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21 July, Fri
This little USB stick is designed to make AI plug-and-play

Step by step, artificial intelligence is moving down from the cloud and into the device in your hand. The latest sign? This unassuming little thumb drive from chipmaker Movidius, which packs one of the company’s machine vision processors — the same chip used by DJI for its autonomous drones — into a plug-and-play USB stick. If manufacturers want to beef up the AI capabilities of their new product, all they need to do is plug in one of these.

The Movidius Neural Compute Stick was actually announced last April as a prototype device called the Fathom. But then Intel came a’calling, and bought Movidius in September that year for an undisclosed amount. In all the work and confusion that comes with any sale like that, the Fathom got put on hold. Now though, it’s back.

From a technical point of view, the new Compute Stick is the same as the old one. At its heart is a Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit or VPU — a low-power processor (it consumes just a single watt) that uses twelve parallel cores to run vision algorithms like object detection and facial recognition. Movidius says it delivers more than 100 gigaflops of performance, and can natively run neural networks built using the Caffe framework. (Caffe is one of the neural network libraries around, but it’s not clear if the Compute Stick will also work with Google’s popular TensorFlow framework.) For more details, you can check out the full spec sheet for the Myriad 2 here.


The main changes in this new version are that it’s made out of aluminum instead of plastic, and the price has been cut from a putative $99 for the original, to $79. Movidius says Intel’s involvement helped push this price down.

But who will use the Neural Compute Stick? Well, it’ll come in handy for a few different groups. AI researchers will be able to use the stick as an accelerator — plugging it in to their computers to get a little more local power when training and designing new neural nets. (Movidius notes that you can also chain multiple sticks together, boosting the performance linearly with each one you add). Companies looking to put AI powers in a physical product will also benefit, with the USB-compatible stick giving them an easy and fast way to execute neural networks locally.

But of course, a device like this certainly has its limitations. For a company building, say, an AI-powered security camera, there will be more efficient ways to incorporate specialized vision processors in their product, especially if they’re manufacturing at scale. And for a researcher training new neural nets, buying the latest graphic cards or renting processing power in the cloud will offer quicker results. It’ll just be more expensive too.

What a device like the Neural Compute Stick does well, is fill a gap in the market. And, in doing so, it make artificial intelligence that little bit more accessible.

November 2017
09 November, Thursday
THE PROCESS OF UPDATING THE WORLD SYSTEM OF EDUCATION WAS DISCUSSED IN RUSSIA

At the international GELP Moscow 2017 Summit, which was held in Moscow on 1st to 3rd of November, leaders of Russian and foreign education from 12 states outlined practical steps for systematical change of the global educational environment, taking into account the existing global challenges of civilization.

October 2017
30 October, Monday
Global Venture Alliance & Forbes Russia in a closed round table discussion

Global Venture Alliance took part in a closed round table session organized by Forbes Russia.

27 October, Friday
In Moscow for the first time the international educational Summit Global Education Leaders` Partnership will take place

The authoritative international alliance Global Education Leaders` Partnership (GELP), which influences the development of school education abroad, for the first time, chose Russia as a meeting point for leaders and experts of the world educational community. The official operator of GELP is the Global Venture Alliance.

27 October, Friday
FORBES MAGAZINE CELEBRATED ITS 100TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A GRAND GALA AT PASHKOV HOUSE

Global Venture Alliance is the general sponsor of the event on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the magazine Forbes.

25 October, Wednesday
Russia creates a research center for IT solutions in the transport industry

The Global Venture Alliance team on October 17 at the international forum "Open Innovations 2017" in Skolkovo organized a closed signing between RZhD, IBM, NES and NCC in the field of transport logistics. 

July 2017
28 July, Friday
Apple imagines AR glasses that fulfill the dream of Google Glass

Tim Cook has not-so-subtly hinted that Apple is working on some sort of augmented reality product. And while ARKit may be the start, a patent application published today hints at what Apple could be picturing down the road.


26 July, Wednesday
Apple and Cochlear team up to roll out the first implant made for the iPhone

Apple has teamed up with Australian-based Cochlear to bring iPhone users the first made for iPhone Cochlear implant.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June, Cochlear’s Nucleus 7 Sound Processor can now stream sound directly from a compatible iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the sound processor.

25 July, Tuesday
Google’s DeepMind made an AI that can imagine the future

Google’s London-based AI outfit DeepMind has created two different types of AI that can use their ‘imagination’ to plan ahead and perform tasks with a higher success rate than AIs without imagination. Sorry if I made you click because you wanted AIs predicted flying cars. I promise this is cool too.

24 July, Monday
Scientists are now using Wi-Fi to read human emotions

Scientists at MIT are using Wi-Fi and AI to determine your emotional state. They’ve created an algorithm that can detect and measure individual heartbeats by bouncing RF signals off of people.

18 July, Tuesday
GOOGLE GLASS 2.0 IS A STARTLING SECOND ACT

Yep. Glass is back.

17 July, Monday
Elon Musk Lays Out Worst-Case Scenario for AI Threat

Powerful technology will threaten all human jobs, could even spark a war, Tesla CEO says

14 July, Friday
High-speed Hyperloop project ready for key test in Nevada

Engineers will soon conduct a crucial test of a futuristic technology championed by entrepreneur Elon Musk that seeks to revolutionize transportation by sending passengers and cargo packed into pods through an intercity system of vacuum tubes.

13 July, Thursday
Uber, Yandex combine ridesharing and UberEATS in Russian markets in a $3.72B JV

Uber announced that it will be combining its rides-on-demand business and UberEATS, its food ordering and delivery business, in Russia and neighboring markets, with Yandex.Taxi, the ridesharing business.

12 July, Wednesday
Microsoft's new iPhone app narrates the world for blind people

The app uses AI to recognize people, objects, and scenes

07 July, Friday
Tesla will build world’s largest battery storage facility for Australian wind farm

Tesla will up its game in the renewable energy storage market with the largest lithium-ion battery storage facility in the world, to be built for Australia’s Hornsdale Wind Farm, with a completion date of December 1, 2017. 

05 July, Wednesday
Amazon’s Alexa passes 15,000 skills, up from 10,000 in February

Amazon’s Alexa voice platform has now passed 15,000 skills — the voice-powered apps that run on devices like the Echo speaker, Echo Dot, newer Echo Show and others. The figure is up from the 10,000 skills Amazon officially announced back in February, which had then represented a 3x increase from September.

June 2017
29 June, Thursday
Instagram now uses AI to block offensive comments

Instagram is introducing an enhanced comment filter today meant to wipe out nasty remarks using AI. 

28 June, Wednesday
Russia and Brazil aim to develop high tech partnerships

During official talks with his Brazilian counterpart, Michel Temer, in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the cooperation between the two countries in the field of technologies.

Putin noted that Russia and Brazil already cooperate closely in space exploration and that there are plans to develop cooperation in Earth monitoring from space.

27 June, Tuesday
Apple acquires SMI eye-tracking company

In a move that is sure to stoke rumors about Apple’s future work in augmented and virtual reality technologies, Apple has acquired SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI), an eye-tracking firm, MacRumors reports.

22 June, Thursday
X-Ray Eyes in the Sky

UCSB researchers have proposed a new method for 3D through-wall imaging that utilizes drones and WiFi

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