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Google Cloud CEO announces new capabilities, advanced chips for AI era

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New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian on Tuesday announced several new capabilities and solutions in the AI era to drive customer success and momentum, including custom silicon advancements, Google Axion which is the company’s first custom Arm-based CPU designed for the data centres, and Gemini 1.5 Pro.

Gemini 1.5 Pro offers two sizes of context windows – 128,000 tokens and 1 million tokens, and is now available in public preview.

“In addition, we are announcing the ability to process audio files including videos with audio. Customers can process vast amounts of information in a single stream including 1 hour of video, 11 hours of audio, codebases with over 30,000 lines of code, or over 700,000 words,” Kurian said as the company organised its ‘Google Cloud Next’ event in the US.

The company also enabled “AI anywhere” through Google Distributed Cloud (GDC), allowing the users to choose the environment, configuration, and controls that best suit their organisation’s specific needs.

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Kurian said that ‘Google Axion’ delivers up to 50 per cent better performance and up to 60 per cent better energy efficiency than comparable current-generation x86-based instances.

“Vertex AI, our enterprise AI platform, sits on top of our world-class infrastructure. It is the only unified platform that lets customers discover, customize, augment, deploy, and manage gen AI models,” he informed.

The company is offering more than 130 models, including the latest versions of Gemini, partner models like Claude 3, and popular open models including Gemma, Llama 2, and Mistral.

“Powered by Google DeepMind’s SynthID, we are proud to announce it is generally available today for AI-generated images produced by Imagen 2.0,” said the company.

–IANS

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CSCs playing vital role in sharing cyber-security knowledge to the last mile: Experts

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) As cyber threats are evolving at a rapid pace globally, with the number of data breaches increasing every year, experts on Friday said that Common Services Centers (CSC) plays a vital role in sharing cyber-security knowledge to the last mile.

Speaking at the CSC Cyber Security Conclave 2024, S Krishnan, Secretary, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said that security is not just about systems, but also about behaviour, knowledge, and habits.

“One of the major risks we face is the end user who may overlook the importance of cyber protection, often sharing PIN numbers and increasing vulnerabilities,” he added.

On this occasion, CSC and the United Service Institution (USI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen cyber-security.

“The partnership between CSC and USI bridges two different worlds, enhancing our digital landscape. Digitalisation not only enhances productivity but also centralises data, promoting a robust digital economy,” said Krishnan.

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In addition, Sanjay Rakesh, MD and CEO-CSC SPV said that by developing a cyber think tank, “we aim to foster innovative solutions and create a more user-friendly cyber system”.

“We will establish a small, dedicated group to lead our efforts towards cyber protection and work towards developing a cohesive cybersecurity system,” he added.

With cyber security being a primary topic, CSC had launched the ‘Cyber Rakshak’ programme in rural and remote areas in partnership with leading IT infrastructure service provider companies globally.

This cyber security training initiative has equipped women with new technology skills and helped them emerge as cyber security ambassadors.

–IANS

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Google infuses $350 million in Walmart-owned Flipkart (Lead)

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) As the Indian e-commerce space heats up with a spurt in the digital economy, Google has invested nearly $350 million in Walmart-owned Flipkart, taking the homegrown company’s valuation at nearly $36 billion.

In a statement, Flipkart said it has added Google as a “minority investor” in the e-commerce platform as part of the latest funding round led by Walmart.

The company, however, did not disclose the financial details.

The move, coming at a time when the Indian digital economy is growing at a much faster pace, is subject to receipt of regulatory and other customary approvals by both parties, the homegrown e-commerce firm said in a statement.

“Google’s proposed investment and its Cloud collaboration will help Flipkart expand its business and advance the modernisation of its digital infrastructure to serve customers across the country,” it said.

Established in 2007, Flipkart has enabled millions of sellers, merchants, and small businesses to participate in India’s digital commerce revolution. Currently, it has a registered user base of more than 500 million and the marketplace offers over 150 million products across more than 80 categories.

