Inside an ordinary-looking home, a robot suspended from the ceiling slowly expands arms holding a sponge, before carefully wiping a kitchen surface clean. Nearby, another robot gently cleans a flat-screen television, causing it to wobble slightly. The cleaning robots live inside a mock home located at the Toyota Research Institute in Los Altos, California. The institute's researchers are testing a range of robot technologies designed to help finally realize the dream of a home robot. After looking at homes in Japan, which were often small and cluttered, the researchers realized they needed a creative solution.
The rise of the machines has well and truly started. Data from the International Federation of Robotics reveals that the pace of industrial automation is accelerating across much of the developed world with 74 installed industrial robots per 10,000 employees globally in 2016. By 2020, that increased to 113 across the manufacturing sector. Asia now has a robot density of 118 units per 10,000 workers and that figure is 114 and 103 in Europe and the Americas, respectively. China is one of the countries recording the highest growth levels in industrial automation but nowhere has a robot density like South Korea.
Hailo, a Tel Aviv-based startup best known for its high-performance AI chips, today announced the launch of its M.2 and Mini PCIe high-AI acceleration modules. Based around its Hailo-8 chip, these new models are meant to be used in edge devices for anything from smart city and smart home solutions to industrial applications. Today's announcement comes about half a year after the company announced a $60 million Series B funding round. At the time, Hailo said it was raising those new funds to roll out its new AI chips, and with today's announcement, it's making good on this promise. In total, the company has now raised $88 million.
The tech industry of India has been a reliable partner to most of the world's top organisations in providing software and digital solutions, making them more competitive. The tech giant, Bosch, is one of the earliest European companies to do business in India. RBEI (Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions) is one of the largest R&D centres in India. Most of the products which Bosch produces -- from automotive components to washing machines -- have SW and engineering contributions from RBEI. Currently, all of Bosch's business, including automotive components, building technology, industrial technology and consumer goods are in India with local manufacturing.
It's a serious competitor and has made massive gains, but China's AI prowess is still often oversold. Our data suggest that America still leads in AI venture capital and other forms of private-market AI investment, and Chinese investors don't seem to be co-opting American AI startups in large numbers. Policymakers should focus on reinforcing the vibrant, open innovation ecosystem that fuels America's AI advantage, and take a deep breath before acting against China's technology transfer efforts and AI abuses. Action is necessary, but misunderstanding China's overall position in AI could lead to rushed or overbroad policies that do more harm than good. AI is a global wave, not a bipolar contest.
Yahoo Japan Corp. and two other companies opened a website Wednesday to seek information on wanted fugitives, with artificial intelligence-generated images showing how they could look now. The website, called Tehai, was established by Yahoo Japan, digital marketing business Dentsu Digital Inc. and Party, which creates images of wanted fugitives, in cooperation with the National Police Agency. On Tehai, nine types of images are posted showing how suspects put on wanted lists long ago could look now. The images are created with AI programs that studied vast amounts of facial photo data. The AI-based images take into account how the appearances of fugitives might have changed from those in their old pictures used in conventional posters seeking information about them.
Singapore will be the first country in the world to use facial verification in its national identity scheme. The biometric check will give Singaporeans secure access to both private and government services. The government's technology agency says it will be "fundamental" to the country's digital economy. It has been trialled with a bank and is now being rolled out nationwide. It not only identifies a person but ensures they are genuinely present.
Artificial intelligence has become a general-purpose technology. Not confined to futuristic applications such as self-driving vehicles, it powers the apps we use daily, from navigation with Google Maps to check deposits from our mobile banking app. It even manages the spam filters in our inbox. These are all-powerful, albeit functional roles. What's perhaps more exciting is AI's growing potential in sourcing and producing new creations and ideas, from writing news articles to discovering new drugs -- in some cases, far quicker than teams of human scientists.
The "Curly" curling robots are capturing hearts around the world. A product of Korea University in Seoul and the Berlin Institute of Technology, the deep reinforcement learning powered bots slide stones along ice in a winter sport that dates to the 16th century. As much as their human-expert-bettering accuracy or technology impresses, a big part of the Curly appeal is how we see the little machines in the physical space: the determined manner in which the thrower advances in the arena, smartly raising its head-like cameras to survey the shiny white curling sheet, gently cradling and rotating a rock to begin delivery, releasing deftly at the hog line as a skip watches from the backline, with our hopes.Artificial intelligence (AI) today delivers everything from soup recipes to stock predictions, but most tech works out-of-sight. More visible are the physical robots of various shapes, sizes and functions that embody the latest AI technologies. These robots have generally been helpful, and now they are also becoming a more entertaining and enjoyable part of our lives.