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CES 2020: AI in action and a “smart” future

During last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one question kept coming to mind as I walked the floor: Are we approaching the tipping point where AI truly affects most people in meaningful ways on a daily basis? I think it’s safe to say that we’ve reached that point as a result of AI integration with phones. After all, for many of us, AI improves the quality of our photography, recommends words and phrases as we text and search the web, and lets us know when to allow extra drive time because traffic is heavy.

However, for me, the most intriguing aspects of this year’s CES are the glimpses of how AI will change every area of our lives, with and without mobile devices. The show floor is jam-packed with ways to integrate AI with everything from athletic shoes to pet care to the kitchen sink. Many of these ideas are fascinating on their own, and they’re all part of a much bigger picture. The next few years will see increased AI utilization in medicine, transportation, agriculture, water and energy distribution, natural resource protection, and many more areas. Our personal smart devices will connect to smart vehicles, smart homes, smart grids, and smart cities. In the near future, CES shows won’t need AI sections because AI will be a part of everything.

At each step of this journey, people will need objective data about how well their tech can handle the demands of common AI workloads. We’re excited that AIXPRT is already becoming a go-to tool for testing inference performance on laptops, desktops, and servers. There’s much more to come with AIXPRT in 2020, along with news about XPRTs in the datacenter, so stay tuned to the blog for exciting developments in the weeks to come!

I’ll leave you with pics from three of my favorite displays at this year’s show. The first is a model of Toyota’s Woven City. Toyota announced plans to build an entire mini city on existing company land near Mount Fuji. The city will house 2,000 people and will serve as an enormous real-time lab where designers and engineers can test ubiquitous AI and sensor technology. Toyota will also design the city to be fully sustainable with the use of hydrogen fuel cells and solar panels.

The second picture shows the electric Hyundai Urban Air Mobility prototype. Hyundai is partnering with Uber on this project, and the planned vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft will seat five passengers plus a pilot, have a range of 60 miles, and be able to recharge in less than 10 minutes. These concepts aren’t new, but battery and material sciences technologies are progressing to the point that this one may get off the ground!

The third picture shows BrainCo’s AI Prosthetic Hand display. The hand provides amputees with new levels of dexterity compared to previous prosthetics, and it uses AI to learn from the user’s patterns of movement. The idea is that the accuracy of gestures and grips will improve over time, allowing users to accomplish tasks that are impossible with existing technology. A young man in the booth was using the hand to paint beautiful and precise Chinese calligraphy. Very cool!

Justin

The XPRTs in 2019: Looking back on an exciting and productive year

2019 is winding down, and we want to take this opportunity to review another exciting and productive year for the BenchmarkXPRT Development Community. Readers of our newsletter are familiar with the stats and updates we post in each month’s mailing, but we know that not all our blog readers receive the newsletter, so we’ve compiled the highlights below.

Trade shows
Earlier this year, Justin attended CES in Las Vegas and Mark travelled to MWC Barcelona. These shows help us keep up with the latest industry trends and gather insights that help to lay the groundwork for XPRT development in the years ahead.

Benchmarks
In the past year, we released MobileXPRT 3, HDXPRT 4, and AIXPRT, our new AI benchmark tool that helps you evaluate a system’s machine learning inference performance. There’s much more to come in 2020 with AIXPRT and several other projects, so expect more news about benchmark development early in the year.

Web mentions
In 2019 so far, journalists, advertisers, and analysts have referenced the XPRTs over 5,000 times, including mentions in more than 190 articles and 1,350 device reviews. This represents a more than 50% increase over 2018.

Downloads and confirmed runs
To date, we’ve had more than 24,800 benchmark downloads and 153,000 confirmed runs in 2019, increases of more than 8% and 10%, respectively, over 2018. Within the last month, our most popular benchmark, WebXPRT, passed the 500,000-run milestone! WebXPRT continues to be an industry-standard performance benchmark upon which OEM labs, vendors, and leading tech press outlets rely.

XPRT Tech Spotlight
We put 47 new devices in the XPRT Tech Spotlight throughout the year and published updated back-to-school, Black Friday, and holiday showcases to help buyers compare devices.

Media and interactive tools
We published a new XPRTs around the world infographic and an interactive AIXPRT installation package selector tool. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback about the tool. We encourage you to give it a try if you’re curious about AIXPRT but aren’t sure how to get started.

We’re thankful for everyone who used the XPRTs, joined the community, and sent questions and suggestions throughout 2019. This will be our last blog post for 2019, but there’s much more to come in 2020, including some exciting new developments. Stay tuned in early January for updates!

Justin

AI is the heartbeat of CES 2019

This year’s CES features a familiar cast of characters: gigantic, super-thin 8K screens; plenty of signage promising the arrival of 5G; robots of all shapes, sizes, and levels of competency; and acres of personal grooming products that you can pair with your phone. In all seriousness, however, one main question keeps coming to mind as I walk the floor: Are we approaching the tipping point where AI truly starts to affect most people in meaningful ways on a daily basis? I think we’re still a couple of years away from ubiquitous AI, but it’s the heartbeat of this year’s show, and it’s going play a part in almost everything we do in the very near future. AI applications at this year’s show include manufacturing, transportation, energy, medicine, education, photography, communications, farming, grocery shopping, fitness, sports, defense, and entertainment, just to name a few. The AI revolution is just starting, but once it gets going, AI will continually reshape society for decades to come. This year’s show reinforces our decision to explore the roles that the XPRTs, beginning with AIXPRT, can play in the AI revolution.

