OpenAI Rolls Out Open-Source Speech Recognition System

OpenAI has released a new open source AI speech recognition model called Whisper that can recognize and translate audio at levels it says compare in accuracy and robustness to human abilities. Case uses include transcription of speeches, interviews, podcasts and conversations. “Moreover, it enables transcription in multiple languages, as well as translation from those languages into English,” says OpenAI, which is open-sourcing models and inference code on GitHub “to serve as a foundation for building useful applications and for further research on robust speech processing.” Continue reading OpenAI Rolls Out Open-Source Speech Recognition System

Nvidia, Intel and ARM Publish New FP8 AI Interchange Format

Nvidia, Intel and ARM have published a draft specification for a common AI interchange format aimed at faster and more efficient system development. The proposed “8-bit floating point” standard, known as FP8, will potentially accelerate both training and operating the systems by reducing memory usage and optimizing interconnect bandwidth. The lower precision number format is a key factor in driving efficiency. Transformer networks, in particular, benefit from an 8-bit floating point precision, and having a common interchange format should facilitate interoperability advances for both hardware and software platforms. Continue reading Nvidia, Intel and ARM Publish New FP8 AI Interchange Format

LG Electronics Offers NFT Art Marketplace via Its Smart TVs

LG Electronics has launched a non-fungible token platform, LG Art Lab, available in the U.S. on the company’s smart TVs running webOS 5.0 or later. Accessible from the home screen, the LG Art Lab lets users buy, sell and enjoy digital artwork transacting as NFTs. Based on the enterprise-grade public Hedera network, the LG Art Lab uses onscreen QR codes and works via Wallypto, LG’s new cryptocurrency wallet for smartphones. The platform includes a discovery feature, LG Art Lab Drops, which profiles artists, previews upcoming works and includes a real-time Live Drops countdown clock to keep purchases on track. Continue reading LG Electronics Offers NFT Art Marketplace via Its Smart TVs

Taiwan’s Foxconn to Invest $800 Million in Chinese Chip Firm

China’s troubled Tsinghua Unigroup chip conglomerate is about to get an $800 million infusion from Taiwan’s Foxconn in the consumer electronics giant’s bid to expand its electric vehicle activity. Battery-powered cars generally require more semiconductors than those that run on gas, and analysts say Tsinghua Unigroup is attractive to Foxconn — which makes everything from iPhones to Xboxes — for its mobile chipset and memory expertise. In 2021, Foxconn secured a deal with U.S. automotive startup Fisker to jointly manufacture electric cars with automotive chips Foxconn plans to develop with Stellantis. Continue reading Taiwan’s Foxconn to Invest $800 Million in Chinese Chip Firm

The U.S. Is Now Home to the World’s Fastest Supercomputer

In a big win for the United States, the Department of Energy’s Frontier supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee was ranked No. 1 in the Top500 worldwide performance contest and the first to top the quintillion operations-per-second (exascale) benchmark in a LINPACK test. The Department of Energy has said it will spend a total of $1.8 billion to build three machines with exascale performance. The Frontier, or OLCF-5, supercomputer (which features a theoretical peak performance of 2 exaflops) was built by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and is powered by AMD chips. Continue reading The U.S. Is Now Home to the World’s Fastest Supercomputer

Twitter Rallies Midsize Tech Around the Open Internet Alliance

Twitter has used its Spaces platform to opine on rapidly developing EU digital regulations, an effort that after two years has become formalized as a policy advocacy group known as the Open Internet Alliance. Vimeo, Automattic, Czech search engine firm Seznam and German social network Jodel have joined Twitter as founding members. The company’s mission statement is twofold: protecting competition to “avoid entrenching the dominance of the biggest players,” and focusing more on “how content is discovered and amplified.” The group aims “to strengthen the advocacy voice of medium-sized companies that promote the Open Internet.” Continue reading Twitter Rallies Midsize Tech Around the Open Internet Alliance

Clearview AI Courts Investors While Facing Privacy Pushback

Clearview AI is positioning itself for a major expansion that is already generating major controversy. At a December financial presentation, the New York-based firm reportedly predicted it will have 100 billion facial images in its database by the end of 2022 — or about 14 photos for each of the earth’s 7 billion people. And there is said to have been talk of surveilling gig economy workers, identifying people based on how they walk and remotely scanning fingerprints. While the company’s 34-year-old founder and chief exec Hoan Ton-That is careful to present the firm as a crime-fighting tool, its broader implications are chilling. Continue reading Clearview AI Courts Investors While Facing Privacy Pushback

