However, Intel is taking another tack as well with an experimental chip called "Loihi." Intel's Loihi chip has 1,024 artificial neurons, or 130,000 simulated neurons with 130 million possible synaptic connections. IBM has also developed a neuromorphic chip called "TrueNorth," for instance, with 4096 processors that simulate around 256 million synapses. Via its acquisition of Movidius and MobilEye, however, it's already got a line of machine vision and learning chips that do work with current AI algorithms.
The use of the tech with movie test audiences shouldn't present an issue; Disney could disclose in advance that the tech was being used, and folks who had a problem with it just wouldn't participate. In fiscal 2016, this segment's revenue jumped 28% year over year to $9.44 billion, accounting for 17% of the company's total revenue. Its operating income soared 37% year over year to $2.7 billion, accounting for 17.2% of total segment operating income. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Nvidia and Walt Disney.
After just confirming its plans to help Volvo create self-driving cars, NVIDIA has now revealed that it's also working with another leading car manufacturer. Announcing a partnership with Volkswagen, the tech company states its artificial intelligence and deep learning tech will be used to help VW expand its AI business beyond just autonomous vehicles. While this collaboration may sound surprising, the move actually looks to help expand Volkswagen's existing AI-focused research division - The VW Data Lab. The tech company and the car manufacturer have also announced a startup support program beginning this fall, where The Data Lab and NVIDIA will be assisting five small business who specialize in machine learning.
The company, which was co-founded by noted machine learning researcher Yoshua Bengio, received its large funding round from firms and sources including Intel Capital and NVIDIA. In a statement announcing the investment, Element AI CEO Jean-François Gagné said the investment round reflects venture confidence in the company's goals. As VentureBeat previously noted, the company received an undisclosed amount in seed investment from Microsoft Ventures late last year. As the CBC noted, Element AI's consulting side has already finished 10 projects for clients that have included using AI to help a Japanese semiconductor company improve its production quality and rates.
Amazon is reportedly planning to release a new version of its smart speaker Echo on Tuesday that includes a screen for making video calls. In April, Amazon launched a separate version of the smart home speaker called Echo Look, which included a camera that could give style advice on outfits, and which was also priced at $200. A new forecast from eMarketer says Amazon's Echo device would capture 70.6% of the market for voice-enabled speakers in the United States in 2017, well ahead of Google Home's 23.8%. The Nvidia Metropolis platform will use artificial intelligence to monitor video streams for incidents of crimes or worsening traffic, the company said in a press release on Tuesday.
Bosch will build an AI supercomputer designed for use in vehicles using Nvidia tech, which means Nvidia now has a partner that works as a tier one supplier to all major car maker in the world. It's only the latest partner for Nvidia's AI-powered self-driving car tech, which also include automakers like Audi and Mercedes-Benz, but it's the one that could potentially have the most impact in terms of giving Nvidia reach and influence across the industry. This is the kind of strategic tie-up that lets both partners do what they do best – Nvidia can focus on developing the core AI supercomputing tech, and Bosch can provide relationships and sales operations that offer true scale and reach. The mid-step implementation of this tech is Nvidia's AI co-pilot, which will allow the vehicle to work with a human driver to understand where their attention is directed and provide warnings about undetected hazards, as well as read a driver's lips and use audio cues to understand commands regardless of the in-vehicle noise environment.
Investors continued to awaken to NVIDIA's enviable long-term growth potential in 2016, continuing the extended rally in its shares. As part of the transaction, shareholders of the non-enterprise business will receive a one-time $1.5 billion dividend, roughly 5 times the company's 2016 cash dividend payments. So the powerful rally Computer Sciences shares enjoyed in 2016 seems more likely to be fueled by the excitement surrounding the merger, rather than by the favorable long-term outlook for its business. The Motley Fool recommends Accenture.
BB8 has been in testing with Nvidia for some time now, and is the company's core vehicle for building out its neural network-based autonomous drive software. The second was an Audi Q7, newly equipped with Nvidia's DRIVE PX 2 in-car computer, which offers tremendous computing power in a very small package, and is suitable for handling the huge task of running a locally contained neural net that learns how to drive simply by observing the action of human drivers; these vehicles were trained in Vegas on only four days of driving, Nvidia's Senior Director of Automotive Danny Shapiro told me. That means they gained their ability not by being told specifically the rules of the road, but by observing four days worth of driving behavior by humans, and then inferring rules from the behavior they observed. Other demos of autonomous vehicles at CES were hands-free, but Nvidia's was the only one I saw that was driver-free.
Nvidia also had its own showfloor presences, including a self-driving car demonstration featuring BB8, its own test car, and an Audi Q7 equipped with the same software and hardware that could also drive itself, with no human behind the wheel. Nvidia's core business has become the core business of virtually every other tech company of size and significance; AI is one of, if not the primary area of interest and investment at Google, Facebook, Apple and others, and Nvidia's GPUs make it possible to create the neural nets and server systems that back machine learning, image recognition and other technologies under the broad AI umbrella. The company's Alexa virtual assistant basically turned up wherever it made the slightest amount of sense – and even in some places it definitely didn't. Amazon moved very early to make sure Alexa was open and available to all hardware and software makers who wanted to join in, and it helped make that an appealing proposition with a basic feature set and Echo hardware that endeared the assistant to users right from the start.