Tag Archives: artificial intelligence

Updates from Coral: A new compiler and much more

Posted by Vikram Tank (Product Manager), Coral Team

Coral has been public for about a month now, and we’ve heard some great feedback about our products. As we evolve the Coral platform, we’re making our products easier to use and exposing more powerful tools for building devices with on-device AI.

Today, we're updating the Edge TPU model compiler to remove the restrictions around specific architectures, allowing you to submit any model architecture that you want. This greatly increases the variety of models that you can run on the Coral platform. Just be sure to review the TensorFlow ops supported on Edge TPU and model design requirements to take full advantage of the Edge TPU at runtime.

We're also releasing a new version of Mendel OS (3.0 Chef) for the Dev Board with a new board management tool called Mendel Development Tool (MDT).

To help with the developer workflow, our new C++ API works with the TensorFlow Lite C++ API so you can execute inferences on an Edge TPU. In addition, both the Python and C++ APIs now allow you to run multiple models in parallel, using multiple Edge TPU devices.

In addition to these updates, we’re adding new capabilities to Coral with the release of the Environmental Sensor Board. It’s an accessory board for the Coral Dev Platform (and Raspberry Pi) that brings sensor input to your models. It has integrated light, temperature, humidity, and barometric sensors, and the ability to add more sensors via it's four Grove connectors. The secure element on-board also allows for easy communication with the Google Cloud IOT Core.

The team has also been working with partners to help them evaluate whether Coral is the right fit for their products. We’re excited that Oivi has chosen us to be the base platform of their new handheld AI-camera. This product will help prevent blindness among diabetes patients by providing early, automated detection of diabetic retinopathy. Anders Eikenes, CEO of Oivi, says “Oivi is dedicated towards providing patient-centric eye care for everyone - including emerging markets. We were honoured to be selected by Google to participate in their Coral alpha program, and are looking forward to our continued cooperation. The Coral platform gives us the ability to run our screening ML models inside a handheld device; greatly expanding the access and ease of diabetic retinopathy screening.”

Finally, we’re expanding our distributor network to make it easier to get Coral boards into your hands around the world. This month, Seeed and NXP will begin to sell Coral products, in addition to Mouser.

We're excited to keep evolving the Coral platform, please keep sending us feedback at coral-support@google.com.

You can see the full release notes on Coral site.

This is the Future of Finance

Posted by Roy Glasberg, Head of Launchpad

Launchpad's mission is to accelerate innovation and to help startups build world-class technologies by leveraging the best of Google - its people, network, research, and technology.

In September 2018, the Launchpad team welcomed ten of the world's leading FinTech startups to join their accelerator program, helping them fast-track their application of advanced technology. Today, March 15th, we will see this cohort graduate from the program at the Launchpad team's inaugural event - The Future of Finance - a global discussion on the impact of applied ML/AI on the finance industry. These startups are ensuring that everyone has relevant insights at their fingertips and that all people, no matter where they are, have access to equitable money, banking, loans, and marketplaces.

Tune into the event from wherever you are via the livestream link

The Graduating Class of Launchpad FinTech Accelerator San Francisco'19

  • Alchemy (USA), bridging blockchain and the real world
  • Axinan (Singapore), providing smart insurance for the digital economy
  • Aye Finance (India), transforming financing in India
  • Celo (USA), increasing financial inclusion through a mobile-first cryptocurrency
  • Frontier Car Group (Germany), investing in the transformation of used-car marketplaces
  • GO-JEK (Indonesia), improving the welfare and livelihoods of informal sectors
  • GuiaBolso (Brazil), improving the financial lives of Brazilians
  • JUMO (South Africa), creating a transparent, fair money marketplace for mobile users to access loans
  • m.Paani (India), (em)powering local retailers and the next billion users in India
  • Starling Bank (UK), improving financial health with a 100% mobile-only bank

Since joining the accelerator, these startups have made great strides and are going from strength to strength. Some recent announcements from this cohort include:

  • JUMO have announced the launch of Opportunity Co, a 500M fund for credit where all the profits go back to the customers.
  • The team at Aye Finance have just closed $30m in Series D equity round.
  • Starling Bank has provided 150 new jobs in Southampton and have received a £100m grant from a fund aimed at increasing competition and innovation in the British banking sector, and also a £75m fundraise.
  • GuiaBolso ran a campaign to pay the bills of some its users (the beginning of the year in Brazil is a time of high expenses and debts) and is having a significant impact on credit with 80% of cases seeing interest rates on loans being cheaper than traditional banks.

