Sand Safety: Startup’s Lifeguard AI Hits the Beach to Save Lives

A team in Israel is making a splash with AI.

It started as biz school buddies Netanel Eliav and Adam Bismut were looking to solve a problem to change the world. The problem found them: Bismut visited the Dead Sea after a drowning and noticed a lack of tech for lifeguards, who scanned the area with age-old binoculars.

The two aspiring entrepreneurs — recent MBA graduates of Ben-Gurion University, in the country’s south — decided this was their problem to solve with AI.

“I have two little girls, and as a father, I know the feeling that parents have when their children are near the water,” said Eliav, the company’s CEO.

They founded Sightbit in 2018 with BGU classmates Gadi Kovler and Minna Shezaf to help lifeguards see dangerous conditions and prevent drownings.

The startup is seed funded by Cactus Capital, the venture arm of their alma mater.

Sightbit is now in pilot testing at Palmachim Beach, a popular escape for sunbathers and surfers in the Palmachim Kibbutz area along the Mediterranean Sea, south of Tel Aviv. The sand dune-lined destination, with its inviting, warm aquamarine waters, gets packed with thousands of daily summer visitors.

But it’s also a place known for deadly rip currents.

Danger Detectors

Sightbit has developed image detection to help spot dangers to aid lifeguards in their work. In collaboration with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Beersheba-based startup has installed three cameras that feed data into a single NVIDIA Jetson AGX at the lifeguard towers at Palmachim beach. NVIDIA Metropolis is deployed for video analytics.

The system of danger detectors enables lifeguards to keep tabs on a computer monitor that flags potential safety concerns while they scan the beach.

Sightbit has developed models based on convolutional neural networks and image detection to provide lifeguards views of potential dangers. Kovler, the company’s CTO, has trained the company’s danger detectors on tens of thousands of images, processed with NVIDIA GPUs in the cloud.

Training on the images wasn’t easy with sun glare on the ocean, weather conditions, crowds of people, and people partially submerged in the ocean, said Shezaf, the company’s CMO.

But Sightbit’s deep learning and proprietary algorithms have enabled it to identify children alone as well as clusters of people. This allows its system to flag children who have strayed from the pack.

Rip Current Recognition

The system also harnesses optical flow algorithms to detect dangerous rip currents in the ocean for helping lifeguards keep people out of those zones.  These algorithms make it possible to identify the speed of every object in an image, using partial differential equations to calculate acceleration vectors of every voxel in the image.

Lifeguards can get updates on ocean conditions so when they start work they have a sense of hazards present that day.

“We spoke with many lifeguards. The lifeguard is trying to avoid the next accident. Many people go too deep and get caught in the rip currents,” said Eliav.

Cameras at lifeguard towers processed on the single compact supercomputing Jetson Xavier and accessing Metropolis can offer split-second inference for alerts, tracking, statistics and risk analysis in real time.

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority is planning to have a structure built on the beach to house more cameras for automated safety, according to Sightbit.

COVID-19 Calls 

Palmachim Beach lifeguards have a lot to watch, especially now as people get out of their homes for fresh air after the region begins reopening from COVID-19-related closures.

As part of Sightbit’s beach safety developments, the company had been training its network to spot how far apart people were to help gauge child safety.

This work also directly applies to monitoring social distancing and has attracted the attention of potential customers seeking ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Sightbit platform can provide them crowding alerts when a public area is overcrowded and proximity alerts for when individuals are too close to each other, said Shezaf.

The startup has put in extra hours to work with those interested in its tech to help monitor areas for ways to reduce the spread of the pathogen.

“If you want to change the world, you need to do something that is going to affect people immediately without any focus on profit,” said Eliav.

 

Sightbit is a member of NVIDIA Inception, a virtual accelerator program that helps startups in AI and data science get to market faster.

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Intel and the International Olympic Committee to Provide Support Services to Athletes Worldwide

Ashton Eaton Intel
Ashton Eaton is the third Olympian to achieve back-to-back gold medals (2012, 2016) in the decathlon and holds five World Championship gold medals in both the decathlon and heptathlon events. Eaton works at Intel as a product development engineer, focusing on integrating key technologies into the Olympic Games.

