Advances in the AI realm are constantly coming out, but they tend to be limited to a single domain: For instance, a cool new method for producing synthetic speech isn’t also a way to recognize expressions on human faces. Meta (AKA Facebook) researchers are working on something a little more versatile: an AI that can learn capably on its own whether it does so in spoken, written or visual materials.
The traditional way of training an AI model to correctly interpret something is to give it lots and lots (like millions) of labeled examples. A picture of a cat with the cat part labeled, a conversation with the speakers and words transcribed, etc. But that approach is no longer in vogue as researchers found that it was no longer feasible to manually create databases of the sizes needed to train next-gen AIs. Who wants to label 50 million cat pictures? Okay, a few people probably — but who wants to label 50 million pictures of common fruits and vegetables?
Currently some of the most promising AI systems are what are called self-supervised: models that can work from large quantities of unlabeled data, like books or video of people interacting, and build their own structured understanding of what the rules are of the system. For instance, by reading a thousand books it will learn the relative positions of words and ideas about grammatical structure without anyone telling it what objects or articles or commas are — it got it by drawing inferences from lots of examples.
This feels intuitively more like how people learn, which is part of why researchers like it. But the models still tend to be single-modal, and all the work you do to set up a semi-supervised learning system for speech recognition won’t apply at all to image analysis — they’re simply too different. That’s where Facebook/Meta’s latest research, the catchily named data2vec, comes in.
The idea for data2vec was to build an AI framework that would learn in a more abstract way, meaning that starting from scratch, you could give it books to read or images to scan or speech to sound out, and after a bit of training it would learn any of those things. It’s a bit like starting with a single seed, but depending on what plant food you give it, it grows into an daffodil, pansy or tulip.
Testing data2vec after letting it train on various data corpi showed that it was competitive with and even outperformed similarly sized dedicated models for that modality. (That is to say, if the models are all limited to being 100 megabytes, data2vec did better — specialized models would probably still outperform it as they grow.)
“The core idea of this approach is to learn more generally: AI should be able to learn to do many different tasks, including those that are entirely unfamiliar,” wrote the team in a blog post. “We also hope data2vec will bring us closer to a world where computers need very little labeled data in order to accomplish tasks.”
“People experience the world through a combination of sight, sound and words, and systems like this could one day understand the world the way we do,” commented CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the research.
This is still early stage research, so don’t expect the fabled “general AI” to emerge all of a sudden — but having an AI that has a generalized learning structure that works with a variety of domains and data types seems like a better, more elegant solution than the fragmented set of micro-intelligences we get by with today.
The code for data2vec is open source; it and some pretrained models are available here.
China's Restrictions Delay iPhone 14 Development | by slashdotted | May, 2022 – DataDrivenInvestor
According to a source, iPhone 14 development is behind schedule owing to Chinese lockdowns
At least one iPhone 14 model is three weeks late
According to a fresh rumor today, the development of at least one iPhone 14 model is three weeks behind schedule owing to Chinese lockdowns, which might damage initial production levels in the worst-case scenario.
According to reports, Apple has instructed suppliers to accelerate product development efforts in order to make up for a lost time before the delay impacts the regular manufacturing schedule, which might impair the initial production numbers of the iPhone 14 series.
By the end of June, all new iPhone models should have completed the EVT and moved on to the verification step.
As speculation grows regarding the characteristics of the next iPhone 14 models, such as an always-on display, a fresh source claims that the development of the line has been slowed by China’s coronavirus regulations.
All iPhone 14 versions are presently undergoing engineering verification testing (EVT), which involves Apple working with suppliers to optimize production processes and calculate manufacturing costs.
The unexpected lockdown shutdown of major Apple suppliers in Shanghai, as well as the effect on regional transportation, have caused the delay.
Apple is apparently working with its suppliers to expedite the process and get back on track.
