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Global smartphone shipments set to drop 12% in 2020 - techcrunch

Global smartphone shipments set to drop 12% in 2020

Another troubling report for the smartphone industry this week. This time the numbers come from IDC, which puts shipments at an 11.9% year-over-year decline for 2020. The number reflects a steep drop off in Q1, followed by what what will likely be continued struggles for companies to regain footing. In fact, the report goes on […]
techcrunch - 46 minutes ago
Sourcing software provider Keelvar raises $18M from Elephant and Mosaic - techcrunch

Sourcing software provider Keelvar raises $18M from Elephant and Mosaic

It was perhaps not until the COVID-19 pandemic hit the planet that most of us had ever heard or uttered the phrase “supply chain”. But in a global economy that had become drunk and lazy on ‘just in time ordering’ and similar, the threat to supply chains of things like, oh, food, from that pesky […]
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Top cybersecurity VCs share how COVID-19 has changed investing - techcrunch

Top cybersecurity VCs share how COVID-19 has changed investing

The coronavirus pandemic is, without doubt, the greatest challenge the world has faced in a generation. But the wheels of the world keep turning, albeit slower than during normal times. But where the world has faced challenges, the cybersecurity industry remains largely unscathed. In fact, some cybersecurity businesses are doing better than ever because cybersecurity […]
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Unpacking ZoomInfo’s IPO as the firm starts to trade - techcrunch

Unpacking ZoomInfo’s IPO as the firm starts to trade

My read of this odd deal is that it demonstrates that the IPO window is reasonably open, even today.
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Searchable.ai nabs additional $4M seed to continue building AI-driven search - techcrunch

Searchable.ai nabs additional $4M seed to continue building AI-driven search

Searchable.ai is an early-stage startup in the alpha phase of testing its initial product, but it has an idea compelling enough to attract investment, even during a pandemic. Today the company announced an additional $4 million in seed capital to continue building its AI-driven search solution. Susquehanna International Group and Omicron Media co-led the round […]
techcrunch - 1 hour ago
Fitbit gains FDA authorization for its low-cost emergency ventilator - techcrunch

Fitbit gains FDA authorization for its low-cost emergency ventilator

Fitbit has secured an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Fitbit Flow emergency ventilator. The ventilator hardware is low-cost, and doesn’t require very much training or expertise to use, making it a good solution for deployment in scenarios where healthcare systems are overwhelmed by resource strain stemming […]
techcrunch - 2 hours ago
Nanox, maker of a low-cost scanning service to replace X-rays, expands Series B to $51M - techcrunch

Nanox, maker of a low-cost scanning service to replace X-rays, expands Series B to $51M

A lot of the attention in medical technology today has been focused on tools and innovations that might help the world better fight the COVID-19 global health pandemic. Today comes news of another startup that is taking on some funding for a disruptive innovation that has the potential to make both COVID-19 as well as […]
techcrunch - 3 hours ago
Amazon reportedly considering $2 billion stake in Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel - techcrunch

Amazon reportedly considering $2 billion stake in Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel

Amazon .com may follow its American peer Facebook’s footsteps in securing a slice of India’s booming telecom market. The e-commerce giant, which has invested over $6.5 billion in India, is in early-stage talks to buy a 5% stake worth at least $2 billion in Bharti Airtel, the third-largest telecom operator in India, according to unnamed […]
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
Anti-phishing startup Inky raises $20M to ramp up enterprise adoption - techcrunch

Anti-phishing startup Inky raises $20M to ramp up enterprise adoption

Anti-phishing startup Inky has raised $20 million in its Series B round of funding, led by Insight Partners . The funding will help the company push for greater enterprise adoption and expand to international markets including Europe, Asia and Latin America. Inky started out a decade ago with a bold mission to reinvent email with […]
techcrunch - 4 hours ago
Bryter raises $16M for a no-code platform for non-technical people to build enterprise automation apps - techcrunch

Bryter raises $16M for a no-code platform for non-technical people to build enterprise automation apps

