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3D News

In our opinion, there are far too few people out there taking 3D images and one major reason is the perceived difficulty barrier—taking two images and combining them for a stereo effect with special software or using custom twin digital SLR camera rigs is simply too complex and/or expensive for most of us mere mortals. Enter the 3D-capable point-and-shoot, the latest of which is Panasonic’s upcoming Lumix DMC-3D1. Similar to Fujifilm...

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Reading a food label. Navigating a crosswalk. Recognizing a friend. These tasks are easy for most people, but can be difficult for those who are visually impaired.

To bring more independence to the lives of people with limited sight, a new wearable device called Horus uses GPU-powered deep learning and computer vision to help them “see” by describing what its users are looking at.

Its maker, a Swiss startup called Eyra, announced this week at GTC DC in Washington that the device will soon be available through an early access program in Italy. Alpha testers describe Horus as a life-changing device, said Saverio Murgia, CEO and co-founder of Eyra.

Horus Trials Set for January Horus is about the size of a smartphone.

Eyra has started trials of Horus with the Italian Union of Blind and Partially Sighted People. (It also supports English and Japanese.) Feedback from early testers, most of whom will receive the device in January, will be used to improve the device before wider release later this year.

Worn like a headset, the device uses an NVIDIA Tegra K1 for GPU-accelerated computer vision, deep learning and sensors that process, analyze and describe images from two cameras.

The headset uses bone conduction instead of going through the ear canal, so users can hear the verbal descriptions even in noisy environments. The battery and GPU are housed in a box that’s roughly the size of a smartphone, and the device will cost roughly $2,000.

Wearable Device for Blind and Visually Impaired

Eyra and its wearable device for blind and visually impaired people won our first social innovation award at the Emerging Companies Summit during our GPU Technology Conference in April.

There’s no question that the award sped Eyra’s progress from prototype to product, Saverio said. The publicity alone was a plus for its recruiting efforts.

“Everyone is trying to hire deep learning engineers,” Murgia said. “Getting publicity at GTC made a big difference in our success attracting candidates.”

Deep Learning Makes a Difference

As part of the award, Eyra received our DIGITS DevBox deep learning desktop system, which boosted the company’s computing power and, along with cuDNN, sped up training of its deep neural network. Murgia said the company used the Tegra K1 GPUs as well as our CUDA parallel computing platform for training the neural network to accurately identify imagery, and for inference – that is, deploying the trained network in the real world.

Since then, the company has worked to make the device smaller, faster and more stable. Eyra also became part of our Inception Program, a “virtual incubator” that assists startups advancing artificial intelligence and data science.

“Seeing the faces of people who try Horus for the first time drives our passion,” Murgia said. “It shows we’re making a real difference in people’s lives.”

The post This Powerful Wearable Is a Life-Changer for the Blind appeared first on The Official NVIDIA Blog.

The U.S. needs to invest more in AI research, leading policymakers told a sellout crowd of about 1,000 attendees at NVIDIA’s inaugural GPU Technology Conference in Washington.

Speaking during the opening keynotes, Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Counsel of Economic Advisers, and France Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation, said that AI will create new jobs and consumer demand, and increase U.S. competitiveness.

Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Counsel of Economic Advisers, speaking at our inaugural GPU Technology Conference in Washington D.C.

“People should be more concerned about enabling AI, and less concerned about it taking our jobs away,” Furman said. He said fears of job-killing robots aren’t new — they date back to the 1930s, when headlines like “Mr. Robot Often Outshines His Master” appeared in The New York Times.

Furman said the U.S. government currently invests “only $200 million in basic AI research annually. Studies have found that the optimal level of public funding needs to be about 2-4 times what we’re spending now.”

He cited the DARPA Grand Challenge in self-driving cars as an example of past programs that enabled breakthrough innovation and product development. Such investment leads to American products that global consumers want, creating wealth and job opportunities in the U.S.

France Cordova, director of the National Science Foundation, speaking at GTC DC.

Córdova said AI has “the same explosive potential as the internet – it has the potential to revolutionize everything we do.”

Córdova, who directs the NSF’s $7.5 billion in annual research funding, said “advances in GPU computing have opened the door to the AI revolution” but that the US needs to increase funding in basic AI research. Doing so will benefit the economy, health care and defense and address some of society’s greatest challenges, she argued.

NVIDIA Chief Scientist Bill Dally said that the computer industry has entered the AI era, and that deep learning will soon appear everywhere: Internet and cloud computing, medicine and biology, media and entertainment, security and defense, and autonomous machines to name a few.

NVIDIA Chief Scientist Bill Dally.

Observing that Google executives (including CEO Sundar Pichai) have said that they plan to integrate AI everywhere, Dally said he believes AI will revolutionize transportation, healthcare and society.

He said that computing has fundamentally changed the field of science the last few years, as scientists have embraced simulation. “Supercomputers are the scientific instruments of the 21st century,” he said, noting that climate change, cosmology, biology and healthcare science are all being advanced with simulation.

Following the morning keynotes, policymakers from the NSF, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the White House took part in a panel discussion about AI for America’s Future. Alan Davidson, senior advisor to the U.S. Commerce Secretary, said that “AI is essential to ensure US economic prosperity and improve people’s lives” but that government had an important role in supporting innovation and not hindering it.

A sellout crowd of about 1,000 crowded into our inaugural GPU Technology Conference in Washington.

GTC DC, which spans two days, includes more than 50 sessions on deep learning for government, healthcare, high-performance computing, Internet of Things and self-driving cars.

To learn more about GTC, visit GPU Technology Conference

The post Top DC Policymakers Say They Worry U.S. Not Investing Enough in AI appeared first on The Official NVIDIA Blog.