The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Bank of England

On Monday of this week, the Bank of England governor Mark Carney promised to reinvent the Bank of England to make it fit for the “new economy” of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution", reflecting changes in how society, business and government operate.

 

AI

Where are all these AI chips coming from?

Blink, and the silicon industry changes. I thought we knew what kinds of microprocessor we needed, and the silicon chip makers were just getting on with making them faster, cheaper and better. But now, I’m seeing reports of a whole bunch of so-called “AI chips”. So what’s happening, and why?

The birth of AI chips is a strange thing, because they are not coming from the usual places: cloud providers like Google and Alibaba, telecoms firm Huawei, and tiny start-ups like GraphCore. IBM is making AI chips, after it seemed to be scaling down its silicon work. And even Intel, when it got involved, bought a start-up called Nervana, and then teamed up with Facebook.

Trick or treat? How will a Halloween Brexit affect the data industry?

With the deadline for the UK's Brexit decision now put back to October 31, businesses might well view Halloween 2019 with terror. With data processing and storage so vital for many sectors, the question of how Brexit will affect data movement across borders is a significant one.

A Google search for the words "Brexit" and "Uncertainty" delivers more than 27 million results. On the other hand, you'll find just seven million results for "Brexit" and "Clarity" and a quick scan of those finds that they concern "lack of clarity". If there's one iron rule of Brexit it's that nobody knows anything.

How digitisation changed retail

We all know that “the Internet changed everything”, but sometimes we don’t realise how big those changes have been. Let’s have a look at one vertical sector: retail.

When the world wide web first put a user-friendly skin on the Internet in the early 1990s, people suddenly realised they could buy and sell things online. The actual implementation took a while: no-one had broadband, and proper security was impossible as the encryption algorithms such as RSA were classed as munitions by the US, and could not be sold. The first thing I bought online was the Perl script munitions T-shirt around 1992.

How AI can keep your executives out of jail

Only artificial intelligence (AI) can prevent social media firms from shutting their doors. Costs, fines and executive jail terms are threatened as the government tackles online harm.

Stricter regulation of social media companies is now high up on the agenda of many national governments. In the UK plans are in place to create a statutory duty of care toward social media users, and a new independent regulator with powerful sanctions is to be established.

AI and HPC Field Trip - Rumours from the trade show floor

The long-lasting Icelandic winter didn’t impact the momentum of our second AI and HPC Field Trip. Once again we gathered around 15 practitioners from the worlds of AI, machine learning, deep learning and high performance computing to network and brainstorm together, as well as tour our industrial scale campus on Iceland’s former NATO based near Keflavik.

2019 GTC San Jose – Rumours from the trade show floor

Nvidia’s GPU Technical Conference (GTC) in San Jose always marks the start of spring. Although at this time of year the daffodils haven’t yet broken ground in Boston, but the days are warming, and the snow is becoming less frequent. In San Jose spring was in full swing with sunny days and temperatures above 20⁰C following a winter of record rains. The GTC conference addresses all things GPU and increasingly their AI use cases. Over the few years the number of attendees has ramped from a few thousand to currently in the region of 9,000. The largest grouping of attendees appears to be applying GPUs to AI deep neural network training and inference.

AI & HPC in France

As a French citizen living in London with the dark Brexit cloud looming over us all, I am pleased to see some things moving in the right direction in my beloved home country such as the massive investments the Macron government has made to push for tech innovations throughout the country and the upgrades it so desperately needed.

Classic HPC v New HPC – Rumours from the trade show floor

Sometimes the combination of networking at a trade show and catching an insightful presentation provide a valuable insight into market dynamics. Earlier this year I attended the HPC and Quantum Computing show in London and following this, watched Addison Snell’s (CEO of Intersect360 Research) “The New HPC” presentation from the Stamford HPC Conference. Both confirmed my HPC suspicions garnered over the last year.

Deploying Performant Parallel Filesystems - Ansible and BeeGFS

BeeGFS is a parallel file system suitable for High Performance Computing (HPC) with a proven track record in scalable storage solution space. In this blog hosted by Verne Global, we explore how different components of BeeGFS are pieced together and how we have incorporated them into an Ansible role for a seamless storage cluster deployment experience.

NeurIPS – Rumours from the trade show floor

Generally, trade shows follow the sun and tourists to popular vacation destinations. Everyone loves a conference in San Diego or Orlando! The recently rebranded NeurIPS (formally NIPS) took a different road this year and visited Montreal in early December. Montreal is one of my favourite cities but in early December it’s the season for cold, cloudy weather and infrequent freezing rain. Here's a quick rundown on my experiences at the conference.

Integration of AI systems at scale

Today, data scientists and machine learning engineers can implement systems for tackling discrete tasks with a very high degree of success. Results in fields such as image processing to support cancer diagnosis can be extremely accurate, with the best performing algorithms even exceeding experienced clinicians for certain categories of cancer diagnosis.

Big tech is leading on data privacy – other firms must follow

Business historians might one day see 2018 as a pivotal year. We are in the midst of an AI revolution, with more and more data being processed by algorithms that will help us to make better decisions or simply make the decisions for us. But the collection and exploitation of this data is not without costs and historians might view this year as the year when society began to realise that.

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