The squarely designed wearable looks to transform the idea of an iPod Nano into a smartwatch that can connect to other devices as a media player or exist as a completely contained device. There is no information yet on when the iTime might be released, but rumors speculate late 2014 or early 2015. – Rob MarvinOpen-source project aims to make managing personal servers easierSandstorm is an open-source project that aims to make running your own personal servers easier. And to do so, they’ve turned to Indiegogo.“Today, if you want to run your own personal server, you basically have to be trained as a system administrator, and even for those who know how to do that, it still takes a lot of time and money that most people don’t want to spend,” said Kenton Varda, team lead for Sandstorm, in a video.Sandstorm provides a solution for hosting Web apps that gives users the experience from services like Dropbox or Gmail but uses the software they choose on servers they control. With Indiegogo, Sandstorm hopes to raise enough money to get it ready for production use. – Christina Mulligan Apple granted patent for ‘iTime’ smartwatchApple’s rumored development of an “iWatch” wearable device got a lot more real with a newly granted patent for a smartwatch dubbed “iTime.”(Related: Microsoft’s recent patent for a fitness-focused smartwatch)The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published an approved Apple patent entitled “Wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor,” which details plans for a wearable that can connect to other Apple devices, as well as the watch’s smart strap with built-in sensors. Designs for the wrist-worn device also show support for arm and wrist gestures, as well as GPS modules, vibrating notifications and WiFi.
In an effort to democratize and advance the field of artificial intelligence, MIT researchers have announced a new programming language designed for computer vision, robotics, statistics and more. Gen aims to take away the complexity of equations or having to manually write code and enable researchers of all skill levels to create models and algorithms for AI. “One motivation of this work is to make automated AI more accessible to people with less expertise in computer science or math,” said Marco Cusumano-Towner, a PhD student in the department of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. “We also want to increase productivity, which means making it easier for experts to rapidly iterate and prototype their AI systems.”According to the MIT researchers, traditional probabilistic programming has some restrictions that causes lack of flexibility and efficiency. Gen addresses this problem with modeling languages that allow users to express models and programming constructs. “Like some probabilistic programming research languages, Gen includes universal modeling languages that can represent any model, including models with stochastic structure, discrete and continuous random variables, and simulators. However, Gen is distinguished by the flexibility that it affords to users for customizing their inference algorithm. It is possible to use built-in algorithms that require only a couple lines of code, as well as develop custom algorithms that are more able to meet scalability and efficiency requirements,” the researchers wrote on the Gen website. Capabilities include: causal modeling, planning and reinforcement learning, symbolic programming, Bayesian modeling and deep learning. In addition, the system can perform operations on data, make predictions and readjust probabilities. Companies like Intel are already working with Gen for their AI research. Intel is using the language in its robotics and augmented reality systems. It is also being used in the MIT-IBM Watson AI project and the U.S. Department of Defense’s DARPA’s Machine Common Sense project. “Probabilistic programming is one of the most promising areas at the frontier of AI since the advent of deep learning. Gen represents a significant advance in this field and will contribute to scalable and practical implementations of AI systems based on probabilistic reasoning,” commented Zoubin Ghahramani, chief scientist and vice president of AI at Uber and a professor at Cambridge University.