How Google is powering the world’s AI – Android Authority

Not a day goes by that AI is in the epicenter of the news!

Google may be best known for its software, but when it comes to powering this new generation of AI computing, Google is equally embedded in the hardware development and deployment side.

The company’s custom TPU silicon provides the necessary energy efficiency savings needed to deploy machine learning on a large cloud scale. It also offers up notably higher performance for these specific tasks than more generalized CPU and GPU hardware. We’re seeing a similar trend in the mobile space, with SoC manufacturing increasingly turning to dedicated DSP hardware to efficiently run these mathematically intensive algorithms. Google could become a major hardware player in this market too.

We’re still waiting to see what Google has in store for its first generation smartphone AI hardware, the Pixel Visual Core. The chip will soon be switched on for faster HDR processing and will no doubt play a role in some further AI tests and products that the company rolls out to its Pixel 2 smartphones. At the moment, Google is leading the way forward with its Cloud TPU AI hardware and software support with TensorFlow. It’s worth remembering that Intel, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and others are all vying for a piece of this quickly emerging market too.

With machine learning and neural networks powering an increasing number of applications both in the cloud and on edge devices like smartphones, Google’s early hardware efforts have positioned the company to be a leader in this next generation field of computing.

https://www.androidauthority.com/google-powering-ai-816146/

On – 25 Nov, 2017 By Robert Triggs

Tesla Music Service

Tesla. One of the most lucrative car manufacturers. Music. One of the most lucrative internet businesses. In the last 20 years, we have seen innovation and competition driving change and options for consumers. We had Napster, iTunes, iPod, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and more coming up to compete about one of the most enjoyable factors in our life. Combine the two industries and you get Tesla Music, the most lucrative car internet business. Or something like that 😀

Tesla is holding talks with all of the major music labels about licensing a proprietary music service and creating its own proprietary music-streaming service that would be sold with every Tesla. Every Tesla sold comes with a huge tablet/touchscreen and broadband internet connectivity so it would be very easy to integrate such a service. As a matter of fact, Teslas or in general cars are the fourth screen after our TV, laptop and mobile phone.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? When we are very young we listen to music through our phones but after we buy our car, we probably spend 90 minutes every day commuting and listening to music. And that might be the longest time that most of the people listen to music every day.

Obviously, the immediate question is why wouldn’t Tesla work with the existing music services such as Apple Music (27 million paying subscribers), YouTube, Pandora and Spotify (50 million paying subscribers). These music streaming services have already invested billions into building their service and customer base and their customers have also invested time and money to select their favorite music and create their playlists. Moving to Tesla Music, a new music service is somewhere between hard and very painful. Perhaps so painful that people would actually prefer to avoid it and try to find other solutions.

What every startup founder and business owner will tell you when it comes to the most important advice, FOCUS is usually one of the most frequent advice. And focus for Tesla would be to actually get down to producing and delivering more cars. And they actually need to do that very bad with the upcoming Model 3 that has 400,000 preorders and must start delivering these to their owners in 2017.

This is the kind of service that it takes more than one person to do it and probably won’t be profitable anytime soon. It would take a team to work on this and at some point, even Elon Musk himself might have to be involved. Taking the time, energy and focus from a man that runs some of the most important and biggest startups and projects is a very expensive bet that comes at the expense of the existing and potential revenue from the already huge business.

Elon Musk must focus on delivering more cars faster than delivering more cars with a different (not even better!) music service.

The Tesla Music service development will definitely be expensive and at the end of the day, it will not add any significant revenue for Tesla and probably won’t even make up for the cost of it.

On the other hand, adding any of the existing music services and working on a revenue share model and let’s say take 15% of every month’s revenue would be easy, extremely cheap and even more important convenient for the customers.

Music services have good profit margins and very small costs to run.

It is not obvious why a car maker would want to create a music service and how it can be more competitive than any other solution, how it can provide better value to the consumers and to the business.

Apple HomePod: The most successful speaker ever!

The “One More Thing” for Apple’s WWDC 2017 was the HomePod, a brand new device from Apple in a brand new category for Apple.

I love it! I LOVE it!

I know nothing about the product’s quality and most likely I will not buy it in the next year or so. As a matter of fact, no one will buy it in the next 6 months as it is coming out in December 2017. All I love about the product is how Apple is marketing the product.

I still call it a product and not a speaker or a music player or an Artificial Intelligence Assistant or whatever else you might want to call because people actually see the product from many different point of views.

Before the WWDC 2017 presentation everyone expected that Apple will do what it always does: Come late in to the game of virtual AI assistants and create an amazing product that is so much better than anything else out there that at the end of the day it will capture a huge and profitable part of the market. This is what happened with the iPhone (best selling product ever), the iPad (best selling tablet ever), the Apple Watch (best selling wearable ever).

But that is not what Apple did. Because they can’t do that. Yet. They can’t present the best home, virtual, AI (I’m not even sure what the Amazon Alexa and Google Home category should be called) device yet because Siri is not as versatile as the competitors. So they did what any marketeer worth their salt must do. Create a new category. And OWN IT!

