Artificial Intelligence

Kimberly Redmond | |

Alphabet Inc’s self-driving unit Waymo announced Wednesday it raised $2.5 billion in a second external funding round.

The funds from the round, which included more than 10 participants, will be used for advancing Waymo Driver, the company’s autonomous driving technology, and to grow its team, Waymo said in a press release.

Kimberly Redmond | |

General Motors Company’s (NYSE: GM) majority-owned autonomous car subsidiary Cruise was authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to provide passenger service to the public in its prototype robotaxis.

On Friday, the CPUC announced that Cruise was issued the first driverless permit through the agency’s Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service Program. Under the terms the program, Cruise is not allowed to charge fees for the rides and is required to submit quarterly reports about its vehicles, along with a passenger safety plan.

Kimberly Redmond | |

SEMIC RF Electronic GmbH, a Taufkirchen, Germany-based company, has developed a new method for COVID-19 testing: an eye scanning app that it claims takes just three minutes to identify carriers of the virus with over 95% accuracy.

The app, called SEMIC EyeScan, uses a photo of the eye taken with a smartphone to identify the virus by spotting conjunctivitis (pink eye), a symptom of SARS-CoV-2, the virus strain that causes COVID-19.

Kimberly Redmond | |

Microsoft Corporation is buying speech recognition company Nuance Communications in an all-cash transaction valued at $19.7 billion, including debt. 

Under the terms of the deal announced Monday, Microsoft will pay $56 per share, a 23% premium over Nuance’s closing price on April 9, according to a press release.

Reuters | |

Nvidia Corp’s first-quarter revenue will be above its earlier forecast of $5.3 billion, the chipmaker said on Monday, as it benefits from strong demand for chips that power data centers and cryptocurrency mining.

The company’s shares, which rose on the back of a slew of product announcements during the session, were trading nearly 6% higher.

Reuters | |

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s brain-chip startup released footage on Friday appearing to show a monkey playing a simple videogame after getting implants of the new technology.

"First @Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs," Musk tweeted on Thursday.

Reuters | |

Thomson Reuters Corp reported higher fourth-quarter revenue on Tuesday and said it would start a two-year program that will change it from a holding company to an operating company.

The news and information company, which owns Reuters News, said revenues rose 2% to $1.62 billion, while its operating profit jumped more than 300% to $956 million, reflecting the sale of an investment, a gain from an amendment to pension plan and lower costs.

Reuters | |

Ford Motor Co will tap into software, artificial intelligence and cloud computing offered by Alphabet Inc’s Google to develop new consumer services and modernize internal operations, the companies said on Monday.

As part of a six-year partnership, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker will incorporate the tech giant’s Android operating system into its Ford and Lincoln vehicles starting in 2023.

Jeff Kagan | |

The recent bombing in Nashville should be a wake-up call for all of us. This is an example of how devastatingly vulnerable we are as a digital society and economy. Over the last several decades I have warned the rapid transition to a digital future is good, but that it leaves us vulnerable. We need to move forward, but we also need to protect ourselves.

We believe that we are the most advanced country in the world. That may be. But that also means we are the most vulnerable.