Intel, working with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), will extend life-coaching, mentoring, and learning and development services to more than 50,000 athletes that are a part of the Olympic community through the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo next year. Intel will provide these services as part of Athlete365, the IOC’s official athlete support program. This new initiative is a direct outcome of Intel’s commitment to support Olympians and Olympic hopefuls who are managing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More: Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Press Kit)

Intel was able to provide these services through existing benefits the company offers its employees. Athlete benefits will include access to tools that will help address the challenges created by this worldwide pandemic. These tools and services include Headspace and EXOS, as well as additional learning and development services from Intel and LinkedIn. Further, Intel will design and deliver mentoring and networking services that are crafted specifically to support the needs of elite athletes within the Olympic community.

“Athletes work tirelessly to achieve their goals. In the process, they bring the world closer together. As a worldwide Olympic partner, we see the athletes as an extension to our Intel family and want to help in any way we can, especially during these challenging times. We have some great services for our Intel employees and want to extend them to the athlete community.”
– Intel CEO Bob Swan

“The IOC always has an athlete-first approach because athletes are at the heart of the Olympic movement. We are excited to be working with the Intel team to support athletes around the world, but also to drive the future of the Olympic Games through Intel’s cutting-edge technology. This collaboration is another demonstration of the support the IOC provides to athletes’ well-being at every stage of an athlete’s career.”
– IOC President Thomas Bach

“There are many important corporate benefits that can help athletes navigate future career opportunities. This program is crucial in supporting athletes achieve their professional and personal goals.”
– Ashton Eaton, Olympic champion and Intel employee

Intel and the IOC are committed to supporting the Olympic ecosystem, athletes and partners during the global pandemic. These benefits are available for Intel’s 100,000 employees, and now will extend to a greater community of 50,000 athletes spanning 200 countries. Additionally, Intel has donated Intel-technology-powered products, including virtual reality headsets, to different sporting committees to help athletes continue and enhance their training as well as staying connected. These benefits will provide athletes with resources beyond the Games and align with Intel’s mission of enriching lives and promoting inclusion. These service offerings build on Intel’s greater commitment to combating issues related to COVID-19 through its Pandemic Response Technology Initiative.

Services Provided to Athletes:

  • Intel employee mentoring services: Intel offers exclusive mentoring services from experienced Intel employees across a range of technical and non-technical backgrounds to help athletes develop meaningful growth opportunities as they retire from competition and transition into the next phases of their lives. Intel is widening the breadth of mentors by collaborating with the IOC to include IOC staff and experienced Olympic athletes. Athletes, including members of Team Intel, will be able to develop new post-competition pathways with their mentors and learn useful personal and professional skills.
  • Athlete Webinar Series: Today, Olympic champion and Intel employee Ashton Eaton and Intel’s vice president and general manager of the Olympic Program Office, Rick Echevarria, will participate in the IOC’s Athlete Webinar Series. Eaton will discuss his transition from Olympic athlete to Intel employee and how being an Olympian has prepared him for a career in technology.
  • Knowledge development: Intel is extending its employee-based courses taught by experienced Intel employees to the Olympic community. Courses are curated and adapted specifically for relevance to the athlete audience, building their competency in some of the most in-demand and essential skill sets industries are looking for in the evolving professional landscape of the future. Also, athletes can hone crucial skills important today and in their futures by accessing topics ranging from business and technology to public speaking and branding through LinkedIn.
  • Performance mindset: Athletes will have access to hundreds of resources for focus, sleep, movement and more, including content designed for recovery, competition, training and motivation through six months of Headspace Plus.  Additionally, athletes will have access to content developed by EXOS around mindset and recovery.

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Intel Launches First Artificial Intelligence Associate Degree Program

MCC students 1
Students at Chandler-Gilbert Community College gather for a new student orientation in 2019. Intel is partnering with Maricopa County Community College District to launch the first Intel-designed artificial intelligence associate degree program in the U.S. The program’s first phase will be piloted online at Estrella Mountain Community College and Chandler Gilbert Community College in fall 2020. (Credit: Maricopa County Community College District)

What’s New: Intel is partnering with Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) to launch the first Intel-designed artificial intelligence (AI) associate degree program in the United States. The Arizona Commerce Authority will also provide a workforce grant of $100,000 to support the program. It will enable tens of thousands of students to land careers in high-tech, healthcare, automotive, industrial and aerospace fields.

