Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘alphabet’ Category

Lidar on the Radar

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Happy Humpday.

The lidar business is growing, suggests a recent Bloomberg story.

That’s because Alphabet’s self-driving car unit, Waymo, is getting into the sensor business and will start selling laser-mapping sensors on its driverless vehicles to other companies (as long as they don’t compete with its robotaxi business). 

What is lidar? Basically, a device that shoots lasers off of object to determine what’s near by.

So, as Bloomberg explain, the tech could be utilized in next gen warehouse robots, security systems, autonomous tractors (and other farming implications)…This is not your daddy’s Future Farmers of America.

This move puts Waymo in competition with the world’s larger lidar producer, Veloydyne Lidar Inc., but Bloomberg suggests the lead here is that this will give Waymor scale, meaning more production and volume, the lower the cost of its sensor suite, the more customers that can be lured to using the technology.

FYI, lidar is expected to be a $1B+ market this this year. 

Still, I advise looking both ways before crossing the road.

Written by turbotodd

March 6, 2019 at 11:19 am

Google’s New Machine for Learning

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The Verge is reporting that Google has introduced a new artificial intelligence/machine learning training website for anyone looking to learn about machine learning concepts, and develop and hone their machine learning skills.

According to the report, the site also features a free course called “Machine Learning Crash Course,” one based off an internal Google course that was originally designed to give the company’s employees a practical introduction to AI and machine learning fundamentals.

The course lasts roughly 15 hours, and includes interactive lessons, lectures from Google researchers, and over 40 exercises. The Verge reports that it is designed for newcomers with no machine learning  experience.

Written by turbotodd

March 1, 2018 at 9:11 am


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Google’s DeepMind subsidiary which focuses on artificial intelligence has unveiled a new and improved version of its Go-playing software, AlphaGo Zero, according to a report from The Verge.

The story claims that the new version of the program is a “significantly better player than the version that beat the game’s world champion earlier this year.”

But more notably, it asserts the new version is entirely self-taught.

The Verge explains the original AlphaGo demonstrated superhuman Go-playing ability, but needed assistance from humans to win, building on a dataset of more than 100,000 Go games as a starting point.

The new version has only been programmed with the basic rules of Go, while everything else it learned from scratch.

A paper published in Nature outlines how Zero developed its Go skills by competing against itself. Starting with random moves on the board, every time it won, Zero updated its own system and played itself over and over, millions of time, “learning” as it went.

The Verge reports it took AlphaGo Zero only three days of self-play to become strong enough to defeat the version of itself that beat 18-time world champion Lee Se-dol, winning 100 days to nil.

Lead programmer David Silver had this to say at a recent press conference about the advance:

By not using human data — by not using human expertise in any fashion — we’ve actually removed the constraints of human knowledge. It’s therefore able to create knowledge itself from first principles, from a blank slate…This enables it to be much more powerful than previous versions.


Elon Musk had better speed up development of that Mars program.

Written by turbotodd

October 19, 2017 at 8:13 am

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