Automation is the name of the game in enterprise IT at the moment: we now have a plethora of solutions on the market to speed up your workflow, simplify a process, and perform more repetitive tasks without humans getting involved. Now, a startup that is helping non-technical people get more directly involved in how to […]
techcrunch - 6 hours ago
Amazon Air adds 12 new aircraft to its cargo fleet, expands its ground operations - techcrunch

Amazon Air adds 12 new aircraft to its cargo fleet, expands its ground operations

Amazon announced today it has added 12 new cargo aircraft to Amazon Air, bringing its total fleet to more than 80 aircraft, in part because of increased demand for shipments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The converted Boeing 767-300 were leased from the Air Transport Services Group. Amazon said one of the planes will begin transporting […]
techcrunch - 7 hours ago
Singapore-based caregiving startup launches Homage Health for online and home medical consultations - techcrunch

Singapore-based caregiving startup launches Homage Health for online and home medical consultations

Homage, the Singapore-based startup that matches families and caregivers, has launched a new service that provides home medical visits, telehealth consultations and medication delivery. Called Homage Health, the service was already being developed before the COVID-19 pandemic, but co-founder and CEO Gillian Tee told TechCrunch that its launch was accelerated because many of the company’s […]
techcrunch - 8 hours ago
Prosecutors seek arrest warrant against Samsung heir Jay Lee - techcrunch

Prosecutors seek arrest warrant against Samsung heir Jay Lee

South Korean prosecutors said on Thursday that they have filed an arrest warrant for Samsung’s vice chairman and anointed heir Jay Y. Lee and two other former company executives over an alleged accounting fraud and a controversial merger back in 2015. Lee, whose father is Samsung’s chairman, has previously denied charges. Samsung cannot be immediately […]
techcrunch - 10 hours ago
SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites and achieves a reusability record for a Falcon 9 booster - techcrunch

SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites and achieves a reusability record for a Falcon 9 booster

SpaceX launched its second Falcon 9 rocket in the span of just four days on Wednesday at 9:25 PM EDT (6:25 PM PDT). This one was carrying 60 more satellites for its Starlink constellation, which will bring the total currently in operation on orbit to 480. The launch took off from Florida, where SpaceX launched […]
techcrunch - 13 hours ago
RiskIQ adds National Grid Partners as securing data becomes a strategic priority for utilities - techcrunch

RiskIQ adds National Grid Partners as securing data becomes a strategic priority for utilities

RiskIQ, a startup providing application security, risk assessment and vulnerability management services, has added National Grid Partners as a strategic investor.  The funding from the investment arm of National Grid, a multinational energy provider, is part of a $15 million new round of financing designed to take the company’s technology into critical industrial infrastructure — […]
techcrunch - 15 hours ago
Decentralized identity management platform Magic launches from stealth with $4M - techcrunch

Decentralized identity management platform Magic launches from stealth with $4M

For developers looking to quickly build identity management into their platforms, the most readily available options don’t stray far from the internet’s biggest, most data-hungry platforms. Magic, a small SF startup building a decentralized blockchain-based identity solution, wants to create a seamless experience that feels similar to login workflows from apps like Slack and Medium […]
techcrunch - 15 hours ago
For more equitable startup funding, the “money behind the money” needs to be accountable, too - techcrunch

For more equitable startup funding, the “money behind the money” needs to be accountable, too

As protests continue across the U.S. and beyond, there has been chatter this week in Silicon Valley and the venture industry more broadly about race and which venture firms have done a better job of diversifying their ranks and founder bets. There have been mea culpas, promises by firms to hold themselves more accountable, vows […]
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
Paperwork automation platform Anvil raises $5 million from Google’s Gradient Ventures - techcrunch

Paperwork automation platform Anvil raises $5 million from Google’s Gradient Ventures

Remote work has changed the tools offices need for communicating asynchronously across meetings and chat, but not all collaboration takes place in neat little chat bubbles. Anvil is a San Francisco startup that’s aiming to transform how businesses collaborate around the humble PDF. Anvil’s automation platform levels up Google Forms and allows customers to digitize […]
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
A COVID-19 resilience test for B2B companies - techcrunch