“We strongly believe AI technology should be shaped by many voices representing different experiences and backgrounds. Community colleges offer the opportunity to expand and diversify AI since they attract a diverse array of students with a variety of backgrounds and expertise. Intel is committed to partnering with educational institutions to expand access to technology skills needed for current and future jobs.”
–Gregory Bryant, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group

Whom It Helps: Based in Tempe, Arizona, MCCCD is the largest community college district in the U.S. with an estimated enrollment of more than 100,000 students across 10 campuses and 10,000 faculty and staff members.

How It Helps: The AI program consists of courses that have been developed by MCCCD’s faculty and Intel leaders based on Intel software and tools such as the Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ Toolkit and Intel Python. Intel will also contribute technical advice, faculty training, summer internships and Intel mentors for both students and faculty members. Students will learn fundamental skills such as data collection, AI model training, coding and exploration of AI technology’s societal impact. The program includes a social impact AI project that is developed with guidance from teachers and Intel mentors. Upon completion, MCCCD will offer an associate degree in artificial intelligence that can be transferred to a four-year college.

Why It’s Important: AI technology is rapidly accelerating with new tools, technology and applications requiring workers to learn new skills. Recent studies show the demand for artificial intelligence skills is expected to grow exponentially. A 2020 LinkedIn report notes that AI skills are one of the top five most in-demand hard skills. Research by MCCCD Workforce and Economic Development Office estimates an increase of 22.4 percent for these roles by 2029.

As of early June 2020, more than 43 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits. Furthermore, a recent McKinsey study estimates that over 57 million jobs are vulnerable, meaning they are subject to furloughs, layoffs or being rendered unproductive. It is critical for educational institutions and corporations to collaborate to prepare for future workforce demands.

About AI Program Launch Details: The program’s first phase will be piloted online at Estrella Mountain Community College and Chandler Gilbert Community College in fall 2020. As physical distancing requirements are lifted and the concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic decrease, classes will begin in-person at both campuses.

More Context: This expands on the Intel® AI for Youth program, which provides AI curriculum and resources to over 100,000 high school and vocational students in nine countries and will continue to scale globally. (Read, “AI for Youth Uses Intel Technology to Solve Real-World Problems.”) Additionally, Intel recently collaborated with Udacity to create the Intel Edge AI for IoT Developers Nanodegree Program aimed at training 1 million developers. Intel has a commitment to expand digital readiness to reach 30 million people in 30,000 institutions in 30 countries. This builds on the company’s recently announced 2030 goals and Global Impact Challenges that reinforce its commitment to making technology fully inclusive and expand digital readiness.

Intel’s corporate responsibility and positive global impact work is embedded in its purpose to create world-changing technology that enriches the lives of every person on Earth. By leveraging its position in the technology ecosystem, Intel can help customers and partners achieve their own aspirations and accelerate progress on key topics across the technology industry.

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Four Team USA Athletes Join Team Intel

Intel announced its support for four athletes who will represent Team Intel on the path to Tokyo 2020. These U.S. athletes are the first group to join Team Intel for the Tokyo Games.

Ashton Eaton (track and field), Lex Gillette (Paralympic track and field), Nneka Ogwumike (basketball) and Noah Lyles (track and field) have joined Team Intel as ambassadors for the upcoming Games. Athletes are the heart of what the Games represent as the world comes together to celebrate sport and diversity, and to push the boundaries of performance. In addition to being Team Intel ambassadors, these athletes will work with Intel on initiatives like Athlete 365, the IOC’s official athlete support program, and provide feedback on how Intel’s technology can support athletes and the sport ecosystem. Intel values the contribution from the athlete community and understands the unique perspective they bring when it comes to developing technology.

“We have great respect for the commitment necessary to compete on the world’s biggest stage and so we are excited to welcome these athletes to Team Intel,” said Rick Echevarria, vice president and general manager, Intel Olympic Program. “Each member not only brings an impressive list of athletic achievements, but also, importantly to us, a passion for the role that technology plays both in their sport and in the world. We look forward to supporting them on their journey over the next year.”

More: Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Press Kit)

Meet Team Intel

tokyo2020 ashtonAshton Eaton’s Olympic legacy will live on forever through his gold medal-winning performances on the track and his technical advancements with Intel off of it. He is only the third Olympian to achieve back-to-back gold medals (2012, 2016) in the decathlon and holds five World Championship gold medals in both the decathlon and heptathlon events. Eaton currently works at Intel as a product development engineer, focusing on integrating key technologies into the Games.

