Elon Musk Confirms Exit From Openai Over Disagreements to Focus on Tesla, Spacex


Billionaire Elon Musk confirmed that he exited OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research group, on "good terms" amid disagreements with team members over the project's direction. Musk also cited a desire to focus on "solving a painfully large number of engineering and manufacturing problems at Tesla (especially) and SpaceX." On Twitter, Musk suggested he had encountered some conflicts of interest because Tesla was competing for some of the same people that OpenAI wanted to recruit. "I didn't agree with some of what OpenAI team wanted to do. Add that all up, and it was just better to part ways on good terms."

Amazon places big bet in Tesla rival and electric truck startup Rivian

Daily Mail

Amazon said on Friday it would lead a $700 million investment in U.S. electric pickup truck startup Rivian, in the e-commerce giant's biggest bet on technologies with potential to reshape the automotive sector. The deal represents a major endorsement of Rivian's electric vehicle technology by the world's largest online retailer, which is looking for ways to boost the speed and reduce the cost of its deliveries. Reuters reported on Tuesday that Amazon and General Motors were in talks to invest in Rivian. Amazon is leading a $700 million investment in electric pickup startup Rivian, in the tech giant's biggest bet on technologies with potential to reshape the automotive sector. GM's talks with Rivian about an investment are continuing and any deal would be announced at a later date, people familiar with the talks said on Friday.

Tesla's main Autopilot safety stat is seriously flawed, research group finds


It turns out that a heavily cited safety stat that Tesla received from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) back in 2017 isn't so accurate based on findings from a research group that got their hands on Tesla crash data. Following a deadly Tesla crash involving Autopilot, Tesla's semi-autonomous advanced driver assistance system, a 2017 federal report found that Autopilot led to a 40 percent crash reduction. But last week a small research group finally obtained most of the data NHTSA used to reach that number and found the underlying data was severely flawed. The discovery confirms what the group, Quality Control Systems Corp., and others like this report from Wired last May suspected. People had been skeptical of the data for a long time.

Tesla vs. Self-Driving Competition -- New MIT Video CleanTechnica


Autonomous driving technology promises to unleash sweeping changes on our society. However (perhaps fortunately), it's likely to be some time before self-driving cars become frequent sights on the roads. Boosters tend to see autonomy as an unmitigated boon, but some of their assumptions are yet to be proven -- the technology has the potential to reduce crashes, but we won't know if they do so in the real world until autonomous vehicles (AVs) have been in widespread use for at least a year or two. When it comes to some of the other rosy predictions, evidence to the contrary is already emerging -- in some areas, ride-sharing services such as Uber have increased road traffic, reduced demand for public transport, and encouraged sprawl. If Transportation as a Service (TaaS) does make mobility a lot cheaper and more convenient, common sense dictates that people will use a lot more of it.

Shopping, songs, TV, transport … new tech has many sectors in disarray

The Guardian

Netflix has helped change the way we watch television and film, further weakening our reliance on traditional TV schedules and providing a cheaper alternative to a cinema trip. It invested massively in shows such as The Crown, Stranger Things and House of Cards to drive subscriber growth. It is now spending money on locking in talent, including Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, the producer behind American Horror Story, to try to ensure its supply of high-quality content. This comes at a cost: content, marketing and other expenses are thought to have exceeded subscriber revenue by at least $3bn last year. Net debt was $8.34bn at the end of September.

Amazon invests in self-driving car startup Aurora

Daily Mail

A self-driving car technology startup founded by former Google, Tesla and Uber executives said Thursday it secured $530 million in new funding that included a'significant' investment from Amazon. The funding round for Aurora Innovation led by Silicon Valley venture capital powerhouse Sequoia reportedly valued the startup launched just two years ago at more than $2.5 billion. While Aurora might not be well-known, the firm already has links to several big names in the industry, with research and development partnerships that include Byton, Hyundai, and Volkswagen. 'We are always looking to invest in innovative, customer-obsessed companies, and Aurora is just that,' Amazon said in response to an AFP inquiry. 'Autonomous technology has the potential to help make the jobs of our employees and partners safer and more productive, whether it's in a fulfillment center or on the road, and we're excited about the possibilities.' Aurora is developing the technology for autonomous vehicles, but leaving the making of cars to other companies and said in a blog post it wants to work alongside, rather than compete with, leading automakers.

Tesla shares slide after Amazon invests in self-driving company, Aurora


Tesla revealed that it has lowered the price of its Model 3 again. Tesla shares slid Thursday afternoon after self-driving car startup Aurora said it raised more than $530 million in funding from investors including Amazon, Sequoia and the investment arm of energy giant Shell. Tesla shares were down more than 3 percent, near $305.60 a share after the announcement was published. Markets Insider reports that Thursday's selling has Tesla shares teetering toward their lowest close since Jan. 29, the day before the electric-car maker's fourth-quarter earnings report. Amazon made "significant investments" in Aurora, the tech start-up said in a press release.

Tesla patent hints at Hardware 3's neural network accelerator for faster processing


During the recently-held fourth-quarter earnings call, Elon Musk all but stated that Tesla holds a notable lead in the self-driving field. While responding to Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster, who inquired about Morgan Stanley's estimated $175 billion valuation for Waymo and its self-driving tech, Musk noted that Tesla actually has an advantage over other companies involved in the development of autonomous technologies, particularly when it comes to real-world miles. "If you add everyone else up combined, they're probably 5% -- I'm being generous -- of the miles that Tesla has. And this difference is increasing. A year from now, we'll probably go -- certainly from 18 months from now, we'll probably have 1 million vehicles on the road with -- that are -- and every time the customers drive the car, they're training the systems to be better. I'm just not sure how anyone competes with that," Musk said.

Some Lessons From Elon Musk – Hacker Noon


Elon Musk has sounded off on AI various times, and how it can pose a massive threat to the world. At a meeting of the nation's governors, Elon Musk warned that artificial intelligence was "the greatest risk we face as a civilization". As a result of his deep involvement in the tech industry, Elon Musk said he "[has] access to the very most cutting edge AI," and that "people should be really concerned about it." In a tweet, Elon Musk stated that AI was "potentially more dangerous than nukes". Elon Musk is also concerned that AI can be used in a warfare scenario, by being able to create massive amounts of fake news (i.e. in a propaganda scheme to push a certain ideology), fake press releases, and manipulating information in general.

Tesla Files Patents For Neural AI Chip That Will Drive Its Autopilot Hardware 3.0


The release of Tesla's Autopilot Hardware 3.0 is just around the corner and the automotive firm has made a number of significant changes with this upgrade. A series of recent patents have confirmed that Tesla will utilize a new artificial intelligence chip, or "neural net accelerator". This will replace the NVIDIA hardware that is currently used in the Autopilot 2.0 platform and should enable full self-driving capabilities in the future. Why is Tesla working on a new AI chip? According to the patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, "Processing for machine learning and artificial intelligence typically requires performing mathematical operations on large sets of data and often involves solving multiple convolution layers and pooling layers."