We look forward to following the success of all our participating founders as they continue to make a significant impact on the global economy.

Want to know more about the Launchpad Accelerator? Visit our site, stay updated on developments and future opportunities by subscribing to the Google Developers newsletter and visit The Launchpad Blog.

Introducing Coral: Our platform for development with local AI

Posted by Billy Rutledge (Director) and Vikram Tank (Product Mgr), Coral Team

AI can be beneficial for everyone, especially when we all explore, learn, and build together. To that end, Google's been developing tools like TensorFlow and AutoML to ensure that everyone has access to build with AI. Today, we're expanding the ways that people can build out their ideas and products by introducing Coral into public beta.

Coral is a platform for building intelligent devices with local AI.

Coral offers a complete local AI toolkit that makes it easy to grow your ideas from prototype to production. It includes hardware components, software tools, and content that help you create, train and run neural networks (NNs) locally, on your device. Because we focus on accelerating NN's locally, our products offer speedy neural network performance and increased privacy — all in power-efficient packages. To help you bring your ideas to market, Coral components are designed for fast prototyping and easy scaling to production lines.

Our first hardware components feature the new Edge TPU, a small ASIC designed by Google that provides high-performance ML inferencing for low-power devices. For example, it can execute state-of-the-art mobile vision models such as MobileNet V2 at 100+ fps, in a power efficient manner.

Coral Camera Module, Dev Board and USB Accelerator

For new product development, the Coral Dev Board is a fully integrated system designed as a system on module (SoM) attached to a carrier board. The SoM brings the powerful NXP iMX8M SoC together with our Edge TPU coprocessor (as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RAM, and eMMC memory). To make prototyping computer vision applications easier, we also offer a Camera that connects to the Dev Board over a MIPI interface.

To add the Edge TPU to an existing design, the Coral USB Accelerator allows for easy integration into any Linux system (including Raspberry Pi boards) over USB 2.0 and 3.0. PCIe versions are coming soon, and will snap into M.2 or mini-PCIe expansion slots.

When you're ready to scale to production we offer the SOM from the Dev Board and PCIe versions of the Accelerator for volume purchase. To further support your integrations, we'll be releasing the baseboard schematics for those who want to build custom carrier boards.

Our software tools are based around TensorFlow and TensorFlow Lite. TF Lite models must be quantized and then compiled with our toolchain to run directly on the Edge TPU. To help get you started, we're sharing over a dozen pre-trained, pre-compiled models that work with Coral boards out of the box, as well as software tools to let you re-train them.

For those building connected devices with Coral, our products can be used with Google Cloud IoT. Google Cloud IoT combines cloud services with an on-device software stack to allow for managed edge computing with machine learning capabilities.

Coral products are available today, along with product documentation, datasheets and sample code at g.co/coral. We hope you try our products during this public beta, and look forward to sharing more with you at our official launch.

Dopamine 2.0: providing more flexibility in reinforcement learning research

Reinforcement learning (RL) has become one of the most popular fields of machine learning, and has seen a number of great advances over the last few years. As a result, there is a growing need from both researchers and educators to have access to a clear and reliable framework for RL research and education.

Last August, we announced Dopamine, our framework for flexible reinforcement learning.  For the initial version we decided to focus on a specific type of RL research: value-based agents evaluated on the Atari 2600 framework supported by the Arcade Learning Environment. We were thrilled to see how well it was received by the community, including a live coding session, its inclusion in a recently-announced benchmark for RL, considered as the top “Cool new open source project of 2018” by the Octoverse, and over 7K GitHub stars on our repository.

One of the most common requests we have received is support for more environments. This confirms what we have seen internally, where simpler environments, such as those supported by OpenAI’s Gym, are incredibly useful when testing out new algorithms. We are happy to announce Dopamine 2.0, which includes support for discrete-domain gym environments (e.g. discrete states and actions). The core of the framework remains unchanged, we have simply generalized the interface with the environment. For backwards compatibility, users will still be able to download version 1.0.

