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Paris Tech Guide - Explore the French Tech ecosystem

Paris Tech Guide - Explore the French Tech ecosystem | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Meet the french tech ecosystem, and find the best ways to to expand your business in France.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

The best english speaking guide to @LaFrenchTech so far. Kudos to @rmen and the whole @FrenchWeb team !

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Les nouvelles technologies : vers une évolution culturelle et cognitive - Cité de la Réussite à La Sorbonne

Les nouvelles technologies : vers une évolution culturelle et cognitive - Cité de la Réussite à La Sorbonne | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Voici la vidéo du débat sur "Les nouvelles technologies : vers une évolution culturelle et cognitive" auquel je représentais Leonard à la Sorbonne dans le cadre de la Cité de la Réussite aux côtés d'Anne Lalou (Web School Factory) et Sophie Stanton (IBM), modérés par Annabelle Laurent d'Uzbek & Rica

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Merci à l’auditoire de l’Amphi Richelieu de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne d’avoir porté ce débat à la Cité de la réussite 2017 avec Anne LALOU-SCHNEIDER et Sophie Stanton ! Bravo aux étudiants pour la préparation des questions et à Annabelle Laurent pour sa patiente modération.

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Waymo's autonomous cars log 1 million miles in a month

Waymo's autonomous cars log 1 million miles in a month | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Waymo, the Alphabet self-driving car company that was spun out of Google, is picking up speed.

The company’s autonomous vehicles just drove 8 million miles on public roads. What’s more, it took the company just one month to go from 7 million miles to 8 million miles driven.

“We’re driving now at the rate of 25,000 miles every day on public roads,” CEO John Krafcik said Friday while addressing the National Governors Association.

Waymo’s acceleration in logging miles with self-driving cars has picked up in the last year. In November 2017, it crossed 4 million miles. Less than a year later it’s doubled that figure.

Most of the miles are being driven in the Phoenix area where the company has been developing and testing an autonomous ride-share service using modified Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans. The company plans to launch that ride-share service to the public later this year in Arizona.

Krafcik’s vision for the company is to partner with automakers, cargo operators and public transportation companies so they incorporate Waymo’s technology. Unlike automakers such as General Motors that are developing their own self-driving systems, Waymo has no plans to build its own vehicles.

Instead, Waymo is looking to build “drivers,” systems that can safely steer vehicles without requiring a human to sit behind the steering wheel.

“As we scale our business and have hundreds and thousands of Waymo drivers on the road, each one of those drivers is going to be exactly the same,” said Krafcik. “It’s going to be the world’s most experienced driver.”

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Interesting : it looks like Waymo's law it outpacing Moore's law. More interesting, they now log 25.000 miles per day. And even more interesting, they now say "We are driving..."

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Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, July 24, 9:38 AM

“We’re driving now at the rate of 25,000 miles every day on public roads” — We stands for "our Way enabled car fleet" ... 

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Larry Page is quietly amassing a ‘flying car’ empire

Larry Page is quietly amassing a ‘flying car’ empire | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

One flying car seems absurd; Larry Page has three.

He started with Cora, a two-seater flying taxi, then added a sporty flying boat called Flyer, both developed by a company called Kitty Hawk. And last week, The Vergediscovered a third: Opener, which just came out of stealth mode. There was no mention of the Google co-founder in the startup’s announcement, but when confronted with evidence of Page’s involvement, Opener quickly issued a press release admitting it.

Flying cars (more formally known as eVTOLs — for electric vertical takeoff and landing) are the electric scooters of aviation. Everyone from Uber to Airbus is working to build the lightweight aircraft and the aerial networks they will require, to say nothing of a host of well-funded startups, including Joby in the US, Volocopter in Germany, and China’s EHang.

Page is making his flying car companies compete for attention and funding

Kitty Hawk and Opener are based just a few buildings away from each other in Palo Alto, California, but have almost no contact. In fact, their CEOs have to compete for Page’s attention and funding, according to multiple sources close to the companies.

Workers at Kitty Hawk and Opener don’t know whether Page is simply hedging his bets with multiple aircraft, or embarking on a bold attempt to corner the market for flying cars as it emerges. The reason for multiple companies may be even more prosaic: the leaders of each project reportedly can’t stand each other. Regardless, Page now controls three of the world’s most advanced flying car projects, ahead of rivals like Joby, Uber, and aerospace giant Airbus, whose vehicles remain largely experimental.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Are we really talking flying cars here ? I rather see driving or navigating planes ...

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MIT's Cheetah robot moves by feel to approximate how humans and other animals navigate - without any visual sensor

MIT's Cheetah robot moves by feel to approximate how humans and other animals navigate - without any visual sensor | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

In a turn away from vision, a team at MIT has created a feline robot that attempts to better approximate how humans and animals actually move, navigating stairs and uneven surfaces guided only by sensors on its feet.

Why it matters: Many ambulatory robots rely on substantial recent improvements in computer-vision, like advanced cameras and lidar. But robots will be more nimble and more practically interact with humans with the addition of "blind" vision — a sixth sense of feeling that most living things have for their surroundings.

