deep learning

Amazon debuts a scale model autonomous car to teach developers machine learning

Posted by | Amazon, AWS, AWS re:Invent 2018, deep learning, Education, Gadgets, machine learning, race car, TC | No Comments

Amazon today announced AWS DeepRacer, a fully autonomous 1/18th-scale race car that aims to help developers learn machine learning. Priced at $399 but currently offered for $249, the race car lets developers get hands-on — literally — with a machine learning technique called reinforcement learning (RL).

RL takes a different approach to training models than other machine learning techniques, Amazon explained.

It’s a type of machine learning that works when an “agent” is allowed to act on a trial-and-error basis within an interactive environment. It does so using feedback from those actions to learn over time in order to reach a predetermined goal or to maximize some type of score or reward.

This makes it different from other machine learning techniques — like Supervised Learning, for example — as it doesn’t require any labeled training data to get started, and it can make short-term decisions while optimizing for a long-term goal.

The new race car lets developers experiment with RL by learning through autonomous driving.

We are pleased and excited to announce AWS DeepRacer and the AWS DeepRacer League. New reinforcement learning powered AWS service and racing league ML powered cars. #reInvent pic.twitter.com/9Qmmqj4Ebw

— AWS re:Invent (@AWSreInvent) November 28, 2018

Developers first get started using a virtual car and tracks in a cloud-based 3D racing simulator, powered by AWS RoboMaker. Here, they can train an autonomous driving model against a collection of predefined race tracks included with the simulator, then evaluate them virtually or choose to download them to the real-world AWS DeepRacer car.

They can also opt to participate in the first AWS DeepRacer League at the re:Invent conference, where the car was announced. This event will take place over the next 24 hours in the AWS DeepRacer workshops and at the MGM Speedway and will involve using Amazon SageMakerAWS RoboMaker and other AWS services.

There are six main tracks, each with a pit area, a hacker garage and two extra tracks developers can use for training and experimentation. There will also be a DJ.

The league will continue after the event, as well, with a series of live racing events starting in 2019 at AWS Global Summits worldwide. Virtual tournaments will also be hosted throughout the year, Amazon said, with the goal of winning the AWS DeepRacer 2019 Championship Cup at re:invent 2019.

As for the car’s hardware itself, it’s a 1/18th-scale, radio-controlled, four-wheel drive vehicle powered by an Intel Atom processor. The processor runs Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, ROS (Robot Operating System) and the Intel OpenVino computer vision toolkit.

The car also includes a 4 megapixel camera with 1080p resolution, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, multiple USB ports and battery power that will last for about two hours.

It’s available for sale on Amazon here.

more AWS re:Invent 2018 coverage

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Google brings offline neural machine translations for 59 languages to its Translate app

Posted by | Android, Apps, artificial intelligence, deep learning, Google, Google Translate, iOS, Languages, Mobile, mobile app, Translation | No Comments

Currently, when the Google Translate apps for iOS and Android has access to the internet, its translations are far superior to those it produces when it’s offline. That’s because the offline translations are phrase-based, meaning they use an older machine translation technique than the machine learning-powered systems in the cloud that the app has access to when it’s online. But that’s changing today. Google is now rolling out offline Neural Machine Translation (NMT) support for 59 languages in the Translate apps.

Today, only a small number of users will see the updated offline translations, but it will roll out to all users within the next few weeks.

The list of supported languages consists of a wide range of languages. Because I don’t want to play favorites, here is the full list: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Belarusian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian, Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jannada, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese and Welsh.

In the past, running these deep learning models on a mobile device wasn’t really an option since mobile phones didn’t have the right hardware to efficiently run them. Now, thanks to both advances in hardware and software, that’s less of an issue and Google, Microsoft and others have also found ways to compress these models to a manageable size. In Google’s case, that’s about 30 to 40 megabytes per language.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft also announced a similar feature for its Translator app earlier this year. It uses a very similar technique, but for the time being, it only supports about a dozen languages.

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Facebook’s open-source Go bot can now beat professional players

Posted by | AI, alphago, artificial intelligence, deep learning, DeepMind, F8 2018, Gaming, Go, TC | No Comments

Go is the go-to game for machine learning researchers. It’s what Google’s DeepMind team famously used to show off its algorithms, and Facebook, too, recently announced that it was building a Go bot of its own. As the team announced at the company’s F8 developer conference today, the ELF OpenGo bot has now achieved professional status after winning all 14 games it played against a group of top 30 human Go players recently.

