This week, the big tech showed their might by taking down a popular social media platform out of business overnight. Launched in 2018, Parler was supposed to be the free speech alternative to Twitter. Last week, the platform had millions of users and today it is nowhere to be found. Parler was shown the door by Google, Apple and Amazon following the Capitol Hill riots. Parler was accused for its inability to moderate the content on its platform, which allegedly played a role in inciting the violence. According to the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, social-media platforms such as the Twitter alternative Parler, Gab, MeWe, Zello, and Telegram were used by the insurrections to coordinate their breach of the Capitol. While Google and Apple booted Parler from their app stores, Amazon shut their servers. While the chances of Parler making a comeback are bleak, this episode demonstrates how large and powerful few companies have become. Talking about comebacks, one company that is quite keen on one is Intel. The chip giant is making tectonic changes in its strategies to keep up with its competitors. Know more about it in this week’s top news brought to you by Analytics India Magazine.
JPEG Initiates AI Standardisation
At the 89th JPEG meeting, the experts concluded that learning-based image coding offers superior compression efficiency, beyond the state of the art and a decision to create a new standardisation activity for a JPEG AI was made. The learning-based image coding system, that applies machine learning tools will now be used to achieve substantially better compression efficiency compared to current image coding systems. “This type of approach should allow to obtain an efficient compressed domain representation not only for visualisation, but also for machine learning based image processing and computer vision. JPEG AI releases to the public the results of the objective and subjective evaluations as well as a first version of common test conditions for assessing the performance of learning-based image coding systems,” said the statement.
White House Launches the National AI Initiative Office
On Tuesday, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) established the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Office. According to the White House, this office will be responsible for overseeing and implementing the United States national AI strategy and will serve as the central hub for Federal coordination and collaboration in AI research and policymaking across the government, as well as with the private sector, academia, and other stakeholders. The White House’s new National AI Initiative Office will be integral to the Federal Government’s efforts to maintain this leadership position for many years to come.
Intel Gets A New CEO
On Wednesday, Intel announced that its board of directors has appointed VMWare’s CEO Pat Gelsinger as its new Chief. Gelsinger previously served as the CEO of VMware. Prior to his gigs at VMware and EMC, Gelsinger spent 30 years at Intel, becoming the company’s first CTO. He played a major role in the creation of USB and Wi-Fi. He was also the architect of the original 80486 processor, led 14 different microprocessor programs and played key roles in the Core and Xeon families. According to WSJ, Intel has fallen behind TSMC and Samsung in the race to make the most cutting-edge chips. TSMC makes chips for Intel competitors, including Nvidia and AMD. Now, Intel is even mulling the idea of outsourcing the manufacturing of its advanced chips to Asian chipmakers. Gelsinger will have a tough road ahead with Nvidia and AMD looming large around the corner. According to Intel, Gelsinger will also join the Intel board of directors upon assuming the role. He will succeed Bob Swan, who will remain CEO until Feb. 15.
Qualcomm Acquires Nuvia
On Wednesday, Qualcomm announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies will be acquiring NUVIA for approximately $1.4 billion. Qualcomm is one of the world’s leading wireless technology innovators. Their foundational technologies enable the mobile ecosystem and are found in every 3G, 4G and 5G smartphone. Whereas, NUVIA is known for its world-class high performance processors and its addition, according to Qualcomm, will position Snapdragon as the preferred platform for the future of connected computing.
A Database For AI Accidents
Partnership on AI (PAI) founded by AI researchers at Apple, Amazon, Google and other top companies is now sponsoring a database that documents top AI related incidents. As more intelligent systems are deployed within the real world, it will become increasingly difficult to monitor, collect, and categorize incidents. Artificial Intelligence Incident Database or AIID is a scraper that monitors content sources for AI incidents and facilitates future researchers and developers to avoid repeated bad outcomes.
Tesla Arrives In India, Finally!
Thanks to Tesla, 2021 might be the year when electric cars go mainstream in India. Tesla registered its Indian entity in the name of Tesla India Motors And Energy Private Limited in Bengaluru. According to reports, the company has appointed David Jon Feinstein, Vaibhav Taneja and Venkatrangam Sreeram as the directors of its Indian subsidiary.
Alphabet And Microsoft Join Hands For Biomedicine Innovation
On Monday, Verily, an Alphabet company, and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership to accelerate new innovations in biomedicine through the Terra platform, an open-source platform used by biomedical researchers to analyze data from millions of participants in important scientific research projects.
According to the institute, biomedical data that includes genomics, medical imaging, biometric signals and electronic health records, is expected to reach dozens of exabytes by 2025
The new partnership will leverage Microsoft’s Azure and AI technologies, and global network of more than 168,000 health and life sciences partners to accelerate development of global biomedical research through the Terra platform.
Language Models Touch The Trillion Mark
In a recent work, Google researchers have showcased that language models can pre-trained up to trillion parameters. According to them, the Switch Transformer architecture not only excels in the domain of supercomputers, but is beneficial even with only a few computational cores. Read more about it here.
CES 2021 Goes Virtual
One of the most awaited tech events of the year–CES went virtual. The annual Consumer Electronic Show first kicked off in 1967 in New York City and has grown multifold since then. Over the years, CES garnered a reputation for introducing groundbreaking technologies to the world. This year too, there were quite a few interesting announcements. Read more about it here.