Amazon Promotes Device Updates at Its Fall Hardware Event

A Kindle that lets you annotate text, a “no-contact” sleep tracker and a refresh on the Fire TV Cube were among the new products Amazon showcased at its annual fall hardware event this week. Updates for Echo smart speakers, an expanded Ring camera inventory and updates to its Eero Wi-Fi extender line were also in the spotlight. Home devices that enable “a silent infrastructure of ambient intelligence to do just about anything” was the through line, according to Wired, with news ranging from pet detection for Astro the robot to a feature called Alexa Shop the Look. Continue reading Amazon Promotes Device Updates at Its Fall Hardware Event

New GPUs Showcased at Intel’s Innovation Developer Event

Intel announced the consumer GPU brand Arc last year, which the company now says will begin delivering in Q4. The Arc A770 Limited Edition desktop gaming card will be available October 12, starting at $329, “the sweet spot of desktop graphics,” according to CEO Pat Gelsinger, who said the GPU “delivers 65 percent better peak performance versus competition on ray tracing.” Intel says other new GPU models, including the Arc Pro A30M for mobile unveiled last month at SIGGRAPH, will also come to market by the end of the year. The new GPUs feature built-in ray tracing hardware, machine learning capabilities and industry-first AV1 hardware encoding acceleration. Continue reading New GPUs Showcased at Intel’s Innovation Developer Event

Senate Group Wants CISA to Protect Open-Source Software

Senate Homeland Security Committee leaders Gary Peters (D-Michigan) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have introduced a bill requiring a risk framework for open-source code. The proposed legislation would require the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to develop the risk evaluation process for open-source software being used by federal agencies and critical infrastructure. The move follows the discovery in December of a vulnerability in the Apache Software Foundation’s popular Log4j Java logging utility. Peters said the Log4j incident presented a serious threat to banks, hospitals, and utility companies, among other national security operations. Continue reading Senate Group Wants CISA to Protect Open-Source Software

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 Introduces AI-Powered GPUs and Cloud LLM Services

“Computing is advancing at incredible speeds. Acceleration is propelling this rocket, and it’s fuel is AI,” Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang said in his 2022 GTC conference keynote, announcing two new AI services: the Nvidia NeMo large language model service, which helps customize LLMs, and the Nvidia BioNeMo LLM service, aimed at bio researchers. Nvidia also unveiled its GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs, shipping Q4. Powered by the company’s new architecture, Ada Lovelace, the two new models — GeForce RTX 4090 and GeForce RTX 4080 — offer better ray tracing performance and AI-based neural graphics. Continue reading Nvidia Introduces AI-Powered GPUs and Cloud LLM Services

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

EU’s Cyber Resilience Act Plans to Augment Security for IoT

The European Union has released additional details of its Cyber Resilience Act (CRA), proposed cybersecurity rules initially introduced last year aimed at the growing number of smart devices and the Internet of Things. The goal is to introduce effective regulations that would help curb surging cyberattacks. Major tech companies from Apple to Amazon and LG would need to meet strict new standards in the connected electronics space or face significant fines that could run as high as the greater of $15 million or 2.5 percent of a company’s worldwide revenue. Continue reading EU’s Cyber Resilience Act Plans to Augment Security for IoT

EU’s AI Act Could Present Dangers for Open-Source Coders

The EU’s draft AI Act is causing quite a stir, particular as it pertains to regulating general-purpose artificial intelligence, including guidelines for open source developers that specify procedures for accuracy, risk management, transparency, technical documentation and data governance, well as cybersecurity. The first law on AI by a major regulator anywhere, the proposed AI Act seeks to promote “trustworthy AI,” but some are critical that as written the legislation could hurt open efforts to develop AI systems. The EU is seeking industry input as the proposal heads for a vote this fall. Continue reading EU’s AI Act Could Present Dangers for Open-Source Coders