Now for the fun stuff. Here’s a peek at a couple of my favorite displays so far. As is often the case, the most awe-inducing displays at CES are those that overwhelm attendees with light and sound. LG’s enormous curved OLED wall, dubbed the Massive Curve of Nature, was truly something to behold.

IMG_0268 - Copy

Another big draw has been Bell’s Nexus prototype, a hybrid-electric VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) air taxi. Some journalists can’t resist calling it a flying car, but I refuse to do so, because it has nothing in common with cars apart from the fact that people sit in it and use it to travel from place to place. As Elon Musk once said of an earlier, but similar, concept, “it’s just a helicopter in helicopter’s clothing.” Semantics aside, it’s intriguing to imagine urban environments full of nimble aircraft that are quieter, easier to fly, and more energy efficient than traditional helicopters, especially if they’re paired with autonomous driving technologies.

Version 2

Finally, quite a few companies are displaying props that put some of the “reality” back into “virtual reality.” Driving and flight simulators with full range of motion that are small enough to fit in someone’s basement or game room, full-body VR suits that control your temperature and deliver electrical stimulus based on game play (yikes!), and portable roller-coaster-like VR rides were just a few of the attractions.

IMG_0203 - Copy

It’s been a fascinating show so far!

Justin

New XPRTs for the new year

Happy 2019! January is already a busy time for the XPRTs, so we want to share a quick preview of what community members can expect in the coming months.

The MobileXPRT 3 community preview (CP) is still open, but draws to a close on January 18th. If you are not familiar with the updates and changes we implemented in the newest version of MobileXPRT, you can read more in the blog. Members can access this APK on the MobileXPRT tab in the Members’ Area. We also posted an installation guide that provides both a general overview of the app and detailed instructions for each step. The entire process takes about five minutes on most devices. If you haven’t already, give it a try!

We also recently published the first AIXPRT Request for Comments (RFC) preview build, an early version of one of the tools we’re developing to evaluate machine learning performance. You can find more details in Bill’s most recent blog post and on AIXPRT.com. Only BenchmarkXPRT Development Community members have access to our RFCs and the opportunity to provide feedback. However, because we’re seeking broad input from experts in this field, we’ll gladly make anyone interested in participating a member. To gain access to the AIXPRT repository, please send us a request.

Work on the HDXPRT 4 CP candidate build continues, and we hope to publish the preview for community members this month. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to get this right. We think it will be worth the wait.

On a general note, I’ll be travelling to CES 2019 in Las Vegas next week. CES is a great opportunity for us to survey emerging tech and industry trends, and I look forward to sharing my thoughts from the show. If you’ll be there and would like to discuss any aspect of the XPRTs in person, let me know.

Justin

Gearing up for a busy year ahead

We hope everyone’s 2018 kicked off on a happy note, and you’re starting the year rested, refreshed, and inspired. Here at the XPRTs, we already have a busy slate of activity lined up, and we want to share a quick preview of what community members can expect in the coming months.

Next week, I’ll be travelling to CES 2018 in Las Vegas. CES provides us with a great opportunity to survey emerging tech and industry trends, and I look forward to sharing my thoughts and impressions from the show. If you’re attending this year, and would like to meet and discuss any aspect of the XPRTs, let me know.

There’s also more WebXPRT news to come. We’re working on several new features for the WebXPRT Processor Comparison Chart that we think will prove to be useful, and we hope to take the updated chart live very soon. We’re also getting closer to the much-anticipated WebXPRT 3 general release! If you’ve been testing the WebXPRT 3 Community Preview, be sure to send in your feedback soon.

Work on the next version of HDXPRT is progressing as well, and we’ll share more details about UI and workload updates as we get closer to a community preview build.

Last but not least, we’re considering the prospect of updating TouchXPRT and MobileXPRT later in the year. We look forward to working with the community on improved versions of each of those benchmarks.

Justin

There is such a thing as too much

There’s been a lot of excitement about TouchXPRT recently. However, we haven’t been ignoring HDXPRT. On November 9, we released a patch that lets HDXPRT support Windows 8. We’ve now integrated the patch into HDXPRT2012, so all copies of HDXPRT 2012 going forward will install on Windows 8 without the need for a separate step.

As promised, we will be releasing the source code for HDXPRT 2012. We anticipate having it available for community members by December 14.

During the comment period for HDXPRT, this message came through loud and clear: HDXPRT 2012 is too big and takes too long to run. So we are working hard to find the best way to reduce the number of applications and scenarios. While we want to make the benchmark smaller and faster, we want to make sure that HDXPRT 2013 is comprehensive enough to provide useful performance metrics for the greatest number of people.

We’re working toward having an RFC in late January that will define a leaner, meaner HDXPRT 2013, and will reflect the other comments we have as received as well.  If you have thoughts about which applications and scenarios are most important to you, please let us know.

In other news, CES is coming in January, and Principled Technologies will be there! Once again, Bill is hoping to meet with as many of you in the Development Community as possible. We’ll have a suite at the Hilton and would love for you to come, kick back, and talk about HDXPRT, TouchXPRT, the future of benchmarks, or about the cool things you’ve seen at the show. (Bill loves talking about gadgets. Last year, he went into gadget overload!)

If you plan to be at CES, but are stuck working a booth or suite, let us know and Bill will try to stop by and say hi. Drop us an email at hdxrpt_CES@principledtechnologies.com and we will set up an appointment.

Finally, we’re really excited about the big changes at the Principled Technologies Web site. The new Web site gives us a lot of opportunities. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at ways the Development Community can take advantage of them.

Eric

on this post in the forums

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