Open source fights cancer, Tesla adopts Coreboot, Uber and Lyft release open source machine learning |

Open source fights cancer, Tesla adopts Coreboot, Uber and Lyft release open source machine learning

Catch up on the biggest open source headlines from the past two weeks.

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In this edition of our open source news roundup, we take a look machine learning tools from Uber and Lyft, open source software to fight cancer, saving students money with open textbooks, and more!

Uber and Lyft release machine learning tools

It's hard to a growing company these days that doesn't take advantage of machine learning to streamline its business and make sense of the data it amasses. Ridesharing companies, which gather massive amounts of data, have enthusiastically embraced the promise of machine learning. Two of the biggest players in the ridesharing sector have made some of their machine learning code open source.

Uber recently released the source code for its Manifold tool for debugging machine learning models. According to Uber software engineer Lezhi Li, Manifold will "benefit the machine learning (ML) community by providing interpretability and debuggability for ML workflows." If you're interested, you can browse Manifold's source code on GitHub.

Lyft has also upped its open source stakes by releasing Flyte. Flyte, whose source code is available on GitHub, manages machine learning pipelines and "is an essential backbone to (Lyft's) operations." Lyft has been using it to train AI models and process data "across pricing, logistics, mapping, and autonomous projects."

Software to detect cancer cells

In a study recently published in Nature Biotechnology, a team of medical researchers from around the world announced new open source software that "could make it easier to create personalised cancer treatment plans."

The software assesses "the proportion of cancerous cells in a tumour sample" and can help clinicians "judge the accuracy of computer predictions and establish benchmarks" across tumor samples. Maxime Tarabichi, one of the lead authors of the study, said that the software "provides a foundation which will hopefully become a much-needed, unbiased, gold-standard benchmarking tool for assessing models that aim to characterise a tumour’s genetic diversity."

University of Regina saves students over $1 million with open textbooks

If rising tuition costs weren't enough to send university student spiralling into debt, the high prices of textbooks can deepen the crater in their bank accounts. To help ease that financial pain, many universities turn to open textbooks. One of those schools is the University of Regina. By offering open text books, the university expects to save a huge amount for students over the next five years.

The expected savings are in the region of $1.5 million (CAD), or around $1.1 million USD (at the time of writing). The textbooks, according to a report by radio station CKOM, are "provided free for (students) and they can be printed off or used as e-books." Students aren't getting inferior-quality textbooks, though. Nilgun Onder of the University of Regina said that the "textbooks and other open education resources the university published are all peer-reviewed resources. In other words, they are reliable and credible."

Tesla adopts Coreboot

Much of the software driving (no pun intended) the electric vehicles made by Tesla Motors is open source. So it's not surprising to learn that the company has adopted Coreboot "as part of their electric vehicle computer systems."

Coreboot was developed as a replacement for proprietary BIOS and is used to boot hardware and the Linux kernel. The code, which is in Tesla's GitHub repository, "is from Tesla Motors and Samsung," according to Phoronix. Samsung, in case you're wondering, makes the chip on which Tesla's self-driving software runs.

In other news

Thanks, as always, to staff members and moderators for their help this week. Make sure to check out our event calendar, to see what's happening next week in open source.


About the author

That idiot Scott Nesbitt ...
Scott Nesbitt - I'm a long-time user of free/open source software, and write various things for both fun and profit. I don't take myself all that seriously and I do all of my own stunts. You can find me at these fine establishments on the web: The Plain Text Project, Open Source Musings, The...