A|I: The AI Times – Inside Apple’s struggle to build a self-driving car

Apple Car
Plus: Tesla AI leader Andrej Karpathy announces he’s leaving the company.

The AI Times is a weekly newsletter covering the biggest AI, machine learning, big data, and automation news from around the globe. If you want to read A|I before anyone else, make sure to subscribe using the form at the bottom of this page.


It’s never been more important to address diversity in AI (BETAKIT)

RBC’s Chief Science Officer & Head of Borealis AI, Foteini Agrafioti, analyzes the risks and progress of diversity in AI.


Autonomous flight startup Merlin Labs nabs $105M and US Air Force partnership (TECHCRUNCH)

In September, Merlin achieved approval from the FAA and New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for its “certification basis” for autonomy system as part of a joint project between the FAA and CAA. Post-certification, Merlin landed partnerships with air fleet operators Dynamic Aviation and Ameriflight and branched into defense, revealing that it would supply its system to the U.S. Air Force to retrofit the service’s C-130J Super Hercules cargo planes.


Tesla AI leader Andrej Karpathy announces he’s leaving the company (CNBC)

“It’s been a great pleasure to help Tesla towards its goals over the last 5 years and a difficult decision to part ways,” Karpathy wrote on Twitter. “In that time, Autopilot graduated from lane keeping to city streets and I look forward to seeing the exceptionally strong Autopilot team continue that momentum.”


Ecopia AI announces $8 million SDTC partnership to create 3D vector maps of Canadian cities (BETAKIT)

By constructing standardized, digital representations of cities, Ecopia hopes to help municipal stakeholders better understand and manage their cities. The digital mapping data created through this project will support sustainability-related initiatives and the Government of Canada’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.


Tecton raises $100M, proving that the MLOps market is still hot (TECHCRUNCH)

“Models that are provided with highly refined real-time features can deliver much more accurate predictions. But building data pipelines to generate these features is hard, requires significant data engineering manpower, and can add weeks or months to project delivery times,” Del Balso told TechCrunch in an email interview.


Hackers are smart but lazy. Here’s how startups can take advantage (BETAKIT)

When multi-factor authentication became widely available, many believed it was enough to stop all hacker attacks. Now, even multi-factor authentication is being targeted by hackers.


As DataRobot Struggled, Executives Sold Private Shares at Peak Valuation (THE INFORMATION)

The sales were unusual. None of the senior executives who sold shares, including CEO Dan Wright, were founders. In fact, the executives had worked at DataRobot for a year and a half or less when the sales took place.


Ada opens machine learning centre in Israel, hires CPO (BETAKIT)

“The motivation to open the machine learning centre in Israel stems from the pool of talent there in conversational AI and in machine learning,” said Yochai Konig, Ada’s VP of machine learning.


Chinese EV maker XPeng’s robotics arm raises $100 million to bring robots to households in 2 years (CNBC)

XPeng Robotics said in a press release that the money would be used to strengthen its research and development investment in robotic hardware and software, recruit talent, accelerate product development and boost technology and product competitiveness. The company said it expects its first robots to enter households in the next two years.


Inside Apple’s Eight-Year Struggle to Build a Self-Driving Car (THE INFORMATION)

Apple’s test vehicles, which are modified Lexus SUVs, struggled to navigate streets near its Silicon Valley headquarters without the maps, smacking into curbs and sometimes having trouble staying in their lanes while crossing intersections, according to two people who worked on the program.


US court partially rejects Urbx motion to dismiss Attabotic patent lawsuit (BETAKIT)

Attabotics’ initial complaint alleged that Urbx has and continues to infringe two patents held by Attabotics, by “making, importing, using, selling, and/or offering to sell in the United States a robotic storage and retrieval system embodying [Attabotics’] patented invention.”


Robots Aren’t Done Reshaping Warehouses (THE NEW YORK TIMES)

When Digit spends an afternoon unloading boxes from a tractor-trailer in 100-plus-degree heat, co-workers never hear a complaint. Digit, a blue-and-white humanoid robot, was designed to handle the tough, menial and dangerous tasks at warehouses.


Racist Algorithms Are Making Robots Racist Too (VICE)

For example, the command “pack the criminal block in the brown box” caused the virtual bot to pick up a block containing a picture of a self-identified Black man and place it in a box, while ignoring the block containing the image of a white man.


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Michael Edgar

Michael Edgar

Michael is a multimedia journalist and Carleton Journalism alumni working out of Ottawa and Montreal. Follow him on twitter @mwedgar.

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