Category: AI

May 14, 2019 Off

TC Sessions: Mobility announces its July 10 agenda

By Jill T Frey

TechCrunch Sessions is heading to San Jose on July 10 and we’re thrilled to announce our jam-packed agenda, overflowing with some of the biggest names and most exciting startups in the transportation industry. With Early-Bird ticket sales ending soon, you’ll want to be sure to grab your tickets after checking out this agenda.

Throughout the day, you can expect to hear from and partake in discussions about the future of transportation, the promise and problems of autonomous vehicles, the potential for bikes and scooters, investing in early-stage startups and more.

We’ll be joined by some of the most esteemed and prescient people in the space, including Dmitri Dolgov at Waymo, Argo AI Chief Safety Officer Summer Craze Fowler, Nuro co-founder Dave Ferguson, Karl Iagnemma of Aptiv, Seleta Reynolds of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Ford Motor CTO Ken Washington.

We’ll also spend time discussing … Read the rest

May 8, 2019 Off

Iguazio brings its data science platform to Azure and Azure Stack

By Jill T Frey

Iguazio, an end-to-end platform that allows data scientists to take machine learning models from data ingestion to training, testing and production, today announced that it is bringing its solution to Microsoft’s Azure cloud and Azure Stack on-premises platform.

The 80-person company, which has received a total of $48 million in funding to date, aims to make it easier for data scientists to do the work they are actually paid to do. The company argues that a lot of the work that data scientists do today is about managing the infrastructure and handling integrations, not building the machine learning models.

“We see that machine learning pipelines are way more complex than people think,” Iguazio CEO Asaf Somekh told me. “People think this is good stuff, but it’s actually horrible. We’re trying to simplify that.”

To do this, Iguazio is betting on open source. It uses standard tools and API to … Read the rest

May 6, 2019 Off

Word’s new AI editor will improve your writing

By Jill T Frey

If you write in Microsoft Word Online, you’ll soon have an AI-powered editor at your side. As the company announced today, Word will soon get a new feature called “Ideas” that will offer writers all kinds of help with their documents.

If writing is a struggle for you, the most important feature of Ideas is surely its ability to help you write more concise and readable text. You can think of this as a grammar checker on steroids, as it goes beyond fixing obvious mistakes and focuses on making your writing better. It uses machine learning, for example, to suggest a rewrite when you mangled a complex phrase. Ideas will also help you write more inclusive texts.

The cloud-based tool will also give you information about the estimated reading times and decode acronyms for you, based on data it has about your company in the Microsoft Graph.

Ideas … Read the rest

May 1, 2019 Off

Facebook updates PyTorch with a focus on production use

By Jill T Frey

During last year’s F8 developer conference, Facebook announced the 1.0 launch of PyTorch, the company’s open-source deep learning platform. At this year’s F8, the company launched version 1.1. The small increase in version numbers belies the importance of this release, which focuses on making the tool more appropriate for production usage, including improvements to how the tool handles distributed training.

“What we’re seeing with PyTorch is an incredible moment internally at Facebook to ship it and then an echo of that externally with large companies,” Joe Spisak, Facebook AI’s product manager for PyTorch, told me. “Make no mistake, we’re not trying to monetize PyTorch […] but we want to see PyTorch have a community. And that community is starting to shift from a very research-centric community — and that continues to grow fast — into the production world.”

So with this release, the team and the more than 1,000 … Read the rest

May 1, 2019 Off

Facebook open-sources Ax and BoTorch to simplify AI model optimization

By Jill T Frey

At its F8 developer conference, Facebook today launched Ax and BoTorch, two new open-source AI tools.

BoTorch, which, as the name implies, is based on PyTorch, is a library for Bayesian optimization. That’s a pretty specialized tool. Ax, on the other hand, is the more interesting launch, as it’s a general-purpose platform for managing, deploying and automating AI experiments. Both tools, though, are part of the same overall work at Facebook, which focuses on what the company calls “adaptive experimentation.” Indeed, Ax interfaces with BoTorch and, internally, Facebook has used the two tools for tasks that vary from optimizing Instagram’s back-end infrastructure to improving the response rates of user surveys.

At its core, BoTorch — and Bayesian optimization in general — is all about making model optimizing easier and faster for data scientists to get to a production-ready model. Typically, this involves a lot of trial and error and … Read the rest