Quantum Computing in Silicon Achieves 99 Percent Accuracy

Australian researchers have had a breakthrough in quantum computing, proving that nearly error-free processing is possible, which could lead to the possibility of silicon-based quantum machines whose manufacture could be compatible with today’s semiconductor manufacturing technology. “Our operations were 99 percent error-free,” said University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) professor Andrea Morello, who led the work with partners in the U.S., Japan, Egypt, and at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the University of Melbourne. “When the errors are so rare, it becomes possible to detect them and correct them when they occur.” Continue reading Quantum Computing in Silicon Achieves 99 Percent Accuracy

Unity Game Engine Makes ‘Digital Twins’ for Industrial Tests

Game giant Unity is using its game engine technology to help businesses make “digital twins” of real-world objects, environments and even people. These virtual entities take the brunt of testing products, machines and environments. Currently there are dozens of companies reportedly using Unity’s game engine to model digital doubles that can sub-in for robots, manufacturing lines and buildings, among other things, virtually operating and monitoring them even as they are optimized and trained. These twins rust when exposed to water and respond to things like temperature. They learn to avoid a ditch or call attention to a broken part. Continue reading Unity Game Engine Makes ‘Digital Twins’ for Industrial Tests

Oracle Ramps Up Cloud Expansion with Acquisition of Cerner

Oracle is expanding its healthcare footprint and teeing up to turbo-charge its cloud business with the $28.3 billion purchase of medical software and IT firm Cerner Corporation. Many healthcare providers use Oracle database solutions, but the company says Cerner will be “Oracle’s anchor asset to expand into healthcare.” Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison said in a statement that together the firms “have the capacity to transform healthcare delivery.” The deal — the largest in Oracle’s history — will provide “overworked medical professionals” with access to Oracle’s “hands-free voice interface to secure cloud applications,” Ellison added. Continue reading Oracle Ramps Up Cloud Expansion with Acquisition of Cerner

Major Security Vulnerability Triggers Worldwide Internet Crisis

The Log4j code vulnerability has the media declaring the Internet in a state of crisis. Log4j is a Java-based logging framework developers use to track user activity within applications on the popular Apache web server. Security experts are rushing to patch the bug, which is being exploited to remotely assume control of vulnerable systems, stealing credentials, installing malware and launching other attacks that permeate consumer devices. Last week, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a Log4j alert, as did Australia’s CERT emergency response team. Continue reading Major Security Vulnerability Triggers Worldwide Internet Crisis

Companies Join Forces to Minimize Algorithmic Bias in Hiring

Top corporations have agreed to improve their AI-driven hiring programs. As artificial intelligence has been applied to assist in the often arduous process of screening candidates, it is reported that the software may be adversely affecting the potential of diversity in the workforce. A group of companies is designing algorithmic safeguards to improve AI screening software as part of an initiative to solve this issue. The companies hope that system upgrades will ultimately help improve decisions involving areas such as hiring, promotion, compensation and a more diverse workforce. Continue reading Companies Join Forces to Minimize Algorithmic Bias in Hiring

Startup QuEra Is Making Major Strides in Quantum Computing

Quantum startup QuEra Computing has emerged from stealth mode with a splashy announcement of $17 million in funding and completion of a 256-qubit device the company says “will be soon accessible to customers.” Launched in 2019 by scientists from Harvard and MIT, the Boston-based firm claims to have already generated $11 million in revenue from its scalable machines in a white-hot quantum space that includes tech giants including Amazon, IBM and Google jockeying for position. QuEra’s approach leverages what the company calls “nature’s perfect qubits,” based on 256-qubit atoms. Continue reading Startup QuEra Is Making Major Strides in Quantum Computing

Eagle Chip: 127-Qubit Milestone in IBM’s Quantum Roadmap

As the race to commercialize quantum computing heats up, IBM has unveiled its Eagle 127-qubit processor, positioning it as the first quantum chip that can’t be simulated by a classic supercomputer. Speaking at the IBM Quantum Summit, executives said the Eagle is the first IBM quantum processor to contain more than 100 qubits. It follows the 65-qubit Hummingbird processor debuted by IBM in 2020 and the 27-qubit Falcon of 2019. Eagle is the latest step on the scaling path to the “quantum advantage,” the point at which quantum systems can outperform their classical counterparts in a meaningful way. Continue reading Eagle Chip: 127-Qubit Milestone in IBM’s Quantum Roadmap

Corporate Migration to Metaverse Not Waiting for Zuckerberg

The metaverse, a virtual world where people embody avatars and live their lives online, was largely the purview of gamers and sci-fi movie fans until Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it part of the everyday lexicon, prompting a media assessment of how the metaverse is accessible now. Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a new Mesh app for augmented reality and virtual reality experiences using various goggles, including its own HoloLens. E-commerce platform Shopify has launched a browser-based game, “Shopify Party,” that lets employees appear as avatars for team events. Other companies are also considering a future in the metaverse. Continue reading Corporate Migration to Metaverse Not Waiting for Zuckerberg