Obviously speakers are not a new category. We are all surrounded by them, we have them everywhere. Our laptops, televisions, computers and cars have them. Even Jing Yang’s fridge has them! And obviously Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home have them. But Apple created the ultimate speaker. One that will give you the most amazing music every, the best possible sound for a rather reasonable cost.

All the High Fidelity enthusiasts know that if you want to have good sound you probably end up spending a few thousand dollars. That’s why this market is only for a niche. It doesn’t serve everyone. Most people listen to their music from their laptops, TVs and a smaller percentage on a home stereo. The quality of sound that comes even from the best laptop, TV and mobile phone speakers is usually crap or in the best case it is half-decent, not even decent.

If you spend a couple of thousand USD on a home stereo you start to get some quality music but still you have to be careful on how to place your speakers in your room, what kind of cabling to use, what is your music source and many other things that a Hi-Fi enthusiast will be happy to talk all day long. But most people, can’t afford and don’t know how to get there. The simplest solution is have their music come from their laptop’s speakers. Even if it is crappy it is still better than silence (is it though?)

This is where Apple with all the firepower they have comes in. They created the best ever speaker. A speaker that will make your music sound AMAZING no matter where you place it, how big is your room, what kind of cabling you use (oh yes, it doesn’t need any cabling).

This is the first time that someone with the ability to promote a product to a huge following will introduce a product that will improve their experience with music. It is almost affordable for many people and it doesn’t take space. It looks good. It says Apple on top (or bottom probably) and the music experience is FANTASTIC.

If you now want to buy the best speaker out there, you will have to start googling it, asking people, reading reviews and forums. Visiting a store and listen to at least a few different brands, make a shortlist and then spend a few hundred dollars and buy the speakers that you want. Or just buy HomePod. It is that simple. Apple made it simple and straightforward to buy the best speakers out there. Marantz doesn’t create them, Samsung doesn’t create good speakers but obviously Apple does!

This is brilliant marketing! Creating a product that is so closely connected to a story that Apple always says and it is core to their offering such as music and then making the experience for everyone better is the way forward. Like they did with the ipod, the earpods, the beats headphones, the itunes, Apple music and now HomePod.

Well played Apple, your victory is well deserved!

Space Grey: The Most Expensive Keyboard You’ll Ever Buy

At the WWDC 2017 keynote, Apple announced the Space Grey iMac Pro, an amazing piece of hardware, “the most powerful Mac ever” starting at $4,999.

It is a 27-inch iMac with a Retina 5K display, it can go up to 18-core Xeon processors (so it is super fast), and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation (I suppose this is the most scientific metric that proves that this is a super fast computer) achievable on the high-end configuration.

new_2017_imac_pro_thermal

It is the first time that a desktop Mac comes in Space Grey colour and this is also a first for the keyboard and mouse that come with it. And this where Apple didn’t predict correctly the demand for the product. I’m not talking about the demand for the computer, they probably do have this right (I sure hope so with this price tag!). I’m talking about the demand for they keyboard and the mouse in this Space Grey colour.

This is not a brand new keyboard or mouse with anything new. The only new is the colour. What came as a surprise to me after I analysed the comments from users on websites that focus on Apple related issues, every comment related to these accessories was a clear indication of willingness to purchase the keyboard or the mouse.

There are many Mac users out there that have a Mac and the all too familiar silver / white keyboard that want to add some a spill of colour on their desks. They do want to buy the keyboard or the mouse (BTW most comments are on the keyboard!). And probably all of them already know that the keyboard won’t be a $19.99 keyboard, it is going to be probably at least $129.99 because this is how much the silver / white Magic Keyboard costs.

But the great disappointment is that the keyboard and the mouse won’t be sold separately, the only way to buy them is to buy the Space Grey iMac Pro. It is $4,999 or nothing. You can’t pay $129.99 and buy it. You can’t even pay double that and buy it. You have to pay 39 times more (and get a rather amazing computer along with it).

There are at least three aspects that I find fascinating about it:

  1. The colour defines the premium product: You can tell the minimum cost for this product by its colour. You know that this is the most expensive iMac out there. I’m not sure if you can do the same for any other Apple product or even any other product. The iPhones look all the same no matter if they have 16 GB or 128 GB. Granted, one of them has a different finish and probably it is the only product that comes close to this concept of “demanding attention”. Imagine the advertising agency with the 20 creative people working on their iMac. The one that gets the silver grey iMac Pro is the leader of the pack. It is the one that stands out by far.
  2. It is really exclusive: You can’t buy a part of the premium and exclusivity that comes with the silver grey iMac Pro. You have to go all in, you have to be an amazing professional that can actually do amazing things. No one else will have anything similar to it, not even a mouse or a keyboard similar to it.
  3. It is priced differently: Most of Apple’s products are expensive yet they are affordable for many. Even the Macbook Pro and the iPad Pro are affordable for many. But the starting price for the iMac Pro makes it extremely clear that it is only for the most serious of the users, those with the specific and very demanding needs.

The only thing that I still don’t know how Apple tends to manage is what happens if my Space Grey Magic Keyboard or Mouse breaks and I need to replace it. If I’m not able to buy a new one, is silver and white my only option? That would make me a very miserable owner of a very expensive machine that I use to create amazing things every day and yet whenever I look down to my keyboard it just feels wrong. I sure hope they have a very creative answer to this case!

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