“I have a passion for engineering, so naturally I leaped at the opportunity to join Team Intel. I’ve been able to work with them as they continue to evolve their technology for the upcoming Olympic Games, as well as other support programs for athletes. Even though I’ve hung up my shoes and won’t be competing next summer, I’m so proud to contribute to advancements that will help athletes next year and beyond!”
– Ashton Eaton

tokyo2020 lexLex Gillette is a four-time Paralympic Games competitor – earning silver medals in track and field (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016). Blind since the age of 8, Gillette competes in track and field in the 100-meter and long jump for the United States. In addition to his four Paralympic Games medals, has earned nine World Championship medals. He is also a motivational speaker and works as an athlete mentor for Classroom Champions.

“Technology is helping make the future of sport more accessible and inclusive and has played an important role in my life and career development. I am honored to join Team Intel and be a part of a team that champions both technology and inclusivity. “
– Lex Gillette

tokyo2020 nnekaNneka Ogwumike has leveraged her collegiate, professional and international basketball success to support women’s empowerment, STEM education and promotion of health and wellness. She was drafted first overall in the 2012 WNBA draft and, that same year, was named WNBA Rookie of the Year. A six-time WNBA All-Star and member of the 2016 WNBA Champion Los Angeles Sparks, Ogwumike also serves as the President of the WNBA Players Association.

“I have been an advocate for STEM education, as I believe in the importance of representation in technological literacy in today’s world. As I work towards having the opportunity to represent the United States next summer in Tokyo, I am proud to be able to partner with Intel as they are an organization that is helping to bring us into the future.”
– Nneka Ogwumike

Noah Lyles has overcome many hurdles throughout his life, including child asthma, bullying, academic struggles, ADD and depression. Despite that, Lyles is prepared to take Tokyo by storm and return the United States track and field team to global prominence. Among his many accomplishments, he holds the world record in the indoor 300-meter with a time of 31.87 seconds and has won the 200-meter gold at both the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games and the 2019 World Athletics Championships.

“As I work towards qualifying for Tokyo next summer, it’s inspiring to be able to team up with an organization that puts as much effort into the Olympic Games as I do. Also, when I’m not training, I am passionate about technology, in particular gaming and creating music, so working with Intel is a natural fit for me.”
– Noah Lyles

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NVIDIA Shatters Big Data Analytics Benchmark

NVIDIA just outperformed by nearly 20x the record for running the standard big data analytics benchmark, known as TPCx-BB.

Using the RAPIDS suite of open-source data science software libraries powered by 16 NVIDIA DGX A100 systems, NVIDIA ran the benchmark in just 14.5 minutes, versus the current leading result of 4.7 hours on a CPU system. The DGX A100 systems had a total of 128 NVIDIA A100 GPUs and used NVIDIA Mellanox networking.

TPCx-BB benchmark results across 30 queries. Running on 16 DGX A100 systems, RAPIDS delivers the above relative performance gains per query for 10TB testing.

Software and Hardware Align for Full-Throttle Results

Today, leading organizations use AI to gain insights. The TPCx-BB benchmark features queries that combine SQL with machine learning on structured data, with natural language processing and unstructured data, reflecting the diversity found in modern data analytics workflows.

These unofficial results point to a new standard, and the breakthroughs behind it are available through the NVIDIA software and hardware ecosystem.

To run the benchmark, NVIDIA used RAPIDS for data processing and machine learning, Dask for horizontal scaling and UCX open source libraries for ultra fast communication, all supercharged on DGX A100.

DGX A100 systems can effectively power analytics, AI training and inference on a single, software-defined platform. DGX A100 unites the NVIDIA Ampere architecture-based NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs and NVIDIA Mellanox networking in a turnkey system that scales with ease.

Parallel Processing for Unparalleled Performance

TPCx-BB is a big data benchmark for enterprises representing real-world ETL (extract, transform, load) and machine learning workflows. The benchmark’s 30 queries include big data analytics use cases like inventory management, price analysis, sales analysis, recommendation systems, customer segmentation and sentiment analysis.

Despite steady improvements in distributed computing systems, such big data workloads are bottlenecked when running on CPUs. The RAPIDS results on DGX A100 showcase the breakthrough potential for TPCx-BB benchmarks powered by GPUs, a measurement historically run on CPU-only systems.

