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IBM is pouring $240 million into a new AI research lab at MIT

Mashable

On Thursday, IBM and the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) announced a new $240 million research center called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab that's focused, at least in part, on how new hardware can help energize and grow AI technologies. It's a technology that excites AI researchers because it holds the potential of far greater computing power, thanks to its ability to hold bits in multiple states at once. Machine learning, which researchers have increasingly used to train AI systems, could become even faster and more powerful with quantum computers and materials. The latter involves both using AI to help characterize and improve quantum devices, and also researching the use of quantum computing to optimize and speed up machine-learning algorithms and other AI applications," he said.


Elon Musk's promises about self-driving Teslas might have been overblown

Mashable

That hardware suite, called HW2, has been a major focus for Tesla since its announcement -- but the report claims that the new computer system is reportedly being referred to as "HW 2.5," casting doubt over the capabilities of the now-inferior HW2 system. A Tesla spokesperson told us that the new computer system is real and included in all new Teslas, but it's an incremental update at most which added some "computing and wiring redundancy, which very slightly improves reliability." If that's the case, the spokesperson told us that the automaker will provide upgrades to the required computer system "at no cost." The spokesperson assured us that the cross-country journey is still on: "We reiterate our goal of driving from a parking lot in downtown LA to a parking lot in downtown NY without touching the controls by the end of the year."


Pens, holograms and you: Microsoft's quest to make computing 'natural'

Mashable

Microsoft's vision of "natural computing" will be a significant departure from the keyboard-and-mouse combination we're all familiar with today -- but several moving parts have to come together in order to make it work. Namely, those include touchscreens, smart pens and augmented-reality headsets. SEE ALSO: Microsoft wants a piece of the VR pie, and it's using HoloLens to get it Luckily, Microsoft brought all of those elements together on stage at the Computex trade show on Wednesday. It announced that Windows Hello and Windows Ink, two features that had been seen in beta earlier this year, will become real for Windows 10 users this summer via a free OS update. Li-Chen Miller, Microsoft's engineering manager for Windows experiences, showed them off in a demo where she logged into her laptop with wearable bands and a contactless ID card, eschewing the traditional password route.


Microsoft pushes ahead with its risky dream of conversational AI bots

Mashable

And not just any bots -- bots powered by artificial intelligence that can carry meaningful conversations and handle tasks for you. On Wednesday, hours before Nadella took the stage, Microsoft accidentally re-activated Tay only to quickly pull it again after the bot started bragging about smoking weed. Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple are all incorporating AI into tools ranging from personal assistants to personal assistants and even personal assistants. It looks like a real conversation," says Dennis Mortensen, CEO and founder of x.ai, a startup that has raised 11 million to building an AI personal assistant to schedule appointments.