IBM and the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced the supercomputer Summit stating that it’s the fastest in the world. Peak performances are declared at 200 petaflops, which are eight times those of the previous ORNL supercomputer, called Titan, activated in October 2012 and for a few months the most powerful in its category. It’s a system designed for scientific applications with an eye to artificial intelligence.
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The announcement arrived of the agreement that sees Microsoft buy the hosting service for software projects GitHub for $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock. The rumors of the deal begun last week but two years ago Microsoft had already attempted the acquisition.
GitHub is a hosting service for software projects that use the Git distributed version control software, one of the inventions of Linus Torvalds, famous above all for being the father of the Linux operating system. The company behind the service was founded in 2008 with its office in San Francisco, initially as Logical Awesome and since 2010 as GitHub, Inc. rapidly achieving great success.
Peter Diamandis, Executive Chairman of XPRIZE, announced the start of a new initiative called ANA Avatar XPRIZE with the aim of developing avatars. A competition that will last four years with a prize of $10 millions offering teams all over the world the chance to develop robotic systems that can’t only move but also transmit visual and auditory sensations interacting with the environment and other people like if the user was on site.
An article published in the journal “Computers & Geosciences” describes a research into the possibilities of combining artificial intelligence, Twitter and what is called citizen science to create early warning systems for flood-prone communities. A team of researchers from the British University of Dundee led by Roger Wang worked to create solutions that can detect as quickly as possible the first signs of danger to activate countermeasures.
IBM has announced the company’s progress in the field of quantum computing. A 20-qubit processor will be available in commercial systems with offerings within its specific IBM Q quantum systems program. Customers will be able to access its services via cloud and develop applications using the QISKit project, an open source development kit to program on quantum computers. IBM also announced the creation of a quantum processor prototype with 50 qubits.