In this benchmark, the RAPIDS software ecosystem and DGX A100 systems accelerate compute, communication, networking and storage infrastructure. This integration sets a new bar for running data science workloads at scale.

Efficient Benchmarking at Big Data Scale

At the SF10000 TPCx-BB scale, the NVIDIA testing represents results for a workload with more than 10 terabytes of data.

At this scale, query complexity can quickly drive up execution time, which increases data center expenses like space, server equipment, power, cooling and IT expertise. The elastic DGX A100 architecture addresses these challenges.

And with new NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU systems coming from NVIDIA hardware partners, data scientists will have even more options to accelerate their workloads with the performance of A100.

Open Source Acceleration and Collaboration

The RAPIDS TPCx-BB benchmark is an active project with many partners and open source communities.

The TPCx-BB queries were implemented as a series of Python scripts utilizing the RAPIDS dataframe library, cuDF; the RAPIDS machine learning library, cuML; and CuPy, BlazingSQL and Dask as the primary libraries. Numba was used to implement custom logic in user-defined functions, with spaCy for Named Entity Recognition.

These results would not be possible without the RAPIDS and broader PyData ecosystem.

To dive deeper into the RAPIDS benchmarking results, read the RAPIDS blog. For more information on RAPIDS, visit rapids.ai.

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Intel Elects Dion J. Weisler to Board of Directors

dion weisler 1SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 17, 2020 – Intel Corporation today announced that Dion J. Weisler, former president and CEO of HP Inc., was elected to Intel’s board of directors. Weisler will serve as an independent director and member of the compensation and finance committees.

“We are excited to welcome Dion to the board,” said Intel Chairman Omar Ishrak. “He brings a deep understanding of the Intel customer experience and a wealth of technical industry knowledge spanning client, cloud and network computing. Dion also shares Intel’s strong commitment to corporate responsibility, having championed diversity and inclusion as well as sustainability while leading HP.”

Weisler, 52, has extensive global executive experience, including serving as the president and chief executive officer of HP Inc. from 2015 to 2019. Prior to that, he held senior executive roles at HP Co. and Lenovo Group Inc., where he was responsible for various operations in Asia Pacific and globally. His experience also includes management positions with Telstra Corp. Ltd., a telecommunications company, and Acer Inc. Weisler also has significant public company board experience. This includes serving on the HP Inc. board from 2015 to May 2020. He currently serves as a director on the boards of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and BHP.

“Having admired Intel for more than three decades as the company that fueled compute as we know it, I’m honored and excited to join them as they transform to capitalize on new markets fueled by the incredible growth of data and intelligence. Their rich entrepreneurial culture, unique innovation and scale positions Intel to drive a positive global impact for decades to come,” Weisler said.

Intel’s company bylaws designate a range of nine to 15 board members. With this addition, there are currently 10 members on the board. Since 2018, Intel has added four independent directors, half of whom are women, including one who is an underrepresented minority.

“In the last two years, Intel has made significant changes to its board of directors, having reduced the average tenure, added critical skills and increased board diversity,” Ishrak said. “While we view this as positive progress, we are not satisfied. Consistent with Intel’s values, we expect to continue adding additional directors with a specific focus on increasing the representation of racially and ethnically diverse board members.”

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Humanity and Innovation: NVIDIA Releases 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

NVIDIA’s 11th annual corporate social responsibility report comes as the world confronts COVID-19 and the fight for racial equality has been reignited.

We’re inspired by the millions of frontline workers risking their lives to protect the billions sheltering at home to slow the spread of the disease. Ongoing protests in the U.S. are also underscoring racial inequities.

We know it’s not enough to be a well-intended, inclusive employer and provide equal opportunities for all. We’re creating opportunities for real change and reform. This past year, we prioritized the recruitment of women, Black/African Americans and other underrepresented minorities, reaching 19,000 candidates.

We also set out to make our annual developers conference, GTC, more inclusive. We increased the number of women attending by 60 percent from the previous year while also increasing the number of attendees from Black and Hispanic/Latino communities. We’re building relationships that will allow us to increase the number of Black NVIDIANs and GPU developers, but we still have a lot more work to do.

