Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

Tech

Grid AI raises $18.6M Series A to help AI researchers and engineers bring their models to production

Published

on

Grid AI, a startup founded by the inventor of the popular open-source PyTorch Lightning project, William Falcon, that aims to help machine learning engineers more efficiently, today announced that it has raised an $18.6 million Series A funding round, which closed earlier this summer. The round was led by Index Ventures, with participation from Bain Capital Ventures and firstminute. 

Falcon co-founded the company with Luis Capelo, who was previously the head of machine learning at Glossier. Unsurprisingly, the idea here is to take PyTorch Lightning, which launched about a year ago, and turn that into the core of Grid’s service. The main idea behind Lightning is to decouple the data science from the engineering.

The time argues that a few years ago, when data scientists tried to get started with deep learning, they didn’t always have the right expertise and it was hard for them to get everything right.

“Now the industry has an unhealthy aversion to deep learning because of this,” Falcon noted. “Lightning and Grid embed all those tricks into the workflow so you no longer need to be a PhD in AI nor [have] the resources of the major AI companies to get these things to work. This makes the opportunity cost of putting a simple model against a sophisticated neural network a few hours’ worth of effort instead of the months it used to take. When you use Lightning and Grid it’s hard to make mistakes. It’s like if you take a bad photo with your phone but we are the phone and make that photo look super professional AND teach you how to get there on your own.”

As Falcon noted, Grid is meant to help data scientists and other ML professionals “scale to match the workloads required for enterprise use cases.” Lightning itself can get them partially there, but Grid is meant to provide all of the services its users need to scale up their models to solve real-world problems.

What exactly that looks like isn’t quite clear yet, though. “Imagine you can find any GitHub repository out there. You get a local copy on your laptop and without making any code changes you spin up 400 GPUs on AWS — all from your laptop using either a web app or command-line-interface. That’s the Lightning “magic” applied to training and building models at scale,” Falcon said. “It is what we are already known for and has proven to be such a successful paradigm shift that all the other frameworks like Keras or TensorFlow, and companies have taken notice and have started to modify what they do to try to match what we do.”

The service is now in private beta.

With this new funding, Grid, which currently has 25 employees, plans to expand its team and strengthen its corporate offering via both Grid AI and through the open-source project. Falcon tells me that he aims to build a diverse team, not in the least because he himself is an immigrant, born in Venezuela, and a U.S. military veteran.

“I have first-hand knowledge of the extent that unethical AI can have,” he said. “As a result, we have approached hiring our current 25 employees across many backgrounds and experiences. We might be the first AI company that is not all the same Silicon Valley prototype tech-bro.”

“Lightning’s open-source traction piqued my interest when I first learned about it a year ago,” Index Ventures’ Sarah Cannon told me. “So intrigued in fact I remember rushing into a closet in Helsinki while at a conference to have the privacy needed to hear exactly what Will and Luis had built. I promptly called my colleague Bryan Offutt who met Will and Luis in SF and was impressed by the ‘elegance’ of their code. We swiftly decided to participate in their seed round, days later. We feel very privileged to be part of Grid’s journey. After investing in seed, we spent a significant amount with the team, and the more time we spent with them the more conviction we developed. Less than a year later and pre-launch, we knew we wanted to lead their Series A.”

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

WhatsApp might soon let you make calls from its desktop app

Published

on

Video calls have increased due to the coronavirus pandemic, and companies such as Facebook and Zoom have taken full advantage of that. Earlier in the year, WhatsApp increased the group call limit from four to eight people. Now, it seems like the chat app will soon introduce the calling feature on its desktop app.

According to renowned WhatsApp sleuth WABetaInfo, the company has started creating the feature in one of its test builds. The under-development feature includes support for voice and video calls for both individual contacts and groups.

[Read: Google Assistant displays get a new UI, a dark theme, and more features]

Screenshots posted by WABetaInfo suggest that when you’ll call someone through the WhatsApp desktop app, a new window will open up with controls to manage the call.