We include default configurations for two classic control environments: CartPole and Acrobot; on these environments one can train a Dopamine agent in minutes. When compared with the training time for a standard Atari 2600 game (around 5 days on a standard GPU), these environments allow researchers to iterate much faster on research ideas before testing them out on larger Atari games. We also include a Colaboratory that illustrates how to train an agent on Cartpole and Acrobot. Finally, our GymPreprocessing class serves as an example for how to use Dopamine with other custom environments.

We are excited by the new opportunities enabled by Dopamine 2.0, and look forward to seeing what the research community creates with it!

By Pablo Samuel Castro and Marc G. Bellemare, Dopamine Team

Launchpad Studio announces finance startup cohort, focused on applied-ML

Posted by Rich Hyndman, Global Tech Lead, Google Launchpad

Launchpad Studio is an acceleration program for the world's top startups. Founders work closely with Google and Alphabet product teams and experts to solve specific technical challenges and optimize their businesses for growth with machine learning. Last year we introduced our first applied-ML cohort focused on healthcare.

Today, we are excited to welcome the new cohort of Finance startups selected to participate in Launchpad Studio:

  • Alchemy (USA), bridging blockchain and the real world
  • Axinan (Singapore), providing smart insurance for the digital economy
  • Aye Finance (India), transforming financing in India
  • Celo (USA), increasing financial inclusion through a mobile-first cryptocurrency
  • Frontier Car Group (Germany), investing in the transformation of used-car marketplaces
  • Go-Jek (Indonesia), improving the welfare and livelihoods of informal sectors
  • GuiaBolso (Brazil), improving the financial lives of Brazilians
  • Inclusive (Ghana), verifying identities across Africa
  • m.Paani (India), (em)powering local retailers and the next billion users in India
  • Starling Bank (UK), improving financial health with a 100% mobile-only bank

These Studio startups have been invited from across nine countries and four continents to discuss how machine learning can be utilized for financial inclusion, stable currencies, and identification services. They are defining how ML and blockchain can supercharge efforts to include everyone and ensure greater prosperity for all. Together, data and user behavior are enabling a truly global economy with inclusive and differentiated products for banking, insurance, and credit.

Each startup is paired with a Google product manager to accelerate their product development, working alongside Google's ML research and development teams. Studio provides 1:1 mentoring and access to Google's people, network, thought leadership, and technology.

"Two of the biggest barriers to the large-scale adoption of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment are ease-of-use and purchasing-power volatility. When we heard about Studio and the opportunity to work with Google's AI teams, we were immediately excited as we believe the resulting work can be beneficial not just to Celo but for the industry as a whole." - Rene Reinsberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Celo

"Our technology has accelerated economic growth across Indonesia by raising the standard of living for millions of micro-entrepreneurs including ojek drivers, restaurant owners, small businesses and other professionals. We are very excited to work with Google, and explore more on how artificial intelligence and machine learning can help us strengthen our capabilities to drive even more positive social change not only to Indonesia, but also for the region." - Kevin Aluwi, Co-Founder and CIO of GO-JEK

"At Starling, we believe that data is the key to a healthy financial life. We are excited about the opportunity to work with Google to turn data into insights that will help consumers make better and more-informed financial decisions." - Anne Boden, Founder and CEO of Starling Bank

"At GuiaBolso, we use machine learning in different workstreams, but now we are doubling down on the technology to make our users' experience even more delightful. We see Studio as a way to speed that up." - Marcio Reis, CDO of GuiaBolso

Since launching in 2015, Google Developers Launchpad has become a global network of accelerators and partners with the shared mission of accelerating innovation that solves for the world's biggest challenges. Join us at one of our Regional Accelerators and follow Launchpad's applied ML best practices by subscribing to The Lever.

Google Developers Launchpad introduces The Lever, sharing applied-Machine Learning best practices

Posted by Malika Cantor, Program Manager for Launchpad

The Lever is Google Developers Launchpad's new resource for sharing applied-Machine Learning (ML) content to help startups innovate and thrive. In partnership with experts and leaders across Google and Alphabet, The Lever is operated by Launchpad, Google's global startup acceleration program. The Lever will publish the Launchpad community's experiences of integrating ML into products, and will include case studies, insights from mentors, and best practices from both Google and global thought leaders.

