Farewell, benevolent dictator: Python creator Guido van Rossum retires

Guido van Rossum, the "benevolent dictator for life" creator of Python, is stepping down from his current role at Dropbox and hanging up his keyboard.

Dropbox hired van Rossum six and a half years ago. The hire made perfect sense, given the company uses about four million lines of Python code. When van Rossum started in 2011, Dropbox’s server and desktop client were written "almost exclusively in Python".

Over the years, other...

By Ryan Daws, 31 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Industry, Languages, Python.

Samsung announces Bixby DevJam contest with $125k prize money

Samsung has announced the launch of Bixby DevJam, a contest with $125k prize money in total up-for-grabs.

Developers are tasked with developing new “Bixby Capsules” (voice apps, basically) which must be submitted and approved before December 9th to be eligible.

The overall winner will receive $10,000 while second and third place finalists will be awarded $5,000 each. A further five runner-ups will receive $1,000 each.

Winners of the following 20 store categories will also receive $1,000:

  • Art and lifestyle

  • Games and fun

  • News and magazines

  • Social

  • Business and finance

  • Health and fitness

  • Photography

  • Sports

  • Communication

  • Local

  • Productivity

  • Travel and...

By Ryan Daws, 21 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Samsung, Wearables.

Google Pay APIs improve checkout and pass experiences

Google has updated its Pay API to support new features which improve the online checkout and pass usage experiences.

Some of the features were debuted at this year’s I/O developer conference, but Google has now provided further detail of how they can be used in practice.

Going forward, the Google Pay payment sheet will display all information about the purchase – item cost, shipping options.etc will be displayed to prevent the customer from having to return to the merchant site.

The new...

By Ryan Daws, 05 June 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Android, API, Mobile, Platforms.

Sony and Microsoft will partner on cloud, AI, and semiconductors

In a contender for the decade’s most surprising partnership, Sony and Microsoft have agreed to work together on cloud and AI technologies.

AI and cloud are increasingly vital technologies, and Sony isn’t exactly considered a leader in either. It’s easy to see what Sony is getting out of the partnership, but less so what Microsoft sees in the collaboration.

Microsoft and Sony are each other’s biggest competitor in the gaming space. Gaming is shifting towards cloud streaming, as shown by...

By Ryan Daws, 17 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Cloud, Devices, Enterprise, Gaming, Industry.

Google adds Smart Reply and Language Identification APIs to ML Kit

Google has announced the addition of ‘Smart Reply’ and ‘Language Identification’ APIs to its ML (Machine Learning) Kit.

Until now, the APIs in ML Kit have focused predominantly on camera-based machine learning processing. The latest additions begin to unlock the many other possibilities for machine learning.

Smart Reply provides the same features that you may be familiar with in some of Google's products like Gmail and Android Messages. As the name...

By Ryan Daws, 10 April 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Android, API, iOS.

Android Q adds shiny new APIs while blocking others

Android Q is approaching which means developers are getting treated with a few shiny new APIs while others are getting blocked to boost platform security.

The first preview of Android Q has been released for developers and early-adopters to start tinkering with. In this article we'll provide a rundown of what's changed so far.

API Additions

What's being added or changed is always more exciting than what's being taken away, so it's where we'll start.

Neural Networks API 1.2

We know...

By Ryan Daws, 14 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Android, API, Development Tools, Mobile, Platforms.

#MWC19: Achieve immersion through video and VR

A session during MWC highlighted the growing importance of video and VR when it comes to creating immersive experiences.

Anjali Sud, CEO of Vimeo, was part of the session. Vimeo is the largest ad-free video network and its monetisation model allows it to be agnostic, even allowing creators to publish to YouTube.

Sud highlighted that video is becoming ‘the de facto form’ of communication. People expect a constant supply of professional, engaging video content.

“If you want someone to see your...

By Ryan Daws, 26 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Devices, Industry, IoT, Mobile, Platforms, VR.

Using automation to connect build engineering and DevOps: A guide

Build engineering and DevOps: it seems that never the twain shall meet. Build engineering supplies the build system, with its tools and processes that make software development and deployment easier. DevOps professionals use Agile principles to develop and deploy applications with their teams. Although build engineering and DevOps are distinct but connected activities, organisations are not typically bringing them together.

By Bart Copeland, 02 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Development Tools.

Nvidia open-sources PhysX engine for games, AI, cars, and more

Nvidia’s physics engine PhysX has been made open-source for developers to advance the capabilities of various applications.

Gaming is what often comes to mind when thinking about virtual physics. While the PhysX engine is certainly useful for gaming purposes, it can go a lot further.

Nvidia says its physics simulation can be used for emerging technologies such as AI, robotics, computer vision, and self-driving vehicles.

In a blog post, the company highlights some challenges PhysX solves:

  • In AI, researchers need...

By Ryan Daws, 04 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Devices, Gaming, Platforms.

Amazon’s toy car helps developers code self-driving tech

Amazon has unveiled a toy car designed to help developers safely test self-driving code which could be used in full-sized vehicles.

The 1/18th-scale vehicle is called DeepRacer and costs $249 if pre-ordered, or $399 post-release.

