Lyft continues to chase down Uber with a new billion dollar investment round, Deepmind has created an AI that learned how to master the game GO all by itself, and Toyota will begin testing its AI driven, self-driving electric vehicles by 2020.
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From Google Trends – Lyft has its sights set on Uber, announcing yesterday that Google parent company Alphabet is leading a 1 billion dollar financing round that ups Lyft’s valuation from $7.5 billion to $11 billion. The ride-hailing company has been taking advantage of the numerous scandals surrounding Uber over the past year, recently completing its 500 millionth ride with reports stating it could officially be releasing in Canada before the new year. Lyft also announced recently that it will be opening a Silicon Valley office dedicated to self-driving cars called Level 5. An interesting tidbit to add here, Alphabet’s own self-driving car unit, Waymo, is currently fighting a legal battle with Uber after it accused Uber of stealing its autonomous vehicle technology.
Sticking to Google Trends – Alphabet’s AI arm, DeepMind Technologies, announced that its AI, which the company has dubbed AlphaGo Zero, has learned to play the board game ‘Go’ completely from scratch – beginning by making completely random moves against an equal-strength version of itself. It took three hours to achieve human amateur level of playing, and 21 days to get to the level where it defeated the world champion in Go earlier this year. By the 40th day, the program could beat any of the best previous iterations created by DeepMind 100 times out of 100. While certainly impressive, DeepMind believes that this sort of self-play technology could be applied to protein folding, reducing energy consumption, or searching for new drugs and materials by ingesting crazy amounts of knowledge collected by humans in a matter of days or weeks.
And from Reddit – Toyota has announced that it aims to begin testing its AI-powered self-driving electric car on the road by 2020. The Concept-i model was revealed at the CES in Las Vegas earlier this year, and will apparently be equipped with AI capable of developing personalized knowledge of user preferences and habits. According to Toyota, this means that the electric car can estimate the emotions and alertness of drivers by reading their expressions, actions, and tone of voice. 2020 is certainly much sooner than anyone expected Toyota to begin realizing this concept, but with a new one billion dollar investment into this technology, anything is possible.