Developer Salaries in 2018: Updating the Stack Overflow Salary Calculator – Stack Overflow Blog

In their 2018 Salary Survey, Stack Overflow reveals a global increase in Software Engineer salaries, with some locations like London and San Francisco seeing rises in median salary of around 25%, with DevOps engineers commanding the highest pay. Check out how your salary compares here – https://rob.al/2MXFWzx – and read the explanatory blog here:
https://rob.al/2MWMCht
Today we launched the 2018 update to the Stack Overflow Salary Calculator, a tool that allows developers and employers to find typical salaries for the software industry based on experience level,…

What’s AI good for? Industrial or consumer tech? Meh. Airliners? AHA, says UK.gov

In a push to increase collaboration between the UK and Canada on industrial uses of AI, the UK government has teamed up with Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier to offer a prize for ideas which solve an interesting problem – an optimal, self managing de-icing strategy for aircraft. De-icing causes extra fuel burn – either to carry the weight of ice-melting fluids, or to power  heating elements at key points on the plane. Also, deicing at the wrong time can lead to other risks – such as ice forming in places not protected by countermeasures. £100k is up for grabs.
https://rob.al/2M9cmSl
Stop, collaborate and listen: Ice is back we need a brand new invention

Introducing a New Framework for Flexible and Reproducible Reinforcement Learning Research

As more and more teams work with the Arcade Learning Environment to train RL models on Atari games, it becomes more important to a) ensure that comparisons are truly like-for-like and reproducible, and b) find ways to speed up and simplify model iteration. Google has developed a Tensorflow framework, called Dopamine, allowing researchers to focus on the content of their tests and code, rather than spending time iterating and tweaking.
https://rob.al/2NaPvKZ
Posted by Pablo Samuel Castro, Research Software Developer and Marc G. Bellemare, Research Scientist, Google Brain Team Reinforcement lear…

Unsupervised machine translation: A novel approach to provide fast, accurate translations for more languages

One problem with existing training methods for unsupervised learning used in human language translation is the availability of text "pairs" (such as the same sentence written twice) between obscure languages – such as Welsh to Urdu. Facebook is testing out a new mechanism involving "word embeddings" – vector-space representation of words in a given language (e.g. kitty -> cat is closer than kitty -> rocket). Using this model, the relative positions of words can be used to create the translation between languages for which there is little existing identical material. Although promising, performance is still lower than using supervised methods.
https://rob.al/2Cdsi6C
Automatic language translation is important to Facebook as a way to allow the billions of people who use our services to connect and communicate in their preferred language. To do this well, curren…

Study: Autonomous Vehicle Awareness Rising, Acceptance Declining

A recently published poll shows that Americans are turning cold on one of the hottest technology frontiers – self-driving cars. A recent study showed that nearly half of drivers now say they'd "never" buy a Level 4 autonomous car, up from 30% two years ago, and Level 2 automation (which is recognised as being risky given the significantly increased cognitive effort it requires) is now the most popular option among those presented. The drop in enthusiasm for self-driving cars is not correlated with awareness of recent accidents involving the technology – but perhaps with a softening in hue of the rose tinted glasses we are using to project AI.
https://rob.al/2wxrZhJ
A new study from Cox Automotive shows that consumers now have a deeper understanding of the complexities involved when creating a self-driving car, which is causing them to reconsider their comfort…

Boston Dynamics Is Getting Ready to Produce Lots of SpotMinis

Boston Dynamics has finally started to pivot from research towards manufacture of commercial products, with the following uses as priority:
– entertainment – the first and easiest scenario
– emergency response – eg search and rescue, surveillance
– Security – think about automating property line walks etc.
Longer term, they see their devices:
– warehouse logistics – although not clear why a wheeled robot isn’t a better fit
– parcel delivery – jumping from the back of a truck to deliver a parcel
– construction – perhaps an extension of emergency response, robots could carry heavy loads around sites
– caregiving – the ultimate scenario with the most complex requirements
https://rob.al/2wis5sL
But what are they going to do?

Facebook’s message to media: “We are not interested in talking to you about your traffic…That is the old world and there is no going back”

In a clear message to publishers (“We are not interested in talking to you about your traffic…That is the old world and there is no going back”), Facebook has reminded them both of the power it wields, and of their responsibilities – it’s not Facebook’s job to revive the business model of old school publishing, and deceptive practices like getting users to sign up for a monthly subscription without telling them up front the ongoing cost (https://rob.al/2OFsHQG), or making them call you on the phone during restricted hours to cancel (https://rob.al/2OESLuZ), seem like the desperate throws of a dying beast.
https://rob.al/2OHTmwf
That firehose isn’t opening up again anytime soon.

Nvidia’s new Turing architecture is all about real-time ray tracing and AI

At $10,000 for the top end card, NVIDA is clearly aiming these at professional video editing suites, but the addition of built in Tensor Core units aims to speed up end to end editing of film and game graphics – perhaps automating the removal of guide wires from shots, or removing artefacts or entire actual objects from scenes. I just wish the name (“Turing Architecture”) had been saved for a truly self-aware device 🙂
https://rob.al/2Bd88Jf
In recent days, word about Nvidia’s new Turing architecture started leaking out of the Santa Clara-based company’s headquarters. So it didn’t come as a major surprise that the company today announced…