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Wayne Radinsky
Software Design Engineer
Software Design Engineer


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X-ray microscopes with resolution in the nanometer range have been developed. "To meet the required precision, DESY scientist Sasa Bajt's team combined a novel fabrication process with detailed understanding of the material properties, which often vary with layer thickness. The new lenses consist of over 10,000 alternating layers of a new material combination, tungsten carbide and silicon carbide."

"To focus an X-ray beam in the vertical and horizontal directions it has to pass through two perpendicularly oriented lenses. By using this set-up, a spot size of 8.4 nanometres by 6.8 nanometres was measured at the Hard X-ray Nanoprobe experimental station at the National Synchrotron Light Source NSLS II at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the US. The focus size is what sets the resolution of the X-ray microscope. The resolution of the new lenses is about five times better than achievable with typical state-of-the-art lenses."

"Modern particle accelerators provide ultra-bright and high-quality X-ray beams. The short wavelength and the penetrating nature of X-rays are ideal for the microscopic investigation of complex materials. However, taking full advantage of these properties requires highly efficient and almost perfect optics in the X-ray regime."

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A self-driving car made in Finland has been demonstrated driving on snow and ice covered frozen winter roads without lane markings. The car relies more on radar than lidar or optical cameras, in contrast with cars designed for driving in traffic in urban areas.

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"Last week, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 845, which sends AI tasks to the most suitable cores." "For instance, the Snapdragon 845 can tap its digital signal processor (DSP) to tackle long-running tasks that require a lot of repetitive math, like listening out for a hotword. Activities like image recognition, on the other hand, are better managed by the GPU."

"Meanwhile, Apple's A11 Bionic uses a neural engine in its GPU to speed up Face ID, Animoji and some third-party apps. That means when you fire up those processes on your iPhone X, the A11 turns on the neural engine to carry out the calculations needed to either verify who you are or map your facial expressions onto talking poop."

"On the Kirin 970, the NPU takes over tasks like scanning and translating words in pictures taken with Microsoft's Translator, which is the only third-party app so far to have been optimized for this chipset."

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"How (and where) to get a great crash course in AI." Artificial Intelligence: A Free Online Course From MIT, Artificial Intelligence A-Z: Learn How To Build An AI, Deep Learning for Business, Deep Learning by Google, Neural Networks and Deep Learning, Salesforce Einstein Discovery -- Easy AI and Machine Learning, Introduction to Computer Vision, NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute, and Reinforcement Learning at Udacity.

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"You've probably heard versions of each of the following ideas. 1. With computers becoming remarkably adept at driving, understanding speech, and other tasks, more jobs could soon be automated than society is prepared to handle. 2. Improvements in computers' skills will stack up until machines are far smarter than people. This 'superintelligence' will largely make human labor unnecessary. In fact, we'd better hope that machines don't eliminate us altogether, either accidentally or on purpose.

"Even though the first scenario is already under way, it won't necessarily lead to the second one."

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"Kepler observed about 200,000 stars for four years, taking a picture every 30 minutes, creating about 14 billion data points. Those 14 billion data points translate to about 2 quadrillion possible planet orbits! It's a huge amount of information for even the most powerful computers to analyze, creating a laborious, time-intensive process. To make this process faster and more effective, we turned to machine learning."

"Using a dataset of more than 15,000 labeled Kepler signals, we created a TensorFlow model to distinguish planets from non-planets. To do this, it had to recognize patterns caused by actual planets, versus patterns caused by other objects like starspots and binary stars. When we tested our model on signals it had never seen before, it correctly identified which signals were planets and which signals were not planets 96 percent of the time."

"Armed with our working model, we shot for the stars, using it to hunt for new planets in Kepler data. To narrow the search, we looked at the 670 stars that were already known to host two or more exoplanets. In doing so, we discovered two new planets: Kepler 80g and Kepler 90i. Significantly, Kepler 90i is the eighth planet discovered orbiting the Kepler 90 star, making it the first known 8-planet system outside of our own."

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"One of the biggest challenges for venture capital companies is finding interesting investment targets before anyone else. It is often a laborious, travel-intensive job."

"Roberto Bonanzinga, co-founder of InReach Ventures, thought he could combine internet data and machine learning to do a better job of ferreting out prospects. It took two years and £5m in investment for InReach Ventures to create the software, which has so far trawled through 95,000 European start-ups, picking out 2,000 that Mr Bonanzinga might be interested in."

"The software determines this based on the people they are hiring, the products they are developing and the traffic on their website, among other things. For example, InReach identified Oberlo, a Lithuanian start-up, as an investment target because it was advertising for engineers to solve a particular type of ecommerce problem. 'We did a deal before any other VC firm in Europe even knew they existed.'"

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Why was Python chosen by Google to make TensorFlow? "The most important thing to realize about TensorFlow is that, for the most part, the core is not written in Python: It's written in a combination of highly-optimized C++ and CUDA (Nvidia's language for programming GPUs). Much of that happens, in turn, by using Eigen (a high-performance C++ and CUDA numerical library) and NVidia's cuDNN (a very optimized DNN library for NVidia GPUs, for functions such as convolutions)."

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Andrew Ng is launching, a new artificial intelligence company that aims to "revitalize manufacturing through AI."

"In my work leading Google Brain and Baidu's AI Group, I've been fortunate to play a role in the transformation of two great Internet companies, and see firsthand the benefits modern AI brings to these businesses and to their users. It is now time to build not just an AI-powered IT industry, but an AI-powered society. One in which our physical needs, health care, transportation, food, and lodging are more accessible through AI, and where every person is freed from repetitive mental drudgery. For the whole world to experience the benefits of AI, it must pervade many industries, not just the IT industry."

"Many companies are figuring out how to use AI, but this is not easy. The technology is still complex, and few teams understand AI well enough to implement it effectively. Outside the IT industry, almost no companies have enough access to AI talent."

"Further, just as using IT to transform a traditional company requires more than building a website, using AI to transform a company requires much more than training a few machine learning models."

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Happy Quantum Physics Day, everybody! December 14th was the day in 1900 that Max Planck coined the word "quantum," unknowingly (at the time) launching the quantum revolution in physics.
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