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Amazon has acquired 3D body model startup, Body Labs, for $50M-$70M

#artificialintelligence

TechCrunch has learned that Amazon has acquired Body Labs, a company with a stated aim of creating true-to-life 3D body models to support various b2b software applications -- such as virtually trying on clothes or photorealistic avatars for gaming. Being able to offer custom fit could give Amazon's private label fashion brands an edge, even as improving sizing predictions generally for Amazon shoppers could help drive clothes shopping across its platform and help shrink returns from clothes that don't fit. Or -- for more practical, ecommerce-related purposes -- to enable users of its Echo Show to virtually show off a fashion item they're thinking of buying by having computer vision software digitally animating it on a photorealistic body model. In some of its video demos Body Labs can be seen using person-sized scanners to generate highly accurate body models -- a technology that clearly does not scale for the kind of massive consumer purposes Amazon would be after.


Investors are losing out on billions because tech stocks don't pay dividends

USATODAY

If Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook (along with Berkshire Hathaway) paid shareholder dividends at the 2.37% average yield of other S&P 500 companies that do so, it would shake out another $32.2 billion for investors, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. How to choose a smart speaker More: Here's one way Google envisions search changing for you But don't expect these tech companies to pay a dividend anytime soon. "During the 1990s, tech didn't typically pay dividends and they drove the stock market back then," said Kim Forrest, senior equity analyst at Fort Pitt Capital. The S&P tech sector had a dividend yield of 1.36% during the third quarter, the lowest of the 11 sectors and well below the overall S&P 500 of 1.97%, according to Silverblatt.


Tesla eyes hurricane-ravaged Caribbean, could shape power grids

USATODAY

Tesla Motors announced its bid to buy SolarCity, a solar power company where Tesla CEO Elon Musk is also the top shareholder. A preliminary investigation has begun for a fatal car crash involving a Tesla Model S.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the electric model sedan had Autopilot mode engaged when a driver was killed. Tesla shares are lower in Wednesday's trading session after the company's shareholder meeting revealed that not every Tesla car owner will have free access to the company's Superchargers. Shares of Tesla are moving lower in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the electric car maker said it would sell more stock to raise money to ramp up production of the Model 3.


DJI drones are getting an offline mode for secret flights

Engadget

Once enabled, the new feature will stop the company's apps from collecting user data (such as photos, videos, and flight logs). Although the army did not elaborate on its memo, it's thought the decision may have been spurred by DJI's data collection. "The Army memo caused customers to express renewed concern about data security," DJI's Brendan Schulman told the Times. "[Local data mode] will provide an enhanced level of data assurance for sensitive flights," writes the company.


Amazon's Echo now doubles up as an intercom

Daily Mail

To set up the intercom users have to go into the settings page in the Alexa app and name the device based on the room it is in. The intercom feature can be activated by users saying'Alexa call the sitting room' or'Alexa drop in on the bedroom'. The intercom feature can be activated by users saying'Alexa call the sitting room' or'Alexa drop in on the bedroom.' MailOnline has contacted Amazon for more information on the Amazon Echo intercom feature.


New NVIDIA Pascal GPUs Accelerate Deep Learning Inference

#artificialintelligence

BEIJING, CHINA--(Marketwired - Sep 12, 2016) - GPU Technology Conference China - NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) today unveiled the latest additions to its Pascal architecture-based deep learning platform, with new NVIDIA Tesla P4 and P40 GPU accelerators and new software that deliver massive leaps in efficiency and speed to accelerate inferencing production workloads for artificial intelligence services. It fits in any server with its small form-factor and low-power design, which starts at 50 watts, helping make it 40x more energy efficient than CPUs for inferencing in production workloads.3 A single server with a single Tesla P4 replaces 13 CPU-only servers for video inferencing workloads,4 delivering over 8x savings in total cost of ownership, including server and power costs. NVIDIA DeepStream SDK taps into the power of a Pascal server to simultaneously decode and analyze up to 93 HD video streams in real time compared with seven streams with dual CPUs.6 Integrating deep learning into video applications allows companies to offer smart, innovative video services that were previously impossible to deliver. Leap Forward for Customers NVIDIA customers are delivering increasingly more innovative AI services that require the highest compute performance.


Amazon opens Alexa voice control to all video streaming services

Engadget

Simple voice commands already let you navigate apps like Netflix, but tools to incorporate those types of commands are now available to any TV company, streaming service and other content providers. Amazon just introduced its Video Skill API, which will allow developers to expand how Alexa lets users find content in their apps. With this tool, entertainment apps could let their customers find specific shows or movies, search genres or even change the channel with voice commands. Dish Network began rolling out the expanded voice control last month while UK-based YouView announced today that it would be using Video Skill API to incorporate the new functions.


Google I/O 2017: Everything important that Google announced today

#artificialintelligence

At Google's 2017 I/O keynote today, CEO Sundar Pichai introduced new products and shared more information about the company's "AI first" future. Examples: Google Search now ranks differently using machine learning, Google Maps Street View automatically recognizes signs, video calling uses machine learning for low-bandwidth situations, etc. Google's latest user numbers: There are now 2 billion active Android devices, 500 million active Google Photos users and 1.2 billion videos and photos uploaded to Google Photos every day. Developers can now build apps or "actions" that run on Google Assistant on Android and iOS.


Razberi and Cylance OEM Partnership Will Bring AI-Powered Cybersecurity to Video Surveillance Systems

#artificialintelligence

CylancePROTECT will be integral to the new Razberi CameraDefense solution that, combined with Razberi's secure appliance architecture, provides comprehensive protection over the server, video management systems (VMS), and camera ecosystem. "Cylance is thrilled to partner with Razberi to create the first secure video surveillance systems by embedding CylancePROTECT into Razberi's proprietary CameraDefense technology," said Craig Whetstone, Director of OEM at Cylance. Embedded Razberi CameraDefense software automates cybersecurity protections with camera hardening and cyber threat monitoring. Razberi appliances are compatible with top video management systems (VMS) and any network camera.


Tuesday Tech Wrap: Amazon, Uber, Facebook

Forbes

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.