What's going on: Computer vision alone can result in a robot with slow and inaccurate movements, says MIT's Songbae Kim, designer of the Cheetah 3.

  • "People start adding vision prematurely and they rely on it too much," Kim tells Axios, when it's best suited for big-picture planning, like registering where a stairway begins and knowing when to turn to avoid a wall. So his team built a "blind" version in order to focus on tactile sensing.

How the blind version works: Two algorithms help the Cheetah stay upright when it encounters unexpected obstacles.

  • One determines when the bot plants its feet, by calculating how far a leg has swung, how much force the leg is feeling, and where the ground is.
  • The other governs how much force the robot should apply to each leg to keep its balance, based on the angle of the robot's body relative to the ground.
  • The sensors can also adjust to external forces, like a researcher's friendly kick from the side.

The result is a quick, balanced robot: The researchers measure the force on each of the Cheetah's legs straight from the motors that control them, allowing it to move fast — at 3 meters per second, or 6.7 miles an hour — and jump up onto a tablefrom a standstill. These tricks make the 90-pound bot look surprisingly nimble.

Cheetah's design emphasizes "sensors that you and I take for granted," said Noah Cowan, director of the LIMBS robotics lab at Johns Hopkins University.

  • Humans unconsciously keep track of where their arms and legs are — and the forces acting on them — to help stay balanced and move smoothly. MIT’s Cheetah “feels” its legs in a similar way.

The Cheetah's capabilities resemble some of the robots produced by the ever-secretive Boston Dynamics, which in May released a video of its four-legged SpotMini navigating autonomously through its lab with the help of cameras.

  • It's not clear whether Boston Dynamic robots use tactile technology like Kim's, and the company did not respond to an email.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

It "looks" like machine vision is not necessarily mandatory when it comes to designing efficient "walking" machines.

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US startups are disappearing — and that's bad for the economy —

US startups are disappearing — and that's bad for the economy — | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Historically, startups have been the engine of US economy. By creating new jobs and surfacing new ideas, startups play an outsized role in making the economy grow.

It’s too bad they are a dying breed.

While companies that were less than two years old made up about 13% of all companies in 1985, they only accounted for 8% in 2014.

 
A far smaller share of people work for startups

From around 1998 to 2010, the share of private sector workers in companies that were less than two years old plummeted from more than 9% to less than 5%.

 
The startup decline is happening across the economy

A new report from the Brookings Institution, finds that in nearly every industry, from agriculture to finance, the share of new companies is falling.

 

So what’s going on?

It’s not entirely clear, but the authors of the Brookings report have some ideas.

One possibility: Startups are struggling in this era of rising market concentration. In most industries, since the 1980s, the share of all sales going to the top firms is increasing. Startups may have a hard time competing with these mega firms, which can out pay them for the best talent and sometimes attempt to drive them out of the industry. Previous Brookings research found there are fewer startups in states where a smaller number of companies dominate the market (pdf).

Another related possibility is that the most-educated American workers are no longer attracted to entrepreneurship. In 1992, 4% of 25-54 year olds with a master’s degree or PhD owned a small company with at least 10 employees. In 2017, this was true of only 2.2%. Companies started by the highly educated are often unusually productive.

The Brookings report suggests that high salaries for educated employees at big companies have made entrepreneurship less compelling. Why compete with Google or Walmart when they are offering you an enormous amount of money to come work for them?

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

According to Quartz, the Data Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a Brookings report, US startups are a dying breed.

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AI could get 100 times more energy-efficient with IBM’s new artificial synapses

AI could get 100 times more energy-efficient with IBM’s new artificial synapses | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Neural networks are the crown jewel of the AI boom. They gorge on data and do things like transcribe speech or describe images with near-perfect accuracy (see “10 breakthrough technologies 2013: Deep learning”). The catch is that neural nets, which are modeled loosely on the structure of the human brain, are typically constructed in software rather than hardware, and the software runs on conventional computer chips. That slows things down. IBM has now shown that building key features of a neural net directly in silicon can make it 100 times more efficient. Chips built this way might turbocharge machine learning in coming years. The IBM chip, like a neural net written in software, mimics the synapses that connect individual neurons in a brain. The strength of these synaptic connections needs to be tuned in order for the network to learn. In a living brain, this happens in the form of connections growing or withering over time. That is easy to reproduce in software but has proved infuriatingly difficult to
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:
The human brain consumes 4.2 g of glucose per hour. Neural networks are trying to catch up and silicon might be the next step with a 100x efficiency factor
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Nearly a quarter of Tesla’s Model 3 reservation deposits in the U.S. have supposedly been refunded

Nearly a quarter of Tesla’s Model 3 reservation deposits in the U.S. have supposedly been refunded | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Two years ago Tesla began accepting $1,000 deposits for its new, lower-priced Model 3 electric car, with the expectation that customers would likely receive their vehicles in 2018. Hundreds of thousands of people have reserved one.

