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Samsung’s Exynos 9, TensorFlow 1.5 RC, Baidu’s collaboration with Blackberry and more in today’s top stories around machine learning, deep learning, and data science news.

1. Samsung announces Exynos 9810 with sophisticated image recognition and deep learning

Samsung unveiled its latest premium application processor, the Exynos 9 Series 9810 on 4th Jan,2018. The powerful third-generation custom CPU is equipped with a ultra-fast 1.2Gbps LTE modem and sophisticated image processing with deep learning-based software. Samsung’s new processor follows at the heels of Apple’s revelation of it’s neural chip for iphone X, a few months back.

The neural network-based deep learning software of Exynos 9810 accurately recognizes people or items in photos for fast image searching or categorization. It also uses depth-sensing to scan a user’s face in 3D for hybrid face detection. Hybrid face detection enables realistic face-tracking filters as well as stronger security when unlocking a device with one’s face. Apart from this, the intelligent image processing feature allows for a real-time out-of-focus feature and filming and capturing of high-quality images in the dark and while on the move.

Samsung’s Exynos 9 Series 9810 has been selected as a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Embedded Technologies product category.

2. TensorFlow 1.5 RC is out

Introducing TensorFlow 1.5 release candidate with some breaking changes and other exciting major features and improvements.

The breaking changes include:

  • Prebuilt binaries are now built against CUDA 9 and cuDNN 7.
  • Linux binaries are built using ubuntu 16 containers, potentially introducing glibc incompatibility issues with ubuntu 14.
  • Starting from 1.6 release, prebuilt binaries will use AVX instructions.
  • This may break TF on older CPUs.

Other major features and improvements in the list are:

  • It is prebuilt for CUDA9, cuDNN7
  • eager execution mode
  • TensorFlow Lite’s dev preview is now available

To know about this release in detail, visit the GitHub link.

3. Baidu teams up with BlackBerry on self-driving and connected car tech

Chinese internet tech giant Baidu partners with Canada’s BlackBerry. This partnership will result in QNX being used as the basis for Baidu’s Apollo self-driving platform, popularly called by the press as the “ Android” of the autonomous driving industry.

The two companies also said they will integrate Baidu’s CarLife (a leading smartphone integration software for connected cars in China), DuerOS AI assistant and HD maps into BlackBerry’s QNX infotainment software.

This partnership is a big one for BlackBerry, since it provides a way for the auto industry supplier to offer key features important in the Chinese market, which is the leading industry driving force in the automotive world today. For Baidu, it also means picking up a platform foundation for its open self-driving software project that has all the necessary vehicle industry safety certifications, and a proven track record.

4. U.S. Cellular to leverage Nokia’s machine learning and analytics to plan small cell build-outs

U.S.Cellular to purchase Nokia’s innovative machine learning technology for planning its cell site and small cell build-outs more efficiently. In a release, Michael Irizarry, Ph.D., the operator’s EVP and CTO said that by using Nokia’s technology, this system will revolutionize the way they apply their various network data inputs to gain insights, predict outcomes and align resources to directly impact how their customers experience their network. She further added, “We know that the network is the backbone of our customers’ experience, and this collaboration with Nokia will allow us to better understand our customers’ data demands in order to exceed their expectations.”

U.S. Cellular would deploy Nokia’s Customer Experience Management portfolio, including its “Cognitive Analytics for Customer Insight,” which Nokia describes as a machine learning-powered application. This would provide a complete view of customer satisfaction, revenue, and device and network performance. The service will alert U.S. Cellular engineers to unusual network activity and allow them to better predict and determine network performance, the companies said, as well as potentially allow the operator to create new services.

5. Microsoft acquires Avere Systems to further hybrid computing mission

Microsoft acquires Avere Systems, a leading provider of high-performance NFS and SMB file-based storage for Linux and Windows clients running in the cloud, hybrid and on-premises environments. Avere makes use of an innovative combination of file system and caching technologies to support the performance requirements for customers who run large-scale compute workloads.

By combining Avere’s storage expertise with the power of Microsoft’s cloud, customers will benefit from industry-leading innovations which will enable the largest, most complex high-performance workloads to run in Microsoft Azure.

6. Opera launches version 50 of its desktop browser with new cryptojacking feature  

Opera launched the version 50 of its popular web browser with built-in cryptocurrency mining protection. The innovative anti-Bitcoin mining feature eliminates cryptocurrency mining scripts that overuse a device’s computing ability. Users can activate this feature by enabling Opera’s ad blocker to prevent cryptocurrency mining websites from hijacking a user’s CPU to mine for virtual currency without their knowledge.

Users can find and change NoCoin in Settings (Preferences on macOS) > Basic > Block ads and under the Recommended lists of ad filters.

Unlike Firefox and Chrome, which use extensions, the new cryptojacking feature in Opera is automatically enabled when you turn on the browser’s ad blocking tool.

Opera’s v50 browser also includes support for streaming videos to Chromecast and a built-in VR player that lets Oculus Rift users view 360-degree videos in their headsets.

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