Lyft exec will head the Pentagon’s AI efforts

Craig Martell, Head of Machine Learning at Lyft, is set to head the Pentagon’s AI efforts.

Breaking Defense first broke the news after learning Martell was destined to be named as the Pentagon’s new chief digital and AI officer.

Martell has significant AI industry experience – leading efforts at not just Lyft but also Dropbox and LinkedIn – but has no experience navigating public-sector bureaucracy. The Pentagon is going to be very much “in at the deep-end”...

Democrats renew push for ‘algorithmic accountability’

Democrats have reintroduced their Algorithmic Accountability Act that seeks to hold tech firms accountable for bias in their algorithms.

The bill is an updated version of one first introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in 2019 but never passed the House or Senate. The updated bill was introduced this week by Wyden alongside Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY)

Concern about bias in algorithms is increasing as they become used for ever more...

FTC steps in to block Nvidia’s $40B acquisition of Arm

America’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has become the first regulator to sue to block Nvidia’s acquisition of British chip designer Arm.

Arm plays a critical role in the global technology supply chain with its designs used for edge AI chips and processors for smartphones, tablets, desktops, and servers.

It’s of little surprise that Nvidia wants to bring Arm under its wing and is willing to pay $40 billion (£29 billion) for it.

Global regulators,...

CEBR: Automation increases US/UK business revenues, boosts economic resilience

Research conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), in conjunction with SnapLogic, has found that automation is having a profound impact on the monthly revenues of UK businesses.

Within three months of investment in automation technologies, UK companies saw an average increase of five percent – or £14 billion – per month.

The impact on US businesses was even higher. Over the same three-month period, US companies witnessed an average...

Paravision boosts its computer vision and facial recognition capabilities

US-based Paravision has announced updates to boost its computer vision and facial recognition capabilities across mobile, on-premise, edge, and cloud deployments.

“From cloud to edge, Paravision’s goal is to help our partners develop and deploy transformative solutions around face recognition and computer vision,” said Joey Pritikin, Chief Product Officer at Paravision.

“With these sweeping updates to our product family, and with what has become possible in terms...

Hi Auto brings conversational AI to drive-thrus using Intel technology

Hi Auto is increasing the efficiency of drive-thrus with a conversational AI system powered by Intel technologies.

Drive-thru usage has rocketed over the past year with many indoor restaurants closed due to pandemic-induced restrictions. In fact, research suggests that drive-thru orders in the US alone increased by 22 percent in 2020.

Long queues at drive-thrus have therefore become part of the “new normal” and fast food is no longer the convenient alternative to...

White House launches AI website to provide official initiative updates

The White House has launched a website to provide official updates about the US government’s National AI Initiative.

On January 1, 2021, the National AI Initiative Act of 2020 (PDF) became law. The act mandates a coordinated effort across the federal government to accelerate the research, and adoption, of AI technologies.

The new AI.gov website provides a central resource for the public to learn how artificial intelligence is being used across the US to help tackle...

Google’s AI reservation service Duplex is now available in 49 states

Google has expanded its controversial AI reservation service Duplex to 49 states across the US.

Duplex will have to comply with privacy regulations which vary between states and – when it expands further outside the US – their national laws too.

Google says the rollout delay in the US was due to awaiting changes in legislation or the need to add features on a per-state basis. Some states, for example, require a call-back number.

The reservation service...

The White House is set to boost AI funding by 30 percent

A budget proposal from the White House would boost funding for AI by around 30 percent as the US aims to retain its technological supremacy.

Countries around the world are vastly increasing their budgets for AI, and with good reason. Just look at Gartner’s Hype Cycle released yesterday to see how important the technology is expected to be over the next decade.

Russian president Vladimir Putin famously said back in 2017 that the nation which leads in AI “will become...

DARPA’s AI-powered jet fight will be held virtually due to COVID-19

An upcoming event to display and test AI-powered jet fighters will now be held virtually due to COVID-19.

“We are still excited to see how the AI algorithms perform against each other as well as a Weapons School-trained human and hope that fighter pilots from across the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, as well as military leaders and members of the AI tech community will register and watch online,” said Col. Dan Javorsek, program manager in DARPA’s Strategic Technology...