Monthly Archives: October 2020

ELON MASK CALLED TESLA’S NEXT “KILLING PRODUCT”

Elon Musk said Tesla’s next “killer product” would be a solar roof for Solar Roof buildings.

“What do you want to see around in ten years? What products will make your life better? What future do you want? I think a future in which we will have good energy-generating roofs; they will be strong, elastic, and better than a normal roof in all respects, ”said the head of Tesla. Now Tesla is actively increasing the production and sales of solar roofs. According to statistics released by Musk, in the third quarter of 2020, the pace of implementation of Solar Roof has tripled compared to the same period last year. Tesla is also accelerating its recruitment to meet the demand for solar roofing and is preparing to enter the international market for the first time: sales of the Solar Roof will soon begin in Canada. It will be recalled that Tesla began work on this project in 2016. Solar Roof consists of a tile with built-in solar panels: they transfer the collected energy to the battery, which, in turn, supplies voltage to the inverter for conversion into alternating current. One of the main advantages of Solar Roof is the economy. A year ago, Elon Musk wrote in his Twitter that such technology will allow Americans to save up to $ 500 a year on utility bills. Besides, the solar roof is easy to install. The kit for the average house with  ​​approximately 185 square meters can be installed in just 8 hours, while the assembly of a conventional roof takes several days. Solar Roof also comes with a 25-year warranty.

To conclude, Tesla is continually expanding its range of environmentally friendly products that solve many people’s issues. This way, Tesla is also trying to occupy one of the leading markets in the world. Will they be able to do it? What do you think? It is not yet known when new technologies will come and will be available in Europe.

 

Resources:

https://twitter.com/elonmusk

https://electrek.co/2020/10/25/tesla-next-killer-product-solar-roof-elon-musk/

 

Go to bed with your phone!

Due to some issues we all know about, the daily usage of cellphones has increased. According to the survey conducted by Twirgby people spend now 37% more time texting and 32% having video calls in comparison with the previous year. On the one hand, we have already adapted to such a dramatic increase in screen time spend. On the other, people (students especially) suffer from spine ache, headache, vision loss, depressions, and insomnia. 

Luckily, many companies have implemented an adaptive color temperature feature called “night shift’ or “blue filter” in their gadgets. It is aimed at adjusting the temperature of the color displayed due to the time of day it is. The goal was to help people get ready for sleep. How does it work? The blue light is an extremely tricky thing. It may make your brain think that it is daytime, however, it might be a deep night. There are even some scientific evidence proving that blue light can affect your sleep-wake cycles

 

Since the Covid-19 pandemic and a significant increase in device usage are strongly correlated we may assume that “night shift” could be a vital feature, even more valuable than ever before. The principle of this tool is simple. It transforms all blue colors into softer ones (blue to yellow) and prevents your eyes from seeing it as well as your brain from being tricked. Apple devices use your location in order to determine when the sun is supposed to raise and when the sunset is supposed to be. Some other phones/tablets also use their light sensors for such purposes. Presummerly, users are to turn on this button while working with a laptop/tablet/cellphone before sleeping so that our brain can understand that it is time to go to bed. 

 

However, the study conducted recently reveals that blue color has the same impact on the mouse body as a yellow color. So scientists assumed that “night shift’ is a placebo that generates no effect. Although, we can not judge because there were no experiments carried out on humans. 

 

What is more, a startup called Loona has created an app allowing you to watch some relaxing animations and even participate in them in order to “get in the right mood to sleep”. This app helps users to cope with stress, pressure, and difficulty initiating and maintaining sleep at night. The app uses three science-based components: art activity, music, and storytelling. It is a kind of lullaby slowly swaying you in your bed. The secure atmosphere creates a situation where the user is no more able to counteract sleep

 

To sum up, I would like to say that I have always had a lot of interest around the fact that simple technology merged with human health can benefit to our body. And it is worth highlighting that the technology is really SIMPLE but extremely useful simultaneously. 

 

 

Sources:

Continue reading

Laptop, Tablet or Both?

