Google is working on a countless number of projects, and I/O is, as always, an exciting time to see what’s happening at the tech giant. This year’s Google I/O keynote was much like their previous keynotes - lots of projects with a wide variety of impact.
While critics could complain that there was no big release during this keynote, not even Android P, I think the scattered approach to bring ML to literally everything Google makes is a big enough deal in itself. Google has been crunching data at godspeed with its custom Tensor Processing Units (TPUs). Today, they launched the v3 of their physical TPUs, which have some fancy liquid cooling for significant gains in performance. Google’s approach of adding AI to almost all applications, including Google Photos and Maps, is surely going to pay off - with millions of people already depending on it, it will save time and money.
All that said, my favourite part of this event is the new Google Assistant appointment booking feature.
When you ask Google Assistant to set an appointment with a business that doesn’t support online reservations, the Assistant will call the business and speak to a person in a real conversation. It sounds sci-fi, but the Assistant can actually converse beautifully. Take a look:
(The video below starts playing at 1:55:40 seconds)
The assistant handles this conversation just like a human. But what’s more impressive is the way it handles non-ideal situations:
(starts playing at 1:57:56)
Now, Pichai did confirm that this does not always work. Nonetheless, the potential is huge. Using TensorFlow to train a speech synthesizer - something that Google’s DeepMind has spent years on, WaveNet - with millions of phone calls is already a great start.
Google I/O had a few more interesting bits I would like to share. The company is also bringing AR to maps, to make directions better and having a “visual positioning system” VPS. They are also bringing huge improvements to Google Lens. See this really cool demo here:
(starts playing at 2:45:26)
And finally, on Android P, they are pushing hard on Digital Wellbeing - managing screen time and app usage, while handling annoying notifications better.
(starts playing at 2:31:05)
All in all, Google’s keynote this year was a fantastic peek into what’s coming in our lives. As a computer science student, it inspires me to deep-dive into machine learning and make something cool with frameworks like TensorFlow.
CES is the global technology festival that keeps me stoked every new year. This time is, like every edition of the show, full of cutting edge tech. This year, the focus seems to me on both IoT and driverless vehicles. There are some awesome outliers too, wrapping together a positive direction for every technology. The last two press days have already showcased a plethora of tech. This post captures some of that.
1. Ride in a publicly available driverless taxi with Lyft and Aptiv: Lyft and Aptiv collaborated to deliver a self-driving taxi experience to anyone attending CES this year. The BMW 5-series sedans are equipped with all the essential technology for fully autonomous driving. The Verge's Sean O'Kane reviews the experience in his post, and says that the future is here.
2. Intel puts AMD Radeon Vega graphics on its processor chips: Yes, you read that right. Intel and AMD are working together to deliver a powerful new processor, that combines the 8th Gen Intel Core i7 quad-core chipset to the AMD Radeon RX Vega M into a single board. The new processors would mark the beginning of Intel's H-series processors. Engadget has a cool article about this with performance numbers.
3. DJI's flight technology and Intel's processor powers the RYZE Tello toy drone: The RYZE Tello is probably the best $99 drone out there. It has a 5MP camera, support for live VR, and can even be programmed using the easy-to-use Scratch programming language. Best of all, it is powered by Intel's powerful 14-core processor and has DJI's flight tech - including collision detection and failsafe protection. The RYZE Tello will be sold on DJI's website here.
4. LG unveils a rollable 65" OLED TV: After accomplishing fitting a an OLED panel in the Wallpaper TV last year, LG is back at it again. This time, the display literally rolls into a box when you are not using it. It is still a 4K HDR panel, so do not expect seeing an 8K version anytime soon. However, there is another 8K TV released alongside this. Read about the rollable TV on Cnet.
5. Chinese startup Byton will sell an autonomous car in 2019 with a massive display: Byton is not the first company trying to dethrone Tesla in the electric semi-autonomous vehicle space, but it sure is the first to put such a massive display on a dashboard. The best part is that this car will be reasonably priced, at $45,000 for the base model. Wired's article summarizes the key aspects of this car. The Verge compiled a video of Byton's presentation in 10 minutes.
There is a lot more to cover from CES 2018, as the show-floor opens tomorrow. Looking forward to see some breakthrough tech in the coming days!
The Tesla Model 3 is more than just an electric car - it is a pivotal point in the history of cars. An affordable electric car that has some of the most advanced technologies, including Tesla’s ‘Autopilot’, was in the works for multiple years now, and tomorrow will be the day Tesla can officially show off their car.
Last week, Tesla completed production of its first Model 3. Tomorrow, it will be delivered to the first customers - employees of SpaceX and Tesla, who will be testing the car for bugs before shipping it to the public.
The Model 3 is essentially the final step in Elon Musk’s Master Plan in making the electric car for everyone a reality. However, this will be far from the last car we will see from Tesla. In the coming months, Tesla could reveal an electric pick-up as well as a full sized electric truck. With Musk’s ever-growing popularity and majorly positive reviews about Tesla, the company will hope to become a big player in the automobile market in the near future.
That said, you can watch tomorrow’s event live on Tesla’s website.
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