A COVID-19 resilience test for B2B companies

While we are seeing lower valuations, we believe certain B2B technology companies may be uniquely poised to thrive, and are pursuing investment opportunities in this space with a renewed focus.
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
Andreessen Horowitz launches $2.2M fund to invest in underserved founders - techcrunch

Andreessen Horowitz launches $2.2M fund to invest in underserved founders

Andreessen Horowitz announced today in a blog post that it is launching a fund designed to invest in underrepresented and underserved founders. The Talent x Opportunity (TxO) fund, which a16z says was in the works for six months, starts with $2.2 million in donations from the firm’s partners. TxO will be invested in a small […]
techcrunch - 17 hours ago
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techcrunch
Scale AI releases free lidar dataset to power self-driving car development

Scale AI releases free lidar dataset to power self-driving car development

techcrunch - 1 week ago

High quality data is the fuel that powers AI algorithms. Without a continual flow of labeled data, bottlenecks can occur and the algorithm will slowly get worse and add risk to the system.

It’s why labeled data is so critical for companies like Zoox, Cruise and Waymo, which use it to train machine learning models to develop and deploy autonomous vehicles. That need is what led to the creation of Scale AI, a startup that uses software and people to process and label image, lidar and map data for companies building machine learning algorithms. Companies working on autonomous vehicle technology make up a large swath of Scale’s customer base, although its platform is also used by Airbnb, Pinterest and OpenAI, among others.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed, or even halted, that flow of data as AV companies suspended testing on public roads the means of collecting billions of images. Scale is hoping to turn the tap back on, and for free.

The company, in collaboration with lidar manufacturer Hesai, launched this week an open source dataset called PandaSet that can be used for training machine learning models for autonomous driving. The dataset, which is free and licensed for academic and commercial use, includes data collected using Hesai’s forward-facing PandarGT lidar with image-like resolution as well as its mechanical spinning lidar known as Pandar64. The data was collected while driving urban areas in San Francisco and Silicon Valley before officials issued stay-at-home orders in the area, according to the company.

“AI and machine learning are incredible technologies with an incredible potential for impact, but also a huge pain in the ass,” Scale CEO and co-founder Alexandr Wang told TechCrunch in a recent interview. “Machine learning is definitely a garbage in, garbage out kind of framework you really need high quality data to be able to power these algorithms. It’s why we built Scale and it’s also why we’re using this dataset today to help drive forward the industry with an open source perspective.”

The goal with this lidar dataset was to give free access to a dense and content-rich dataset, which Wang said was achieved by using two kinds of lidars in complex urban environments filled with cars, bikes, traffic lights and pedestrians.

“The Zoox and the Cruises of the world will often talk about how battle-tested their systems are in these dense urban environments,” Wang said. “We wanted to really expose that to the whole community.”

Lidar - Scale AI PandaSet flyover GIF

Image Credits: Scale AI

The dataset includes more than 48,000 camera images and 16,000 LiDAR sweeps more than 100 scenes of 8s each, according to the company. It also includes 28 annotation classes for each scene and 37 semantic segmentation labels for most scenes. Traditional cuboid labeling, those little boxes placed around a bike or car, for instance, can’t adequately identify all of the lidar data. So, Scale uses a point cloud segmentation tool to precisely annotate complex objects like rain.

Open sourcing AV data isn’t entirely new. Last year,  Aptiv and Scale released nuScenes, a large-scale data set from an autonomous vehicle sensor suite. Argo AI, Cruise and Waymo were among a number of AV companies that have also released data to researchers. Argo AI released curated data along with high-definition maps, while Cruise shared a data visualization tool it created called Webviz that takes raw data collected from all the sensors on a robot and turns that binary code into visuals.

Scale’s efforts are a bit different; For instance, Wang said the license to use this dataset doesn’t have any restrictions.

“There’s a big need right now and a continual need for high quality labeled data,” Wang said. “That’s one of the biggest hurdles overcome when building self driving systems. We want to democratize access to this data, especially at a time when a lot of the self driving companies can’t collect it.”

That doesn’t mean Scale is going to suddenly give away all of its data. It is, after all a for-profit enterprise. But it’s already considering collecting and open sourcing fresher data later this year.

sauce: techcrunch
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