But perhaps due to extended production delays, many customers have been asking for their money back.

As of the end of April, some 23 percent of all Model 3 deposits in the U.S. had been refunded, according to new U.S. data from Second Measure, a company that analyzes billions of dollars in anonymized credit and debit card purchases.

These cancellations aren’t necessarily bad for Tesla, since its production rate is nowhere near as high as it needs to be to fulfill the more than 450,000 reservations it still has. Last quarter, it delivered just 8,180 Model 3s.

 

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Should I stay or should I go ?

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Microsoft Will Acquire Coding Site GitHub

Microsoft Will Acquire Coding Site GitHub | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to acquire GitHub Inc., the code repository company popular with many software developers, and could announce the deal as soon as Monday, according to people familiar with the matter.

GitHub preferred selling the company to going public and chose Microsoft partially because it was impressed by Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. Terms of the agreement weren’t known on Sunday. GitHub was last valued at $2 billion in 2015.

The acquisition provides a way forward for San Francisco-based GitHub, which has been trying for nine months to find a new CEO and has yet to make a profit from its popular service that allows coders to share and collaborate on their work. It also helps Microsoft, which is increasingly relying on open-source software, to add programming tools and tie up with a company that has become a key part of the way Microsoft writes its own software.

Frank Shaw, a spokesman for Microsoft, declined to comment. GitHub didn’t return an email seeking request for comment.

GitHub is an essential tool for coders. Many corporations, including Microsoft and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, use GitHub to store their corporate code and to collaborate. It’s also a social network of sorts for developers. While GitHub’s losses have been significant -- it lost $66 million over three quarters in 2016 -- it had revenue of $98 million in nine months of that year.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

In 2014 Microsoft acquired Minecraft for $2.5 Bn : will GitHub (aka Minecraft for grown ups) sell for more ?

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Apple is granted an iPod patent 9 years after filing : meet United States Patent: 9961792

An electronic device such as a media player is formed from electrical components such as integrated circuits, buttons, and a battery. Electrical input-output port contacts are used to play audio and to convey digital signals. Electrical components for the device are mounted to a substrate. The components are encapsulated in an encapsulant and covered with an optional housing structure. The electrical input-output port contacts and portions of components such as buttons remain uncovered by encapsulant during the encapsulation process. Integrated circuits are entirely encapsulated with encapsulant. The integrated circuits are packaged or unpackaged integrated circuit die. The substrate is a printed circuit board or is an integrated circuit to which components are directly connected without any printed circuit boards interposed between the integrated circuit and the components.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Your delay may vary... who remembers now what an iPod is ?

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Hyperloop Transportation Technologies starts building its first full-scale system in Toulouse, France

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies starts building its first full-scale system in Toulouse, France | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has delivered the first tubes to its research center in the southwest of France as it begins construction on its first Hyperloop network to carry people and freight.

 

The company expects to complete a 320-meter system that will go into operation later this year, and it will build out another 1-km network in 2019.

 

HyperloopTT announced last year that it was opening a European research center in Toulouse, France. Toulouse is the country’s fourth-largest city but also home to a number of transportation and aerospace giants, including Airbus. HyperloopTT began moving the tubes in yesterday, which created a buzz among spectators and local press.

 

“Five years ago, we set out to solve transportation’s most pressing problems: efficiency, comfort, and speed. Today, we take an important step forward to begin to achieve that goal,” said HyperloopTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn in a statement. “Hyperloop is more than just displays of rapid acceleration and more than just breaking speed records. The real opportunity is to create an efficient and safe system with an unparalleled passenger experience.”

 

Founded in 2013, HyperloopTT now has a team of 800 engineers and 40 corporate and university partners. The company is based in Los Angeles and uses an open collaboration model. People can “join” HTT and be compensated for their work with stock options. So far, HTT has raised $31.8 million, and it had 30 salaried employees as of last year.

 

In addition to Toulouse, the company has offices in several regions around the world where it has signed agreements for development and trial of Hyperloop systems.

 

The tubes being installed in Toulouse have a diameter of 4.0 meters, which means the system can be adapted for both passenger pods and shipping containers. The company hopes to have the passenger capsule — which is being built in Carbures, Spain — later this summer.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

This is the "Bibop Effect"

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SiFive, a San Francisco based provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP, raised a $50.6m Series C round

SiFive, a San Francisco based provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP, raised a $50.6m Series C round | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

SiFive, a San Francisco, CA-based provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP, raised $50.6m in Series C funding.

The round, which brings total funding to $64.1m, was led by existing investors Sutter Hill Ventures, Spark Capital and Osage University Partners alongside new investor Chengwei Capital, and strategic investors including Huami, SK Telecom and Western Digital and other companies.

Led by Naveed Sherwani, CEO, SiFive provides processor core IP based on the RISC-V instruction set architecture.

The company intends to use the funds to bring its technologies to the marketplace.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Looks like RISC-V processor architecture is getting closer ; would it be a candidate for replacing Intel in Macs, as Apple did with ARM-based Ax chips for iDevices ?

