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Hardware Vendors Will Win Big in Meeting the Demand For Edge AI Hardware

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Hardware Vendors Will Win Big in Meeting the Demand For Edge AI Hardware

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will see a significant shift out of the cloud and on to the edge (aka on-device, gateway, and on-premise server). This will happen initially in terms of inference (machine learning) and then by training. This shift means a huge opportunity for those chipset vendors with power-efficient chipsets and other products that can meet the demand for edge AI computing. Edge AI inference will grow from just 6% in 2017 to 43% in 2023, announced ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies.

“The shift to the edge for AI processing will be driven by cheaper edge hardware, mission-critical applications, a lack of reliable and cost-effective connectivity options, and a desire to avoid expensive cloud implementation. Consumer electronics, automotive, and machine vision vendors will play an initial critical role in driving the market for edge AI hardware. Scaling said hardware to a point where it becomes cost effective will enable a greater number of verticals to begin moving processing out of the cloud and on to the edge,” says Jack Vernon, Industry Analyst at ABI Research.

ABI Research has identified 11 verticals ripe for the adoption of AI, including automotive, mobile devices, wearables, smart home, robotics, small unmanned aerial vehicles, smart manufacturing, smart retail, smart video, smart building, and oil and gas sectors and split across a further 58 use cases. By 2023 the market will witness 1.2 billion shipments of devices capable of on-device AI inference – up from 79 million in 2017.

Cloud providers will still play a pivotal role, particularly when it comes to AI training. Out of the 3 billion AI device shipments that will take place in 2023, over 2.2 billion will rely on cloud service providers for AI training – this is still a real-term decline in the cloud providers market share for AI training, which currently stands around 99%, but will fall to 76% by 2023. Hardware providers should not be too concerned about this shift away from the cloud, as AI training is likely to be supported by the same hardware, only at the edge, either on-premise servers or gateway systems.

The power-efficient chipset is the main driver of edge AI. Mobile vendor Huawei is already introducing on-device AI training for battery power management in its P20 pro handset, in partnership with Cambricon Technologies. Chip vendors NVIDIA, Intel, and Qualcomm are also making a push to deliver the hardware that will enable automotive OEMs to experiment with on-device AI training to support their efforts in autonomous driving. Training at the edge on-device is beginning to gain momentum in terms of R&D, but it could still take some take some time for it to be a realist approach in most segments.

“The massive growth in devices using AI is positive for all players in the ecosystem concerned, but critically those players enabling AI at the edge are going to see an increase in demand that the industry to date has overlooked. Vendors can no longer go on ignoring the potential of AI at the edge. As the market momentum continues to swing toward ultra-low latency and more robust analytics, end users must start to incorporate edge AI in their roadmap. They need to start thinking about new business models like end-to-end integration or chipset as a service,” Vernon concludes.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning market data. This report is part of the company’s AI and Machine Learning research service, which includes research, data, and Executive Foresights.

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England 1

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce more funding for apprenticeships in England when he unveils his budget next week, the government said on Friday.

Employers taking part in the Apprenticeship Initiative Scheme will from April 1 receive 3,000 pounds ($4,179) for each apprentice hired, regardless of age – an increase on current grants of between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds depending on age.

The scheme will extended by six months until the end of September, the finance ministry said.

Sunak will also announce an extra 126 million pounds for traineeships for up to 43,000 placements.

Sunak’s March 3 budget will likely include a new round of spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.

Sunak is also expected to announce a “flexi-job” apprenticeship scheme, whereby apprentices can join an agency and work for multiple employers in one sector, the finance ministry said.

“We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike,” Sunak said in a statement.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout 2

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is seeking to build a consensus among G7 nations on how to stop large technology companies exploiting their dominance, warning that there can be no repeat of Facebook’s one-week media blackout in Australia.

Facebook’s row with the Australian government over payment for local news, although now resolved, has increased international focus on the power wielded by tech corporations.