Peter Norvig, Google ML Research Director, and Cassie Kozyrkov, Google Cloud Chief Decision Scientist, are editors of the publication. Hear from them and other Googlers on the importance of developing and sharing applied ML product and business methodologies:

Peter Norvig (Google ML Research, Director): "The software industry has had 50 years to perfect a methodology of software development. In Machine Learning, we've only had a few years, so companies need to pay more attention to the process in order to create products that are reliable, up-to-date, have good accuracy, and are respectful of their customers' private data."

Cassie Kozyrkov (Chief Decision Scientist, Google Cloud): "We live in exciting times where the contributions of researchers have finally made it possible for non-experts to do amazing things with Artificial Intelligence. Now that anyone can stand on the shoulders of giants, process-oriented avenues of inquiry around how to best apply ML are coming to the forefront. Among these is decision intelligence engineering: a new approach to ML, focusing on how to discover opportunities and build towards safe, effective, and reliable solutions. The world is poised to make data more useful than ever before!"

Clemens Mewald (Lead, Machine Learning X and TensorFlow X): "ML/AI has had a profound impact in many areas, but I would argue that we're still very early in this journey. Many applications of ML are incremental improvements on existing features and products. Video recommendations are more relevant, ads have become more targeted and personalized. However, as Sundar said, AI is more profound than electricity (or fire). Electricity enabled modern technology, computing, and the internet. What new products will be enabled by ML/AI? I am convinced that the right ML product methodologies will help lead the way to magical products that have previously been unthinkable."

We invite you to follow the publication, and actively comment on our blog posts to share your own experience and insights.

New AIY Edge TPU Boards

Posted by Billy Rutledge, Director of AIY Projects

Over the past year and a half, we've seen more than 200K people build, modify, and create with our Voice Kit and Vision Kit products. Today at Cloud Next we announced two new devices to help professional engineers build new products with on-device machine learning(ML) at their core: the AIY Edge TPU Dev Board and the AIY Edge TPU Accelerator. Both are powered by Google's Edge TPU and represent our first steps towards expanding AIY into a platform for experimentation with on-device ML.

The Edge TPU is Google's purpose-built ASIC chip designed to run TensorFlow Lite ML models on your device. We've learned that performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar are critical benchmarks when processing neural networks within a small footprint. The Edge TPU delivers both in a package that's smaller than the head of a penny. It can accelerate ML inferencing on device, or can pair with Google Cloud to create a full cloud-to-edge ML stack. In either configuration, by processing data directly on-device, a local ML accelerator increases privacy, removes the need for persistent connections, reduces latency, and allows for high performance using less power.

The AIY Edge TPU Dev Board is an all-in-one development board that allows you to prototype embedded systems that demand fast ML inferencing. The baseboard provides all the peripheral connections you need to effectively prototype your device — including a 40-pin GPIO header to integrate with various electrical components. The board also features a removable System-on-module (SOM) daughter board can be directly integrated into your own hardware once you're ready to scale.

The AIY Edge TPU Accelerator is a neural network coprocessor for your existing system. This small USB-C stick can connect to any Linux-based system to perform accelerated ML inferencing. The casing includes mounting holes for attachment to host boards such as a Raspberry Pi Zero or your custom device.

On-device ML is still in its early days, and we're excited to see how these two products can be applied to solve real world problems — such as increasing manufacturing equipment reliability, detecting quality control issues in products, tracking retail foot-traffic, building adaptive automotive sensing systems, and more applications that haven't been imagined yet.

Both devices will be available online this fall in the US with other countries to follow shortly.

For more product information visit g.co/aiy and sign up to be notified as products become available.

AIY Projects: Updated kits for 2018

Posted by Billy Rutledge, Director of AIY Projects

Last year, AIY Projects launched to give makers the power to build AI into their projects with two do-it-yourself kits. We're seeing continued demand for the kits, especially from the STEM audience where parents and teachers alike have found the products to be great tools for the classroom. The changing nature of work in the future means students may have jobs that haven't yet been imagined, and we know that computer science skills, like analytical thinking and creative problem solving, will be crucial.