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IBM working on ‘world’s smallest computer’ to attach to just about everything

IBM working on ‘world’s smallest computer’ to attach to just about everything | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

IBM is hard at work on the problem of ubiquitous computing, and its approach, understandably enough, is to make a computer small enough that you might mistake it for a grain of sand. Eventually these omnipresent tiny computers could help authenticate products, track medications and more.

 

It’s an evolution of IBM’s “crypto anchor” program, which uses a variety of methods to create what amounts to high-tech watermarks for products that verify they’re, for example, from the factory the distributor claims they are, and not counterfeits mixed in with genuine items.

 

The “world’s smallest computer,” as IBM continually refers to it, is meant to bring blockchain capability into this; the security advantages of blockchain-based logistics and tracking could be brought to something as benign as a bottle of wine or box of cereal.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Towards Smart Dust ? IBM's smallest computer design may be mistaken for a grain of sand ...

Ubiquitous computing means that what we saw yet no longer understood (hence the Intel pink characters on TV ads a while ago) won't be visible any longer.

Will it also imply that future computing power increases will come from a combination of Moore's Law and a huge increase in volumes produced ? Power will migrate in any case towards the edge of the network, making centralized computing a thing of the past ultimately, with the exception of a few cloud behemoths that will try to leverage the data they manage.

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Her Code Got Humans on the Moon — And Invented Software Itself

Her Code Got Humans on the Moon — And Invented Software Itself | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Margaret Hamilton wasn’t supposed to invent the modern concept of software and land men on the moon. It was 1960, not a time when women were encouraged to seek out high-powered technical work. Hamilton, a 24-year-old with an undergrad degree in mathematics, had gotten a job as a programmer at MIT, and the plan was for her to support her husband through his three-year stint at Harvard Law. After that, it would be her turn—she wanted a graduate degree in math.

But the Apollo space program came along. And Hamilton stayed in the lab to lead an epic feat of engineering that would help change the future of what was humanly—and digitally—possible.

As a working mother in the 1960s, Hamilton was unusual; but as a spaceship programmer, Hamilton was positively radical. Hamilton would bring her daughter Lauren by the lab on weekends and evenings. While 4-year-old Lauren slept on the floor of the office overlooking the Charles River, her mother programmed away, creating routines that would ultimately be added to the Apollo’s command module computer.

“People used to say to me, ‘How can you leave your daughter? How can you do this?’” Hamilton remembers. But she loved the arcane novelty of her job. She liked the camaraderie—the after-work drinks at the MIT faculty club; the geek jokes, like saying she was “going to branch left minus” around the hallway. Outsiders didn’t have a clue. But at the lab, she says, “I was one of the guys.”

Then, as now, “the guys” dominated tech and engineering. Like female coders in today’s diversity-challenged tech industry, Hamilton was an outlier. It might surprise today’s software makers that one of the founding fathers of their boys’ club was, in fact, a mother—and that should give them pause as they consider why the gender inequality of the Mad Men era persists to this day.

‘When I first got into it, nobody knew what it was that we were doing. It was like the Wild West.’ — Margaret Hamilton

As Hamilton’s career got under way, the software world was on the verge of a giant leap, thanks to the Apollo program launched by John F. Kennedy in 1961. At the MIT Instrumentation Lab where Hamilton worked, she and her colleagues were inventing core ideas in computer programming as they wrote the code for the world’s first portable computer. She became an expert in systems programming and won important technical arguments. “When I first got into it, nobody knew what it was that we were doing. It was like the Wild West. There was no course in it. They didn’t teach it,” Hamilton says.

This was a decade before Microsoft and nearly 50 years before Marc Andreessen would observe that software is, in fact, “eating the world.” The world didn’t think much at all about software back in the early Apollo days. The original document laying out the engineering requirements of the Apollo mission didn’t even mention the word software, MIT aeronautics professor David Mindell writes in his book Digital Apollo. “Software was not included in the schedule, and it was not included in the budget.” Not at first, anyhow.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

This Wired feature from 2015 tells a must read story for any tech or space fan, and reminds us that

1/ Tech History is key to apprehend Tech

2/ There have been women in tech and engineering, some of them being defining characters : Margaret Hamilton is one of them, along with Ada Lovelace and so many others who deserve a much better recognition.

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État des (tiers) lieux - Leonard:Paris

L’ouverture d’un tiers lieu par un grand groupe est considérée au mieux comme un non-événement, au pire comme une simple posture d’innovation. Pourquoi ? D’abord parce qu’on assiste à la profusion de tels endroits, mais aussi parce que ce mot « lieu » s’est comme appauvri de sa signification (état des lieux, esprit des lieux, lieu du crime, …), à tel point qu’il soit besoin de le réhausser d’un préfixe — qui plus est divisif : un tiers-lieu, est-ce un demi-lieu en encore plus petit ?

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

un tiers-lieu, est-ce un demi-lieu en encore plus petit ?

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Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, July 31, 6:34 AM

un tiers-lieu, est-ce un demi-lieu en encore plus petit ?