“We will hold these companies to account and bridge the gap between what they say they do and what happens in practice,” Britain’s digital minister Oliver Dowden said on Friday.

“We will prevent these firms from exploiting their dominance to the detriment of people and the businesses that rely on them.”

Dowden said recent events had strengthened his view that digital markets did not currently function properly.

He spoke after a meeting with Facebook’s Vice-President for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister.

“I put these concerns to Facebook and set out our interest in levelling the playing field to enable proper commercial relationships to be formed. We must avoid such nuclear options being taken again,” Dowden said in a statement.

Facebook said in a statement that the call had been constructive, and that it had already struck commercial deals with most major publishers in Britain.

“Nick strongly agreed with the Secretary of State’s (Dowden’s) assertion that the government’s general preference is for companies to enter freely into proper commercial relationships with each other,” a Facebook spokesman said.

Britain will host a meeting of G7 leaders in June.

It is seeking to build consensus there for coordinated action toward “promoting competitive, innovative digital markets while protecting the free speech and journalism that underpin our democracy and precious liberties,” Dowden said.

The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada, but Australia has also been invited.

Britain is working on a new competition regime aimed at giving consumers more control over their data, and introducing legislation that could regulate social media platforms to prevent the spread of illegal or extremist content and bullying.

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Gareth Jones and John Stonestreet)

 

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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit

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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it would offer a fast-track visa scheme for jobs at high-growth companies after a government-backed review warned that financial technology firms will struggle with Brexit and tougher competition for global talent.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak said that now Britain has left the European Union, it wants to make sure its immigration system helps businesses attract the best hires.

“This new fast-track scale-up stream will make it easier for fintech firms to recruit innovators and job creators, who will help them grow,” Sunak said in a statement.

Over 40% of fintech staff in Britain come from overseas, and the new visa scheme, open to migrants with job offers at high-growth firms that are scaling up, will start in March 2022.

Brexit cut fintechs’ access to the EU single market and made it far harder to employ staff from the bloc, leaving Britain less attractive for the industry.

The review published on Friday and headed by Ron Kalifa, former CEO of payments fintech Worldpay, set out a “strategy and delivery model” that also includes a new 1 billion pound ($1.39 billion) start-up fund.

“It’s about underpinning financial services and our place in the world, and bringing innovation into mainstream banking,” Kalifa told Reuters.

Britain has a 10% share of the global fintech market, generating 11 billion pounds ($15.6 billion) in revenue.

The review said Brexit, heavy investment in fintech by Australia, Canada and Singapore, and the need to be nimbler as COVID-19 accelerates digitalisation of finance, all mean the sector’s future in Britain is not assured.

It also recommends more flexible listing rules for fintechs to catch up with New York.

“We recognise the need to make the UK attractive a more attractive location for IPOs,” said Britain’s financial services minister John Glen, adding that a separate review on listings rules would be published shortly.

“Those findings, along with Ron’s report today, should provide an excellent evidence base for further reform.”

SCALING UP

Britain pioneered “sandboxes” to allow fintechs to test products on real consumers under supervision, and the review says regulators should move to the next stage and set up “scale-boxes” to help fintechs navigate red tape to grow.

“It’s a question of knowing who to call when there’s a problem,” said Kay Swinburne, vice chair of financial services at consultants KPMG and a contributor to the review.

A UK fintech wanting to serve EU clients would have to open a hub in the bloc, an expensive undertaking for a start-up.

“Leaving the EU and access to the single market going away is a big deal, so the UK has to do something significant to make fintechs stay here,” Swinburne said.

The review seeks to join the dots on fintech policy across government departments and regulators, and marshal private sector efforts under a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT).

“There is no framework but bits of individual policies, and nowhere does it come together,” said Rachel Kent, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells and contributor to the review.

($1 = 0.7064 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Jane Merriman and John Stonestreet)

 

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