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DeepMind's 'Gato' is mediocre, so why did they build it?

ZDNet

Tiernan Ray has been covering technology and business for 27 years. He was most recently technology editor for Barron's where he wrote daily market coverage for the Tech Trader blog and wrote the weekly print column of that name. DeepMind's "Gato" neural network excels at numerous tasks including controlling robotic arms that stack blocks, playing Atari 2600 games, and captioning images. The world is used to seeing headlines about the latest breakthrough by deep learning forms of artificial intelligence. The latest achievement of the DeepMind division of Google, however, might be summarized as, "One AI program that does a so-so job at a lot of things."


Enterprise architects take charge of the digital revolution

ZDNet

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. As an independent analyst, he has authored numerous research reports in partnership with Forbes Insights, IDC, and Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc. Enterprise architects have been adding a new designation to their titles: digital enterprise architect. That's because their roles have been expanding over the past few years, particularly with data analytics being added to their repertoires. That's the word from Thomas Erl, CEO of Arcitura Education, which provides technology skills training to thousands of professionals across the globe, and co-author of A Field Guide to Digital Transformation. "It's a new era for enterprise architects," he says.


Big Data Exchange enters Indonesian data centre market with joint venture deal

ZDNet

Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently an independent business technology journalist and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 20 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings. Big Data Exchange (BDx) has marked its entry into Indonesia's data centre market through a joint venture agreement with PT Indosat and the latter's two subsidiaries. The move aims to tap increasing demand for cloud services and connectivity. Estimated to be worth $300 million, the deal would see BDx enter a conditional sale and purchase agreement of shares (CSPA) and establish a joint venture with PT Indosat, PT Aplikanusa Lintasarta, and PT Starone Mitra Telekomunikasi (SMT). Under the agreement, BDx, Indosat, and Lintasarta would set up data centre and cloud operations in the Asian market, BDx said in a statement Thursday.


Jersey Mike's to offer its subs by drone

ZDNet

Greg Nichols covers robotics, AI, and AR/VR for ZDNet. A full-time journalist and author, he writes about tech, travel, crime, and the economy for global media outlets and reports from across the U. You might think you should look down toward the water to spot a sub. If you're in North Carolina, you'd be better off looking up. That terrible joke is brought to you by a drone delivery services company called Flytrex, which just announced a partnership with Jersey Mike's Subs.


The EU AI Act: What you need to know

ZDNet

George Anadiotis got tech, data, and media, and he's not afraid to use them. It's been almost one year since the European Commission unveiled the draft for what may well be one of the most influential legal frameworks in the world: the EU AI Act. According to the Mozilla Foundation, the framework is still work in progress, and now is the time to actively engage in the effort to shape its direction. Mozilla Foundation's stated mission is to work to ensure the internet remains a public resource that is open and accessible to everyone. Since 2019, Mozilla Foundation has focused a significant portion of its internet health movement-building programs on AI.


Building a new developer workforce: How coding is helping an entire region retrain for the future

ZDNet

Damian Radcliffe is a digital analyst, journalist, and researcher with 20 years of experience. As Middle East nations look to pivot from petro-chemical to knowledge-based economies, skilling up the region's IT and tech workforce is growing in importance. While high-profile spending on infrastructure and startups tends to dominate the headlines, a number of efforts designed to build IT skills and capacity are also underway, with coding being one area seeing considerable investment. According to Salim Abid, Google's regional lead of developer ecosystem in MENA, Google trained more than 700,000 developers across MENA in 2021, 35% of whom were women. Participants were trained by Googlers and Google Developer Experts; local experts that joined events organised by Google Developer Groups, Women Techmakers communities, Google Developers Students clubs and other local organisations.


Evovac Deebot X1 Omni cleans great but comes with a huge docking station

ZDNet

Let's be honest, who really enjoys cleaning floors? It might deliver great satisfaction when you're done, but after all it is still a chore, and it can take up quite a lot of time if you're vacuuming and mopping -- time that could be better spent not cleaning. Evovac's solution for those adverse to boring chores is the Deebot X1 Omni, a robotic vacuuming and mopping system that comes accompanied with an all-in-one Omni station that can self-clean and dry, auto-empty any dust, and automatically refill with water after each cleaning round. One of the first noticeable features of the Deebot X1 Omni is the size and weight of the Omni station. Even though Danish company Jacob Jensen Design has attempted to create something sleek and minimalistic in appearance -- so that it looks more like "art" and less like a cleaning system -- figuring out where to place it in the home can get a bit tricky.


Smart home standard Google Matter coming later this year

ZDNet

Google announced on Wednesday at its I/O 2022 convention that it plans to finally launch Matter, its new but delayed smart home industry standard later this year, and has explained how it will work in home ecosystems. Matter, developed in collaboration with Apple, Amazon, and the Zigbee Alliance among others, will let users connect all enabled devices to Google Home and control them both locally and remotely with the Google Home app, including smart home controls on Androids and Google Assistant. Matter controllers will include the original Google Home speaker, Google Mini, Nest Mini, Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max, Nest Audio and Nest Wifi. Devices will connect using Fast Pair and will feature multiple compatible voice control systems and networking protocols, including Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, as well as Thread. While the Fast Pair feature has previously been used for headphones and audio gear, Google announced that it will soon be able to sync lightbulbs and smart plugs with Android and Nest devices. "With Matter, there's no need to build multiple versions of a smart home device to work across different ecosystems.


Google I/O: To build better AI, Google invites others to join its AI Test Kitchen

ZDNet

Stephanie Condon is a senior staff writer for Red Ventures based in Portland, Oregon, covering business technology for ZDNet. Last year, Google unveiled LaMDA, an experimental natural language platform that's designed to engage in natural, free-flowing conversations. On Wednesday at Google I/O, the company showcased LaMDA 2. During the I/O keynote, Google CEO Sundar Pichai called it Google's "most advanced conversational AI yet." The tech giant is working on LaMDA and other models to improve Search, Google Assistant, and other tools. "We need people to experience the technology and provide feedback," Pichai said.


Google Translate gains 24 new languages from the Americas, India, and Africa

ZDNet

Michael is a veteran technology writer who has been covering business and consumer-focused hardware and software for over a decade. Google revealed a total of 24 new languages coming to its Google Translate platform at this year's I/O event. The full list of new supported languages includes dialects spoken by a total of 300 million people across the globe, Google said. The most widely spoken of the new lot, Bhojpuri, is used by around 50 million speakers in northern India, Nepal, and Fiji. Meanwhile, the rarest addition, Sanskrit, remains in use by just 20,000 individuals in India.