We're taking the first of many steps to help educators integrate AIY into STEM lesson plans and help prepare students for the challenges of the future by launching a new version of our AIY kits. The Voice Kit lets you build a voice controlled speaker, while the Vision Kit lets you build a camera that learns to recognize people and objects (check it out here). The new kits make getting started a little easier with clearer instructions, a new app and all the parts in one box.

To make setup easier, both kits have been redesigned to work with the new Raspberry Pi Zero WH, which comes included in the box, along with the USB connector cable and pre-provisioned SD card. Now users no longer need to download the software image and can get running faster. The updated AIY Vision Kit v1.1 also includes the Raspberry Pi Camera v2.

AIY Voice Kit v2 includes Raspberry Pi Zero WH and pre-provisioned SD card

AIY Voice Kit v1.1 includes Raspberry Pi Zero WH, Raspberry Pi Cam 2 and pre-provisioned SD card

We're also introducing the AIY companion app for Android, available here in Google Play, to make wireless setup and configuration a snap. The kits still work with monitor, keyboard and mouse as an alternate path and we're working on iOS and Chrome companions which will be coming soon.

The AIY website has been refreshed with improved documentation, now easier for young makers to get started and learn as they build. It also includes a new AIY Models area, showcasing a collection of neural networks designed to work with AIY kits. While we've solved one barrier to entry for the STEM audience, we recognize that there are many other things that we can do to make our kits even more useful. We'll once again be at #MakerFaire events to gather feedback from our users and in June we'll be working with teachers from all over the world at the ISTE conference in Chicago.

The new AIY Voice Kit and Vision Kit have arrived at Target Stores and Target.com (US) this month and we're working to make them globally available through retailers worldwide. Sign up on our mailing list to be notified when our products become available.

We hope you'll pick up one of the new AIY kits and learn more about how to build your own smart devices. Be sure to share your recipes on Hackster.io and social media using #aiyprojects.

Google Developers Launchpad Studio works with top startups to tackle healthcare challenges with machine learning

Posted by Malika Cantor, Developer Relations Program Manager

Google is an artificial intelligence-first company. Machine Learning (ML) and Cloud are deeply embedded in our product strategies and have been crucial thus far in our efforts to tackle some of humanity's greatest challenges - like bringing high-quality, affordable, and specialized healthcare to people globally.

In that spirit, we're excited to announce the first four startups to join Launchpad Studio, our 6-month mentorship program tailored to help applied-ML startups build great products using the most advanced tools and technologies available. Working side-by-side with experts from across Google product and research teams - including Google Cloud, Verily, X, Brain, ML Research -, we intend to support these startups on their journey to build successful applications, and explore leveraging Google Cloud Platform, TensorFlow, Android, and other Google platforms. Launchpad Studio has also enlisted the expertise of a number of top industry practitioners and thought leaders to ensure Studio startups are successful in practice and long-term.

These four startups were selected based on the novel ways they've found to apply ML to important challenges in the Healthcare industry. Namely:

  1. Reducing doctor burnout and increasing doctor productivity (Augmedix)
  2. Regaining movement in paralyzed limbs (BrainQ)
  3. Accelerating clinical trials and enabling value-based healthcare (Byteflies)
  4. Detecting sepsis (CytoVale)

Let's take a closer look:

Reducing Doctor Burnout and Increasing Doctor Productivity

Numerous studies have shown that primary care physicians currently spend about half of their workday on the computer, documenting in the electronic health records (EHR).

Augmedix is on a mission to reclaim this time and repurpose it for what matters most: patient care. When doctors use the service by wearing Alphabet's Glass hardware, their documentation and administrative load is almost entirely alleviated. This saves doctors 2-3 hours per day and dramatically improves the doctor-patient experience.

Augmedix has started leveraging advances in deep learning and natural language understanding to accelerate these efficiencies and offer additional value that further improves patient care.

Regaining Movement in Paralyzed Limbs

Motor disability following neuro-disorders such as stroke, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury affects tens of millions of people each year worldwide.

BrainQ's mission is to help these patients back on their feet, restoring their ability to perform activities of daily living. BrainQ is currently conducting clinical trials in leading hospitals in Israel.

The company is developing a medical device that utilizes artificial intelligence tools to identify high resolution spectral patterns in patient's brain waves, observed in electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors. These patterns are then translated into a personalized electromagnetic treatment protocol aimed at facilitating targeted neuroplasticity and enhancing patient's recovery.

