Co-Pilot for the car built on DRIVE PX 2, as well as our ever expanding AI Car ecosystem of partners.
Audi and Nvidia have been collaborating for some time, but at CES 2017, the companies made their biggest joint announcement yet. Using artificial intelligence and deep learning technology, the companies will bring fully automated driving to the roads by 2020. To achieve this, Audi will leverage Nvidia's expertise in artificial intelligence, the fruits of which are already being shown at CES. Audi's Q7 Piloted Driving Concept is fitted with Nvidia's Drive PX 2 processor and after only four days of "training," the vehicle is already driving itself over a complex road course. This is due to the Drive PX 2's incredible ability to learn on the go, which is a far cry from the first driverless cars that needed pre-mapped routes to function properly. "Nvidia is pioneering the use of deep learning AI to revolutionize transportation," Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said.
In case you missed it, TensorFlow is now available for Windows, as well as Mac and Linux. This was not always the case. For most of TensorFlow's first year of existence, the only means of Windows support was virtualization, typically through Docker. Even without GPU support, this is great news for me. I teach a graduate course in deep learning and dealing with students who only run Windows was always difficult.
NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) is primarily known as the company that revolutionized computer gaming. The debut of the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) in 1999 provided gamers with faster, clearer, and more lifelike images. The GPU was designed to quickly perform complex mathematical calculations that were necessary to accelerate the creation of realistic graphics. It achieved this feat by performing many functions at the same time, known as parallel computing. This resulted in faster, smoother motion in game graphics and a revolution in modern gaming.
At this year's CES 2017, NVIDIA's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang presented in the CES opening keynote his vision for the company's future to the audience, explaining where he believes the company will succeed in the future. I also liked that Huang simplified AI and graphics so more could understand it. Of the areas where NVIDIA participates in right now, two areas of growth for the company are gaming and automotive, both of which are growing and getting quite competitive. While NVIDIA is still a relatively new entrant into the automotive business, the company has proven that they can keep up with the legacy suppliers and surpass them by delivering innovative automotive solutions. NVIDIA's leadership in technologies like DNN AI training have proven to be a valuable resource for the company and their partners who are looking to apply machine learning to their own products.
Audi and Nvidia are putting their partnership into high gear with the aim of putting cars with artificial intelligence on the road by 2020. The ambitious project, detailed at CES in Las Vegas is, according to both companies, the best way for cars to become truly autonomous and genuinely capable of coping with the everyday complexities of real-world driving and of learning as they go. At the 2016 NIPS Artificial Intelligence Conference in Barcelona in December, Audi demonstrated a miniature prototype AI car -- a scale model of the Q2 SUV -- that was laden with sensors. It autonomously drove around an alien space learning where obstacles were, developing a real-time map of the space in its digital mind and after some trial and error could drive straight to a confined parking space and navigate into it every time. However, for CES, the demonstrations are very much full-scale.
Audi's plans to build AI-powered autonomous vehicles may have taken center stage during NVIDIA's CES press conference, but it's not the only automaker working with the company. NVIDIA announced its building smart vehicles with the folks at Mercedes-Benz, too. "Mercedes-Benz and NVIDIA share a common vision of the AI car," NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said. "At this point, it is clear AI will revolutionize the future of automobiles." The two firms have been working together for about three years now, and their product is almost ready for market.