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Audi partners with Waterloo company to deploy innovative AI

New artificial intelligence technology from Waterloo-based DarwinAI has made a big impression at Audi, the German automotive giant.

New technology from Waterloo-based DarwinAI has made a big impression at Audi, the German automotive giant.

Since announcing a partnership last year, the two companies have worked to apply artificial intelligence to the development of the electronic brain behind autonomous vehicles. Using DarwinAI’s technology, Audi engineers saw a 90 per cent reduction in the number of hours spent processing and refining data for an artificial neural network that simulates the human brain’s ability to make decisions, learn and adapt.

DarwinAI’s technology – dubbed Generative Synthesis (or GenSynth) – helped create neural networks without a heavy hand from human programmers, and the end product was more compact with lower computational costs. This reduction in cost and size helped make a neural network a viable option for this type of application – historically, neural networks have been too large for consumer electronics.

Overall, the companies reported that the number of hours programmers spent refining models was reduced from 200 to 17 and the number of hours spent processing the data dropped from 10,400 to just 760.

“There were real productivity benefits they found for their developers,” DarwinAI CEO Sheldon Fernandez said in an interview with the Waterloo Region Record. “It’s exciting for us … we’re finally able to publicly show the validation, and that’s really important to us as a young startup.”

Waterloo has developed an international reputation for developing applied artificial intelligence technologies. The community now has 95+ AI businesses working in diverse areas such as cognitive computing, image recognition, human-machine interaction and more. We recently spoke with DarwinAI Chief Scientist Alexander Wong about the growth of Waterloo’s AI business community and research capacity over the last few years, which you can read in this Q&A.

For complete coverage of this exciting partnership and its results, read the full article from the Waterloo Region Record here.

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