IBM Brings 8-Bit AI Training to Hardware

At ISSCC, IBM Research presented a test chip which represents the hardware manifestation of its years of work on low-precision AI training and inference algorithms. The 7nm chip supports 16-bit and 8-bit training, as well as 4-bit and 2-bit inference (32-bit or 16-bit training and 8-bit inference are the industry standard today).
Reducing precision can slash the amount of compute

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Aurora Buys Chip Startup To Cut Laser Lidar Costs For Robot Cars And Trucks

The self-driving tech developer is acquiring Silicon Valley startup OURS Technology to integrate its lidar sensor into a single chip.

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Santa Monica is testing the first zero-emissions delivery zone

Deliveries have skyrocketed during the pandemic. This California city wants to nudge companies to make sure they’re happening in nonpolluting vehicles.
When someone in downtown Santa Monica now gets a delivery, there’s a good chance that it will now show up on an electric delivery truck—or an electric scooter, or a battery-powered robot, or an electric cargo bike. The city

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AI promises to make life easier. But it could also change what it means to be human

By eliminating choice and chance, AI could make life comfortable—and utterly predictable.
The history of humans’ use of technology has always been a history of coevolution. Philosophers from Rousseau to Heidegger to Carl Schmitt have argued that technology is never a neutral tool for achieving human ends. Technological innovations—from the most rudimentary to the most sophisticated—reshape people as they use

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What is an “algorithm”? It depends whom you ask

Describing a decision-making system as an “algorithm” is often a way to deflect accountability for human decisions. For many, the term implies a set of rules based objectively on empirical evidence or data. It also suggests a system that is highly complex—perhaps so complex that a human would struggle to understand its inner workings or anticipate its behavior when deployed.

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An AI is training counselors to deal with teens in crisis

Counselors volunteering at the Trevor Project need to be prepared for their first conversation with an LGBTQ teen who may be thinking about suicide. So first, they practice. One of the ways they do it is by talking to fictional personas like “Riley,” a 16-year-old from North Carolina who is feeling a bit down and depressed. With a team member

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NASA backs concepts for deep-drilling Mars rover and interstellar-object probe

An illustration shows the deployment of an autonomous borebot into a layered deposit on Mars. The inset shows a closeup of the borebot drive system. (Planet Enterprises Illustration / James Vaughan)
The latest crop of NASA-backed concepts for far-out space exploration includes “borebots” that could drill as far as a mile beneath the Martian surface in search of liquid water,

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Hulu’s animated MODOK series looks like Robot Chicken meets Marvel

Hulu has released the first trailer for MODOK, its upcoming animated show that will see Patton Oswalt voice the titular Marvel villain in a more light-hearted, Robot Chicken-style take on the franchise’s usual portentous superhero dramas. The show also got a release date: it’ll debut on May 21st on the streaming service.
MODOK (Mental Organism Designed Only

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