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Google may put its Fuchsia OS on smart home devices within three years

Google may put its Fuchsia OS on smart home devices within three years | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Google’s Project Fuchsia OS has been shrouded in mystery for the past few years. It was discovered almost two years ago when the company began quietly posting code to its GitHub repository and expanded with an actual “Armadillo” system UI last year, but there’s been little to no information about what Google intends to do with Fuchsia.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, the Fuchsia team’s goal is nothing less than creating a single, unifying operating system that could run on all of Google’s devices: replacing Android, Chrome OS, and powering all of Google’s smart home hardware. The time frame is similarly ambitious: the team hopes to release a connected home device powered by the new OS within three years to introduce Fuchsia before moving on to larger devices like laptops and phones within the next five years.

 

It’s certainly an interesting idea that would give Google a second chance to build a more secure, easily updated OS to enable even better cross-platform integration than the current Chrome OS / Android divide. Security is also said to be something at the core of Fuchsia, which could help Google better compete with Apple’s more tightly locked down iOS, too.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

YAOS - Yet Another Operating System ? Coming from Google, it might be more than a fad...

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AI spots legal problems with tech T&Cs in GDPR research project

AI spots legal problems with tech T&Cs in GDPR research project | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Technology is the proverbial double-edged sword. And an experimental European research project is ensuring this axiom cuts very close to the industry’s bone indeed by applying machine learning technology to critically sift big tech’s privacy policies — to see whether AI can automatically identify violations of data protection law.

The still-in-training privacy policy and contract parsing tool — which is called ‘Claudette‘: Aka (automated) clause detector — is being developed by researchers at the European University Institute in Florence.

They’ve also now got support from European consumer organization BEUC — for a ‘Claudette meets GDPR‘ project — which specifically applies the tool to evaluate compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Early results from this project have been released today, with BEUC sayingthe AI was able to automatically flag a range of problems with the language being used in tech T&Cs.

The researchers set Claudette to work analyzing the privacy policies of 14 companies in all — namely: Google, Facebook (and Instagram), Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, WhatsApp, Twitter, Uber, AirBnB, Booking, Skyscanner, Netflix, Steam and Epic Games — saying this group was selected to cover a range of online services and sectors.

And also because they are among the biggest online players and — I quote — “should be setting a good example for the market to follow”. Ehem, should.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

When Claudette meets GDPR , we get an extremely interesting encounter between Artificial Intelligence and EU policy.

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U.S. reclaims top spot for world's fastest supercomputer

U.S. reclaims top spot for world's fastest supercomputer | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

TOP500 released an update to its list of the fastest supercomputers in the world, with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory leading the way. In its debut earlier this month, Summit clocked in at 122 petaflops of compute power on High Performance Linpack (HPL), a benchmark used to rank supercomputers ranked on the TOP500 list.

Summit uses more than 27,000 Nvidia graphics processing unit chips (GPU), and five of the seven fastest supercomputers in the world utilize Nvidia GPUs — like the Tesla V100, which first made its debut in May 2017. Summit has already been used to do things like apply machine learning in the search for genetic links between diseases or explore materials that can be used for superconductors.

“When we first started talking about the original Tesla K80 back in 2015, we were only contributing about 11 percent of the list that year, if I add up all the computational horsepower on the top of the list,” Nvidia VP Ian Buck told VentureBeat. “This year, the majority of 56 percent of the computation on the list is coming from GPUs, and this really talks to the adoption of accelerated computing, of using GPUs for solving the kinds of problems and building the kinds of systems that are necessary to advance computing.”

Also new to the list is Sierra. Housed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sierra is now ranked the world’s third-fastest supercomputer, with 71 petaflops of compute power.

Both Summit and Sierra were built by IBM and include IBM Power9 CPUs.

The TOP500 updates its ranking of top supercomputers every six months.

The new rankings were announced today at the International Supercomputing Conference being held this week in Frankfurt, Germany.

Also announced today, Nvidia released nine new GPU Cloud computing containers to make it easier to work with deep learning frameworks.

The United States regains the title of owning the word’s fastest supercomputer after years of Chinese dominance.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Supercomputer battles are not new : yet this "I have more petaflops than you" recent updates hides two interesting facts :

1/ "America First" : America is Back after years of Chinese dominance.

2/ GPUs propel now more than half of Supercomputers including #1

The latter might explain the first fact : while China finally mastered CPU production (and reduced its dependency to Intel and US tech), they need to go back to work in order to switch to GPU design and manufacturing if they want to keep independance.

 

One last question pending is : where is Europe now than ARM is gone ?

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Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, June 27, 3:10 AM

Supercomputer battles are not new : yet this "I have more petaflops than you" recent updates hides two interesting facts :

1/ "America First" : America is Back after years of Chinese dominance.

2/ GPUs propel now more than half of Supercomputers including #1

The latter might explain the first fact : while China finally mastered CPU production (and reduced its dependency to Intel and US tech), they need to go back to work in order to switch to GPU design and manufacturing if they want to keep independance.