In the midst of all that’s going on in the world, our 16,000-plus employees are hard at work from home, performing groundbreaking research and developing revolutionary technologies and products. That work includes tackling COVID-19, unlocking new medical treatments to fight cancer and disease, reducing traffic congestion and fatalities, and saving crops, oceans and endangered species. We’ve found there’s no limit to the good that AI and accelerated computing can do to improve lives, aid the environment and address global challenges.

In response to the pandemic, NVIDIA joined the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium to help researchers better understand the virus, its treatments and potential cures. We provided over 300 coronavirus researchers a free 90-day license to NVIDIA Parabricks so they can use GPUs to accelerate genomic analysis of the virus by 50x. We also issued a global call to action for PC gamers to contribute their idle GPU and CPU processing power to “fold” against the coronavirus. These are among a number of our initiatives underway to combat COVID-19.

Equally inspiring: despite being physically distant as a result of office closures, NVIDIANs around the world came together to help those affected by the pandemic, donating more than $10.6 million to nonprofits in 34 countries to support COVID-19 response efforts.

Accelerated computing, which we pioneered, and AI are the most powerful technology forces of our time and will be essential to progress. We have to invent things and make them sustainable. Our platform democratizes AI so that any company can use it without having to write software. And our relentless work in energy efficiency helps conserve resources and lower the cost of accelerated computing for everyone, while tackling problems ordinary computers simply can’t.

Our corporate social responsibility report highlights our efforts over the last year to improve our social and environmental performance and measure our progress. This includes:

  • Fostering inclusion
  • Minimizing human rights risk in our supply chain
  • Designing energy-efficient products
  • Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions
  • Setting a goal to get 65 percent of electricity from renewable sources by fiscal 2025
  • Giving back to our communities through local volunteer and fundraising activities

Our efforts in many of these areas were rewarded with widespread recognition:

  • Featured for the fourth year in a row on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work (No. 27), was No. 6 on its Best Workplace in Technology list
  • Placed No. 5 on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in AI list
  • Ranked No. 1 in Agility, Innovation and Performance by MIT Management
  • Included on both Glassdoor’s Culture 500 and Employee’s Choice: Best Places to Work lists
  • Ranked No. 1 for Worker Treatment and No. 2 overall on the JUST100
  • Scored 100 percent for the fifth year in a row on Human Rights Watch’s Corporate Equality Index
  • Featured for sixth consecutive year on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index
  • Retained positions on the FTSE4Good index, Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, 100 Best Corporate Citizens, and Barron’s Top 100 Most Sustainable Companies lists

These are just the highlights. Learn more about our efforts to be a responsible corporate citizen in this year’s report.

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Changes in Intel’s Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 11, 2020 – Today, Intel announced that Jim Keller has resigned effective June 11, 2020, due to personal reasons. Intel appreciates Mr. Keller’s work over the past two years helping them continue advancing Intel’s product leadership and they wish him and his family all the best for the future. Intel is pleased to announce, however, that Mr. Keller has agreed to serve as a consultant for six months to assist with the transition.

Intel has a vastly experienced team of technical leaders within its Technology, Systems Architecture and Client Group (TSCG) under the leadership of Dr. Venkata (Murthy) Renduchintala, group president of TSCG and chief engineering officer. As part of this transition, the following leadership changes will be made, effective immediately:

  • Sundari Mitra, the former CEO and founder of NetSpeed Systems and the current leader of Intel’s Configurable Intellectual Property and Chassis Group, will lead a newly created IP Engineering Group focused on developing best-in-class IP.
  • Gene Scuteri, an accomplished engineering leader in the semiconductor industry, will head the Xeon and Networking Engineering Group.
  • Daaman Hejmadi will return to leading the Client Engineering Group focused on system-on-chip (SoC) execution and designing next-generation client, device and chipset products. Hejmadi has over two decades of experience leading teams delivering advanced SoCs both inside and outside of Intel.
  • Navid Shahriari, an experienced Intel leader, will continue to lead the Manufacturing and Product Engineering Group, which is focused on delivering comprehensive pre-production test suites and component debug capabilities to enable high-quality, high-volume manufacturing.

Intel congratulates Sundari, Gene, Daaman and Navid as we begin the next phase of our world-class engineering organization and look forward to executing on our exciting roadmap of products.