We live in an age when it is impossible not to have a PC. It is needless to say that people who are connected to digital drawing, graphics or gaming have faced the problem of quite a difficult choice: to buy a tablet for sketching and graphics? to buy a gaming laptop? or just to buy a computer in order to use it for coding, working and studying? And how not to go bankrupt on the one hand but fulfil your ambitions on the other one?

This year Asus has come up with the solution and presented Asus ZenBook Flip 14.

Firstly, the sleek four-sided NanoEdge design makes ZenBook extra slim and compact, with an amazing 90% screen-to-body ratio. Its Core™i7 processor (10th Gen Intel® CPU), up to 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, Windows 10 Pro and gaming-grade graphics (discrete graphics chip supercharges your laptop for work or play) give you effortless performance for on-the-go productivity and visual creativity.

Secondly, the 360° ErgoLift hinge. This innovation also lifts and tilts the keyboard into a comfortable typing position when the display is opened beyond 135°. Otherwise, you turn the display on 360° and, in a moment, you have a tablet in your arms. Now, all you need for sketching or graphics is taking a stylus and a couple of free hours. For this reason, the laptop has the touch display and a perfect fixation of the display thanks to well-made hinges.

Thirdly, the new ScreenPad 2.0 upgrades the traditional laptop experience, adding an interactive secondary touchscreen. Its intuitive smartphone-like interface lets you easily manage tasks and create your own seamless multitasking workflow. There are useful quick controls that improve the interactions between the main display and ScreenPad: for instance, you can now launch a video or chat box — or many other apps — onto ScreenPad to take advantage of the extra space wherever you are, and without interrupting your work on the main display.

Taking everything into account, Asus has not presented an outstanding nor unusual design of their laptop. They have not added a fantastic camera, have not invented something new instead of facial log in. Nevertheless, this laptop charms customers and it is almost impossible to find something more universal than ZenBook Flip 14 nowadays.

 

Sources:

https://www.asus.com/Laptops/For-Home/ZenBook/ZenBook-Flip-14-UX463

 

 

 

AI in the Education System

AI in the Education System

Nowadays technology and education go hand in hand. The usage of such simple tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and many others have been crucial for delivering knowledge in the current times. Even though some educational institutions are still figuring out how to work with it, we would be lost without all the new and amazing technology available today.

It is great to see that companies like Microsoft are working hard on improving AI for educational institutions. Students will benefit from this technology by using it on a daily basis and it will maximize their preparedness for the future. Also, teachers could be relieved from some of the tedious tasks that are time consuming and give more attention to their students.  Overall, there are some innovative ideas on how to use AI to improve schooling.

https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/03/04/905535/unleashing-the-power-of-ai-for-education/

But there is one important issue that all these great companies should pay more attention to: the increasing educational gap in the education system. While some are moving forward at an incredible pace, others are being left far behind.


We all know the importance of going to a good school and getting a good diploma to get a well-paid job.  For those of us who are fortunate enough to attend great schools, life will be much easier overall. But there is a great number of pupils who do not have this privilege. There have been numerous studies on how COVID has impacted the educational system. The low-income families and economically weak countries are among the victims that are struggling the most.

 

How can we use AI to narrow the gap between educational institutions and put everybody on equal footing?

Considering the vast amount of knowledge and finances that the big tech companies possess, I wonder if they could get more involved in the matter. It is likely that this wouldn’t be a top priority for any of them. But I think it is worth keeping in mind that poor education can be a devastating blow not only for the global economy but also the global community.

Now, I am not implying the progress should stop. On the contrary “full speed ahead”, give us more flexibility while studying online and for when we return to the classrooms. I just hope that the significant number of less fortunate will not be left behind.