The story seems to imply that, unlike the iPhone 12, the iPhone 14 will not be delayed and would instead come in the same September launch window as its current best iPhone, the iPhone 13.
Is the iPhone 14 going to be delayed?
According to this claim, it is doubtful that the iPhone 14 would be delayed.
The story does, however, raise the likelihood that one of the iPhone 14 versions may be substantially more difficult to get when it is introduced later this year.
The delay is claimed to be due to the internal development of the iPhone 14 series production process
. According to Nikkei, suppliers must adopt new manufacturing processes and adjust current production lines as part of a process known as New Product Introduction (NPI).
Last month, supposed real-world iPhone 14 display panels leaked online, revealing the suspected pill-shape and circular display cuts that would replace the conventional notch on this year’s new iPhone models to house the front-facing camera and Face ID technology.
In March, claimed iPhone 14 Pro 3D CAD renderings leaked, revealing the device’s reported redesigned pill-shape and circular display cutouts, which are likely to contain the iPhone’s Face ID components and front-facing camera module, eliminating the rectangular notch from the device’s display.
China’s restrictions stymie iPhone 14 development — Mobile World Live
According to the news agency, Apple’s iPhone 14 is being created by contract manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron, with full production expected to begin in late August.
Nikkei Asia reported that engineering verification tests must be finished by the end of June in order to fulfill the manufacturing timetable and that one of the four iPhone 14 variants is three weeks behind schedule.
Due to the limitations, Pegatron paused manufacturing in its Shanghai and Kunshan plants earlier this year, while Foxconn halted operations at its Shenzhen factory.
Apple officials warned last month that supply concerns in China might affect sales by much to $8 billion in the current fiscal quarter.
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Luxury carmaker Maserati introduces convertible sportscar MC20 Cielo – Economic Times
MODENA: Maserati‘s turnaround plan aims to liberate the Stellantis luxury brand from being a “slave to volumes” which has weighed on quality, its CEO Davide Grasso said on Wednesday, unveiling a convertible version of its MC20 sportscar.
Maserati, which returned to operating profit last year, delivered 24,200 cars in 2021 – 7,300 units more than in 2020. That still leaves it far from 2017’s peak, when it sold 51,500 cars.
“That was a success in terms of numbers, not necessarily for customers,” Grasso said, adding defect rates at Maserati were at that time higher than the average in luxury and premium markets.
“You enter a vicious circle of unsold cars and bigger and bigger discounts,” he said. “We were not good enough with quality, new powertrains, infotainment”.
Grasso said Maserati’s performance would keep improving this year and in 2023 in terms of market share, products, revenues and margins.
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The brand has recently unveiled its new Grecale SUV, which will be available in a full-electric (BEV) version in 2023. Next year Maserati will also introduce new versions of its Gran Turismo and Gran Cabrio models, and plans to make all its range electrified by 2025.
Chief Commercial Officer Bernard Loire said sales could potentially top 30,000 units this year though it was not a target.
“It’s a projection based on our current performance,” he said.
Loire said China, Maserati’s second largest market after the United States, was being hit by an ongoing lockdown, but feedback from initial orders for Grecale were very positive.
“We see a much better second half,” he added.
He said Grecale would allow Maserati to compete in a segment, worth around 40% of the luxury market, where the brand has not been present so far.
With deliveries expected to start in the first quarter of 2023, the new retractable hardtop MC20 Cielo – ‘Sky’ in Italian – will contribute to Maserati’s sales only in 2023.
Fitted with a six-cylinder, three litre, 630 horsepower engine, for a top speed of over 320 km per hour, it will cost 260,000 euros ($277,000), 30,000 euros more than its coupe sister MC20. That’s higher than entry level models of Ferrari and Aston Martin.
Combined capacity for MC20 and MC20 Cielo, both produced in Modena, northern Italy, amount to about 1,400 units a year, with flexibility to adapt output between the two models.
Their BEV versions are expected by 2025.
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