June 20 – 5 Key Stories From The Digital World

By June 19, 2019 Insight

1. MIT is turning AI into a pizza chef

  • Never mind having robots deliver pizza — if MIT and QCRI researchers have their way, the automatons will make your pizza as well
  • developed a neural network, PizzaGAN (Generative Adversarial Network), that learns how to make pizza using pictures
  • scientists found that PizzaGAN could determine the right order 88 percent of the time, albeit using pizzas with just two toppings

2. Google’s AI picks which machine learning models will produce the best results

  • propose what they call “off-policy classification,” or OPC, which evaluates the performance of AI-driven agents by treating evaluation as a classification problem
  • a variant of reinforcement learning, which employs rewards to drive software policies toward goals — works with image inputs and scales to tasks including vision-based robotic grasping
  • trained machine learning policies in simulation using fully off-policy reinforcement learning, and then evaluated them using the off-policy scores tabulated from previous real-world data

3. Private Blockchain’s Biggest Startups Integrate in Unprecedented Tie-Up

  • historic change in strategy is taking place at R3 and Digital Asset (DA), who are now collaborating to maximize their respective blockchain ecosystems
  • DA will be bringing its smart contract language DAML (Digital Asset Modelling Language) to R3’s Corda platform, as well as Hyperledger Fabric, following on from its Hyperledger Sawtooth tie-up last month
  • Another rather interesting partnership DA is kicking off is with Amazon Aurora, a non-blockchain traditional cloud database – driven by strong customer demand

4. The Ups — And Mostly Downs — Of Lyft’s Biggest Stakeholders

  • IPO was a crucial moment for Lyft’s 40+ investors,  which included a range of corporate venture arms (Facebook fbFund, capitalG), hedge funds (Coatue Managment), VCs (a16z, Founders Fund), foreign and domestic corporations (Alibaba Group, GM), and even competitors (like China-based ride hailing giant Didi Chuxing)
  • After Rakuten, auto corporation General Motors and VC firm Fidelity come in second and third place, with 7.4% and 7.3% stakes, respectively. They are followed by VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (5.9%) and tech giant Alphabet (5.1%)
  • Rakuten was the most frequent of Lyft’s top investors, backing 4 equity rounds to the company from 2015 to 2017

5. Volvo Group Selects NVIDIA to Transform Trucking

  • Volvo Group announced Tuesday that it’s using the NVIDIA DRIVE end-to-end autonomous driving platform to train, test and deploy self-driving AI vehicles, targeting public transport, freight transport, refuse and recycling collection, construction, mining, forestry and more
  • Already, more than 35 million packages worldwide are delivered each day, which is growing up to 28% percent annually. By 2040, delivery services will have to travel another 78 billion miles each year to handle goods ordered online, according to consultancy firm KPMG
  • Autonomous trucks are arriving just in time to meet this demand. They can operate 24 hours a day, improving delivery times, and with increased efficiency, can bring down the annual cost of logistics in the U.S. by 45% — between $85 billion and $125 billion