Stability AI Releases Stable Diffusion Text-to-Image Generator

Stability AI is in the first stage of release of Stable Diffusion, a text-to-image generator similar in functionality to OpenAI’s DALL-E 2, with one important distinction: this open-source newcomer lacks the filters that prevent the earlier system from creating images of public figures or content deemed excessively toxic. Last week the Stable Diffusion code was made available to just over a thousand researchers and the Los Altos-based startup anticipates a public release in the coming weeks. The unfettered unleashing of a powerful imaging system has stirred controversy in the AI community, raising ethical questions. Continue reading Stability AI Releases Stable Diffusion Text-to-Image Generator

Meta’s New Sphere AI Tool Filters Web Content for Accuracy

Meta Platforms has unveiled Sphere, an AI-powered tool designed to verify open web content. “Building on Meta AI’s research and advancements, we’ve developed the first model capable of automatically scanning hundreds of thousands of citations at once to check whether they truly support the corresponding claims,” Meta says, noting that Sphere has “a dataset of 134 million public webpages — an order of magnitude larger and significantly more intricate than ever used for this sort of research.” Sphere is open sourced, which means third parties may be able to tailor its fact-checking algorithms for specialized use, such as legal, medical and architectural. Continue reading Meta’s New Sphere AI Tool Filters Web Content for Accuracy

AI Coding Tools Speed Process to Offset Developer Shortage

New AI-powered coding tools such as Amazon’s CodeWhisperer and Copilot from GitHub and OpenAI may be giving some developers the jitters. Following splashy debuts for both programs last week, GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke offered public assurances that Copilot is not designed to replace coders, but to speed the process, alleviating a software developer shortage. Similar to Copilot, CodeWhisperer can autocomplete Java, JavaScript and Python functions based on a comment or some keystrokes. Amazon says it trained the system using billions of lines of open source code, publicly available documentation and its own codebase. Continue reading AI Coding Tools Speed Process to Offset Developer Shortage

Adobe Debuts ‘Content Credentials’ to Battle Misinformation

Adobe is releasing an open source developer toolkit that aims to prevent the spread of visual misinformation by including additional metadata that Adobe calls Content Credentials. The system is also designed to help content creators indelibly tag authorship to their work. Announced in 2019, the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) project has released a whitepaper introducing the system, which is integrated into Adobe software. The CAI has teamed with hardware manufacturers and newsrooms to help ubiquitize its vision. The Associated Press, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have signed aboard. Continue reading Adobe Debuts ‘Content Credentials’ to Battle Misinformation

Mintlify Leverages AI to Auto-Generate Code Documentation

A seed round by Ithaca, New York-based software firm Mintlify has raised $2.8 million led by Bain Capital Ventures. The startup uses artificial intelligence to automate software documentation. CEO and co-founder Han Wang says the funds will go to product development and hiring that will increase the company’s small staff. Mintify was launched in 2021 by Wang and Hahnbee Lee, a pair of software engineers who were driven to address a pressing industry need: quality documentation. A 2017 survey by GitHub found that 93 percent of developers listed incomplete or outdated documentation as an industry-wide problem. Continue reading Mintlify Leverages AI to Auto-Generate Code Documentation

Twitter Accepts Musk’s $44 Billion Offer to Acquire Company

Twitter’s board has accepted billionaire Elon Musk’s offer to purchase the social media company for $44 billion, a financial value that reflects his April 14th offer of $54.20 per share. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” said Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, who earlier revealed a desire to make Twitter a private company. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.” Continue reading Twitter Accepts Musk’s $44 Billion Offer to Acquire Company

CES: Members of Congress Discuss Cybersecurity Concerns

Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-California), who serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, is concerned about the potential harm of cyberattacks in her 44th district, which includes of the Port of Los Angeles. Congressman Jay Obernolte (R-California), among his other assignments, is a member of the Committee of Science, Space and Technology and two caucuses, one on 5G and another on AI.  What they both have in common are concerns about cybersecurity, topics that were addressed during a panel at CES 2022. Continue reading CES: Members of Congress Discuss Cybersecurity Concerns