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Amazon ML Solutions Lab, Apple’s self-driving tech breakthrough, SAP S/4HANA Cloud update, and Valorem’s new cryptocurrency platform in today’s trending stories in data science news.

AWS announces Amazon ML Solutions Lab

Amazon ML Solutions Lab program to connect Amazon machine learning experts with AWS customers and partners

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced the Amazon ML Solutions Lab, a new program that connects machine learning experts from across Amazon with AWS customers to help identify practical uses of machine learning inside customers’ businesses, and guide them in developing new machine learning-enabled features, products, and processes. The Amazon ML Solutions Lab combines hands-on educational workshops with brainstorming sessions to help customers “work backwards” from business challenges, and then go step-by-step through the process of developing machine learning-based solutions. For organizations who already have data prepared for machine learning, AWS offers the ML Solutions Lab Express. This four-week intensive program starts with a boot camp hosted at Amazon, and is followed by three weeks of intensive problem-solving and machine learning model building with Amazon machine learning experts. To get started with the Amazon ML Solutions Lab, visit https://aws.amazon.com/ml-solutions-lab. Johnson & Johnson, Washington Post, and World Bank Group are the first customers to join the program.

Apple reveals its self-driving technology

Apple’s LiDAR-based “VoxelNet” could make autonomous vehicles better at detecting cyclists and pedestrians

Apple could be working on using a light-based technology to make it easier for self-driving cars to identify pedestrians and cyclists. In a new research paper published in Cornell’s arXiv open directory of scientific research, Apple computer scientists Yin Zhou and Oncel Tuzel discuss an object detection method for self-driving systems that is based purely on LiDAR, a method to gauge distance by illuminating a target with a pulsed laser light, and then measuring how long it takes to return. The research paper describes a method for using machine learning to translate the raw point cloud data gathered by LiDAR arrays into results that include detection of 3D objects, including bicycles and pedestrians, with no additional sensor data required. Apple researchers have thus created something called VoxelNet that can extrapolate and infer objects from a collection of points captured by a LiDAR array. They say the Voxelnet would “divide a point cloud into equally spaced 3D voxels and transforms a group of points within each voxel into a unified feature representation through the newly introduced voxel feature encoding (VFE) layer.” While Apple is secretive about its autonomous driving efforts, it has a permit from Californian authorities to test self-driving cars.

SAP updates S/4HANA Cloud

SAP enhances S/4HANA Cloud with new customer-centric features for improved user experience

SAP is updating the S/4HANA Cloud, making advances in machine learning, user experience, and extensibility, among others. The latest release includes the launch of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud software development kit (SDK), which provides a simple end-to-end development experience to easily develop custom applications. The update introduces soft close and prediction feature for predictive accounting and monitoring of the remaining budget. Also, to ease strategic procurement activities, the update allows SAP to offer the ability to classify purchasing spend using A, B, and C categories along with quality management which gives users the ability to record and display defects. In addition, Digital assistant SAP CoPilot is introduced to help collaborate efficiently to record and handle defects to optimize processes while improving quality.

Cryptocurrency in data science news

Valorem Foundation announces new cryptocurrency platform

Blockchain startup Valorem Foundation has launched a new cryptocurrency platform. The company has developed a multi-layered platform to disrupt and expand the following services globally: microloans, car loans, student loans, rent payment, P2P networks, buying and selling of goods & services, business investing, real estate crowdfunding, and insurance. The Foundation is creating a decentralized platform for each separate service that any user can log into and use via the VLR token. The token, a method of value on the platform, fuels the transaction. “Millennials need an easy way to invest, make purchases, pay rent and buy the things they are interested in outside of the centralized systems we have today. We think Valorem fills that need. We are the niche platform for the 99 percent,” CEO & Founder Val Kleyman said.


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