September 26, 2016

Microsoft Bets Its Future on a Reprogrammable Computer Chip

Today, the programmable chips that Burger and Lu believed would transform the world—called field programmable gate arrays—are here. FPGAs already underpin Bing, and in the coming weeks, they will drive new search algorithms based on deep neural networks—artificial intelligence modeled on the structure of the human brain—executing this AI several orders of magnitude faster than ordinary chips could. As in, 23 milliseconds instead of four seconds of nothing on your screen. FPGAs also drive Azure, the company’s cloud computing service. And in the coming years, almost every new Microsoft server will include an FPGA. That’s millions of machines across the globe. “This gives us massive capacity and enormous flexibility, and the economics work,” Burger says. “This is now Microsoft’s standard, worldwide architecture.”

September 15, 2016

Paddle

Paddle (PArallel Distributed Deep LEarning) is an easy-to-use, efficient, flexible and scalable deep learning platform, which is originally developed by Baidu scientists and engineers for the purpose of applying deep learning to many products at Baidu.

September 11, 2016

Apple Is Said to Be Rethinking Strategy on Self-Driving Cars

In a retrenchment of one of its most ambitious initiatives, Apple has shuttered parts of its self-driving car project and laid off dozens of employees, according to three people briefed on the move who were not allowed to speak about it publicly.

The job cuts are the latest sign of trouble with Apple’s car initiative. The company has added resources to the project — code-named Titan — over the last two years, but it has struggled to make progress. And in July, the company brought in Bob Mansfield, a highly regarded Apple veteran, to take over the effort.

September 7, 2016
September 5, 2016

Year-long simulation of humans living on Mars comes to an end

When the HI-SEAS crew finally emerged today, a documentary film crew was on hand to capture the moment for posterity. The film-in-progress is called Red Heaven, and it’s the passion project of indie filmmakers Lauren DeFilippo and Katherine Gorringe. Their goal: to provide a “raw and intimate look into what life on Mars might really be like.”

September 4, 2016

The tiny bits of code that can wreck computers

In 2013, University of Cambridge researchers estimated that computer bugs cost the global economy $312bn (£241bn) every year. Even little bugs can be expensive – a misplaced line of code can render warships immobile, for example. How, exactly, is it possible for these miniscule bits of code to wreak such havoc?