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According to the company, there are over 1.4 million sellers on the platform, including Shopsy sellers.

Earlier this week, the e-commerce platform said it has clocked 1.6 times growth (year-on-year) in its grocery business. The company has launched 16 grocery fulfilment centres across key locations in the country.

–IANS

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EaseMyTrip logs Rs 15 crore in net loss in Q4, revenue surges 41 pc

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Online travel company EaseMyTrip on Friday reported a net loss of Rs 15 crore in the January-March quarter of the last fiscal year (FY24), as against a profit of Rs 45.6 crore in the previous quarter.

The net loss can be attributed to its one-time expense of Rs 72.4 crore which consisted of “advances to supplier written off” and trade receivables that were written off by the startup.

The revenue from operations by Nishant Pitti-led startup surged 41 per cent (year-on-year) to Rs 164 crore in Q4.

“In Q4 FY24, we acquired a 50 per cent stake in Jeewani Hospitality to develop a luxurious 150-room Radisson Blu hotel in Ayodhya, expanding our portfolio with high-quality hospitality offerings to 1.5 lakh daily visitors,” Pitti said.

The company also launched a new subsidiary, EaseMyTrip Insurance Broker Pvt Ltd, marking its entry into the Rs 7.9 trillion insurance industry.

“These initiatives underpin our commitment to strengthening partnerships and enhancing customer satisfaction across the travel and financial services sectors,” Pitti added.

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–IANS

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ZF Commercial Vehicle, IIT Madras join hands to build global mobility digital infrastructure

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) ZF Commercial Vehicle Control Systems India on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, focusing on the ‘Mobility and Intelligent Transportation’ (MInT), which has a goal of building the Bharat Multi-Modal Mobility Stack (BM3S).

The BM3S is a first-of-its-kind global digital infrastructure platform for sustainable and intelligent transportation.

“This collaboration with IITM is a definitive step towards addressing the challenges of modern mobility. BM3S has the potential to revolutionise how we approach transportation, in India and the world,” P. Kaniappan, MD, ZF Commercial Vehicle, said in a statement.

According to the company, with a focus on safety, sustainability, and equity, BM3S will pave the way for significant advancements in electric vehicles (EVs), autonomous driving, and intelligent transportation systems.

It aims to seamlessly integrate data streams, payment systems, vehicle technologies, and digital twin models.

“We have multiple centres working in the area of mobility and digital technologies. The MInT collaborative and this partnership with ZF, a global leader in mobility products and solutions, will help accelerate mobility research to practice,” said Prof. Manu Santhanam, Dean of Industrial Consulting and Sponsored Research, IIT Madras.

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In addition, the company mentioned that this partnership aims to co-create a digital platform that will drive the development of holistic system solutions aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

–IANS

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Flipkart adds Google as minority investor in Walmart-led funding round

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Bengaluru, May 24 (IANS) Flipkart on Friday announced to add Google as a minority investor in the e-commerce platform as part of the latest funding round led by Walmart.

The move, coming at a time when the Indian digital economy is growing at a much faster pace, is subject to receipt of regulatory and other customary approvals by both parties, the homegrown e-commerce firm said in a statement.

“Google’s proposed investment and its Cloud collaboration will help Flipkart expand its business and advance the modernisation of its digital infrastructure to serve customers across the country,” said the homegrown company.

Established in 2007, Flipkart has enabled millions of sellers, merchants, and small businesses to participate in India’s digital commerce revolution.

Currently, it has a registered user base of more than 500 million and the marketplace offers over 150 million products across more than 80 categories.

According to the company, there are over 1.4 million sellers on the platform, including Shopsy sellers.

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Earlier this week, the e-commerce platform said it has clocked 1.6 times growth (year-on-year) in its grocery business.

The company has launched 16 grocery fulfillment centres across key locations in the country.

–IANS

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