Emergent Tech

Artificial Intelligence

Google ramping up AI in China, Nvidia's Titan V, Intel's hip-hop misstep

And more in your machine-learning news summary

By Katyanna Quach


Roundup Here's your quick guide to news in the AI world beyond what we've covered this week.

There were some announcements from China, and a few from the industry parties at the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), the largest academic AI conference, held last week in LA, California.

Google AI China Center – Google announced the opening of a new AI research hub in Beijing, its first center in Asia. Fei-Fei Li, a renowned computer vision researcher at Stanford University and chief scientist of AI and machine learning at Google Cloud, introduced this on stage during the Google Developer Days event in Shanghai.

China is serious about leading in AI and the government released its “New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan” detailing the importance of the emergent technology to its future.

Many Chinese researchers have won international machine learning competitions, like the ImageNet challenge - Fei-Fei Li’s best known project - and have papers accepted in prestigious academic conferences.

The rise of AI in America and China is often portrayed as an arms race, raising concern in the community. It’ll be interesting to see the competition heat up between Google and other Chinese companies like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent in China.

Google’s AI China Center will focus on “basic AI research”. It has apparently hired some top experts already, and will be led by Jia Li, head of research and development at Google Cloud AI and Fei-Fei Li.

“Besides publishing its own work, the Google AI China Center will also support the AI research community by funding and sponsoring AI conferences and workshops, and working closely with the vibrant Chinese AI research community. The science of AI has no borders, neither do its benefits,” Li said.

China’s new AI strategy – Speaking of China and AI, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published its latest plan to accelerate the development of AI from 2018 to 2020.

It highlights a few key areas, including: AI hardware such as neural network chips, smart robots, medical imaging, facial identification for videos (cough, cough, AKA mass surveillance), translation, drones, and manufacturing.

New Nvidia GPU – Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang launched Titan V, a GPU designed to be used together with your PC as a mini-machine learning workstation, during the private Nvidia party at the NIPS conference last week. It costs $2,999 and is based on the Volta V100 architecture but with less memory. Like the Volta, it contains 21 billion transistors, 640 Tensor cores, 5,120 CUDA cores, but has 12 GB HBM2 instead of 16 GB HMB2 and 652.8 GB/s total memory bandwidth instead of 900 GB/s.

The Titan V is for data scientists and machine learning researchers that need to crunch through large datasets and not really for gamers.

Intel waves its NNP chip around – Naveen Rao, who leads Intel’s AI products team waved its neural network processing (NNP) chip on stage during a party at NIPS.

But that’s pretty much all he did. Intel continue to insist on the power and speed of its NNP, but haven’t released any concrete hardware specs yet. There isn’t much to say here, but some other interesting points in the party include a performance by American rapper Flo Rida who reportedly asked the crowd: “Where my Intel ladies at?” and told them to "get down".

The Register are unsure how many ladies stepped forward, but partygoers did tell us that the bash was pretty tame and fun. Some people thought the booking of the dancers was inappropriate, but they told us that it was probably less to do with sexism in AI and more to do with sexism in hip hop culture. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily


More from The Register

Like the Architect in the Matrix... but not: Nvidia trains neural network to generate cityscapes

GPU biz also open sources PhysX and teases beefy graphics card

Nvidia just can't grab a break. Revenues up, profit nearly doubles... and stock down 20%

Ongoing Bitcoin woes left the channel holding all the cards, and that's not a good thing

Nvidia adds nine nifty AI supercomputing containers to the cloud

Now you can splash out on tons of GPUs if you really need to

AI caramba! Nvidia devs get a host of new kit to build smart systems

Kubernetes for GPUs, a PyTorch extension, TensorRT 4, and much, much more

AI, AI, Pure: Nvidia cooks deep learning GPU server chips with NetApp

Pure Storage's AIRI reference architecture probably a bit jelly

Try our new driverless car software says Nvidia, as it suspends driverless car trials

Post crash test hits share price

Looking to nab Nvidia's GeForce chips? You need cash and patience

GPU shortage equals four-month wait time for buyers

Nvidia quickly kills its AMD-screwing GeForce 'partner program' amid monopoly probe threat

GPU giant rails against rumors of stiffing sellers

Amazon shareholders revolt on Rekognition, Nvidia opens robotics lab, and hot AI chips on Google Cloud

Roundup The week's other stories in AI

Amazon's sexist AI recruiter, Nvidia gets busy, Waymo cars rack up 10 million road miles

Roundup Your two-minute guide to this week in machine-learning world