DeepRacer wants to help democratise reinforcement learning development. The technique was used by Alphabet’s researchers to create AlphaGo, an AI which defeated the human world champion of the notoriously difficult Go board game.

Created by the Amazon Web Services division, the...

By Ryan Daws, 29 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Amazon, Devices, IoT.

Amazon Web Services opens up machine learning courses to all developers – for free

If you want to get on board with machine learning, then there may be good news from Amazon Web Services (AWS). The cloud giant has opened up its machine learning courses previously used to train Amazon engineers to all developers.

There are more than 30 digital courses totalling more than 45 hours of material, focusing on four key groups: developers, data scientists, data platform engineers, and business professionals. Devs...

By James Bourne, 27 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Amazon, Development Tools.

AI software development line Engineer.ai raises over £29 million

A UK-based startup using AI in tandem with a network of human developers to build software has raised over £29 million in funding.

Engineer.ai launched around two and a half years ago promising to combine AI with crowdsourced developer and designers to build products.

According to the company, their ‘Builder’ solution enables bespoke products to be created twice as fast and for less than a third of traditional software development costs.

Builder functions by getting...

By Ryan Daws, 07 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Industry.

Amazon releases Reminders API for Alexa developers

Amazon has released a new Reminders API which enables developers to expand the notifications Alexa users can receive.

Using the API, users can set reminders for things such as picking the kids up from school or getting that bill paid.

When enabling a skill, the user must grant permission for reminders. They’ll also need to give permission for each subsequent reminder they wish to set to avoid developers abusing their new powers.

Vytas Kancleris, CTO at TvGuide.co.uk said it was easy to add to their...

By Ryan Daws, 06 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Amazon, API, Platforms.

Microsoft open sources its Infer.NET machine learning framework

Microsoft appears to be in a benevolent mood after deciding to make its cross-platform machine learning framework open source.

The company’s Infer.NET framework is used for model-based machine learning. It was first born at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK in 2004 and later released for academic use in 2008.

Hundreds of papers have since been published using the framework across a variety of fields, everything from information retrieval to healthcare. In 2012, Infer.NET...

By Ryan Daws, 08 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI.

Fastai is a Python library aiming to make AI simpler

A startup called Fastai is aiming to help developers carry out AI-related tasks with its deep learning library for Python.

Fastai was cofounded by two University of San Francisco employees. Rachel Thomas is a professor at the university, while Jeremy Howard is a research scientist.

Python has become almost synonymous with AI development due to being fast, robust, portable, and scalable. Some of the world’s most popular AI frameworks such as TensorFlow, Deap, and Chainer are designed for...

By Ryan Daws, 03 October 2018, 1 comment. Categories: AI, API, Development Tools, Industry, Platforms, Python.

Microsoft unveils Cortana Skills Kit for enterprise developers

Microsoft has announced Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise during this year’s Ignite conference, enabling custom AI experiences for businesses.

Developers may already be aware of the Cortana Skills Kit as it’s been available to build consumer experiences for some time. As its name suggests, the version announced today is tailored at building enterprise solutions.

Javier Soltero, Microsoft CVP in charge of Cortana, said:

“At heart, we are about providing valuable assistance...

By Ryan Daws, 26 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Development Tools, Enterprise, Platforms.

Facebook is using AI to help developers track down bugs

Facebook is releasing an AI-powered tool called SapFix which aims to help software developers track down pesky bugs in their code.

SapFix detects errors in code and suggests possible fixes to developers. Currently, it fixes bugs spotted by Sapienz – a software testing tool by Facebook – but the company promises it will be able to find errors in any code.

The AI works by rolling back the code which has caused an...

By Ryan Daws, 14 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Development Tools, Facebook, Testing.

eBay bids for developers with latest round of API updates

E-commerce giant eBay has announced its latest round of API updates ahead of the company's annual developer conference in San Jose.

As is the current industry trend, eBay is adding some AI magic. Its latest features use the firm’s custom-built computer vision and deep learning technology.

Developers are now able to incorporate new computer vision-based eBay features including

By Ryan Daws, 15 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, API, Platforms.

ARM reveals Project Trillium machine learning processor

Arm is best known for its mobile CPU and GPU processors, but the company is keen to also show its expertise in more emerging fields. This week, Arm unveiled its new Project Trillium machine learning processor (MLP), three months after first revealing its existence.

The MLP exists to allow smartphones and tablets to perform machine learning independently, without needing to connect to a server somewhere. While a smartphone has limited performance, there are many advantages to this approach: less bandwidth and...

By William Judd, 23 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, API, Development Tools, IoT, Mobile, Tablet.

Alexa can now monetise her ‘Skills’

Amazon has announced new tools for Alexa which enable ‘Skills’ for the digital assistant to be monetised.

The fight for the smart home between Amazon and Google continues to heat up. Just yesterday, our sister publication IoT News reported that Google Assistant has tripled the number of devices it supports in four months.

Today, Amazon is announcing in-skill purchasing (ISP) and support for Amazon Pay in Alexa Skills....

By Ryan Daws, 04 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Amazon, IoT, Monetisation, Platforms.