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Bob Swan Memo: The Sidelines are Not an Option; Intel Pledges $1M to Address Social Justice, Racism

Intel CEO Bob Swan sent the following memo to company employees in response to the recent senseless acts of racism and violence in the United States.

intel bob swan paddedI’m writing to you to address recent events that have occurred here in the United States that are weighing heavily on so many of us over the past several days, weeks and months.

The senseless acts of racism and violence that recently took the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and threatened Christian Cooper are abhorrent and wrong. We stand with Ahmaud, Breonna, George, Christian, their families, their friends and their communities, and we call for an end to acts of racism, inequity and social injustice.

Black lives matter. Period. While racism can look very different around the world, one thing that does not look different is that racism of any kind will not be tolerated here at Intel or in our communities.

To our black employees and communities inside and outside Intel, I hear you and see you. You are hurting deeply. You are angry. You are tired. Barb Whye wrote about the pain many of you are feeling in a poignant note to her team titled “Where is the human in humanity?” When any part of our One Intel team is hurting, we all hurt. We stand with you and support you. Standing on the sidelines is not an option. My commitment to you is to open my mind and my heart to listen and act. I ask all of us to do this, together.

We can start by living more deeply into our values. Inclusion is one of the six values that shapes who we are and the culture we are creating at Intel. We strive to build a culture of belonging. We create a space where everyone can contribute to their fullest potential and deliver their best work. We welcome differences, knowing it makes us better. I challenge every one of us to ask ourselves the hard questions. Am I building an inclusive team? Am I making it possible for everyone to show up at work as their whole selves? Am I role-modeling humanity? What more can I do —  especially right now?

Have empathy and compassion for one another and seek to understand. Inform your thinking with diverse points of view. For all the managers at Intel, let’s check in on our teams and have open conversations about what’s happening because we know what happens outside of work impacts the work we do inside.

More broadly, though, we have a greater responsibility to drive change in the world. That is why our 2030 corporate responsibility strategy and goals include a deep focus on diversity and inclusion, including working with other companies to accelerate adoption of inclusive business practices across industries by creating and implementing a global inclusion index open standard. At a time when some companies are disinvesting in diversity and inclusion, we are investing more because it matters.

It’s also why today Intel is pledging $1 million in support of efforts to address social injustice and anti-racism across various nonprofits and community organizations. I also encourage employees to consider donating to organizations focused on equity and social justice, including the Black Lives Matter Foundation, the Center for Policing Equity and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, all of which are eligible for Intel’s Donation Matching Program.

It’s with a heavy heart that I write this note because I’ve heard from many of you who are feeling deep pain and sadness right now. I know I speak for the leadership team, our board of directors and our employees around the globe when I say: We are here for you. Together we will get through this. Together we will change the world and enrich the lives of EVERY person on Earth.

— Bob

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AI to Hit Mars, Blunt Coronavirus, Play at the London Symphony Orchestra

AI is the rocket fuel that will get us to Mars. It’s the vaccine that will save us on Earth. And it’s the people who aspire to make a dent in the universe.

Our latest “I Am AI” video, unveiled during NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang’s keynote address at the GPU Technology Conference, pays tribute to the scientists, researchers, artists and many others making historic advances with AI.

To grasp AI’s global impact, consider: the technology is expected to generate $2.9 trillion worth of business value by 2021, according to Gartner.

It’s on course to classify 2 trillion galaxies to understand the universe’s origin, and to zero in on the molecular structure of the drugs needed to treat coronavirus and cancer.

As depicted in the latest video, AI has an artistic side, too. It can paint as well as Bob Ross. And its ability to assist in the creation of original compositions is worthy of the London Symphony Orchestra, which plays the accompanying theme music, a piece that started out written by a recurrent neural network.

AI is also capable of creating text-to-speech synthesis for narrating a short documentary. And that’s just what it did.

These fireworks and more are the story of I Am AI. Sixteen companies and research organizations are featured in the video. The action moves fast, so grab a bowl of popcorn, kick back and enjoy this tour of some of the highlights of AI in 2020.

Reaching Into Outer Space

Understanding the formation of the structure and the amount of matter in the universe requires observing and classifying celestial objects such as galaxies. With an estimated 2 trillion galaxies to examine in the observable universe, it’s what cosmologists call a “computational grand challenge.”

The recent Dark Energy Survey collected data from over 300 million galaxies. To study them with unprecedented precision, the Center for Artificial Intelligence Innovation at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign teamed up with the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory.