 

One last question pending is : where is Europe now than ARM is gone ?

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AI Learns the Art of Debate with IBM Project Debater

AI Learns the Art of Debate with IBM Project Debater | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Today, an artificial intelligence (AI) system engaged in the first ever live, public debates with humans. At an event held at IBM’s Watson West site in San Francisco, a champion debater and IBM’s AI system, Project Debater, began by preparing arguments for and against the statement: “We should subsidize space exploration.” Both sides then delivered a four-minute opening statement, a four-minute rebuttal, and a two-minute summary.
Project Debater made an opening argument that supported the statement with facts, including the points that space exploration benefits human kind because it can help advance scientific discoveries and it inspires young people to think beyond themselves. Noa Ovadia, the 2016 Israeli national debate champion, opposed the statement, arguing that there are better applications for government subsidies, including subsidies for scientific research here on Earth. After listening to Noa’s argument, Project Debater delivered a rebuttal speech, countering with the view that potential technological and economic benefits from space exploration outweigh other government spending. Following closing summaries from both sides, a snap poll showed that a majority of audience members thought Project Debater enriched their knowledge more than its human counterpart.
Just think about that for a moment. An AI system engaged with an expert human debater, listened to her argument, and responded convincingly with its own, unscripted reasoning to persuade an audience to consider its position on a controversial topic. Later, we held a second debate between the system and another Israeli debate expert, Dan Zafrir, that featured opposing arguments on the statement: “We should increase the use of telemedicine.”

For the initial demonstrations of this new technology, we selected from a curated list of topics to ensure a meaningful debate. But Project Debater was never trained on the topics. Over time, and in relevant business applications, we will naturally move toward using the system for issues that haven’t been screened.
Project Debater moves us a big step closer to one of the great boundaries in AI: mastering language. It is the latest in a long line of major AI innovations at IBM, which also include “Deep Blue,” the IBM system that took on chess world champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, and IBM Watson, which beat the top human champions on Jeopardy! in 2011.
Project Debater reflects the mission of IBM Research today to develop broad AI that learns across different disciplines to augment human intelligence. AI assistants have become highly useful to us through their ability to conduct sophisticated keyword searches and respond to simple questions or requests (such as “how many ounces in a liter?” or “call Mom”). Project Debater explores new territory: it absorbs massive and diverse sets of information and perspectives to help people build persuasive arguments and make well-informed decisions.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

I am sure DeepMind would strongly disagree and would be curious about the outcome of an argument between Alexa, DeepMind, Siri and Watson ...

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Google will open an AI center in Ghana later this year, its first in Africa

Google will open an AI center in Ghana later this year, its first in Africa | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it
Google will open an AI research center in Accra later this year, the company announced. Its the company’s first in Africa.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Meet #AfricaTech

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Full video and transcript of Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker Show 2018 edition

Full video and transcript of Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker Show 2018 edition | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

Here are some takeaways by ReCode:

  • 2017 was the first year in which smartphone unit shipments didn’t grow at all. As more of the world become smartphone owners, growth has been harder and harder to come by. The same goes for internet user growth, which rose 7 percent in 2017, down from 12 percent the year before. With more than half the world online, there are fewer people left to connect.
  • People, however, are still increasing the amount of time they spend online. U.S. adults spent 5.9 hours per day on digital media in 2017, up from 5.6 hours the year before. Some 3.3 of those hours were spent on mobile, which is responsible for overall growth in digital media consumption.
  • Despite the high-profile releases of $1,000 iPhones and Samsung Galaxy Notes, the global average selling price of smartphones is continuing to decline. Lower costs help drive smartphone adoption in less-developed markets.
  • Mobile payments are becoming easier to complete. China continues to lead the rest of the world in mobile payment adoption, with over 500 million active mobile payment users in 2017.
  • Voice-controlled products like Amazon Echo are taking off. The Echo’s installed base in the U.S. grew from 20 million in the third quarter of 2017 to more than 30 million in the fourth quarter.
  • Tech companies are facing a “privacy paradox.” They’re caught between using data to provide better consumer experiences and violating consumer privacy.
  • Tech companies are becoming a larger part of U.S. business. In April, they accounted for 25 percent of U.S. market capitalization. They are also responsible for a growing share of corporate R&D and capital spending.
  • E-commerce sales growth is continuing to accelerate. It grew 16 percent in the U.S. in 2017, up from 14 percent in 2016. Amazon is taking a bigger share of those sales at 28 percent last year. Conversely, physical retail sales are continuing to decline.
  • Big tech is competing on more fronts. Google is expanding from an ads platform to a commerce platform via Google Home Ordering. Meanwhile, e-commerce giant Amazon is moving into advertising.
  • People are spending more on health care, meaning they might have to be more focused on value. Meeker asks: “Will market forces finally come to health care and drive prices lower for consumers?” Expect health care companies to offer more modern retail experiences, with convenient offices, digitized transactions and on-demand pharmacy services.
  • The speed of technological disruption is accelerating. It took about 80 years for Americans to adopt the dishwasher. The consumer internet became commonplace in less than a decade.
  • Expect technology to also disrupt the way we work. Just as Americans moved from agriculture to services in the 1900s, employment types will again be in flux. This time, expect more on-demand and internet-related jobs to predominate.
  • Internet leaders like Google and Amazon will offer more artificial intelligence service platforms as AI becomes a bigger part of enterprise spending.
  • China is catching up as a hub to the world’s biggest internet companies. Currently, China is home to nine of the world’s 20 biggest internet companies by market cap while the U.S. has 11. Five years ago, China had two and the U.S. had nine.
  • Immigration remains important for U.S. tech companies. More than half of the most highly valued tech companies in the U.S. are founded by first- or second-generation immigrants. Uber, Tesla, WeWork and Wish all have first-generation founders.
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

