Tech Friday (13 – 19 Nov 2020)

Weekly Tech News related to Deep Learning in “Internet of Things”, Amazon Sued for Racial Discrimination, Transmitting Data Up To 100x Faster, Qualcomm Selling 4G Chips to Huawei, Common Sense in AI, Robots’ Performance in Unknown Areas, Upgraded Radar for Self-Driving Cars, AI-Powered Nightmare Generator, Light-Powered Smarter AI, Pathway to Solve Cybersickness, Printed Solid-State Batteries, Deep Learning for Robots to Grasp

Note: I do not write/own any of the tech news bits (and cover picture) given here. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. The content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.


1. System Brings Deep Learning To “Internet of Things” Devices

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

13 Nov 2020

Researchers have developed a system that could bring deep learning neural networks to new — and much smaller — places, like the tiny computer chips in wearable medical devices, household appliances, and the 250 billion other objects that constitute the “internet of things” (IoT).

Original written by: Daniel Ackerman


2. An Amazon Warehouse Organizer Is Suing the Company for Racial Discrimination

Source: The Verge

13 Nov 2020

A former Amazon employee is suing the company for discriminating against Black and Hispanic warehouse workers in its response to the ongoing pandemic. Christian Smalls worked at an Amazon fulfillment center in Staten Island and says Amazon failed to provide him and his team with adequate protective equipment in the early months of the coronavirus outbreak.

Original written by: Russell Brandom


3. New Fiber Optic Sensors Transmit Data Up To 100 Times Faster

Source: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

13 Nov 2020

Fiber optic sensors – used in critical applications like detecting fires in tunnels, pinpointing leaks in pipelines, and predicting landslides – are about to get even faster and more accurate. Engineers have developed an advanced encoding and decoding system that allows fiber optic sensors to send data up to 100 times faster and over a wider area.


4. US Gives Qualcomm Approval to Sell 4G Chips to Huawei Despite Sanctions

Source: The Verge

14 Nov 2020

Qualcomm has received permission from the US to sell 4G mobile chips to Huawei, an exemption to the Trump administration’s ban on doing business with the Chinese company, Reuters reported. Qualcomm didn’t specify which products it’s allowed to sell to Huawei but told Reuters they were related to mobile devices.

Original written by: Kim Lyons


5. New Test Reveals AI Still Lacks Common Sense

Source: University of Southern California

16 Nov 2020

Natural language processing (NLP) has taken great strides recently—but how much does AI understand of what it reads? Less than we thought, according to researchers. In a recent paper, researchers found that despite advances, AI still doesn’t have the common sense needed to generate plausible sentences.

Original written by: Caitlin Dawson


6. Machine Learning Guarantees Robots’ Performance in Unknown Territory

Source: Princeton University, Engineering School

17 Nov 2020

Researchers tested a new machine learning approach. Experiments included programming a small drone called a Parrot Swing to avoid obstacles while flying down a 60-foot-long corridor. This experiment is a proving ground for a pivotal challenge in modern robotics: the ability to guarantee the safety and success of automated robots operating in novel environments.

Original written by: Molly Sharlach


7. Upgraded Radar Can Enable Self-Driving Cars to See Clearly No Matter the Weather

Source: University of California – San Diego

17 Nov 2020

A new kind of radar could make it possible for self-driving cars to navigate safely in bad weather. Engineers developed a clever way to improve the imaging capability of existing radar sensors so that they accurately predict the shape and size of objects in the scene. The system worked well when tested at night and in foggy conditions.


8. Google Has Created An AI-Powered Nightmare Creature Generator

Source: Tech Crunch

18 Nov 2020

Google has taken the wraps off Chimera Painter, a web-based tool that lets anyone generate terrifying cryptozoological entities in an interface that looks like MS Paint. The team was looking at ways to accelerate the creation of art for games. They decided to build an entire fantasy digital card game where players combine animals and make them fight.

Original written by: Devin Coldewey


9. New Electronic Chip Delivers Smarter, Light-Powered AI

Source: RMIT University

18 Nov 2020

Researchers have developed artificial intelligence technology that brings together imaging, processing, machine learning, and memory in one electronic chip, powered by light. The prototype shrinks artificial intelligence technology by imitating the way that the human brain processes visual information.


10. Researcher Aids in the Development of a Pathway to Solve Cybersickness

Source: New York University

18 Nov 2020

When using VR or AR technologies such as head-worn displays, users frequently report symptoms of nausea, disorientation, and sleepiness. This is more commonly referred to as cybersickness. A team of researchers has evaluated the state of research on cybersickness and formulated a research and development agenda to eliminate cybersickness, allowing for broader adoption of immersive technologies.


11. Printed Solid-State Batteries

Source: University of Maryland

18 Nov 2020

A research team recently developed a new method of printing and sintering a variety of solid-state electrolyte (SSE) thin films. The team named this method ‘printing and radiative heating’ (PRH), which features a solution-based printable technique followed by rapid sintering.


12. Deep Learning Helps Robots Grasp and Move Objects with Ease

Source: University of California – Berkeley 18 Nov 2020
Researchers have created new artificial intelligence software that gives robots the speed and skill to grasp and smoothly move objects, making it feasible for them to soon assist humans in warehouse environments. By combining the neural network with the motion planner, the team cut the average computation time from 29 seconds to 80 milliseconds.

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