Synthetic Petri Dish 🧫 Teasing weight gain ⚖️ Elon Musk payday 🤑!

Technology News


OpenAI and Uber create Virtual Petri Dish to find the best AI model for a task

Researchers affiliated with Uber AI and OpenAI have proposed a new approach to neural architecture search (NAS). They claim their technique, called Synthetic Petri Dish, accelerates the most computationally intensive NAS steps while predicting model performance with higher accuracy than previous methods. It uses candidate architectures to create small models and evaluate them with generated data samples. The trained Petri dish model predicts the relative performance of the new architectures and selects a subset of architectures for performance evaluation. The process repeats until the NAS method identifies the best architecture.

Little-known Japanese CPU threatens to make Nvidia, Intel and AMD obsolete in HPC market

Sandia National Laboratories has announced it will be the first Department of Energy labs in the US to deploy the Fujitsu A64FX, the only ARM-based processor designed from ground up for HPC projects and supercomputers. What makes it ideal for the HPC market is that it provides far higher bandwidth performance between memory and the CPU – up to 1TBps. Moving data to and from the CPU is the biggest obstacle by far to what researchers refer to as exascale computing. It is considered a general purpose CPU, but surpasses even GPUs from Nvidia and AMD on the all-important metric of performance per watt.

Science News


Being teased about weight linked to more weight gain among children, NIH study suggests

Youth who said they were teased or ridiculed about their weight increased their body mass by 33 percent more each year, compared to a similar group who had not been teased, according to researchers. The researchers found that youth experiencing high levels of teasing gained an average of .20 kg (.44 lbs) per year more than those who did not. The authors theorize that weight-associated stigma may have made youths more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviours, such as binge eating and avoiding exercise. Another possible explanation is that the stress of being teased could stimulate the release of the hormone cortisol, which may lead to weight gain.

Autism severity can change substantially during early childhood

During early childhood, girls with autism tend to show greater reduction and less rise in their autism symptom severity than boys with autism. One possible explanation for this difference is the girls’ ability to camouflage or hide their symptoms; a social compensatory behaviour more prevalent in females diagnosed with ASD compared to males. “We found that nearly 30% of young children have less severe autism symptoms at age 6 than they did at age 3. In some cases, children lost their autism diagnoses entirely.” The study also found children with higher IQs were more likely to show a reduction in ASD symptoms.

Business News


Tesla’s Elon Musk gets performance-based payday worth nearly $800 million

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has earned the first portion of a windfall payout tied to stock options. As part of a performance-award agreement in Musk’s 2018 compensation package, the CEO stood to receive options to purchase shares if Tesla reached certain benchmarks, an important one being a market capitalization averaging $100 billion for six months. At the end of the process, that would mean a paper profit around $775 million for Musk. Musk has not taken a salary from Tesla, and “100% of Mr. Musk’s future compensation is ‘at-risk’” in the form of the remaining unvested stock options

UPS adds ‘peak’ surcharge amid coronavirus fueled delivery spike

United Parcel Service Inc will slap surcharges on U.S. e-commerce companies that have flooded its delivery network with shipments of everything from packaged food to patio furniture since the coronavirus took hold in March. The new fees will hit large, high-volume shippers and companies that send oversized items. Amazon, its biggest client, and the online divisions of Walmart and Target have seen sales surge since shoppers have hunkered down at home during the pandemic. In April, UPS said home deliveries accounted for roughly 70% of shipments versus around 50% previously.

Miscellaneous News


Siberian zoo sees animal baby boom during lockdown

Siberian zoo that closed its doors to visitors for over two months says the lockdown has encouraged a baby boom among its animals. Among the zoo’s new arrivals are rare Egyptian goslings, reindeer calves, llama crias and a baby brown weeper capuchin monkey. While the absence of visitors had encouraged mating among some residents, it had confused others and prompted changes in their behaviour. “Many (of the animals) are anxious because they really don’t understand what’s going on. They have this sort of look of expectation in their eyes.”

Cessna eCaravan becomes largest electric aircraft to fly

magniX announced that it has completed its first flight with a modified Cessna Caravan, which was powered by magniX’s electric engine, the magni500. The CEO of the company noted that battery technology currently is only good for “ultra-short flights of 100 miles [160 kilometers – ed. note],” and that battery technology can only go up. The dirty and smelly brother of the eCaravan, meanwhile, can travel up to 1230 miles (1982 kilometres). The flight did not include any passengers due to the location of the batteries – the aircraft in its current state is just a test bed.

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