Welcome to Tech Talk With Vertical Motion, where we recap the biggest tech news, events, and headlines to keep you in the know.
Vancouver Economic Commission Announces the Winner of the 2022 Angels for Climate Solutions Program
Winner of the 2022 Angels for Climate Solutions program. Photo: Twitter/Vancouver Economic Commission
On April 5, 2022, 6 angel investors — including our President Jason Jones — selected Circular Rubber Technologies Inc. (CRT) as the 2022 winner of the Angels for Climate Solutions program. Following 10 weeks of intensive training for both finalists and investors, CRT was awarded the grand prize of $122k. These funds will go towards supporting the expansion of Circular Rubber Technologies Inc. and further growing the impact of its innovative climate solution. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, CRT recovers worn industrial tires destined for landfills and converts them into a rubber reclaim. This provides tire manufacturers with a high-grade substitute for virgin rubber that produces 80% less CO2e and prevents deforestation by decreasing the demand for virgin rubber.
On behalf of everyone at Vertical Motion, we want to congratulate the participants of the Angels for Climate Solutions program. Each of you should be be incredibly proud of the positive impact you are making on climate change and the Canadian economy. We wish all of you continued success with your climate solutions and look forward to the next startup and investor training program in November 2022.
OpenAI’s DALL·E 2 Generates Realistic Illustrations from Text
DALL·E 2 is a new AI system that can create realistic images and art from text. Video: YouTube/OpenAI
Have you ever seen an astronaut riding a horse? How about a polar bear playing the bass guitar? Or maybe a koala dunking a basketball? With OpenAI’s new DALL·E 2 system, you can.
OpenAI is a San Francisco, California, AI research and deployment company that strives to build safe and helpful artificial general intelligence (AGI). Since 2015, OpenAI has made incredible advancements in its field, including its recent innovation DALL·E 2. The innovative AI system responds to simple text descriptions by creating unprecedented photorealistic images. Since the initial launch of DALL·E in January 2021, the inventive technology has made several noticeable improvements. The highly evolved DALL·E 2 AI system creates higher resolution images, possesses greater comprehension, and uses new inpainting features to edit images. Additionally, DALL·E 2 can now use starter images instead of text and transform them with new angles and styles.
As OpenAI explains, “the DALL·E research has three main outcomes. First, it can help people express themselves visually in ways they may not have been able to before. Second, an AI-generated image can tell us a lot about whether the system understands us or is just repeating what it’s been taught. Third, DALL·E helps humans understand how AI systems see and understand our world.” OpenAI believes these aspects are critical in creating AI that is useful and safe today as well as into the future.
Calgary Non-profit Working to Address Gender Inequity in the Tech Sector
From left to right, Kylie Woods, Theresa Tayler, Lauren Gross, Hanan Chebib. Photo: Chic Geek
In a recent study conducted by Accenture, researchers identified that less than 1 in 5 top executives across America’s largest 1,000 companies are women. Specifically in the province of Alberta, women account for just 25% of the tech industry. This problem continues to worsens as 50% of Alberta women in tech leave the industry by the age of 35. As tech continues to growth across Canada, one determined Calgary non-profit is working to break this cycle.
Since 2013, Chic Geek has been committed to building gender diversity in technology by offering programs to support and engage women in tech. As Program Specialist Hanan Chebib explains, “the issue isn’t a lack of interest in the field, but the absence of women in leadership roles.” With incredibly low female representation in executive positions, Chebib says the women in their program struggle to identify career visibility.
In response to this growing issue, Chic Geek offers a career pathing program that pairs women in tech with mentorship over a 12 month period. The program provides participants a support network and greater visibility into career advancement, with some finding job opportunities in technology-related positions. As Chic Geek continues to pave the way for women in tech, the provincial government has announced its plan to offer $732k in scholarship funding in 2022. The funds will be distributed to 293 students across Alberta to support the education of the province’s up and coming technology leaders.
NASA Releases Images of Their Newly Designed Lunar Backpack That Will Help Astronauts during Moon Exploration
NASA’s Kinematic Navigational and Cartography Knapsack (KNaCK). Photo: NASA/Michael Zanetti
On April 22, 2022, NASA released the first images of the Kinematic Navigation and Cartography Knapsack (KNaCK). This remote-sensing mapping system assists explorers navigating extremely isolated wilderness environments such as the South pole of the Moon. The KNaCk mobile lidar scanner uses light detection and ranging to create a real-time navigation system with 3D high-resolution mapping of the surrounding terrain.
As Dr. Michael Zanetti, explains, the KNaCK is best thought of as a “superpowered version of laser range finders used by surveyors or the highly sensitive proximity alarms that help smart cars avoid collisions.” The innovative sensor system “is a surveying tool for both navigation and science mapping, able to create ultra-high-resolution 3D maps at centimeter-level precision and give them a rich scientific context.” The technology will also “help ensure the safety of astronauts and rover vehicles in a GPS-denied environment” by identifying landmark distances and depicting explorer locations in real-time.
Following testing in April, the KNaCK team will work to minimize the 40 lbs pack and harden sensitive electronics to protect them against microgravity and solar radiation.
This Month in Tech History
Microsoft Windows launch preview (1975). Photo: YouTube/EpicFam
April 1, 1976 – Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak launch the Apple Computer Company in Los Altos, California, USA.
April 1, 2004 – Google (Alphabet Inc.) launches Gmail as an invite-only beta with features including search technology, 1 GB of storage, and advanced conversation organization.
April 4, 1975 – Bill Gates and Paul Allen launch Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
April 21, 1989 – Nintendo releases the original 8-bit handheld Game Boy with interchangeable game cartridges and a monochrome LCD screen.
April 24, 1990 – Following more than a decade of planning, building, and testing, the Hubble Space Telescope launches from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA.
April 28, 2003 – Apple Inc. launches the iTunes Music Store, revolutionizing the music industry and consumer purchasing behaviour.
This is your communications officer on the bridge at Vertical Motion saying Godspeed and see you next month!
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Written By Tyler Mikitka, communications officer on the bridge at Vertical Motion.