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Microsoft’s Latest Announcements, OpenAI’s Startup Fund And More In This Week’s Top News

Microsoft’s Latest Announcements, OpenAI’s Startup Fund And More In This Week’s Top News

Microsoft kicked off its annual developer’s conference, Microsoft Build. The event, which had gone virtual for the second consecutive year, flooded the event with all things AI. From MS Teams to Azure, the company announced more than 100 updates. Azure Machine Learning Managed Endpoints, once ready, will allow developers and data scientists to build and deploy ML models quickly and easily. Whereas, Azure Video Analyser looks for anomalies using AI. It uses existing services such as the Computer Vision from Azure Cognitive Services to build AI-powered video analytics from both stores and streaming footage. According to Microsoft, this brings Live Video Analytics and Video Indexer into a single service. The former would help build intelligent, video-based apps using the user’s choice of AI. At the same time, the Indexer automatically extracts data from video and audio content. Customers can use this for workplace safety, digital asset management, and monetising content. 

Microsoft has also added enterprise support for PyTorch AI on Azure. With this, Microsoft aims to give users of PyTorch a more reliable production experience. In his keynote speech, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella said that they would be using the world’s most powerful language model, GPT3, to Power Platform. Azure ML Managed Endpoints is already being used for the OpenAI GPT-3 model, which is among the world’s most significant natural language models—in Microsoft Power Apps. “If you can describe what you want to do in natural language, GPT3 will generate a list of the most relevant formulae for you to choose from. The code writes itself. The next theme is building new intelligent apps by harnessing the power of data and AI. This is so important. Every developer now has the opportunity and responsibility to make organizations sovereign in terms of their own data being used to benefit their organization. The opportunity is clear. The next generation of applications will not be reactive, but proactive, because of their ability to harness the power of data to drive that next level of intelligence,” added Nadella.

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Nvidia turns ON the world’s fastest AI supercomputer

Image credits: NVIDIA

Perlmutter, which has been credited with the title of world’s fastest AI supercomputer, is up and running. Perlmutter runs on 6,159 NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs, the largest A100-powered system in the world. “Perlmutter, officially dedicated today at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), is a supercomputer that will deliver nearly four exaflops of AI performance for more than 7,000 researchers.That makes Perlmutter the fastest system on the planet on the 16- and 32-bit mixed-precision math AI uses. And that performance doesn’t even include a second phase coming later this year to the system based at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab,” wrote Dion Harris of NVIDIA. The chipmaker claims that Perlmutter will help piece together a 3D map of the universe, probe subatomic interactions for green energy sources and much more.

OpenAI launches $100 million fund

Co-founder of OpenAI, Sam Altman announced that the OpenAI startup fund is investing $100 million to help AI companies have a profound, positive impact on the world. “We’re looking to partner with a small number of early-stage startups in fields where artificial intelligence can have a transformative effect—like health care, climate change, and education—and where AI tools can empower people by helping them be more productive,” said the company in a press release. The fund is managed by OpenAI, with investment from Microsoft and other OpenAI partners. In addition to capital, companies in the OpenAI Startup Fund will get early access to future OpenAI systems, support from our team, and credits on Azure. Read more here.

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SolarWinds hackers are back

The notorious SolarWinds hackers who breached key government offices in the US late last year have made a comeback. On Thursday, Microsoft’s corporate VP, Tom Burt announced that they have observed cyberattacks by the threat actor Nobelium targeting government agencies, think tanks, consultants, and non-governmental organizations. This wave of attacks targeted approximately 3,000 email accounts at more than 150 different organizations. While organizations in the United States received the largest share of attacks, targeted victims span at least 24 countries. At least a quarter of the targeted organizations were involved in international development, humanitarian, and human rights work. “Nobelium, originating from Russia, is the same actor behind the attacks on SolarWinds customers in 2020. These attacks appear to be a continuation of multiple efforts by Nobelium to target government agencies involved in foreign policy as part of intelligence gathering efforts.  Nation-state cyber attacks aren’t slowing. We need clear rules governing nation-state conduct in cyberspace and clear expectations of the consequences for violation of those rules,” warned Microsoft.

Google’s new OS Fuchsia goes live

Google has finally confirmed the release of their Fuchsia operating system, which has been under development for more than 5 years now. The OS will be available through an update on their smart home devices—NestHub. Google’s smart display experience is built with Flutter, which is a functional-reactive user interface framework optimized for Fuchsia and is used by many system components. Flutter also runs on a variety of other platforms, including Android and iOS. Fuchsia itself does not require one to use any particular language or user interface framework. Google Inc has been making news about a new OS Fuchsia that would soon replace Android and Chrome OS. The project was first made public in 2016 when the project was released on GitHub. According to 9to5google, NestHub is just one of many avenues that Google has explored for Fuchsia, which is capable of powering both desktops and smartphones, even natively running Android apps. 

Bezos wraps up his final shareholder meeting

On Wednesday, e-commerce mogul Jeff Bezos attended his last shareholder meeting as CEO of Amazon and announced that he’ll formally step down from his role as CEO on 5th of July.  He will hand over the reins to Andy Jassy, who currently heads the super successful Amazon Web Services(AWS). “He has the highest of high standards and I guarantee Andy will never let the universe make us typical,” Bezos said during the virtual meeting. Bezos will now pursue his passions Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post going forward.

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