Credit: WABetaInfo
WhatsApp for desktop call window

It’s important to note that you can already make video calls to people through WhatsApp for desktop if you use the shortcut to create Facebook Messenger Rooms. However, the upcoming functionality will bank on WhatsApp’s own infrastructure to make calls.

Since it’s an under-development feature, we don’t know when WhatsApp will roll out support for calls on its desktop app. We’ll keep an eye out for you when this feature becomes available to everyone.

Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Intel agrees to sell its NAND business to SK Hynix for $9 billion

Published

on

SK Hynix, one of the world’s largest chip makers, announced today it will pay $9 billion for Intel’s flash memory business. Intel said it will use proceeds from the deal to focus on artificial intelligence, 5G and edge computing.

“For Intel, this transaction will allow us to to further prioritize our investments in differentiated technology where we can play a bigger role in the success of our customers and deliver attractive returns to our stockholders,” said Intel chief executive officer Bob Swan in the announcement.

The Wall Street Journal first reported earlier this week that the two companies were nearing an agreement, which will turn SK Hynix into one of the world’s largest NAND memory makers, second only to Samsung Electronics.

The deal with SK Hynix is the latest one Intel has made so it can double down on developing technology for 5G network infrastructure. Last year, Intel sold the majority of its modem business to Apple for about $1 billion, with Swan saying that the time that the deal would allow Intel to “[put] our full effort into 5G where it most closely aligns with the needs of our global customer base.”

Once the deal is approved and closes, Seoul-based SK Hynix will take over Intel’s NAND SSD and NAND component and wafer businesses, and its NAND foundry in Dalian, China. Intel will hold onto its Optane business, which makes SSD memory modules. The companies said regulatory approval is expected by late 2021, and a final closing of all assets, including Intel’s NAND-related intellectual property, will take place in March 2025.

Until the final closing takes places, Intel will continue to manufacture NAND wafers at the Dalian foundry and retain all IP related to the manufacturing and design of its NAND flash wafers.

As the Wall Street Journal noted, the Dalian facility is Intel’s only major foundry in China, which means selling it to SK Hynix will dramatically reduce its presence there as the United States government puts trade restrictions on Chinese technology.

In the announcement, Intel said it plans to use proceeds from the sale to “advance its long-term growth priorities, including artificial intelligence, 5G networking and the intelligent, autonomous edge.”

During the six-month period ending on June 27, 2020, NAND business represented about $2.8 billion of revenue for its Non-volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG), and contributed about $600 million to the division’s operating income. According to the Wall Street Journal, this made up the majority of Intel’s total memory sales during that period, which was about $3 billion.

SK Hynix CEO Seok-Hee Lee said the deal will allow the South Korean company to “optimize our business structure, expanding our innovative portfolio in the NAND flash market segment, which will be comparable with what we achieved in DRAM.”

Source

Continue Reading

Tech

LG’s rollable TV finally goes on sale for $87,000

Published

on

LG has announced that its world-first rollable TV is finally going on sale, albeit in limited fashion. The 65-inch LG Signature OLED R is now available at seven consumer electronics store throughout South Korea and will cost 100 million won, or more than $87,000.

The Signature OLED R is built around a flexible OLED panel that LG describes with characteristic restraint as “the most innovative development in television technology in decades.” Because of its flexible nature, it can retract partially or fully into its base, adapting to different aspect ratios or hiding the panel completely when not in use.


“LG’s exquisite creation liberates users from the limitations of the wall, enabling owners to curate their living environment without having to permanently set aside space for a large, black screen that is only useful when turned on,” the company says in a statement. Buyers will be able to choose between four colors for the wool speaker cover, and the aluminum base can be personalized with an engraving.

Unsurprisingly for such an ambitious product, the Signature OLED R has faced a difficult path to market. LG Display first showed off a rollable TV prototype at CES 2018, and Bloomberg later reported that the display would make its way into a shipping product the next year. LG did indeed bring a commercial rollable TV to the next CES with plans to release it in spring 2019, but it never actually went on sale.

Source

Continue Reading

Trending