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Nvidia makes a clean sweep of MLPerf predictions benchmark for artificial intelligence


Graphics chip giant Nvidia mopped up the floor with its competition in a benchmark set of tests released Wednesday afternoon, demonstrating better performance on a host of artificial intelligence tasks. The benchmark, called MLPerf, announced by the MLPerf organization, an industry consortium that administers the tests, showed Nvidia getting better speed on a variety of tasks that use neural networks, from categorizing images to recommending which products a person might like. Predictions are the part of AI where a trained neural network produces output on real data, as opposed to the training phase when the neural network system is first being refined. Benchmark results on training tasks were announced by MLPerf back in July. Many of the scores on the test results pertain to Nvidia's T4 chip that has been in the market for some time, but even more impressive results were reported for its A100 chips unveiled in May.

Amazon's Echo Loop discreetly wraps Alexa around your finger


The debut of the Always Home Cam proved that Amazon is still willing to fly in the face of convention as well as potential home intruders. However, as I noted when I wrote about the home security drone last month, Amazon's 2020 device launch provided a stark contrast to previous years' events when Alexa's steward pushed boundaries into novel products like clocks and eyeglasses. Indeed, Amazon recently began shipping Day 1 Editions of one of these products: The Echo Loop ring, a $130 black titanium chunk of an extremity accessory that connects to smartphones via Bluetooth. It allows users to issue Alexa commands by pressing a button prior to speaking closely into it as well as hear responses by holding its back up to one's ear. It can thus act as an impractical Bluetooth headset.

Google antitrust: Just how much do you actually use it? Way more than you think

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Google's influence in our lives is overwhelming, which is perhaps one of the reasons the Department of Justice and several state attorney generals banded together to file an anti-trust lawsuit against the company. But just how wide is Google's reach? We decided to take a look, and the results may surprise you. Start with the fact that Google ads are all over the Internet, and despite the initial stated goal of "organizing the world's information," the Alphabet unit is designed to have more ads appear, to keep the earnings up. In its most recent earnings, Alphabet reported $38.30 billion for Google.

Nvidia leaps forward into AI and Supercomputing


Most of you are probably familiar with the chip giants like Intel & AMD which command a bigger share of the computing processor market, but this entrant to the chip market in 1993 has solidified its reputation as a big name in the arena. Although most well-known for its graphical processing units (GPUs) -- GeForce is its primary & most popular product line, the company also provides system-on-a-chip units (SoCs) for the mobile computing and automotive market. Since 2014, Nvidia has begun to diversify its business from the niche markets of gaming, automotive electronics, and mobile devices. It is now venturing into the futuristic AI, along with providing parallel processing capabilities to researchers and scientists that allow them to efficiently run high-performance applications. Let's review of some these endeavors.

Unknown song stuck in your head? Hum it to Google.


If you've ever had a song stuck in your head but didn't know the words or the artist, you know it can be an all-consuming mission to name that tune. You're hard-pressed to search for it when all you know is the chorus goes something like, "Hmmm, hmm, hmm-hmmm, dunnnn..." Yeah, that's not searchable. But as of Thursday, Google added a "hum to search" feature on its mobile apps. At its virtual Search On event highlighting updates to its search engine, Google execs showed how a few seconds of humming or whistling can turn up real results. On an iOS or Android device you can use the Google app, Search widget, or Google Assistant and ask, "What's this song?" and start humming.

Podcast: How democracies can reclaim digital power

MIT Technology Review

Technology companies provide much of the critical infrastructure of the modern state and develop products that affect fundamental rights. Search and social media companies, for example, have set de facto norms on privacy, while facial recognition and predictive policing software used by law enforcement agencies can contain racial bias. In this episode of Deep Tech, Marietje Schaake argues that national regulators aren't doing enough to enforce democratic values in technology, and it will take an international effort to fight back. Schaake--a Dutch politician who used to be a member of the European parliament and is now international policy director at Stanford University's Cyber Policy Center--joins our editor-in-chief, Gideon Lichfield, to discuss how decisions made in the interests of business are dictating the lives of billions of people. Also this week, we get the latest on the hunt to locate an air leak aboard the International Space Station--which has grown larger in recent weeks. Elsewhere in space, new findings suggest there is even more liquid water on Mars than we thought. It's located in deep underground lakes and there's a chance it could be home to Martian life. Space reporter Neel Patel explains how we might find out. Back on Earth, the US election is heating up. Data reporter Tate Ryan-Mosley breaks down how technologies like microtargeting and data analytics have improved since 2016. Check out more episodes of Deep Tech here. Gideon Lichfield: There's a situation playing out onboard the International Space Station that sounds like something out of Star Trek… But there is an air leak in the space station.

How Apple Built 5G Into Its New iPhones


In introducing its first 5G phones on Tuesday, Apple said it had tested them on more than 100 networks. That's a significant achievement, because 5G operates across a confusing patchwork of frequencies, meaning Apple had to pack additional chips, radio frequency filters, and multiple antennas into the iPhone 12. The road to 5G has been less impressive than advertised so far, paved with meh speeds and patchy coverage, largely because the technology is so fragmented. "There is one standard, but it can be interpreted in different ways." Apple did its best to sell people on the potential of 5G when unveiling its new phones, showing how it could make a smartphone behave like a game console by offloading computation.

This is, apparently, Apple's HomePod mini


Some of the mystery from Apple's imminent "Hi, Speed" event might just have been lost. Well-known leaker Evan Blass has posted (via The Verge) what appear to be official images of multiple products due at the presentation, most notably the long-rumored HomePod mini. If accurate, Apple isn't straying far from the formula of the original -- it looks more like a small vase, but it has the same space gray and white color options, texture, and top display (which likely includes the basic volume controls). The mini wouldn't have as robust a sound as the regular HomePod, but it would also cost considerably less and potentially reach customers who'd otherwise shop for more affordable speakers like the new Amazon Echo or Google's Nest Audio. And yes, there appear to be leaks for the new phones.

Radical AI podcast: featuring Anima Anandkumar


Hosted by Dylan Doyle-Burke and Jessie J Smith, Radical AI is a podcast featuring the voices of the future in the field of artificial intelligence ethics. In this episode Jess and Dylan chat to Anima Anandkumar about democratizing AI. What are current attitudes towards AI Ethics from within the tech industry? How can we make computer science a more inclusive discipline for women? What does it mean to democratize AI?

Amazon's Alexa is driving IT managers crazy


Tech companies like to believe they're inherently fascinating. All Android devices are different, but they all come with some basic security and privacy features. Here are the important tweaks to get started. Everything they do carries with it a large portent of the future. They perform research to back up their case, often coupled with a dramatic headline.