How to teach new skills to robots?

A warehouse robot pulls mugs off a shelf and places them into boxes for delivery as e-commerce orders flood in. Everything runs smoothly until the warehouse undergoes a change, requiring the robot to grasp taller, narrower mugs that are stored upside down. Reprogramming that robot involves hand-labeling thousands of images that show it how to grasp these new mugs, then training the system all over again. However, MIT researchers have developed a novel technique that would just take a few human demonstrations to reprogram the robot. This machine-learning method enables…

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An AI breakthrough in healthcare sector

LabGenius, an AI-driven scientific research firm, is using Graphcore’s IPUs (Intelligence Processing Units) to accelerate its drug discovery efforts. LabGenius is now working on developing new cancer and inflammatory disease medicines. For its potentially life-saving work, the company blends AI, lab automation, and synthetic biology. Until now, the company’s workloads were performed on standard GPUs. LabGenius claims that switching from Cirrascale Cloud Services to Graphcore’s IPUs in cloud instances lowered model training time from one month to around two weeks. “Previously we used GPUs and it took us about a…

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Where will STEM education be in next 5 years?

There were over 8.6 million STEM jobs in 2015, and that number is rising exponentially. In fact, STEM jobs have grown twice as fast than any other field in the last 10 years. However, it is projected that 2.4 million STEM jobs will be unfilled by 2025. Yet, STEM education programs have not kept pace–calling into question whether there will be enough qualified employees available to take on these new positions. Worryingly, only 16% of high school graduates are proficient in STEM and interested in pursuing a STEM career. With…

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Agritech firm DeHaat acquires Y-Cook India

DeHaat, a full stack agritech platform that provides farmers with end-to-end agricultural services, announced the all-cash acquisition of Y-Cook India. Y-Cook India is a food technology company that provides steamed produce that is ready to eat. Janardhan Swahar, Vijay Reddy, and Gayathri Swahar founded it in 2011. The Bengaluru-based company processes and exports sweet corn and lentils to nine different nations. Omnivore Partners, Oikocredit, and 021 Capital are among the investors. While OikCredit and 021 Capital will profit from this deal, Omnivore, which is also a DeHaat investor, will have…

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