Down below I have attached two links on the situation in UK and USA. But keep in mind that this is an issue for many other countries.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/us/coronavirus-education-lost-learning.html

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/sep/01/disadvantaged-and-bame-pupils-lost-more-learning-study-finds

 

 

Tagged

DRONE PROTECTION SYSTEM

Over past years, drones evolved from an underdeveloped dream to highly advanced tool that is widely available. As a result, many companies thought of different ways to implement drones to their businesses. The new idea brought by Amazon or UPS is being able to deliver goods using drone technology. Undoubtedly, this project seems to be a huge step forward of delivery service. Nonetheless, Nirupam Roy and Nakul Garg, a pair of engineers at the University of Maryland, are afraid that drone deliveries will be frequent target of vandalism. As we know, a well-aimed stone or tennis ball can easily take a drone down. Therefore, the men decided to build a lightweight self-defence mechanism which lets a drone get out of the way of missile.

Dr Roy and Mr Garg think that they can replace power-hungry radar antennae or spinning lidar units by harnesses sound waves and the Doppler effect. The pair plan to equip drones with diminutive loudspeakers which would broadcast an ultrasonic tone outward from the drone. Also, those tiny microphones would listen for reflection for incoming objects. All those actions would give a chance to recognise the incoming threat and thus permit the drone to get out of its way.

Dr Roy and Mr Garg called their new invention DopplerDodge drone defence system. To test it, they have been throwing objects of various sizes at it and found out that system detects objects from distances of up to four metres away. However, the two researchers will attempt to raise the detection range to 30 meters, what will make drones impossible to hit by any irritated neighbour.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2020/02/27/as-delivery-drones-multiply-they-may-need-to-protect-themselves

 

 

Tagged , , ,

Data science usage in managing water sources – water analytics software Ketos

Ketos provides industrial and agricultural enterprises, commercial businesses, and institutions with a patented sensors and machine-learning analytics platform.

The world faces many ecological problems  – lack of water and its contamination among them. Today, over 2.5 billion people don’t have access to clean water, and 5 million die annually due to water-borne diseases in developing countries.

Ketos offers monitoring of quality and logistic of water using original hardware and unmanned software. Its technology allows to manage risks, predict safety hazards and other issues, create water management network and save water and money resources. The actionable data necessary to measure and manage water usage, consumption metrics and pollution levels is now available without manual intervention.

Company’s  goal is to improve healthcare on global scale by providing accessible solution. This aspiration finds support in modern health-conscious world. Big investors from Citi Bank and Silicon Valley Bank recently came as new backers into Ketos, already subsided by Ajax Strategies, Better Ventures and some others. Discovery of outbreaks of covid-19 virus in wastewater streams with Ketos technologies caused new wave of attention to project.

Usage of data science technologies to control and analyse distribution and quality of water is a big step forward to taking control over nonrenewable resources consumption. if broaden the application of this kind of technologies to worldwide extent, it can come a possible modern solution to ecological  problems of planet.

Sources:

https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/26/water-quality-and-distribution-monitoring-software-ketos-raises-18-million/?tpcc=ECTW2020

https://ketos.co

Ketos Inc

Tagged , ,

Image creator program GauGAN

WHAT IT IS
Created by NVIDIA Research GauGAN project is a program which allows you to turn simple paintings into photorealistic pictures using AI technology.

HOW IT WORKS
GauGAN gives you blank space to draw on, where each brush type is labeled with different type of environment like sand, grass, sky, ocean. Option of changing daytime is also available. Then AI converts the sketch filling into desired elements basing on online pictures database. Using GANs technology program creates credible outcome. In the process two neural networks are used where one is called generator and the latter one discriminator. Generator creates image that later is corrected by discriminator in terms of authenticity.

GANs SYSTEM
Gaugan is using GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks). These are neural networks that cooperate in the process of deep learning, by competing with eachother. E.g one is creating a fake cat picture, while the other one determines whether it is real or fake. This eliminates the need for human to correct the AI and automatizes the process. This way human effort in advancing neural networks is minimized.

USE IN WORLD
In the future the application can help proffesions which require creating world representations like architects, urban planners or game developers. It would allow them to preview the outcome of their work with minimal effort and prevent from committing to bad ideas.