By now you have probably shuffled through the 294 slides of "The Monolith" - For those who prefer to listen or read text, here is the raw material.

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British Tesla driver banned after caught in the passenger seat while Autopilot was engaged

British Tesla driver banned after caught in the passenger seat while Autopilot was engaged | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

A British driver has pled guilty to dangerous driving after a fellow driver took video of him sitting in the passenger seat, while his Tesla S 60 drove on its own with Autopilot, according to BBC News (via Jalopnik).

Bhavesh Patel was spotted by a fellow driver sitting in the passenger seat while his Autopilot was engaged on the M1 near Hemel Hempstead on May 21st, 2017. The Hertfordshire Police note that the car was set to drive at 40 MPH, and that Patel had left the steering wheel and controls unattended, and that there was heavy traffic on the road at the time of the incident.

Patel has pled guilty to the offense, and has been banned from driving for 18 months, and will be required to pay a £1,800 fine, carry out 10 days rehabilitation, and to perform 100 hours of community service. Hertfordshire Police officers testified at his court hearing that he said that what he did was “silly,” but pointed to his vehicle’s “amazing” features when he was interviewed. He reportedly had owned the car for five months at the time of the incident.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Such initially funny then scary stories will multiply as long as people do not seize what autonomy levels truly mean.

Reminder : level 1 = feet off; level 2 = hands off, level 3 = eyes off, level 4 = mind off, level 5 = driver off.

More and more Tesla drivers are at risk to overconfidently expect level 4 / 5 from what remains a level 3 car.

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How often do we touch our phones? Oh, only about 2,617 times a day.

How often do we touch our phones? Oh, only about 2,617 times a day. | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

We all know life hasn’t been the same since Apple launched the iPhone nearly ten years ago. That little screen is always nearby—in our pocket or backpack, on the nightstand or under the pillow—beckoning us.

Each of us feels the pull, and it’s hard to dimensionalize. How much are we really attached to our phones physically, cognitively… emotionally? As people nerds, the dscout research team exists to understand that pull.

When we first dug in, what we discovered was a dearth of good data. Pundits have long tossed about statistics for how often we use our phones, but pretty much everyone references the same 2013 Kleiner Perkins report citing 150 mobile sessions a day—and often that number, now three years old, is taken out of context.

We decided to dig for some data of our own. 

dscout’s web-based research platform pairs with a smartphone app to capture in-the-moment behaviors. For this study, we recruited a demographically diverse sample of 94 Android users from our pool of more than 100,000 participants. Then we built a supplementary smartphone tool to track every user’s interaction across 5 days, 24 hours a day.

And by every interaction, we mean every tap, type, swipe and click. We’re calling them touches.

Like a Greek tragedy, what we learned was simultaneously expected and astonishing—and a little bit sad. What follows are insights to help you better understand the intensity of the mobile life your users live, so your brand, products and strategies can become part of it.

 

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Pretty much everyone references the same 2013 Kleiner Perkins report citing 150 mobile sessions a day—and often that number, now 5 years old, is taken out of context. This fascinating and documented study takes a different approach.

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Microsoft gambles on a quantum leap in computing derived from a mysterious Italian physicist's hypothesis in the 1930's

Microsoft gambles on a quantum leap in computing derived from a mysterious Italian physicist's hypothesis in the 1930's | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

A team combining Microsoft researchers and Niels Bohr Institute academics is confident that it has found the key to creating a quantum computer.

If they are right, then Microsoft will leap to the front of a race that has a tremendous prize - the power to solve problems that are beyond conventional computers.

In the lab are a series of white cylinders, which are fridges, cooled almost to absolute zero as part of the process of creating a qubit, the building block of a quantum computer.

"This is colder than deep space, it may be the coldest place in the universe," Prof Charlie Marcus tells me.

The team he leads is working in collaboration with other labs in the Netherlands, Australia and the United States in Microsoft's quantum research programme.

Right now, they are behind in the race - the likes of Google, IBM and a Silicon Valley start-up called Rigetti have already shown they can build systems with as many as 50 qubits. Microsoft has yet to demonstrate - in public at least - that it can build one.