Accelerating Clinical Trials and Enabling Value-Based Healthcare

Today, sensors are making it easier to collect data about health and diseases. However building a new wearable health application that is clinically validated and end-user friendly is still a daunting task. Byteflies' modular platform makes this whole process much easier and cost-effective. Through their medical and signal processing expertise, Byteflies has made advances in the interpretation of multiple synchronized vital signs. This multimodal high-resolution vital sign data is very useful for healthcare and clinical trial applications. With that level of data ingestion comes a great need for automated data processing. Byteflies plans to use ML to transform these data streams into actionable, personalized, and medically-relevant data.

Early Sepsis Detection

Research suggests that sepsis kills more Americans than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and AIDS combined. Fortunately, sepsis can often be quickly mitigated if caught early on in patient care.

CytoVale is developing a medical diagnostics platform based on cell mechanics, initially for use in early detection of sepsis in the emergency room setting. It analyzes thousands of cells' mechanical properties using ultra high speed video to diagnose disease in a few minutes. Their technology also has applications in immune activation, cancer detection, research tools, and biodefense.

CytoVale is leveraging recent advances in ML and computer vision in conjunction with their unique measurement approach to facilitate this early detection of sepsis.

More about the Program

Each startup will get tailored, equity-free support, with the goal of successfully completing a ML-focused project during the term of the program. To support this process, we provide resources, including deep engagement with engineers in Google Cloud, Google X, and other product teams, as well as Google Cloud credits. We also include both Google Cloud Platform and GSuite training in our engagement with all Studio startups.

Join Us

Based in San Francisco, Launchpad Studio is a fully tailored product development acceleration program that matches top ML startups and experts from Silicon Valley with the best of Google - its people, network, and advanced technologies - to help accelerate applied ML and AI innovation. The program's mandate is to support the growth of the ML ecosystem, and to develop product methodologies for ML.

Launchpad Studio is looking to work with the best and most game-changing ML startups from around the world. While we're currently focused on working with startups in the Healthcare and Biotech space, we'll soon be announcing other industry verticals, and any startup applying AI / ML technology to a specific industry vertical can apply on a rolling-basis.

Apply to Google Developers Launchpad Studio for AI & ML focused startups

Posted by Roy Glasberg, Global Lead, Google Developers Launchpad

The mission of Google Developers Launchpad is to enable startups from around the world to build great companies. In the last 4 years, we've learned a lot while supporting early and late-stage founders. From working with dynamic startups---such as teams applying Artificial Intelligence technology to solving transportation problems in Israel, improving tele-medicine in Brazil, and optimizing online retail in India---we've learned that these startups require specialized services to help them scale.

So today, we're launching a new initiative - Google Developers Launchpad Studio - a full-service studio that provides tailored technical and product support to Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning startups, all in one place.

Whether you're a 3-person team or an established post-Series B startup applying AI/ML to your product offering, we want to start connecting with you.

Applications to join Launchpad Studio are now open and you can apply here.

The global headquarters of Launchpad Studio will be based in San Francisco at Launchpad Space, with events and activities taking place in Tel Aviv and New York. We plan to expand our activities and events to Toronto, London, Bangalore, and Singapore soon.

As a member of the Studio program, you'll find services tailored to your startups' unique needs and challenges such as:

  • Applied AI integration toolkits: Datasets, testing environments, rapid prototyping, simulation tools, and architecture troubleshooting.
  • Product validation support: Industry-specific proof of concept and pilots, as well as use case workshops with Fortune 500 industry practitioners and other experts.
  • Access to AI experts: Best practice advice from our global community of AI thought leaders, which includes Peter Norvig, Dan Ariely, Yossi MatiasChris DiBonaand more.
  • Access to AI practitioners and investors: Interaction with some of the best AI and ML engineers, product managers, industry leaders and VCs from Google, Silicon Valley, and other international locations.

We're looking forward to working closely with you in the AI & Machine Learning space, soon!

"Innovation is open to everyone, worldwide. With this global program we now have an important opportunity to support entrepreneurs everywhere in the world who are aiming to use AI to solve the biggest challenges." Yossi Matias, VP of Engineering, Google