INSIGHTS
Current state of the project may be impressive but its very restrictive. The fact that you are allowed to use only certain labels which resemble specific parts of environment is disappointing and prevents from exploiting maximum potential of creativity. The most obvious way of solving that problem would be adding more labels but connecting elements from various types of environments could corrupt the final landscape. E.g covering a desert with a snow or placing a star on the dirt background would distort the picture, because AI would have no data to refer to. Project’s advancement is dependent purely on describing parts of the world with new algorithms and putting them to the GANs test.

 

EXAMPLES – Here are some masterpieces I’ve created.

REALISTIC EXAMPLE – easy to make, low chance of corruption

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABSTRACT EXAMPLE – harder to make, high chance of corruption

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CORRUPTED EXAMPLE – elements added to habitat in which they not occure will distort the picture. Here is a house in the middle of the ocean with a bridge connected to a pile of mud above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are few breathtaking possible outcomes.

 

 

SOURCES

My sketch using NVIDIA’s GauGAN – using machine learning to turn doodles into realistic landscapes from MediaSynthesis

https://www.artstation.com/nicodemus/blog/O8Q4/nvidia-gaugan-fun

https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2017/05/17/generative-adversarial-networks/

AI learns to generate images from text and begins to better understand our world

 

OpenAI, co-founded by Elon Musk, has created the world’s most stunning AI model to date. GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3) without any special prompts, can compose poems, short stories and songs, making one think that these are the work of a real person. But eloquence is just a gimmick, not to be confused with a human understanding of the environment. But what if the same technologies were trained simultaneously on text and images?

Researchers from the Paul Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence have created a special, visual-linguistic model. It works with text and images and can generate pictures from text. The pictures look disturbing and strange, not at all like the hyperrealistic “deepfakes” created by generative adversarial networks (GANs). However, this capability has long been an important missing piece.

The aim of the study was to reveal whether neural networks can understand the visual world as humans.  For example a child who has learned a word for an object can not only name it, but also draw the object according to the hint, even if the object itself is absent from his point of view. So the AI2 project team suggested the models do the same: generate images from captions.

The final images created by the model are not entirely realistic upon close inspection. But it is not important. They contain the correct high-level visual concepts. AI simply draws the way a person who cannot draw would draw on paper.

This makes sense: converting text to an image is more difficult than doing the opposite.

“A caption doesn’t specify everything contained in an image,” says Ani Kembhavi, AI2’s computer vision team leader.

Creating an image from text is simply a transformation from smaller to larger. And it’s hard enough for the human mind, apart from programs.  If a model is asked to draw a “giraffe walking along a road,” then it needs to conclude that the road will be gray rather than bright pink, and will pass next to a field rather than the sea. Although all this is not obvious to AI.

Sample images generated by the AI2 model from captions. Source: AI2

This stage of the research shows that neural networks are capable of creating abstractions – a fundamental skill for understanding our world.

In the future, this technology will allow robots to see our world as well as humans, which will open up a huge scope of possibilities. The better the robot understands the environment and uses language to communicate, the more complex tasks it will be able to perform. In the current perspective, programmers can better understand the aspects of machine learning

“Image generation has really been a missing puzzle piece, By enabling this, we can make the model learn better representations to represent the world.”

Sources:

https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/07/20/1005454/openai-machine-learning-language-generator-gpt-3-nlp/

https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/09/25/1008921/ai-allen-institute-generates-images-from-captions/

https://habr.com/en/company/madrobots/blog/522750/

Tagged , , ,

AI and COVID-19

Correctly diagnosing diseases takes years of medical training. Even then, diagnostics is often time and money consuming process. This puts doctors under strain and often delays life-saving patient diagnostics. In this worldwide health crisis, the medical industry is looking for new technologies to monitor and controls the spread of COVID-19. And on of technologies that can solve that issues finding the proper treatment, is Artificial Intelligence. For instance, tracking the spreading of disease, choosing the proper treatment .