But these scientists are going down a different route from their rivals, trying to create qubits using a subatomic particle, whose existence was first suggested back in the 1930s by an Italian physicist Ettore Majorana.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Ettore Marjorana was a fascinating Italian physicist whose story could inspire a great movie ; it turns out he might also, 90 years after his hypothesis of a very special particle, bring a significant posthumous contribution to quantum computing...

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The world’s largest SSD clocks in at 100TB

The world’s largest SSD clocks in at 100TB | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

The world has a new record holder for the largest SSD, and it comes in at 100TB. The Nimbus Data ExaDrive DC100 is a new, massive drive that is currently being tested with select customers and will be available to purchase this summer.

 

The company says the DC100 will utilize 3D NAND flash memory, which can provide enough capacity to store 20,000 HD movies, or 20 million songs, (if people still downloaded music), and is capable of read and write speeds of 500MB/s. Nimbus Data is also fully guaranteeing the drive for five years without restriction, so if your likely very costly drive kicks the bucket during that period you can get it replaced.

 

As usual with these massive drives, they aren’t targeted at consumers, but they do give a glimpse into a near future that may allow us to never think about clearing up storage space on our computers.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Drowning by numbers. World's largest digital trash can has arrived  : who has 20 millions songs or 20.000 HD movies to stuff in ?

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Google's ​quantum computing breakthrough: Our new chip might soon outperform a supercomputer

Google's ​quantum computing breakthrough: Our new chip might soon outperform a supercomputer | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

New Bristlecone processor could deliver 'quantum supremacy' over traditional computing, researchers hope.

 

Google's Quantum AI Lab has shown off a new 72-qubit quantum processor called 'Bristlecone', which it says could soon achieve 'quantum supremacy' by outperforming a classical supercomputer on some problems.

Quantum supremacy is a key milestone on the journey towards quantum computing. The idea is that if a quantum processor can be operated with low enough error rates, it could outperform a classical supercomputer on a well-defined computer science problem.

Quantum computers are an area of huge interest because, if they can be built at a large enough scale, they could rapidly solve problems that cannot be handled by traditional computers. That's why the biggest names in tech are racing ahead with quantum computing projects: in January Intel announced its own 49-qubit quantum chip, for example.

 

"We are cautiously optimistic that quantum supremacy can be achieved with Bristlecone," said Julian Kelly, a research scientist at the Quantum AI Lab.

"We believe the experimental demonstration of a quantum processor outperforming a supercomputer would be a watershed moment for our field, and remains one of our key objectives," Kelly said -- although he did not offer a timescale for this achievement.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Quantum Computing is happening. Google claims 72-qubit processor, while Europe has a 10 years / €1Bn plan that recently delivered ... a 150 pages roadmap. Not sure which one is the most desirable.

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Palantir has secretly been using New Orleans to test its predictive policing technology

Palantir has secretly been using New Orleans to test its predictive policing technology | cross pond high tech | Scoop.it

In May and June 2013, when New Orleans’ murder rate was the sixth-highest in the United States, the Orleans Parish district attorney handed down two landmark racketeering indictments against dozens of men accused of membership in two violent Central City drug trafficking gangs, 3NG and the 110ers. Members of both gangs stood accused of committing 25 murders as well as several attempted killings and armed robberies.

Subsequent investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local agencies produced further RICO indictments, including that of a 22-year-old man named Evans “Easy” Lewis, a member of a gang called the 39ers who was accused of participating in a drug distribution ring and several murders.

 

 

According to Ronal Serpas, the department’s chief at the time, one of the tools used by the New Orleans Police Department to identify members of gangs like 3NG and the 39ers came from the Silicon Valley company Palantir. The company provided software to a secretive NOPD program that traced people’s ties to other gang members, outlined criminal histories, analyzed social media, and predicted the likelihood that individuals would commit violence or become a victim. As part of the discovery process in Lewis’ trial, the government turned over more than 60,000 pages of documents detailing evidence gathered against him from confidential informants, ballistics, and other sources — but they made no mention of the NOPD’s partnership with Palantir, according to a source familiar with the 39ers trial.

The program began in 2012 as a partnership between New Orleans Police and Palantir Technologies, a data-mining firm founded with seed money from the CIA’s venture capital firm. According to interviews and documents obtained by The Verge,the initiative was essentially a predictive policing program, similar to the “heat list” in Chicago that purports to predict which people are likely drivers or victims of violence.

The partnership has been extended three times, with the third extension scheduled to expire on February 21st, 2018. The city of New Orleans and Palantir have not responded to questions about the program’s current status.

Predictive policing technology has proven highly controversial wherever it is implemented, but in New Orleans, the program escaped public notice, partly because Palantir established it as a philanthropic relationship with the city through Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s signature NOLA For Life program. Thanks to its philanthropic status, as well as New Orleans’ “strong mayor” model of government, the agreement never passed through a public procurement process.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Minority Report : Palantir deployed a predictive policing system in New Orleans that even city council members don’t know about. How much of the "findings" gp back to the Mothership ?

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