“We salute our friends at DeepMind for doing awesome work,” Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer said in today’s keynote. “But we wondered: Are there some unanswered questions? What else can you apply these tools to.” As Facebook notes in a blog post today, the DeepMind model itself also remains under wraps. In contrast, Facebook has open-sourced its bot.

“To make this work both reproducible and available to AI researchers around the world, we created an open source Go bot, called ELF OpenGo, that performs well enough to answer some of the key questions unanswered by AlphaGo,” the team writes today.

It’s not just Go that the team is interested in, though. Facebook’s AI Research group has also developed a StarCraft bot that can handle the often chaotic environment of that game. The company plans to open-source this bot, too. So while Facebook isn’t quite at the point where it can launch a bot that can learn any game (with the right amount of training), the team is clearly making quite a bit of progress here.

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MIT’s new chip could bring neural nets to battery-powered gadgets

Posted by | applied mathematics, artificial intelligence, artificial neural networks, cybernetics, deep learning, market research, Mobile, TC | No Comments

 MIT researchers have developed a chip designed to speed up the hard work of running neural networks, while also reducing the power consumed when doing so dramatically – by up to 95 percent, in fact. The basic concept involves simplifying the chip design so that shuttling of data between different processors on the same chip is taken out of the equation. The big advantage of this new… Read More

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Sony reboots Aibo with AI and extra kawaii

Posted by | AI, Aibo, artificial intelligence, Asia, deep learning, Gadgets, robot, robotics, Sony, TC, virtual assistant | No Comments

 The rumors had it right: Sony is rebooting its robot dog, Aibo, announcing a new four-legged companion AI-powered bot incoming with the same brand name but more rounded corners and visible facial features for extra kawaii, including a pair of expressive, puppy-dog eyes. Read More

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Google’s TensorFlow Lite brings machine learning to Android devices

Posted by | Android, artificial intelligence, computing, deep learning, Developer, free software, Google, smartphones, Software, TC, tensorflow | No Comments

 While discussing the future of Android at Google I/O, Dave Burke, a VP of engineering, announced a new version of TensorFlow optimized for mobile called TensorFlow lite. The new library will allow developers to build leaner deep learning models designed to run on Android smartphones. As Google rolls out a greater number of AI-enabled services that run on Android, it makes sense to use a… Read More

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Deep learning tool lets you pick your pastiche: Mostly Monet, a dab of Doré and a pinch of Picasso

Posted by | Art, artificial intelligence, deep learning, Gadgets, Google, google brain, machine learning, neural networks, research, TC | No Comments

brad_pitt_neural For years we’ve been skeptical, and rightly so, of the “art filters” you can put on your photos, webcam videos and so on. But Google may have made them relevant again — or at the very least, interesting — by letting you mix and match them in real time using a single specialized neural network. Read More

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Baidu’s new TalkType keyboard app emphasizes voice input over typing

Posted by | android apps, Apps, Baidu, baidu research, computing, deep learning, Keyboard, Mobile, Speech Recognition, TC, typing, voice computing | No Comments

baidu-talktype Typing on small screens can still be challenging, but today’s keyboard apps still focus on text entry over speech, despite the advances in voice-based computing and the increasing accuracy of speech recognition technology. Baidu wants to change that, with a new keyboard app called TalkType that prioritizes voice input over typing. The app was developed by Baidu Research, the Silicon… Read More

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Prisma uses AI to turn your photos into graphic novel fodder double quick

Posted by | AI, Apps, artificial intelligence, deep learning, Europe, image-processing, instagram, iOS, machine learning, Mobile, neural networks, Prisma, Social, social networks, TC | No Comments

Prisma Artists beware! AI is coming for your paintbrush too… A new iOS app, called Prisma, is using deep learning algorithms to turn smartphone photos into stylized artworks based on different artwork/graphical styles. Snap or choose your photo, select an ‘art filter’ to be applied and then wait as the app works its algorithmic magic — returning your… Read More

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Google, Baidu and the race for an edge in the global speech recognition market

Posted by | Adam Coates, alibaba, artificial intelligence, Baidu, China, Column, deep learning, Gadgets, Google, mobvoi, speech recogntion, TC, Tencent | No Comments

Talking bubbles Speech recognition technology has been around for more than half a decade, though the early uses of speech recognition — like voice dialing or desktop dictation — certainly don’t seem as sexy as today’s burgeoning virtual agents or smart home devices. Read More

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