 

Benefits of AI:

  1. Early detection and diagnosis of the infection. AI can quickly analyze irregular symptom and other ‘red flags’ and thus alarm the patients and the healthcare authorities
  2. Monitoring the treatment. AI can build an intelligent platform for automatic monitoring and prediction of the spread of this virus.
  3. Projection of cases and mortality. This technology can track and forecast the nature of the virus from the available data. Further, it can predict the number of positive cases and death in any region.
  4. Development of drugs and vaccines. Many of the analytical processes involved in drug development can be made more efficient with Machine Learning. This has the potential to shave off years of work and hundreds of millions in investments. What leads to faster and more efficient production of drugs.
  5. Reducing the workload of healthcare workers. It helps in early diagnosis and providing treatment at an early stage using digital approaches and decision science, offers the best training to students and doctors regarding this new disease. Furthermore, when AI lowers monotone workload of medical workers, they can provide more efficient treatment, based on individual approach.

AI machine learning models and algorithms can identify potential drug leads currently unknown in medical science and far faster than humans. While such systems will never replace scientists and clinicians, they can save both time and money.

The ability of machines to solve complex biological puzzles more rapidly than human experts has prompted increased investment in AI drug discovery by a growing number of large pharmaceutical companies.

To sum it all up, AI can significantly improve treatment consistency and decision making by developing useful algorithms.

 

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/08/ai-artificial-intelligence-emerging-disease-treatment-covid-19-therapeutics-benevolentai-cures/

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landig/article/PIIS2589-7500(20)30192-8/fulltext#seccestitle120

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871402120300771

 

Factory 56 — the future of cars manufacturing

Even in a difficult economic situation Mercedes-Benz continues to improve its manufacturing process and tries to set a higher bar in the car industry. Another proof of that is the opening of a new Mercedes-Benz’s factory named Factory 56 in the German city Sindelfingen. The company itself calls this factory “Flexible, digital, efficient and sustainable.” Factory 56 was opened at the beginning of September on a ground area corresponding to 30 soccer pitches. It took 2.5 years to finish the project. According to the company’s web-site, Mercedes-Benz is planning to invest about 2.1 billion euros at Factory 56.

But what makes this plant the future of car manufacturing?

Flexibility. At one factory’s assembly line is possible to assemble cars with different body types. The production can adapt to current demand on the market and allows to easily restructure process of assembling to switch from sedan to SUV, for instance.
Digitalization. The plant has no conventional assembly line. A car is manufactured on a remote platform, which allows a car to stay in one place most of the time when all required parts are being transported by remote carts connected to one intellectual network. The digital ecosystem is built on a powerful WLAN and 5G network, which allows workers to supervise all systems automatically. From the monitoring of parts in stock to the system of electronic workflow, which would save 10 tons of paper every year.
Environmental friendliness. Factory 56 became fully carbon-neutral with zero CO2 emissions and significantly low energy consumption. The plant was built using recycled concrete. 40% of the factory’s roof is covered with plants and trees, the roof is also filled with solar panels, which is a sign that Mercedes-Benz does care about the environment. 
Working conditions. More than 1500 employees are working at the factory in two shifts. While organizing the working space, Mercedes-Benz took into account employees’ preferences. For example, via an online survey, they were asked about personal opinions, preferable shifts to work, suggestions, and even people they want to work together with. More than 85% of the suggestions were successfully granted.

At Factory 56 Mercedes-Benz is manufacturing the new S-class W223 and EQS as start models to launch the site. It’s extremely crucial that the company approached this project with responsibility, taking care of the environment.

I would say it should be an example for major companies that it’s possible to remain eco-friendly and efficient at the same time. And, of course, technologies. This is really astonishing to see real technological development, not the one Apple calls “revolution” each year. This is a huge step towards efficiency. For me, it’s really boldly for a company with a reputation and history to do this. It’s clear to see their struggles on this occasion, let alone the new S-class. Mercedes-Benz proved that even investing an enormous amount of money to implement modern technologies is worth it when it comes to technologies.

Sources:

https://media.mercedes-benz.com/article/4a87e260-766b-4d92-935b-a844709da9d0 

https://media.mercedes-benz.com/article/9466d64c-1a10-4d47-a491-b52a54d2f128 

 

Tagged , , ,