NCSA tapped the Galaxy Zoo project, a crowdsourced astronomy effort that labeled millions of galaxies observed by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Using that data, an AI model with 99.6 percent accuracy can now chew through unlabeled galaxies to ID them and accelerate scientific research.

With Mars targeted for human travel, scientists are seeking the safest path. In that effort, the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory takes images of the sun every 1.3 seconds. And researchers have developed an algorithm that removes errors from the images, which are placed into a growing archive for analysis.

Using such data, NASA is tapping into NVIDIA GPUs to analyze solar surface flows so that it can build better models for predicting the weather in space. NASA also aims to identify origins of energetic particles in Earth’s orbit that could damage interplanetary spacecraft, jeopardizing trips to Mars.

Restoring Voice and Limb

Voiceitt — a Tel Aviv-based startup that’s developed signal processing, speech recognition technologies and deep neural nets — offers a synthesized voice for those whose speech has been distorted. The company’s app converts unintelligible speech into easily understood speech.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratory and North Carolina State University’s Active Robotic Sensing (ARoS) Laboratory develop experimental robotic limbs used in the labs.

The two research units have been working on walking environment recognition, aiming to develop environmental adaptive controls for prostheses. They’ve been using CNNs for prediction running on NVIDIA GPUs. And they aren’t alone.

Helping in Pandemic

Whiteboard Coordinator remotely monitors the temperature of people entering buildings to minimize exposure to COVID-19. The Chicago-based startup provides temperature-screening rates of more than 2,000 people per hour at checkpoints. Whiteboard Coordinator and NVIDIA bring AI to the edge of healthcare with NVIDIA Clara Guardian, an application framework that simplifies the development and deployment of smart sensors.

Viz.ai uses AI to inform neurologists about strokes much faster than traditional methods. With the onset of the pandemic, Viz.ai moved to help combat the new virus with an app that alerts care teams to positive COVID-19 results.

Axial3D is a Belfast, Northern Ireland, startup that enlists AI to accelerate the production time of 3D-printed models for medical images used in planning surgeries. Having redirected its resources at COVID-19, the company is now supplying face shields and is among those building ventilators for the U.K.’s National Health Service. It has also begun 3D printing of swab kits for testing as well as valves for respirators. (Check out their on-demand webinar.)

Autonomizing Contactless Help

KiwiBot, a cheery-eyed food delivery bot from Berkeley, Calif., has included in its path a way to provide COVID-19 services. It’s autonomously delivering masks, sanitizers and other supplies with its robot-to-human service.

Masterpieces of Art, Compositions and Narration

Researchers from London-based startup Oxia Palus demonstrated in a paper, “Raiders of the Lost Art,” that AI could be used to recreate lost works of art that had been painted over. Beneath Picasso’s 1902 The Crouching Beggar lies a mountainous landscape that art curators believe is of Parc del Laberint d’Horta, near Barcelona.

They also know that Santiago Rusiñol painted Parc del Laberint d’Horta. Using a modified X-ray fluorescence image of The Crouching Beggar and Santiago Rusiñol’s Terraced Garden in Mallorca, the researchers applied neural style transfer, running on NVIDIA GPUs, to reconstruct the lost artwork, creating Rusiñol’s Parc del Laberint d’Horta.

 

For GTC a few years ago, Luxembourg-based AIVA AI composed the start — melodies and accompaniments — of what would become an original classical music piece meriting an orchestra. Since then we’ve found it one.

Late last year, the London Symphony Orchestra agreed to play the moving piece, which was arranged for the occasion by musician John Paesano and was recorded at Abbey Road Studios.

 

NVIDIA alum Helen was our voice-over professional for videos and events for years. When she left the company, we thought about how we might continue the tradition. We turned to what we know: AI. But there weren’t publicly available models up to the task.

A team from NVIDIA’s Applied Deep Learning Research group published the answer to the problem: Flowtron: an Autoregressive Flow-based Generative Network for Text-to-Speech Synthesis. Licensing Helen’s voice, we trained the network on dozens of hours of it.

First, Helen produced multiple takes, guided by our creative director. Then our creative director was able to generate multiple takes from Flowtron and adjust parameters of the model to get the desired outcome. And what you hear is “Helen” speaking in the I Am AI video narration.

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